Really Bad Chess is just like chess, but with totally random pieces. Try 8 Knights, 4 Bishops, and 3 pawns — why not?

As heard on NPR's Weekend Edition

5 out of 5 Stars "An essential puzzle experience for anyone even remotely interested in strategy games" - TouchArcade

Whether you play chess daily, or quit just after learning the rules, this small twist will open the door to an entire new world of chess.

The free version of Really Bad Chess lets you compete vs. an AI in Ranked, Daily, or Weekly Challenges. Improve your skills using the included Freeplay mode. A single in-app purchase unlocks Versus Mode so you can compete against your friends locally! It also removes ads, displays captured pieces, and adds soothing alternate color-palettes to choose from.


"Makes chess fun even if you’re really bad" - The Verge

"Feels more modern than chess has ever felt" - Applenapps

"Really Bad Chess takes a really bad idea and somehow manages to make it a lot of fun." - Pocket Gamer

"Really good fun" - MacLife

Chess is one of those games I always wished I enjoyed, but its commitment to beauty, elegance, and perfect balance always turned me away. Really Bad Chess removes these boring restrictions and flips chess on its head.

As much as random pieces change the game in some ways, I was really surprised to notice how much the game remains the same, and how powerful some pieces are — you've never truly struggled against a pawn until you've struggled against a pawn in the back row.

For chess pros, Really Bad Chess will give you a new type of challenge — the pieces & the moves are the same, but you'll have to throw out your openings and your understanding of normal patterns of play.

For novice chess players (like most of us), Really Bad Chess greatly opens up the game. Instead of starting by studying openings, in your first games you'll get to discover the joy (and challenge!) of learning how to checkmate.

I hope you have as much fun with Really Bad Chess as much as I did making it.


What's New

Version 1.2.8

- support for the iPad Pro 11"

Ratings and Reviews

4.2 out of 5
1.1K Ratings
1.1K Ratings

Editors’ Notes

Chess can be intimidating, but this tongue-in-cheek take on the classic game goes easy on our mistakes. Really Bad Chess is really good at mixing things up with a wild variety of challenges, board configurations (six bishops and three queens? Sure, why not?), and an undo button that lets us pretend we saw that checkmate coming all along.


Great concept, but horrible execution

It seemed like a great game at first, and I made the mistake of purchasing the version without ads. The odds are never in your favor. Let me explain this more thoroughly. The board is set up against you, even on a difficulty level of zero. The AI opponent can leisurely stroll a bishop across the map—first turn—and take one of your pieces. If you are unprepared, it will take two of your pieces, sometimes three. Almost all the time, you’ll have two of three unguarded pieces, so even if you set up to protect a piece, you’ll have compromised the others. The opponent’s entire back row is set with queens, bishops and rooks, so you cannot swipe a bishop across the board without having it taken immediately- so, it’s not really worth it. They also have no pawns and you have plenty- sometimes even in the back row. While pawns may become queens by reaching the other side, it’s near impossible to do so when every single piece on the other side can put-maneuver or block it. So, pawns are essentially useless. Yes, I know that in card games like poker, it’s about how you play the cards, but imagine playing against an opponent with all aces. It’s doable, but never in your favor. So, I say again: it’s a great concept, but the rather unfair set-up has lost my interest.


Good but...

This app is good and its really fun and addicting, but.... there is a few problems.
1. There should be a easier way to win, let me explain. Whenever i capture all of the opposing teams pieces and I'm only left with queen vs queen, I CANT WIN the other queen-no matter how hard the difficulty- always runs away or keeps moving, it doesn't even make a move on you. You cant capture her.
2. You are not allowed to move where the other team would capture you. Whenever i move a piece and its in the way of the opposite team it wont let me. This game doesnt let you have a chance to get captured (not that you would want to) but its not like real chess.
Overall the game is good but can you please fix these things, i know its called really bad chess but its the only good chess game out there and i would like it to be like real chess. And this is coming from someone who doesnt know how to play chess but would like to through this game. One more thing you shouldn't have to PAY to change the color of your board or PAY to play with friends its retarded i would like to play or challenge with friends but i cant becaise it costes $2.99 which i think is really quite expensive for a chess game and a little extra features .


Zach Gage
90 MB
Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Age Rating
Rated 4+
© Zach Gage, 2016
In-App Purchases
  1. Full Game Unlock $2.99
  2. 100 Undos $0.99


  • Game Center

    Challenge friends and check leaderboards and achievements.

  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

More By This Developer

You May Also Like