Developed by Zach Gage, Really Bad Chess is one of the cleverest concepts I have heard of in recent years. From the creator of Spelltower and Ridiculous Fishing, Really Bad Chess or RBC has such a simple concept it grabs you immediately.
If you are like me and learnt the basics of Chess when you were young yet never progressed, this game is a must buy for you. I used to think I was quite good at it but any experience since childhood was met with memorised attacks and defences that masters had studied for years. All I ever wanted to do was sit down and think maybe one or two moves ahead, not hundreds.
RBC allows you to play like this by removing the set formations of regular chess. The rules are still intact but the one simple twist is that the pieces you get are random. The only thing certain is that you will get a King and you will have the correct number of pieces. Everything else is random and this is used to scale the difficulty of the opponent. It means you might start a game with 5 queens against an opponent who has 5 knights. As the difficulty rises and you rank up it may be you that has to defend against the greater pieces.
This is really all there is to it. There is no need to go into an in-depth discussion but the game is presented in the usual high quality expected of the developer. Just the idea that a game like chess can suddenly become more accessible to the masses is incredible. In traditional times you would have needed three or four sets of chess pieces and the board to even try out this theory. Now it is available on your phone and the addiction is unreal. The simple ranked match option means you progressively move up in difficulty as mentioned before. The A.I. doesn’t get tougher, they just get more and more ammunition to use against you. You lose a game and your rank goes down, win and it goes up. The sensory feeling of seeing your number increase releases the endorphins and keeps you coming back for more.
Other modes include a daily and weekly challenge board which is the same for all players in the world. It ranks you on how quickly you can beat the board. For a novice like me the thrill of beating only one board is great and to see that you can do it again and again really boosts your ego. Of course, this is no substitute for playing real chess against an opponent but that usually leads to loss after loss. This will allow you to play a more reactive game of chess, rather than learning tactics from history.
It is available now on IOS for free or without ads for £2.99. The ad-free version adds local Multiplayer and gives you a number of different colour schemes and take back moves. In all this is one of the best ideas and implementations I have ever played and I cannot recommend it highly enough.