About This GameChallenge your tactical skills as you battle against computer opponents for the future of Chessaria. Experience a stunning 4K graphics strategy game with tactical depth, breadth, and challenge like nothing you have played before: an original mix of Chess, tactical setups and story-based missions.
♟ GAME MODES
– Adventure Mode: Fight & solve puzzles in the 100 levels of the solo campaign (+20h).
– Hotseat: Enjoy 10 Classic Chess and variants with your friends or against the A.I.
– Online Multiplayer: Fight against your Steam Friends in online battles.
♟ Key FEATURES
– Challenge a new gen A.I. (2800+ ELO) that enables infiltration & assassination quests.
– Battle with 3 playable armies (High Elves, Dark Elves and Orcs).
– Lead your fellowship against challenging Bosses that will test your tactical skills.
– Enjoy an emotional orchestral soundtrack created by British composer Ben Rawles.
After a thousand years of peace and prosperity, the elven city of Silveran is burnt to ashes by a dragon from the north. The bravest warriors will embark on an epic journey through the world of Chessaria to seek justice and unveil the truth behind the attack…
Chessaria introduces an innovative game genre: Tactical-Chess. Browse tactical levels & Chess puzzles that will confront strategy fans looking for a new challenge and delight heroic-fantasy enthusiasts!
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– Community Hub
- Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
- OS: Windows 7
- Processor: 2.0 GHz Dual-Core Processor
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Graphics: Nvidia GTX 960-M 2GB
- DirectX: Version 11
- Storage: 11 GB available space
I’ll be the first to admit I’m absolutely horrible at chess, but I completely love a good tactics game. When I saw the name Chessaria, I had quickly glossed over it knowing my aforementioned poor skills at the genre, a game of chess is not generally my cup of tea, but upon further inspection the lush environments, wickedly cool hordes of enemies, and grid oriented turn-based-combat quickly caught my eye and was reminiscent more of classics like Tactics Ogre or Final Fantasy Tactics than a game of chess.
It’s a fantasy story as classic as one can be, with all usual races and tropes you’d expect from the genre. The city of Silveran, a city founded by an High Elf king. A kingdom that once belonged to unruly Orcs who drew the ire and the wrath of the Elven king after their brutal treatment of the fairy race, then was turned into the capital of the elves after their slaughter. Now the orcs have returned, Silveran is burning to the ground and its up to an unlikely young pawn to gather the heroes of the city and fight back. It’s nothing spectacular, but it drives the adventure well enough and is supplied by some very nice artwork in cutscenes.
The game plays just like you’d expect from its description. The rules and movesets of chess pieces are applied to the chaotic battlefields of a tactics epic, where your usual band of swordsmen, wizards, and healers is replaced by the classic pawn, knight, bishop and rook pieces of the traditional chess formula. As anyone would know, and probably better than I, chess is an already age-old and well established game that needs no perfecting. It seems like such an easy task to bring it into the game world, but in Chessaria the sprawling and narrative driven stages with their many hazards and obstacles make this an entirely unique experience and one that is accessible to adventure, RPG, strategy and tactics fans and not just the chess crowd.
The controls are as simple as you’d want them to be in a chess game. With a simple click of a piece and a click where you want them to go, there isn’t much else to complicate or get in the way of things. Holding the right mouse button can swing the camera in any direction, and will actually be a necessary tactic when fighting some of the more complex bosses with their hidden and out of view weak points. Different characters of course take the form of different known chess pieces and are introduced slowly in almost puzzle-like solution solving adventure maps where you’ll utilize the movement patterns wisely in an attempt to correctly rescue the townspeople on the board while defeating the threat of enemies. Certain enemies will block the path of others or put you in danger if persued and only through careful consideration of your pieces and the order in which to use them will get you through it, and with a decent enough rank.
Chessaria is gorgeous, and one of the more visually polished tactics games I’ve had the pleasure of playing personally. Each map has so much beautiful detail in the backgrounds, and the field itself is always littered with all forms of interesting obstacles and debris to avoid or interact with while keeping the playing grid clear and easy to see. The set pieces animate around you in different ways, such as the fleeing townspeople who streak across the map in the early levels of a burning Silveran, making the stage that you play on feel constantly alive and part of the story, part of the battle taking place under your command.
The music is your usual fantasy fare of usual game-y orchestrated epicness. Soft and somber on the cutscenes as they explain the plight of your kingdom, and suitably upbeat and intense on the battle sections. There’s a fair bit of voice acting to go along with each character in battle, and while its a nice touch I found the voices to be a bit on the cheesy side. It works here though, in a stereotypical fantasy tale of elves, orcs, and fairies.
Chessaria is an excellent hybrid for adventure and RPG gamers such as myself, who may be interested in the deeper tactics and strategy of chess but not confident enough in their skills to play a whole match of it. The game eases you into the usage of each piece through its fantastic settings, interesting characters, and progressively challenging stages that clearly illustrate the way you properly utilize each unit and their strategic uses. The bosses are an excellent addition to this formula, and have very clever tricks to defeating them that don’t rely on the same old attack trading gameplay of tactics games. In the end, this is a beautiful journey that is more reminiscent of some of the more impressive tactics games like Tactics Ogre than it is of chess. The same mechanics fans of chess know and love are still there, however, and there’s even a quick play mode for more standard classic chess boards. Definitely recommended for fantasy and tactics fans!
This review made possible through the consideration and contribution of Review Experts(REXnetwork) and the developer.
If you want tactical depth, breadth, and challenge – even if you have zero love for or interest in "Chess" – get this. If you do love chess and you wouldn’t mind some pretty colors and animation with an amazing AI – get this. If you’re looking for a fantasy RPG with a decent plot, any character advancement, decent dialogue, or decent optimization… don’t get this…
Don’t let the time on Steam fool you: I played all the way through a much earlier version. A worse version. I came back and got thoroughly wow’ed…
WOW have these devs (a) listened to reviewers, and (b) improved the game 100x over. Awesome job, guys – most teams don’t listen like that. I have to admit, the early version was a bit embarrassing: typos everywhere, glitches, mediocre AI, poor game customization, no skipping cutscenes that you’ve seen a thousand times because that stupid boss owns your face… All fixed and then some.
The AI is *not* mediocre anymore – it mops the floor with me. That’s a good thing! I feel like this is the tactical challenge I’ve always wanted out of e.g. Xcom and Shadowrun, but I’ve never been so shamelessly abused by an AI in gaming history. In other tactical games, the AI trounces you when you give it enough clear advantages: superior numbers, superior firepower, superior positioning, never genuinely superior tactics (if you are good/attentive).
This game, on the other hand, takes a "chess" AI and pits it against you in tactical setups. These aren’t like chess setups: they might have two rows of nothing but pawns and you have to protect "villagers" in your back with your two rooks and two bishops. There are "bosses" and unique games that use chess as a starting point, but deviate completely from the base game. Add standard RP fare (orcs, elves, princes and princesses) and staging, and you have what FEELS like a tactical RPG, PLAYS like a tactical RPG, and pummels your face in like chess.
DEVS, for the love of God, I hope you hear me: Put this game ON SALE. You’re charging 3x too much for it. It’s not that it isn’t "worth" $24, but no one’s going to TRY it for $24! I’m happy with my money spent. I’ll get $50 worth out of it, easy. But it LOOKS worth $8 or $9, and it’s "worth a try" at that amount – under $10. You have to keep in mind that, from the outside, this sure looks like Battle Chess 2.0. (People: It’s not.) No one’s throwing down $24 to try a "fantasy chess game"! Get this on the front page pop-up for a Steam Sale, advertise it for 60% off for a few days, get some hype, bump it back up when you have the momentum…
To everyone else, if you have the $24, go for it. Let the difficulty slide up on you (the early levels assume you don’t know a thing about chess) and suddenly clock you upside the head.
On that note… Maybe a difficulty setting? I’m personally enjoying the beating but my wife would like me to go to bed before 3am "after I beat this level"… I feel like my first few playthroughs of Civ5 on Deity…
☐ Wait to buy when it’s on sale.
☐ Wait for improvements before buying.
☐ Save your money.
* PLEASE NOTE:
Chessaria is not a "speedrun" game and adds new layers to classic Chess gameplay via it’s primary adventure campaign. You will get the most enjoyment out of it if you are prepared to take your time with it. That said, you can still play for short or long play sessions.
In the Adventure mode, Chessaria adds a storyline campaign to classic Chess, humanization and personality to Chess pieces, additional obstacles and environmental hazards to the Chess board, and flair by means of attack animations (which you can toggle on or off). You can unlock additional Chess board maps by completing certain criteria (like clearing a region).
The game begins by introducing you to each Chessaria piece’s movement and capture abilities by means of short tutorial maps. These maps will also expose the player to basic objectives and hazards that you will overcome in the primary campaign. The tutorial maps are brief and informative for players new to the core Chess ruleset and old veterans alike, as there are some new environmental effects added.
As you progress beyond the tutorial maps, the campaign storyline unfolds, and you will traverse the world map, overcoming a variety of challenges, objectives, and environmental hazards with classic Chess piece moves.
Completing a map with a minimal number of moves and piece losses will improve your ranking for that level.
QUICK GAME MODES:
Classic Chess – capture the opponent’s King.
The Horde – capture the opponent’s units VS. capture the opponent’s King.
Barricade Chess – capture the opponent’s King (you can only destroy barricades on your side of the board).
Pawn Battle – first to reach the other side of the board wins.
The Race – first to reach the opponent’s squares wins (with barricade wall)
Mage’s Duel – first Bishop to capture the opponent’s squares wins.
In quick game modes, you can select to play as the High Elf, Dark Elf, or Orc chess pieces against the computer or against a friend via the Local Multiplayer option.
CHARACTER PIECES and how they work:
Fid (Pawn) – movement & capture
Turim the Protector (Rook) – movement & capture
Bishop the High Mage – movement & capture
Captain Horsan (Knight) – movement & capture
Queen Aria Kasparian – movement & capture
King Magnian Kasparian – movement & capture
+ I enjoy the rotating camera vistas when you begin a new map. This gives the game a strong feeling of environment, location, and immersion. You’ve seen this in other tactics games like Vandal Hearts, Final Fantasy Tactics, etc.
+ As a player who normally despises forced tutorials, I found Chessaria’s to be very brief, informative, and tolerable. The tutorial maps blended very well into the main campaign and storyline.
+ I love that I can zoom in on the game board and rotate the camera.
+ Chess pieces are humanized with individual personalities.
+ Chess pieces have cool-looking attacks added to their standard movements.
+ Sound effects are befitting the action.
+ Music is very nice and unobtrusive. Soft string and wind instruments.
+ User interface is very easy to navigate. Much of it is fairly standard and familiar.
+ Option to retry the current level when you mess up.
+ Option to turn off attack animations for a quicker game.
+ Adventure campaign and several Quick Game modes.
+ Full controller support.
+ 100 levels!!!
– Add a game speed slider in the settings. Turning off attack animations is a nice feature, but also having the option to speed up or slow down the overall piece movement and animations would add better customization for the individual player’s preference.
– Load times between maps can be a little slow if you don’t have Chessaria on an SSD.
– Please add load screen artwork. (Currently there is just a black screen with a tiny animated icon)
– I would like to click on or hover the mouse over an enemy to see their movement range options.
2). Initially, I thought the price point was too high, but after experiencing it for a few hours, there is a lot of value for your dollar here (it seems that lately, $24.99 is the new $19.99 on the Steam store).
* Pretty Decent Graphics
* Interesting Gameplay
* Nice Cinematics
* Amazing Art and Ambience music
* Animations can be a bit slow but can also be turned off
* Voice acting could’ve been slightly better, however they are tolerable. (Sorry! 🙁 )
* Tutorial could still use some minor improvements
In short it’s a chess game with a fun unique twist to it and worth your time or if you need something to do whilst your watching a 4 hour stream (Like Critical Role for example) or if you just want to simply play a chess game with elves.
Well that’s my impressions. Hope it helps! 🙂
A fellow Kickstarter Backer.
If you enjoy this review please consider following my Curator page here .
I’m not very good at chess. I’m also not very good at Chessaria. Luckily, my ineptitude cannot diminish how great Chessaria: The Tactical Adventure is.
Chessaria is a wonderful turn-based strategy game based off the classical game of chess. The base rules are the same such as movement of characters but the game introduces plenty of mechanics that keep it fresh and plenty challenging. Whether it’s a board of all Rooks and one Queen or obstacles blocking certain pathways, the game is great at tossing out new wrinkles every couple of levels.
The game is wrapped in a fantasy setting that, while pretty trope-y, provides a good through line and motivation to keep playing. The art direction is very strong and I found the character silhouettes to be well defined enough so it’s easy to parse what each piece is. Attack animations are nice at first but I ended up turning them off as they drag on just a tad too long. This made turns a bit tedious especially in extended play sessions.
As someone who considers themselves a novice at best, I found the AI to be really good at countering moves and setting up its own. There were many a times I thought I had my moves lined up perfectly and the AI came in and wiped me out. Luckily resetting the board is just two clicks away and very snappy.
The devs have also promised future implementation of custom boards and workshop support which could add great replayability to the game as I’m sure people could make some really good scenarios.
I have immensely enjoyed my time with Chessaria: The Tactical Adventure. It’s a great tactics game and one that has that “one more turn” itch. Fans of chess and tactics games should find a lot to love here and sink their teeth into.
I would not recommend this game to a total noob, but if you have played some chess this is a very nice break from traditional games.
For whatever reason the game seems to be resource hungry, as I have a 1080Ti but still on 3440×1440 the game was only some 80fps. I dont know what is going on there but for me the game play was of course smooth as this is a strategy game but I was surprised to see the relatively low fps, comparable to some AAA titles out there.
Disclaimer: I received this game for free, full disclosure on the full Review
Full Review — Curator Site
On Steam I was browsing and saw someone had a game called Chessaria on a wishlist or had just purchased it. I took a look because I’m a fan of chess. Maybe not the biggest fan but I’ve played over 100 games on lichess.org (my profile page) and more elsewhere, so I know what I’m doing. Chessaria brought back memories of when I first got into computer chess and promised tactical puzzles with Chessaria: The Tactical Adventure. Alright, it had my attention.
It’s pretty easy to know where the idea for Chessaria came from. In 1988 a little company known as Interplay left EA’s publishing and made their own game, Battle Chess, and pretty much was THE chess game on computers for quite a while. Not only did it play chess, but as you attacked each piece would play an animation. You could see a king pull out a pistol and shoot a piece. The rook became a rock monster and smashed a pawn into his hat, the knight would slash enemies. Every interaction was different and unique.
That became almost the gold standard in computer chess games. Not only was there a call for a good chess engine, but there also was a place for graphically beautiful chess.
Chessaria attempts to return to the time of Battle Chess, and bring back the animations and style. However, that’s not all Chessaria claims to have. They say they have a 2800+ ELO engine as well, which would be a very strong chess engine.
The first thing I noticed with Chessaria is the graphics, this is a very beautiful game especially for chess as you can see in my first look. The levels are detailed, but the core of the game still remains on the board. The game takes a more Battle Chess style to the pieces, with each piece looking more like a video game character rather than the classic designs. You, of course, have the stately king and queen, but you also have Rooks that are knights with a giant shield, Knights with a sword, and Bishops with their staffs. Each piece is well detailed.
In fact, there are actually three factions. The High Elves, the Dark Elves, and the Orcs. Each one plays the same, as this is chess, but has different looks. The High Elves and Dark Elves are more what people would expect for chess. Very similar pieces but one light and one dark in color. The orcs have more variety in style but ultimately are the same types of pieces just a radically different look for a different faction.
There’s a rather involved story between the three races that play out in the adventure mode and that’s decent, but it’s typical Tolkien fair. High Elves, and Dark Elves fight and then the Orcs show up and change the battle. It’s acceptable but it’s not going to be the big draw here, this is chess, so you’re coming to play chess.
Still, the pieces look great and are detailed. The graphics aren’t that distracting, as again this is chess, but at the same time, the level and pieces are more detailed than I expected and the levels are beautiful to look at. In addition, the game pans over the field before a battle. It’s not a necessary move but it does let you look around and see the beautiful art style.
The game also allows you to pan the camera around and zoom in and out. It doesn’t seem necessary though, I will talk about that when I talk about the adventure maps later as well. You can look at the board in different ways if that will help you. Whether it be from the side or from the enemy’s direction.
Since we have been talking about Battle Chess, the question becomes “Are there Attack animations?” and of course those are still here. When your piece captures another, a simple attack animation plays. These are rather entertaining at first, but there are two minor problems with them. With the better graphics and more going on with the board, it’s hard to make out exactly what happens in the game. If you ever played NES Battle Chess, the game brought the attack animations to a different stage that was more visible. I honestly would have been happy with that at first, because I wanted to see the animations.
However, all the attack animations are the same for each piece. The Pawn jumps up and attacks the neck of their target. The Knight flips in a somersault in the air and strikes down. Sadly once you’ve seen each piece attack once, you know what you’ll see when you attack again. It’s a shame because part of my personal love of Battle Chess was those “What will I see next” moments and that’s not here.
The attack animations become a bit much after a couple of hours and eventually, I turned them off. I’m glad that there is the option because it shows the developers are considering the best way to present their product. Overall I liked seeing the attacks, but the ability to turn it off for a little more speed and focus on the game was also worthy.
My favorite view was the version where I zoomed the view all the way out. It’s sad to say, but the piece designs did get confusing after a while. Each piece got introduced but I often confused a queen for another piece or a piece was hiding behind another. Personally, when I switched to tactical, I felt more in control of the board. Sadly there’s a problem. I turned off the attack animations and they were off, but the move animations still occurred in the tactical view. I’m used to Lichess with its fast movements so I can focus on the chess, and the movement animations don’t feel necessary in the tactical view. It’s a bit of an annoyance when playing a lot of moves because it feels like there’s a little lag necessary to move the pieces around.
There’s also a flashing red blood splatter when you’re in check that seems very over the top. It’s distracting and it makes the game feel like it’s a critical situation. When you’re in check and checking your opponent’s king is good, but it’s not the life and death the game makes it out to be.
But, overall the graphics are good. There are some changes I would have made, and I really wish the tactical view was just that but I see what they were doing and it works. Now we need to move from how the game looks to the gameplay and see if it holds up.
It’s chess, it holds up.
Ok, it’s not as simple as that, but Chess is one of the oldest games for a reason. The last major rule change was over a hundred years ago, and it is an esoteric rule where a pawn can only be promoted to pieces of the SAME color. Yeah, it is pedantic but without it, there’s a famous mate in one puzzle that works.
The point is Chess as a game is pretty much a standard at this point as long as you code the game to accept the agreed upon rules, you should be good. For the most part, Chessaria plays it straight. There’s both proper castling and en passant.
It’s when the game moves to its main mode called Adventure mode that everything gets a little more complicated. Adventure mode is made up of 100 puzzles. It progresses in a slow ramp-up of difficulty and challenge, taking the first twenty puzzles and giving challenges to teaching how each piece moves. From there, the game quickly moves to actual puzzles and they do get pretty challenging. They are broken up into sets of twenty, and honestly, the fourth set (61 to 80) was very challenging to me.
If you want to read more and see a final score, you can see the full review with pictures and video at https://kinglink-reviews.com/2018/07/03/chessaria-the-tactical-adventure-review/. You can also check out my Curator page at If you want to hear more from me, you can show me that by following my curator at http://store.steampowered.com/curator/31803828-Kinglink-Reviews/