Netflix has been taking its journey into gaming quite seriously and it has quite the library of originals to work from for adaptations. An interesting move was to try out this process with one of their top-rated series to create The Queen's Gambit Chess.
A common mistake with adaptations to games is trying to capture the series or film exactly as is when it should try to stand apart. The Queen's Gambit Chess does that to a degree while acknowledging the IP. You play as someone taking their first steps into the world of chess, following the end of the main character Beth's story in the series. By following the same journey, you'll come across a lot of the friends and opponents from the story. The goal is to learn everything you can about chess as you try to become a grandmaster yourself, able to challenge the top AI and human players out there.
As a nice touch, there's a nod to the series that lets you use Beth's ability to foresee possible moves in order to help with your decisions.
You can find plenty of dramatic and competitive stories around chess and once you take that away, you're left with the game. The Queen's Gambit Chess is exactly what it says and that works just fine. The problem is the reason why people will want to play this particular chess game more than others: Because it's based on a show they like. Unfortunately, the relation to the show ends with the setting and characters. Most of the game takes place from a zoomed-out perspective of a map of your current "world", serving as more of a menu than an environment.
You'd think this would be balanced with interactions with the characters. Well, not only do they not have voices, their text speech is uncharacteristic of them. The most you get to see of them is as small avatars will limited animation as they appear in the corner of the screen to spout some technical stuff at you or words of encouragement. This changes up slightly when you're playing games, but not enough to appease fans of the show. Even non-fans may find themselves disappointed with the lack of characterisation in characters from a series that was amazing due to the characters.
The Queen's Gambit Chess is a 3D chess puzzle game based in the world of the critically acclaimed Netflix series. It captures the feel and technicality of chess well while making every move you learn, and make, and every puzzle you solve feel like you're growing and getting better at a complex game. The actual elements of the show seem to be there solely as an appealing aesthetic in hopes of drawing people in and they aren't executed well. Moving past that, learning and playing chess through this game could be a worthy gambit.