5D Chess, Depth in Games

Maybe you’re not a fan of regular Chess, but have you ever tried 5D Chess? Well, now it’s available on Steam, introducing Multiverse Time Travel. It may sound silly, and it is. This game sounds like a joke, but it has a surprising amount of depth to it, while still feeling like chess. Is the game for everyone? Of course not! Not everyone is interested in playing Chess in the first place, but Chess with time traveling multiverse shenanigans where you have to manage multiple games at once while simultaneously worrying about the preventing board advantages by traversing between boards or the possibility of your past king getting checked?

I have a personal love for strategy games with a lot of depth, so I found myself loving this game immediately. With so many different possibilities, your brain becomes quickly overloaded and that’s what I love so much about it. As the game goes on, it only becomes harder and harder with more multiverses being open, more pasts to protect, and more games to deal with. Also, did I mention I am absolutely horrible at this game?

First game against another player.

A big problem I’ve noticed with many current games is a lack of depth in strategy. It feels like games are straight forward nowadays because people are obsessed with high reaction time plays like in Valorant or Call of Duty. Is it a bad thing? Certainly not, I love playing those kinds of games too, but it seems like almost every new game tries to appeal to this audience. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a simple game with a complex amount of possibilities, and 5D chess is a perfect example of that. They’ve managed to turn a simple concept and add more layers to it. It’s not anything super original, but it’s done right.

Battle Royale genres have so much potential, but there’s so much room for failure its a risky genre for indie developers to make games for. The biggest factor being a player base. Since Battle Royale games usually consist of 20-150 players, starting out can be incredibly difficult. Even testing the game requires a lot of effort, in comparison to single-player indie games or multiplayer shooters. This is a large reason why a majority of Battle Royales are just shooters, Call of Duty Warzone, PUBG, Fortnite, Hyperscape, Apex Legends, and so on. There are the occasional games like Fall Guys that come out as a big hit, but maybe its a lack of advertising, or maybe its a lack of budgeting, but I haven’t heard of many Battle Royales that try to be unique like Spellbreak.

Not every game needs to cram 100 different features to have depth. The best way is just adding layers, sort of like a cake. You can add to the sides of the cake and make it wider and wider, but it’s easier to just stack another layer on top, essentially doubling the amount of content you have. I think a clear example of this is League of Legends. It always feels like new champions they create are “high skill” when they just give more mechanics, but this usually leads to the champion just being over tuned. Depth does not always have to be shoving so many words into the player they can’t understand it.

So next time you play a game, or when you develop your own, think about the depth the game has. Not all games have to have depth either, if you’re making a game like Stardew Valley, you want to keep it simple and straight forward. It’s a game for people to relax to. If you’re making something like 5D Chess, then try to imagine a balance between all layers of your cake, then focus on adding the frosting, or else the game may come off as overwhelming, unbalanced, or bad design.

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Myles Wong View All →

Hey, I’m Myles Wong! You’ll find me writing about games, social media, and just generally any topic if I’m in the mood for it.

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