5D Chess, Everybody knows about chess. Star Trek fans probably also know about 3D chess, which is a real thing that you can actually play if you can wrap your mind around it. And now, thanks to Thunkverse developer Conor Petersen, we have 5D Chess, a new game “with spatial, temporal, and parallel dimensions.”
I can already hear your gears grinding at the mere thought of additional dimensions, but I’ll do my best to keep this explanation simple. You should already know about the usual three dimensions of up and down, left and right, and forward and backward, and the fourth dimension is usually defined as time travel. The fifth dimension is the ability to travel between alternate realities that are created due to traveling through time.
According to an explainer released by Thinkspace, pieces have specific rules for how they can move across time and space. Pawns, for instance, can only timeline hop “in the direction they can normally move on their board”, while rooks can “time travel to any board so long as the position they are currently occupying is not taken, but they cannot move while time travelling”. Simple.
Timelines are represented in 5D Chess by multiple boards that are placed parallel to each other, indicating that they’re parallel timelines that branched off when a piece time traveled. This means you can have quite a few different regular games of chess going on at once, and also that the technical winner of a game of 5D Chess is the person that wins in the most timelines.
Steam user jolemo, meanwhile, noted that “there are few things in life more satisfying than being able to declare checkmate upon your opponent throughout all of time and space”. I did actually manage to find a video of someone achieving a triple checkmate across multiple dimensions.
Although some user reviews have critiqued the AI behaviour, it’s also possible to play online if you want to test your mettle against other, equally-confused players. You can try 5D Chess out for yourself for a discount price of £7.43 on Steam, until that offer ends on 29th July. Unless you’ve also figured out real-life time travel.