Virtual Chess 64 was the one and only Chess simulator on the N64. Contrary to popular belief, VC64 was not the 64th game on the series, but rather the one and only of its kind in the console. It was developed by Titus Software the same company who produced Superman 64. But, unlike Superman which was awful, and was a good tool for learning and practicing basic Chess. VC64 also featured 12 different difficulty levels, which would sometimes make the computer take as much minutes to come up with a move.
Nothing truly stood out for Virtual Chess 64; it was a basic cookie cutter Chess game like the many licensed titles that had come before such as Star Wars Chess which released in 1993. The main draws to these games were the tutorials and battle animations that were active during the 3D matches. Virtual Chess 64 was not different since it also featured a secondary 2D board. Furthermore the two-dimensional board would not host any animations and was actually faster in terms of pure gameplay. Every piece in the game would have a different type of animation and instead of making the game more enjoyable it simply prolonged the matches. Most players would turn to the 2D gameplay in order to speed the matches and as such one of the main features of the game would be squandered.
It is important to note this game did serve as a wonderful introduction to Chess. A new player could go through the increasingly more difficult levels in order to master basic gameplay and become inspired to learn more on their own. Virtual Chess 64 had its moments, but it was basically an excuse to release a Chess game on the N64.
I can’t recommend Virtual Chess 64 to anyone except the most diehard Chess fans. But, they wouldn’t get the benefits that a new player would get out of this game. A good tutorial and some almost humorous animations, VC64 stands as the one and only Chess game on the N64.