Anichess is now in the first stage of its release according to an announcement from Animoca Brands, which is working with Chess.com and five-time World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen on the free-to-play browser game’s launch.

The initial version of the game available now offers a single-player experience, while an online player-vs-player (PVP) mode will be added sometime during Q1 2024.

Anichess revolutionizes the classic royal game by fusing traditional strategy and gameplay with the innovative elements of spellcasting, a fantasy storyline, and Web3 functionality,” said Animoca Brands co-founder and Chairman Yat Siu in a statement.

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Carlsen similarly commented on the new game, calling it a “refreshing chess experience.”

Anichess is a chess-based strategy game with magical spells and NFTs known as Orbs of Power. Players can collect Orb NFTs for free by connecting their crypto wallet to the game and then completing daily puzzle challenges. There are different types of Orbs with a different chess piece and element associated with them, such as a “pawn of water” or a “king of aether.” The Orbs can help players unlock further challenges that can lead to further rewards, according to a statement.

The Orbs were first released on Ethereum scaling network Polygon in August 2023 and have seen over 33,700 MATIC (roughly $28,500) in total volume traded thus far, per OKX NFT data.

Anichess will also offer a Moca ID integration for those who have gained IDs from Animoca Brands’ “Mocaverse” loyalty platform.

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The Anichess team wrote in a late December blog post that “spell chess puzzle” achievements will “carry forward” into the game’s future, but did not specify exactly what that will look like. The game team also said that it plans to work on a future mode that will allow for player-versus-player gameplay and tournaments.

Anichess previously raised $1.5 million in seed funding back in June 2023 from the likes of GameFi Ventures, Koda Capital, 708 Capital, The Operating Group, and others.

Edited by Andrew Hayward

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