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Really Bad Chess

By Zach Gage

This app is only available on the App Store for iOS devices.


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

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 .

Best thing to happen to chess in 500 years.

Have been playing chess since I was a kid. But can't recall ever being so excited about the game until this surreal and wacky version of the game appeared recently. Not only is it truly fun and exhilarating, but some of the mating nets which arise during play can be truly beautiful, if utterly bizarre. For longtime players it's magical to trap your opponent with, say, four bishops or some other acid-trip combination. Let's face it, regular chess is frequently a dour serious time-consuming business. Really Bad Chess turns the game upside down, is quick to play, and is highly addictive. A delight in every way. Bravo, Zach Gage! Bobby Fischer, who proposed Fischer Random Chess, would approve of this game one suspects. If you're a chess purist or snob, you owe it to yourself to give this app a shot. Kick in the measly $2.99 while you're at it. Gage thoroughly deserves it.

Very good, needs a few tweaks

For what the game is, it's extremely fun and entertaining. I mostly play against the AI, and it's for these reasons that the review is not a perfect score. The AI is not glitchy or broken in anyway, but simply a bit irritating. I find that once you get to be around rank 65-70, you have to win either by a landslide or you lose. Due to the inability to tie games, I've lost multiple games that should've ended in a tie (or that I could've even won) simply because the AI would alternate between two moves that most of the time would put me in check until I forfeited a piece. This would never happen if you could tie a game, or if the AI couldn't just repeat the same move forever. Other than this, the game is excellent and I would recommend it to anyone who likes or even dislikes chess.

Really Bad Chess
View in iTunes
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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Top In-App Purchases

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