Rooks Keep is an arena-based, melee combat game. A variety of game-modes, characters, maps and mutators are available. It also has Chess modes, mod support and decapitation!
User reviews: Positive (17 reviews)
Release Date: Dec 5, 2014
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Recommended By Curators

"...this is chess with a difference."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (7)

January 5

We're taking a break!

(Reposting the same thing from our Viscera Cleanup page)
Greetings everyone!

So, another year has passed by, rather rapidly at that. We managed to get VCD into Early Access, updated it regularly, got Rooks Keep out onto Steam, set up our business and company and were generally ultra-busy. We even managed a prototype or two when we weren't working on VCD (usually in the evenings or weekends)!

All this is basically to say, "we're going on break for a few weeks"! We'll be keeping an eye on things to make sure nothing serious pops up, and fix it if it does.

With some time off, we'll be able to do some renovating around our "office" and spend some time fleshing out a couple prototype ideas we have. Once we've completed VCD, one or two of those will become our next focus.

And if you're interested in uploading some cool stuff to the Workshop, be sure to check out the Publishing Guide. This one is for Viscera Cleanup Detail, but the same process will work for Rooks Keep.

And of course, we can't depart without saying thanks to our excellent fans and community! Thanks for the feedback, the kind words, the videos and pictures and, most of all, thank you for finally toppling those tyrannical Kings!

We'll seeya soon everyone; rock on!

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January 2

Update v1.1; Steam Workshop!

Ahoy, you man-beast slaying tyrants, I bring great news!

After a long time(and a ton of effort), we at last implemented Steam Workshop support for Rooks Keep.

Now there may be a few issues, and some things to improve over time, but otherwise everything is working perfectly.

Be sure to read over the guide we put together over on the Viscera Cleanup Detail forums to see how it all works.

Steam Workshop Publishing Guide

We'll add more info and the like as the need arises. As well as migrate the guide to Rooks Keep.

For now though, tear into that beast like a Knight who's nibbled on a few too many mysterious woodland herbs!

Thank you all, and make sure the arenas of old(and hopefully new!) are kept well stocked with fresh blood.

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About This Game

Deathmatch. AI & Multiplayer. Chess. Decapitation.

Descend into a brutal tournament where factions of sinister knights and grotesque beasts battle for domination in bloody arena matches and furious melee brawls. Crush opponents with hammers and shields, rend flesh with razor sharp claws and slice off heads with swords and axes.
In Rooks Keep, players will maim their competitors in both a selection of deathmatch-arena game-modes such as 'Deathmatch', 'Team-Deathmatch', 'Conversion', 'Chess', 'Last-Man-Standing' and 'Combat Chess'. Play solo, jump into multiplayer matches, or add AI opponents to squash under-foot in both single and multiplayer. We even support 3rd party Chess engines.
The game is set in a uniquely styled fantasy world, where factions battle ceaselessly for your entertainment.

Key Features

  • Arena gameplay
    Players will enter into a variety of game-modes, such as Deathmatch, Last-Man-Standing and Conversion(kill enemies to convert them to your team), and battle across a variety of maps with many available options and mutators.
  • Melee combat
    The focus of Rooks Keep is on the fantasy melee combat system, featuring quick and heavy attacks, parrying, blocking, dodging and special abilities and skills.
  • Chess
    Players can play in both Classic Chess and the unusual Combat Chess mode, where players have the opportunity to fight to retain their place on the board if attacked.
  • AI/LAN/Online
    Rooks Keep presents players with single-player solely against AI bots, LAN and online. Also supported are 3rd party Chess engines. Even hot-seat Chess is available.
  • Unreal & mod support
    Built on the Unreal® Development Kit™, Rooks Keep offers extensive mod support. Players will be able to use the included UnrealEd tool to build their own maps and mods.

System Requirements

    • OS: Win XP SP3, Win 7
    • Processor: 2.4GHz Dual core CPU
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512MB Shader Model 3.0 Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT or AMD Radeon HD 3870
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Controller supported
    • OS: Win XP SP3, Win 7
    • Processor: 2.6GHz Quad core CPU
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 or AMD Radeon HD 5850
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Controller supported
Helpful customer reviews
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
17.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
i do like the combat chess because you have a fighting chance for your stupidity i have not been playing it long but it seems like i can not find an online game anywhere. it might be that im in korea and too high of ping to pick up the games or its just a dead online game not sure either way i enjoy it a lot
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4 of 8 people (50%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2014

Why dind you buy this game yet? Its awsome,fun,gore adn you learn to play chess!. this game is the oppisite of visceria clean up detail. You can have army's battle each other and you can create your own army!

Trust me, when you buy it and you think it sucks and isnt fun in any aspect tell me and i will give you your money back!
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 18, 2014
From the creators of several excellent Unreal Tournament mods comes a retail game that feels like... an Unreal Tournament mod. A good, polished mod but for 15 eurobucks?

There's two chesspiece armies fighting it out in melee, every piece is a different class with different weapons and abilities. In most modes you gain points from killing enemies which you can either spend on passive skills or save them to spawn as more powerful chesspieces. Of course, the pieces are not equal and killing a queen with a pawn is difficult and rewards you with more points.

The arena deathmatch modes are fine but if you've ever played UT(3) in melee-only you'll soon notice that despite the new character models and levels it feels just like UT combat with no guns. I find Unreal Tournament's melee janky and prefer something like Mount & Blade or Chivalry when it comes to swinging swords. I don't know if the online side is populated since I played this with bots and like in UT, playing with bots customized to one's level works fine.

The more surprising gamemode is Combat Chess which is actually quite similar to Archon if you're familiar with it. Two almost-but-not-quite-identical armies play on a normal chess board, but when a piece attacks another they're moved to a dueling arena where you assume direct control of your piece and fight to the death, with nice gory decapitations. I think this is the most unique side of the game.

There's also a real chess mode if you want something like Battlechess where you can watch the pieces fight it out on the board that is soon covered in blood.

The game itself looks nice and plays well if you enjoy Unreal Tournamenty combat with a nice suite of mutator customization options, but I'm not sure if it's worth the full price. You can get Unreal Tournament 3 for far less and install melee and gameplay changing mods to your heart's content.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
39.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2014
This game has 64 player -epic- AI bots and/or human players in a mix of Unreal Tournament meets Chivalry/MountnBlade in various modes of Team Deathmatch.

It's beautifully optimized, the netcode is amazing (UDK) the combat is sooo well thought out...

..and to top it off, you can create a match vs a player or AI in chess similar to the "Battle VS Chess" game on Steam...but with waaaaaay better real-time combat. Waaay better.

10/10 Bought 20 copies, shared with friends. Runs on my ♥♥♥♥♥♥ computer like a dream and looks so boss <3
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 11, 2014
Early Access Review
The game doesn't have a stupid limit activation like in Battle vs. Chess (Check vs. Mate). You can install Rooks Keep on Steam always - many times if you want (Battle vs. Chess has limit activations and you can't).

Game is brutal but you have choice disable blood and gore in Options - that is very good. In Chess you can play with Stockfish 2.3.1 engine and maybe others engines:

Unfortunatly symbols 2d in chess are fliped - from other side (upside down):

In Multiplayer unfortunatlly I don't see any players - maybe I have no luck :(
But I recomend this chess game
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 1, 2014
Early Access Review
not a bad game.
its a fun arena game not to complex.
kills give you points to play as some of the stronger guys but even the 0 point grunt is a good fighter.
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15 of 21 people (71%) found this review helpful
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 15, 2014
Early Access Review
*NOTE: This is an Early Access review meaning it will be a lot shorter than a normal review but will still explain what I thought about it. A full review will be published once Rooks Keep has released.

Welcome to the official blood and gore feast! Rooks Keep is an arena-based, melee combat game. A variety of game-modes, characters, maps and mutators are available. It also has Chess modes, mod support and decapitation! It's available on Steam for and is being published and developed by RuneStorm.

Rooks Keep is a very gory, but very entertaining fighting game. It all starts out with how well done the combat system is. There are three main parts; attacking, defending, and parrying. There are light attacks and heavy attacks, each with their own spot on your mouse. You use your mouse for most of the actions you're going to do, whether it's attacking or parrying (defending is a control on your keyboard, which is still easy to use). The tutorial allows people to learn the controls very quickly, but people will figure out that the controls are hard to master, due to the varying moves that the AI/other players throw at you.

That's another thing. The AI that you face is pretty darn good at the combat system. Although it can be improved for every game mode, it will definitely give you a challenge. You may be able to take on one AI at a time, but when you get bombarded with two or three at a time; you're going to die a headless warrior. There are also multiple different classes to choose from, which gave me a sense of freedom. The skill points, which go into play with what class you can choose, reminded me of Star Wars: Battlefront 2. In Battlefront 2, you had to have enough points to play as a certain class and it is the same here. That being said, the unlockable classes aren't necessarily better because certain classes -with the right enough skill- have the potential to defeat them. That also goes with every class and that sets up a weird "rock-paper-scissors" element to it that I haven't seen in any other arena combat-based game. To add on, you can also use the skill points to add extra, helpful "tiers" to your character that will allow for a stronger fighter.

The last thing that really got my attention was all the game modes given. For an arena combat-based game, you'd expect the typical team deathmatch and deathmatch gamemodes. RuneStorm went the extra distance and introduced a chess game mode and a combat chess game mode. The combat chess is my favorite because you get can go toe-to-toe as a pawn fighting the queen of the other team and you might even win the fight! There are also a few other game modes including Conversion, Last Man Standing, and even Team Last Man Standing. For all these game modes, RuneStorm provided a "Mutators" tab where you can alter game options and change it to how you would like it whether you want powerups, slomo enabled, or even for combatants to run.

The only issues I had were a few texture pop-ins here and there with the ground and the player models. As I stated above, the AI will provide for a challenge, but they can definitely be smarter.

8.5/10 - You can view it here:
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9 of 13 people (69%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 16, 2014
Early Access Review
After a very long wait finally there is something in the place of Rune! The fact that this game is 100% lan-able is great! The one thing chivalry did not do right. Great fun! Easy to get into hard to master. And when you get bored of killing your buddies retire to a good old fassioned game of chess! A rather bloody one that is! If you enjoyed games like The Reconing and Rune and Chivalry this is a must buy!! The price is so good its like if its on sale already!
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 16, 2014
Early Access Review
By the name of CHESS! You will enjoy this game, it provides strategy in both the chess section and the actual combat. Oh by the way, this is chess with full interactive combat. If you enjoy strategy and action but really miss the control: Buy this...Right now..

If you aren't a fan of simple strategy games but want the combat: This is for you.

If you like gore in a game but miss the damage aspect to your character: This is for you.

I've played one map, one match, and about fourteen minutes and I love every aspect to this game.

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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 28, 2014
Early Access Review
It won’t be for everyone; if you’re not a fan of third person brawlers, or chess, you need not apply. For those that recognise chess as the finest game of all time, though, you will enjoy this thoroughly.

Full Review -
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 19, 2014
Early Access Review
Traditional chess pieces move off the board and into the battle arena. Learn how each piece would fight in the wild, if left to their own devices. You can play normal chess and "combat" chess, as well. Great game!

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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
19.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 16, 2014
Early Access Review
Gorgeous game, for starters.

Second, the gameplay is quite good once you can get into it. The chess archetypes make for some interesting playable characters, and the imbalanced nature of the character tiers means battles are extremely dynamic with people running in to beat on pawns and running away again when a rook or a queen shows up.

Graphics are great, there's a huge amount of game and server customization, and lots of game modes to choose from. Speaking of which, the chess gametypes were a really nice addition to the game, and says something about the people who put it together.

I have been waiting eagerly for the Steam version of the game so that we can finally have some proper multiplayer support.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 17, 2014
Early Access Review
Fantasy arena combat, with a side of chess; or maybe, you could even look at it as chess, with a side of fantasy arena combat. The way I prefer to look at Rooks Keep is that it is fantasy arena combat and chess, together in a deep, rewarding, and fun package; one that you could say is quite Unreal. Make no mistake though, this game is as simple as it looks: it has chess simulation and it has fantasy arena combat, which both obviously entail what you would expect; virtual chess and hack and slash chilvary-esque combat with a fantasy theme. What you should not come to believe though is that it stops there. Chess has a steep tradition, and I feel that Rooks Keep does a good job of keeping along with those traditions. Likewise, Chivalry has quite a following itself of skilled players within it's community. Then you notice the game has combat chess.

What is this you might ask? Throw together the fantasy based arena combat with traditional chess gameplay and you have one of the most off the wall game modes that the game has. Unfortunately, there is one issue that needs to be addressed: there is no online community. It's dead. I've only ever played on one server, and that was my own, to see if it would show up on the server listings. It did indeed, so it's not that the game has broken online play, it's that it has NO online play. That's a big problem considering that this is a multiplayer game. Yes, the AI for this game is fantastic, but it has it's shortcomings and after a while, gets boring. That's where I hope this game starts to pick up. If it just had an online community with servers and players, I could see this game dethroning Chivalry (which, by the way, is far less fun than this game) if it only did. So here's my call to the gaming public: purchase this game, and start playing online, I reccomend it.
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3 of 7 people (43%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 19, 2014
Early Access Review
very good game only thing is
this really needs some dedicated servers
there is no server to play on now
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3 of 7 people (43%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 26, 2014
Early Access Review
Great Game
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1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
15.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2014
Best game ever 10/10 This is mixed of thinking and fighting. I recommended it to all my friends
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