Dungeons and Dragons comes to virtual reality like a game of chess

The Dungeons and Dragons brand is generally synonymous with adventure, exploration, and battling evil monsters to gain experience and loot. Naturally, Dungeons & Dragons and VR would seem like the perfect marriage, but the franchise’s first foray into the immersive virtual realm isn’t about adventure and exploration at all. It’s about playing chess.

Available now for the Oculus Rift ($10) and GearVR ($5) headsets, the game is called Dungeon Chessand was developed by Experiment 7, the same studio that produced magic chess table (free) for the same platforms. Dungeon Chess is based on “iconic” creatures drawn from the Dungeons & Dragons universe, including beholders, dragons, elves, and more.

To be fair, Dungeon Chess is more than just a themed chess game. According to publisher Wizards of the Coast, all of the chess pieces are fully animated: dragons breathe fire and spectators breathe death rays. That said, dragons act as the queen, spectators act as towers, mind flayers act as bishops, and drow elves take on most of the initial heat as pawns. In the video above, fiery unicorns and horses serve as the knight.

The game environment consists of different rooms with seats parked around a table. These rooms are customizable using a variety of different elements, including unique game boards, decorations, avatars, and more. Players can even test their chess skills in Faerûn’s Gaping Portal Tavernone of the legendary locations in the Forgotten Realms universe.

Dungeon Chess includes both single-player and multiplayer components, allowing VR chess players to battle against the computer, their friends, or online adventurers. On the single-player front, the game provides dynamic “multi-level” AI ranging from beginner to master. Meanwhile, the online multiplayer aspect includes friendly and ranked matches.

“As big D&D fans ourselves, it was a dream come true to be able to work on Dungeon Chess“, said co-founder and creative director of Experiment 7 Geoffrey Zatkin. “We’ve created what we believe is a killer VR game worthy of D&D enthusiasts, chess fans, and the attention of the VR community.”

Dungeon Chess supports Oculus Touch and Gear VR Touch controllers, allowing players to grab and place their chess piece on the board for a more “physical” experience. Once moved, these pieces come to life as they battle opponents or defend their position on the grid.

Dungeon Chess arrives during Oculus summer sale, although it does not appear to be part of the discount bargain. Some of the seriously discounted games include Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope ($30), work simulator ($21), Elite Dangerous ($35), Arizona Sun ($32), edge of nowhere ($27), Raw data ($32) and much more.

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