Review: Pure Chess (3DS)

It’s a portable version of chess. What else did you expect?

By Jake Shapiro. Posted 04/04/2014 09:30 Comment on this     ShareThis
The Final Grade
grade/score info
1-Up Mushroom for...
Ambitious cross-platform play, luscious graphics and sound
Poison Mushroom for...
Too expensive for a classic board game you can find elsewhere for free.

The 3DS version of Pure Chess is nearly identical to its Wii U counterpart. The features, modes, and gameplay are exactly the same. For my full thoughts on the game, check out my review of the Wii U version. This review highlights the differences in the 3DS version.

Pure Chess‘ big advantage over cheaper virtual chess games is its graphical fidelity. The Wii U version of the game boasts gorgeous visuals, but of course, 3DS doesn’t have nearly the same sheen. The game is displayed in a 2D strategic view on the 3DS’ lower screen, with intuitive touchscreen controls to move your pieces. The upper screen displays a 3D render of your chess match from cinematic camera angles. This cinematic view is nice, but it’s ultimately pointless–you’ll be spending the majority of your time making your moves on the lower screen, so there’s no reason to ever look at the cinematic view unless you’re watching someone else play.

The 3DS version of Pure Chess doesn’t run quite as smoothly as its Wii U counterpart. Menus load more slowly and there are dips in the frame rate, which is embarrassing for a game as simple as chess. Online play is sluggish, but that’s as much an issue with the 3DS’ online capabilities as it is an issue with Pure Chess. Chess isn’t exactly a fast-paced game anyway, so the slow connection doesn’t make that big of a difference. And a minor sound gripe: It seems someone at developer VooFoo forgot to program the little jingle you hear when you select the game in the 3DS home screen, so instead you hear a short, loud beeping sound.

If I were to pick one version of Pure Chess, I’d opt for Wii U. Strangely, both versions sell for $7.99, so the Wii U version with its HD visuals and smoother performance is a better value. The 3DS version has the advantage of portability; if you’re sitting at home playing chess on Wii U, you could instead be playing, ya know… real chess. If all you’ve got is 3DS, Pure Chess fills a gap in its library, but if it’s portable chess you’re looking for, there are cheaper, better options available for smartphones and tablets.

Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard criteria.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Log In 0 points Log in or register to grow your Ninja Score while interacting with our site.
Nintendojo's RSS Feeds

All Updates Podcast
News Comments
Like and follow usFacebookTwitter Friend Code Exchange + Game with Us Join the Team!