‘Really Bad Chess’ for iOS

If you somehow haven’t heard of it by now, Really Bad Chess is a tongue-in-cheek game for iPhone and iPad — made by Zach “@helvetica” Gage — that’s just like regular chess, but with a twist: In every match, both players are given totally random sets of pieces to play with. Sounds crazy at first, but it’s super fun and makes every game feel exciting and new.

Here’s a word from Gage himself, taken from the app’s description:

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.

Really Bad Chess is free to download and by default lets you play against the AI in Ranked, Daily, and Weekly challenges. With a $3 in-app purchase, you unlock these features:

  • “Versus Mode” so you can play against friends locally
  • Remove ads
  • Display captured pieces
  • Additional color schemes

There’s also a $1 IAP to purchase 100 “undos”.