Really Bad Chess
Really Bad Chess app icon

Really Bad Chess

Universal app (iPhone/iPod Touch & iPad)

Category: Games | Release Date: October 13, 2016

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Price: Free

App Details

Developer: Zach Gage

Genre: Puzzle, Board

Current Version: 1.1.2

File Size: 66.9 MB

Age Rating: 4+

Ratings: 4.50 (5 votes)


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.


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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!

Rank in top paid apps

Rankings - Games (iPhone)

App Changes

  • Version 1.1.2 Oct 21, 2016
  • Version 1.1.1 Oct 20, 2016
  • Version 1.1 Oct 19, 2016
View price changes »

iOS Compatibility & Supported Devices

Really Bad Chess requires iOS 6.0 or later, and supported on the following devices: iPhone 6 ,iPhone 5 ,iPad 3 ,iPad Mini and iPod Touch 5G or newer.

Click the button below to download it from the iTunes store using your iPhone or visit the app's download page for android and other platforms.

Developer site: Really Bad Chess support

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Our Verdict: Good!
  • Really Bad Chess is a highly rated game with 4.5 stars.
  • Really Bad Chess is currently ranked #109 in the U.S. App Store.

Recent Reviews (See app reviews)

3 out of 5
Fun, but flawed

The idea for this game is fantastic. It's fun. It's challenging. One problem: it does not recognize draws by repetition....

By Donaldjnelson.
March 22, 2017
5 out of 5
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...

By In Two Minds.
March 2, 2017
4 out of 5

Great game, but bishops are underrated. I easily beat the weekly rank 70 but keep losing on 41 in ranked mode because...

By aiyaitsme!!.
February 21, 2017

Technical support & help

Having trouble with the game? Report issues and get help here.

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