Game Review: Chess Challenge (WiiWare, DSiWare)

Chess Challenge is a downloadable game for WiiWare and DSiWare (WiiWare version reviewed here). As the title suggests, you can challenge computer players in Novice, Intermediate, and Expert skill levels. You can also play against another human player on the same Wii, but the biggest selling point is all the many ways you can play chess online.

The WiiWare version lets you play chess online in real time with anyone on your friend code list, as well as gamers you’ve never met before. Chess Challenge incorporates your Mii characters, too, and you easily move pieces by pointing the Wii remote at the screen.

Probably the most unique aspect is you can use WiiConnect24 to play something akin to ‘Chess by Mail.’ You enter in a move, and the message gets sent to your opponent. So when they turn on their Wii, they’ll get a letter and you’ll have to wait for their response move. It’s charming in an old fashioned kind of way.

Graphics are rather uninspiring, but hey, it’s chess, it doesn’t have to be. You can choose from different backdrops to play chess at, like a beach, park, or library. You can view the board in 3-D or 2-D, although I prefer 2-D since it’s easier to see your pieces and moves.

Only thing missing is a tutorial mode, which would’ve been nice to have for younger players and chess novices. At least you have the option to view where your pieces are allowed to move to. I can’t think of any other notable chess games for Wii or DS, so for 500 points, Chess Challenge isn’t a bad deal at all. It’s rated E for Everyone.

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