Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

The Queen’s Gambit Chess has finally gone live on Android and iOS, via Netflix Games. Almost three years since the Anya Taylor-Joy-led miniseries premiered on the platform, developer Ripstone Games — best known for immersive board video games like Poker Club and Chess Ultra — has dedicated this love letter composed of lessons for newbies, puzzles, and faithfully recreated locations from the show. The game is available exclusively to Netflix subscribers, regardless of what plan you’re on. Now, it’s only natural for players to wonder what this game provides that doesn’t, and much of it boils down to the presentation and the 3D world it has created. Plus, the show’s brand recognition is good for introducing chess to more people.

Chess can be a daunting game for many and so, The Queen’s Gambit Chess slowly eases you into the game by guiding you through the basics via the familiar tale of Beth Harmon from the show. You’re whisked away into her universe, starting from locations such as the basement at the Methuen Home for Girls, where she first got introduced to the game as a child. Occasionally, a grown-up Beth would pop in the right-hand corner offering you tips and challenges that help with progression. Completing these challenges grants stars while winning games offers coins to spend at the in-game shop. These items are purely cosmetic, ranging from the build of your chess sets, avatars, and unlockable locations to replay a session.

As you progress, you’ll explore more of the show’s world, such as the Kentucky Gym, Beth’s house where she had a mental breakdown, the Mariposa Hotel where she spent time with her alcoholic adoptive mother, and even the Moscow Hotel where she faced the USSR grandmaster Vasily Borgov (Marcin Dorociński). As you train under the orphanage custodian William Shaibel (Bill Camp), you’ll occasionally be able to use a cooldown that helps you pick the next best move by staring up at an imaginary chess board on the ceiling — just like in the show, where Beth would fall back onto the method whenever she’s in a pickle.

The Queen’s Gambit Chess includes both offline and online play, with the latter functioning as ranked matches that’d place you in a suited Elo rating. “Getting the opportunity to work on a beloved IP like The Queen’s Gambit is incredibly exciting for all of us here at Ripstone,” Phil Gaskell, Creative Director and Co-Founder, Ripstone said in a blog post. “We’ve set out to create a ‘love letter to The Queen’s Gambit’ and a new benchmark for chess on mobile by channelling our own love of the show, our years of experience creating successful simulations, and the incredible creativity of our team.” In April, Netflix also brought the Indian mythology-inspired Raji: An Ancient Epic to mobile platforms, expanding its already impressive catalogue of games — most of which are based on Netflix’s own IP.

The Queen’s Gambit Chess is now available to download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. While the download is free, accessing the game will require a Netflix account and active subscription, authenticated via the Netflix app on the same device.

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