App-tastic – Really Bad Chess

I’m always on the lookout for new ways to waste time, and the App Store on my iPhone and iPad usually have something for me. Like today, when I discovered a new chess game for people who suck at chess… like me.

I’ve never really been good at Chess. I learned how to play when I was a kid, but I never really devoted any time to learning the intricacies of the game. And while I enjoy sitting and playing a game, I usually resign myself to a quick checkmate from the moment I move my first pawn.

Really Bad Chess kind of turns all of that on its ear. It even tells you not to worry about classic Chess strategy in the welcome screen of the game. And there’s a very good reason for that.

This isn’t your typical game of Chess.

Of course, if you still want to lead off with a pawn, you can… now you just have a few more options to choose from.

Instead of the classic set-up of 8 pawns in front, with the other pieces in the back, Really Bad Chess takes the pieces and randomizes them for both sides. The only exception is that each player only has one King. But everything else is up for grabs. And each game will present a new configuration, which presents a new set of challenges.

Developed by Zach Gage, the game is free in the App Store, though it does offer some in-game purchases, like a full version of the game for $2.99. The free version offers ranked play, along with Daily and Weekly Challenges. The game is available for both the iPhone and the iPad.

Really Bad Chess, in the short time I’ve played it over the last day, has completely hooked me, even if I’m still not very good at even Really Bad Chess. As a quick time-waster, that allows for a little bit of thinking, the game does the trick.