Chess Club Review – Everything You Could Ask About VR Chess

Odders offers almost everything you could ask for in VR chess, although there are a few loose ends to iron out. More information in our Chess Club review.

Where to start when reviewing chess? Well, don’t revise chess, of course; it’s failures. You know if you like chess or if you don’t like chess. So I guess look at the features, layout and overall substance of the given outlet. And, to be fair, in these areas, Chess Club performs very well.

Chess Club is a little strange for Odders (pun unintentional). His last game, OhShape, was about as active as VR gaming and Chess Club is, well, the polar opposite. But I understand the logic. I suspect the team has spotted a gap in the increasingly lucrative questing market – we already have some great table tennis, mini-golf and other games that present very few barriers to the immersion. You don’t really need more than one type of these games if the first ones are successful, so why not fill that gap yourself?

And Chess Club is up to the task with ease; different levels of AI opponents for those who want to take on the unblemished cold of a machine and multiplayer support for the full experience with friends. It even recommends human opponents for you based on the skills you’ve displayed in previous matches and tracks movement during matches if you want to revisit where things started to go wrong.

Chess Club Review – Facts

What is that?: Chess… in VR!
Platforms: Quest
Release date: out now
Price: $14.99

If you want the strictest, most down-to-earth chess experience, this is it. You can play with traditional coins or – my personal preference – travel to Stonehenge and play with animated fantasy-themed coins. It’s a brilliant little miracle, watching pawns confidently cross gaps and stun each other with a hammer in battle, or marveling at a queen wiping out infantry with little effort. The animations are really well done, as is the overall visual design. In fact, it’s a shame that there aren’t more of these themes to enjoy at launch or unlock through a progression system, but Odders says these will be coming in future updates.

The optional manual tracking support also works great for the most part, and it’s one of the few experiences where I actually prefer to put the controllers aside.

Odders has therefore not really taken the wrong step, as there are still things to add. The lack of a tutorial is notable, and it could use a challenge mode that places you in specific situations to both provide some variety and help you become a better player. I’d also love to see the game come to more platforms – there really isn’t a whole lot of reason why it shouldn’t be cross-play compatible with flat screens and other headsets to expand the list of potential adversaries.

Chess Club Review – Final Impressions

Chess Club is pretty much doing whatever it needs to do to solidify a position as the worthy Quest chess set is gone. There are online and AI options and a great visual finish whether you want the classic experience or something a little newer, plus great hand tracking support to make the experience as accessible as possible. It could do more in terms of modes and themes, but Odders is likely to deliver on that front over time and, barring more versions of the game with cross-play support, you can’t really ask for a lot more. If you’re looking for an Oculus Quest chess obsession, look no further.

Chess Club Review Points

To learn more about how we arrived at this score, read our review guidelines. What did you think of our Chess Club review? Let us know in the comments below!

Comments are closed.