Archive for the ‘VooFoo’ Category

Interview: Ripstone on Pure Chess Wii U & 2DS/3DS release plans, cross-platform play, & more! (Part 2)

September 13, 2013


Coffee Beans
Last week, I published the first part of an interview I had with Ripstone’s Phil Gaskell regarding Pure Chess that will soon be heading to the Wii U and 3DS systems. In the first part of the interview, we covered whether Pure Chess has real-time online multiplayer, how many “Play By Mail” games the Wii U and 3DS versions will have compared to the PlayStation 3 version, and if either the Wii U or 3DS version would feature Trophies like what are in the PlayStation 3 version.

I also had the chance to ask what chess fans in general might enjoy about the game, and what features should appeal the most to them. You can read the first part of the it, “Interview: Ripstone on Pure Chess Wii U & 3DS – Trophies, Multiplayer, & More“, HERE.

Now, are there any plans on releasing Pure Chess outside of European and North American eShops, perhaps in Japan and Australia? Is there any plan to update the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita versions of Pure Chess to allow cross-platform play?

Brew yourself some coffee, and find out the answers to those questions and a few more, below!

The Brew
CoffeeWithGames (CWG): While Pure Chess is currently scheduled for release before the end of the year, being that Ripstone and VooFoo are both in the United Kingdom, will the game see a simultaneous release on both the European and North American eShops?
Phil Gaskell (PG): There are some internal processes that the games with go through at both NOE (Nintendo of Europe) and NOA (Nintendo of America) so we’ll be trying to keep the launches as close together as we can, but there may be a few days between.

CWG: Is there any plan on releasing Pure Chess Wii U and 3DS in Japan, or is it just currently planned for just Europe and North America (Australia too)?
PG: Right now the plan is to launch in Europe and North America. Translating the game into Chinese, Japanese, and other languages can take time so we’ll look at taking the game over into territories like Asia and South America later.

CWG: The pricing structure of the mobile version really offers chess players some awesome choices, will the Wii U and 3DS versions of Pure Chess have a tiered pricing structure like the mobile version, or will it just be the “COMPLETE GAME PACK” option when those versions launch?
PG: The Wii U version will feature a similar tiered DLC approach to the PS3 and PS Vita versions. So gamers can expect to get the basic fully-featured game for a great price, and will be able to download optional chess sets. We’re also exploring bundling options so we can offer the great value complete pack at some point too.

CWG: Is there any plan to update the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita versions of Pure Chess to allow cross-platform play?
PG: We thought getting the big console platforms to open up and agree to cross-platform play would be difficult. We actually found it incredibly easy when we spoke to Nintendo, but it’s going to be different from company to company. Sony are being equally open to the suggestion but as you can imagine, it’s a busy time there with the launch of the new console. We’re still discussing the feature with them and if they allow it rest assured we’ll patch it in.

Caffeinated Thoughts
While Ripstone is thrilled about the upcoming Wii U price drop and new 2DS system (as am I), I am glad to see Ripstone and VooFoo supporting both Nintendo systems with Pure Chess. The fact they approached Nintendo with the idea of cross-platform play, and Nintendo not only said yes to the Wii U and 3DS cross-platform play, but also yes for allowing it with the Android/iOS version I think is awesome and really surprised me. I have been hearing more of how Nintendo is really trying to change the way they work with developers on their systems and listen to feedback, and I think this is just one more big example of Nintendo moving forward in a positive way.

If you missed my Caffeinated Thoughts post on Pure Chess’ mobile version yesterday, you can read it HERE. While I will continue playing the mobile version, I do plan on buying the Wii U version of Pure Chess when it releases for the system, and I will probably at that point buy the Multi-Game Upgrade option for the mobile version.

If you want to enjoy the mobile version of Pure Chess until the Wii U and/or 3DS version releases, you can download Pure Chess for your Android/iOS devices:
App Store version, HERE.
Google Play store version, HERE.
Amazon App store version, HERE.

My Ripstone ID is CoffeeWithGames, for those of you that might enjoy playing chess matches online.

I would like to thank Ami and Phil at Ripstone for their time and helping me get this interview together. I hope that it helped bring some attention to Pure Chess in a fun way, perhaps even to some of you that didn’t know much/anything about it.

As always, if any of you have any questions about Pure Chess that perhaps weren’t asked/answered here, feel free to ask me in the comments below or by sending me an email at: Scott(@)CoffeeWithGames.com.

Questions
Are any of you surprised, as I was, that Ripstone found it “incredibly easy” when talking with Nintendo about getting the cross-platform feature implemented in the Wii U and 3DS versions?

If you haven’t tried out the mobile or PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Vita version of Pure Chess already, are any of you planning on buying Pure Chess for the Wii U and/or 3DS when it releases later this year?


CONNECT WITH COFFEE

Pure Chess – Caffeinated Thoughts (NOOK HD+ Tablet version)

September 12, 2013


Coffee Beans
Pure Chess recently released for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Android devices. The game has been developed by VooFoo and published by Ripstone. Last week, I posted an interview with Ripstone’s Phil Gaskell about Pure Chess coming to the Wii U and 3DS, and you can read the first part of the interview, HERE.

What’s the best part about the mobile release of Pure Chess though? It can be downloaded and enjoyed for an awesome low price of FREE.

You read that right, Pure Chess for iOS and Android devices can be downloaded for free. Is it worth downloading and using up the megabytes of required space though? In short, absolutely!

What will the free version of Pure Chess get you, as for choices of how to play a game of chess, and what does the Pure ChessComplete Game Pack” offer content wise? Brew yourself some coffee, and hit the jump to see details of what you can expect from Pure Chess now on iOS and Android devices!

How the Pure Chess main menu appears. 

The Brew
If you download Pure Chess, here are the features you will get in the basic free version:

1) Play Local – The ability to play one local chess game at a time on your Android/iOS device, against either a human or computer opponent.

    a) This offers two difficult settings if you want to play against a computer opponent. Monkey AI is the lowest difficulty, and well, it’s apparently like playing against a monkey. Monkey AI has been an excellent difficulty for showing Bean 1 how to play move different chess pieces around.
    b) For those chess fans that enjoy timed matches, you also have the option of using a game timer if you would like. You can select to have it do a time limit per move, or you can select an incremental timer option.

2) Play Online – The ability to enjoy one online “Play By Mail” chess game at a time on your mobile  device. This allows you to play other Pure Chess owners from around the world in chess matches, and I have already used this feature to play two online chess matches, against Matt and Chris from DigitallyDownloaded.net. It works extremely well, and even shows you the moves previously made in the match, so that you can remember what exactly was happening if you take a break from the game and come back a few hours (or, even days) later.

3) Chess Challenges – This area has two sections for players to use and improve their chess games: Bonus Games or a Tournament.
    a) Bonus Games are where you try and get checkmate in a certain number of moves. The Bonus Games start with “Mate in 1” and go all the way up to “Mate in 5”. With the free version, you have access to the first two problems under each one, for a total of 10 Bonus Games.
    b) The Tournament section will allow you to play in a Beginners Tournament in the free version, but also has a Challengers Tournament and Masters Tournament.

4) Chess Set Pieces – The checker based chess pieces (seen in the image above) are the set pieces in the free version, with three appearances to choose from: wood, metal, or plastic.

The basic checker based chess pieces.

5) Teaching – Under the “Learn to play” section there are 24 lessons which are very helpful for someone that perhaps has never played chess, or someone that has only played a few chess games and needs a refresher course. These lessons will show you the basic chess piece moves, and how to capture with the pieces as well. There are a few slightly advanced chess moves and rules not covered in the free version, such as castling, but you do get those extra lessons in the full version of the game, or even as a lower priced separate option if you’re just looking to learn chess.

Now, if you buy the Pure Chess “COMPLETE GAME PACK”, what will you get?

Well, for less than the price of a tournament chess set and board from Amazon.com, here’s an image with just some of what you will get:

Click to enlarge.

On top of the features in the image, you will also get these additional chess set pieces and locations:
1) Forest Game Pack – This includes a calm forest environment and classic Lewis chess set.
2) Temple Game Pack – This includes a temple environment setting, with an Imperial Roman army chess set.
3) Park Game Pack – This includes an Autumnal park environment, with animal based chess pieces. Think rabbits, owls, mice, and more!
4) Halloween Chess Set – Well, take a look at the image below and the screenshot on the left to get an idea of what you can expect from this spooktacular chess set!

The Pure Chess Halloween and Park Chess Sets.

5) Easter Island Chess Set – Have you ever been to Easter Island? If not, you can read about the island and the Moai that inspired this chess set, HERE.
6) Staunton Chess Set – This chess set has been around since the mid-1800s, and you can read about it, HERE. This Pure Chess chess set is shown below, in the left screenshot.
7) Battalion Chess Set – Shown below, in the middle screenshot.
8) Williams Chess Set – Shown below, in the right screenshot.

The Staunton, Battalion, and Williams Chess Sets. Click image to enlarge.

Caffeinated Thoughts
This is very simple. If you have ever enjoyed chess, or want to learn how to play chess, you should at the very least immediately go and download the Android or iOS basic free version of Pure Chess if you have a device that you can do it on:
App Store version, HERE.
Google Play store version, HERE.
Amazon App store version, HERE.

Pure Chess’ free basic version is like a coffee shop giving away a free small cup of coffee, and then charging a little for the extras. You can enjoy the deliciousness of the original brewed coffee, but if you perhaps enjoy your coffee drinks a little sweeter, you have all sorts of options.

If you don’t want to buy the Pure Chess Complete Game Pack, no problem. You can pay for just the option(s) you want to make your chess experience, just a little bit sweeter.

What if you don’t know much about chess and just want to learn more, without buying the full version? They give you the choice of buying just a Difficulty & Tutorial Upgrade, for $1.07. Want access to the extra checkmate puzzles and the harder, more advanced chess tournaments? You can buy the Challenge Upgrade for $1.07. Want the extra chess sets and locations? You can buy them individually.

Want to have the ability to play more than one local and online chess game at a time? You can buy the Multi-Game Upgrade, which only costs $1.07, allowing you to play up to 6 local and 6 online chess games without buying the full game.

If you want to go big though, and for example make your free small cup of coffee a large cup, you can certainly do so with the Pure Chess Complete Game Pack. While I am holding off for the Wii U version before making an initial purchase, I will go with the equivalent of the Pure Chess Complete Game Pack on the Wii U when the game releases.

Once I do get the Wii U version though, I will probably also go with the Multi-Game Upgrade option on the NOOK version I am currently using. Which, if you’re not aware of what the NOOK HD+ Tablet is, it is an e-Reader based tablet device from the U.S. book retailer Barnes & Noble. From my own personal experience of playing chess in a coffee shop, if I was Barnes & Noble I would try to get Pure Chess downloaded to every single NOOK HD+ Tablet before it’s sold, and help use that as a way to promote in store chess tournaments on their own device.

If you have Pure Chess downloaded already, my Ripstone account name is CoffeeWithGames. Feel free to send me an online match challenge, and I’ll accept it once my current match is over.

Questions
Have any of you been playing the new Android or iOS version of Pure Chess, and if so, what do you think about it?


CONNECT WITH COFFEE

Interview: Ripstone on Pure Chess Wii U & 3DS – Trophies, Multiplayer, & More (Part 1)

September 4, 2013

Coffee Beans
Last week, Ripstone’s Phil Gaskell told us how they were thrilled at Ripstone to hear about the upcoming Wii U price drop and new 2DS system. Ripstone is planning on releasing Pure Chess for the Wii U and 2DS/3DS eShops in the next few months, and Knytt Underground is looking like it will be an early 2014 Wii U eShop release from Ripstone as well.

With Pure Chess being the first Wii U and 2DS/3DS game from Ripstone, and being a big chess fan myself, I had the opportunity to ask Mr. Gaskell some questions about the upcoming release of Pure Chess on the Wii U and 2DS/3DS. I had not played Pure Chess before sending over the questions, though that has changed in the last week with the mobile version releasing on Android and iOS devices.

What Pure Chess features should appeal the most to chess fans? Will Pure Chess on the Wii U and 3DS offer the same number of “Play By Mail” chess games as the PlayStation 3 version, or has the number been increased or decreased?

Brew yourself some coffee, and find out the answers to some of these questions and a few more, below!

The Brew
CoffeeWithGames (CWG): For those, like myself, that enjoy chess, but might not be familiar with Pure Chess, what feature(s) do you think will appeal the most to them?
Phil Gaskell (PG): There’s three features I’m particularly proud of that I think you and other gamers will love.

The first one is the comprehensive tutorial. Of course it’ll teach you the very basics like how each piece moves, but it also takes you through more advanced rules like castling and en passant. It doesn’t end there though, it will also clearly explain more advanced strategies such as pins and skewers, and even explain some opening plays. We’re pretty confident there’s something there for everyone, from the novice to the more advanced players. My chess abilities certainly improved while working on the game.

The second is the cross-platform online play. By registering for a Pure Chess account Nintendo gamers will not only be able to challenge other Pure Chess players on Wii U and 3DS but also on smartphone and tablet devices! If you own the game on multiple platforms you can even sign in using your Pure Chess account and continue your multiplayer game seamlessly from device to device. When we listened to the gaming community this was probably the feedback we received the most, so we’ve taken it on board and delivered something even better.

The third is the most obvious really, and from the screenshots it’s the thing that hits you in the face. It’s so beautiful. Quite honestly it must be the most realistic looking chess game ever made!

How I will probably play most of my Pure Chess Wii U games, on just the GamePad.

CWG: Will Pure Chess on the Wii U or 3DS offer real-time online multiplayer chess matches?
PG: Strictly speaking no it doesn’t. The game is asynchronous in its very nature so real-time online multiplayer seems a bit unnecessary. However the game does play like a real-time online mode, but if you or your opponent disconnect for any reason the game carries on like a ‘play-by-mail’ game. So you get the best of both worlds!

CWG: The PlayStation 3 version has the “Play By Mail” system for up to 8 friends at a time. Does the Wii U version also allow 8 “Play By Mail” games to be taking place, or has the number been increased (or, decreased)?
PG: Both the Wii U and 3DS versions allow for the same number of play-by-mail slots.

CWG: Will Pure Chess Wii U (or, 3DS) feature Trophies like what are in the PlayStation 3 version of the game, in any fashion?
PG: These types of things are mandated by other platforms, but Nintendo allow things like trophies to be optional. So we decided not to include them and keep the game a very pure experience. This allowed us to concentrate on more important features like the online mode.

Caffeinated Thoughts
Again, while I had not played Pure Chess before sending over these questions, in the last week I have had the opportunity to try out Pure Chess on Mrs. Coffee’s NOOK HD+ tablet, and I have been very impressed with the game.

The online multiplayer, or “Play By Mail” system, has really worked well from my time with it, and I’m personally looking forward to the Wii U version of Pure Chess when it releases later this year. I was a bit surprised by the announcement of cross-platform play in the Wii U and 3DS versions with the Android and iOS versions, and it is something that I’m really excited to see Nintendo allow. I think it’s another sign Nintendo is willing to try new things on the online front, or at least allow a third party developer to try new things, and I’m glad that Ripstone and VooFoo listened to the fan feedback and have been able to get that feature in the game now.

If you own a Wii U and/or 3DS and are interested in Pure Chess, you can try out the Android or iOS version of the game right now:
App Store version here.
Google Play store version here.
Amazon App store version here.

Questions
If you own a Wii U and/or 3DS, are you looking forward to Pure Chess for those systems?

Also, are any of you surprised Nintendo is allowing Ripstone and VooFoo to do the cross-platform play with the Android and iOS versions of Pure Chess, and at least glad to see it happening?



CONNECT WITH COFFEE