Between the Marios and the Assassin’s Creeds and the Wolfensteins, sometimes we just need a little phone game to cool off or kill time on the morning commute. That’s what I’m here for, every Sunday I’ll be recommending a (usually free) phone app, starting today with Really Bad Chess by Zach Gage.
I’ve never been good at chess myself, but with really bad chess, no one’s good at it! As you can see from the feature image, every game of Really Bad Chess randomly generates a board for you to play against an AI. Instead of an easy, medium, or hard AI, each board has a rank from 0-100. At lower ranks, the board will be stacked in your favor, around 50 it’ll be evenly matched, and at higher ranks you’ll get all the bum pieces while the AI has an army of knights and queens.
Free play is the basic mode where you can pick what rank to play at and reset the board at any time. In ranked mode, you’ll start around rank 15, and your rank will either increase or decrease with wins or losses. This gives you a goal to work towards with a personalized difficulty curve. On top of that, there’s also a daily and a weekly challenge. The daily challenge has a lower rank than the weekly challenge, but you only have two tries to complete it.
While the base game is free, you can buy the full version with night colors, no ads, and a 1v1 mode where you can play against other people. However, if you don’t want to shell out the three bucks, you could always randomly generate a game and set up a real chessboard to play it on:
The most notable difference between real chess and Really Bad Chess is the fact that the front row is lined with rooks and bishops instead of pawns, letting both front lines take each other out on the first turn. This forces a whole new strategy in each game, keeping you on your toes. If you’re bored on the train or if you’re tired of regular chess, give Really Bad Chess a try, and don’t forget to check in next week for a new game. See you then.
Max is a student at Rutgers who likes writing fantasy and playing video games such as Zelda, Mario, Undertale, Earthbound, and Stardew Valley.