Russian chess grandmaster Vladimir Kramnik once told reporters: “I am convinced, the way one plays chess always reflects the player’s personality. If something defines his character, then it will also define his way of playing.” That was almost ten years ago. But in 2017 Kramnik’s words are as true now as they were when he towered over the world as the undisputed world chess champion.
These thoughts must have been in developer Ripstone‘s collective minds when working on their new chess offering which is aptly named Chess Ultra.
With perhaps the most customisable options of any chess game we’ve ever played, Chess Ultra comfortably sets new benchmarks that future games will be judged by. From the location you’re playing in to the strength of your opponent (from a sliding scale of 1 to 10) the type of chess pieces you want to play with and the music you’re listening to, Ripstone have left very little to chance. Their goal was to create the best and most personal chess game on any platform. And they’ve nailed it in spades.
The success of Chess Ultra should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Ripstone’s earlier forays into the world of chess. Every new title seems to push the boundaries just a little further. Every new offering takes that extra step forward that redefines what we’ve come to expect from chess games as an entertainment genre.
Chess Ultra provides players with a robust single player mode that will test your strategy and skills whether you’re a newbie to chess or a grandmaster in the making. Riptstone have taken extra care to make Chess Ultra as accessible as possible with the thoughtful inclusion of indicators that will tell you where your pieces can legally move and, should your plan fall flat, there’s a handy re-take button that allows you to take your move back and try something else. Excellent. Chess Ultra also offers a comprehensive multiplayer mode which allows you to take on a local opponent or try your hand at some competition from further afield. At the time of this review, the multiplayer mode had just started becoming populated. However we’re told that Ripstone will be bolstering this mode with online tournaments of their own.
Visually Chess Ultra is in a class of its own. The game really takes advantage of next gen processing power by producing what is easily the best looking chess game we’ve ever played. Seriously, take a look at the screen shot and tell us you don’t want to lick the screen. Every chess board and piece is lovingly recreated and with the option to customise your view, you’ll easily find yourself immersed in the game.
If you’ve tried your hand at both the single player and multiplayer mode and still have that chess itch you need to scratch, then you’ll probably find the chess challenges may just be what you’re looking for. From the easy peasy mate in one games to the rock solid mate in in seven challenges, you’ll find yourself playing this mode for anywhere between three to six months. We jumped straight into the mate in seven challenge and found them tougher than a bear armed with a flick knife. Somewhat humbled we quickly retraced our steps and started from the mate in one games.
If you’re a newcomer to chess and are looking for an accessible introduction to the game, then Chess Ultra has got to be your first port of call. If, like us, you’re passionate about the game and are hungry for a real challenge, then consider your needs met and matched. Go Buy.
9 out of 10