Chess Ultra is a tough game to review, while simultaneously being insanely easy to talk about. At the end of the day, it’s a budget Chess title. However, the presentation is executed surprisingly well, and it’s a title that I definitely recommend.
Chess Ultra is a game that is best on something like the Nintendo Switch, as opposed to an Xbox One, Playstation 4, or other system that doesn’t include a portable option. There are countless ways to play Chess, but having a version right on my console of choice is convenient. This is a game that most will play in handheld or tabletop mode, and I think that’s for the better. Chess isn’t something that needs to be blown up on a massive, HD television – it’s something to pass the time while you have a few minutes to spare.
The game features a Single Game mode, which allows you to play against the Computer. Along with this basic mode, it also offers a Tournament mode and Challenges. Tournament mode is pretty self explanatory; Challenges, on the other hand, might be new to some players. Essentially, the Challenges feature allows players to play historic Chess matches, and attempt to replicate the moves used in those games. To Chess fanatics, this is definitely something to check out. Additionally, the game boasts the ‘Checkmate’ challenge, in which players must figure out how to win the game, ranging from using 1 move to 7 moves. It makes for a fun time, especially if you’re looking to genuinely improve your Chess game.
Something I didn’t pick up on right away is how good the game actually looks. It doesn’t have 4K graphics or insanely detailed textures, but the overall aesthetic of the game is gorgeous. Complementary to the visuals is the background music, which is incredibly easy to listen to and relaxing.
The single negative I have isn’t actually the game’s fault. Due to the limited player base (I assume), it took awhile to find online matches. Some were quick, while others took upwards of 10 minutes.
Chess Ultra is a nice little game to own. When Nintendo first began marketing the Switch, they really hammered home the idea of taking it where you go, and playing it to pass the time. I feel that this title is a perfect example of that. If a player has a few hours to kill, it’s probably best to play a big game like Super Mario Odyssey or The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. On the other hand, if someone has a mere few minutes to spare, turning on the Switch and playing a match of Chess would surely suffice.