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Really Bad Chess

By Zach Gage

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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 in Version 1.1.2

Thanks so much for all your support for Really Bad Chess! I honestly never had any idea this many people would be interested in this little game. This is the first somewhat big update. I tried to address as much of the feedback I've been getting as I could. I hope you enjoy it!

- New 1v1 local Versus Mode comes with the full feature unlock!
- Landscape support for iPads
- UI fixes
- Tutorial adjustments
- Bug Fixes

As always, I don't put nag screens in my apps, but your reviews are much appreciated!


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Customer Reviews

Really Bad Chess...

Really Bad Chess is really bad for a reason, and not because of the new concepts. It was fun at first, until I realized that the computer prevented me from making some very important moves. A knight once checkmated my king. I could have eliminated the king by using my pawn to kill the knight, but for some reason, it wouldn't let me. I didn't get it; it was a perfectly safe move that didn't expose the king to any more dangers and it was diagonal to the bottom of the knight. The computer was forcing my king to run. It wouldn't allow a different option that would tarnish the checkmate. Also, AI always keep making the same move until you move where they want you to. While I, as a human, cannot keep doing the same move, the computer is man-made and can keep doing the same thing over and over again. This is really bad as it molds the game into only how it can win. Players depend on better pieces to win since the computers have that advantage, yet, as you rank up, you lose that, making it near to impossible to achieve anything. It also glitches a lot mid-game. While this is a reasonably fun experience, it's also infuiriating. I recommend the developer to focus on fixing bugs and the AI before adding anything else.

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 .

Great game

I really love this new take on a game that I've played since my childhood. It's challenging and forces you to constantly think of new strategies to win. One thing I've noticed though is that at times, the computer will repeat the same moves to constantly put you in check and the game is stuck in an infinite loop of moves. I think that a limit on how many times you make a certain move should be taken into consideration such as in real chess (a max of 3 repeat moves before resulting in a draw). Or if the computer has other available pieces to move them in a manner that could possibly result in a checkmate. Apart from this I love this app and I play it almost everyday and I hope this matter could be resolved (so I don't have to forfeit in a match that I still might have a chance to win!).

Really Bad Chess
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This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad
  • Free
  • Category: Games
  • Updated:
  • Version: 1.1.2
  • Size: 70.1 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller:

Compatibility: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

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  1. Full Game Unlock$2.99
  2. 100 Undos$0.99