Really Bad Chess iOS
Really Bad Chess icon

Really Bad Chess

by Zach Gage

Universal App - Designed for both iPhone and iPad.

Price: Free

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.

  • zach

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Really Bad Chess App Details & Overview

Really Bad Chess is a free-to-play puzzle video game for iOS, developed by Zach Gage. The app is compatible with iOS 6.0 or later on the following devices: iPhone 7, iPhone 6, iPad 3, iPad Mini and iPod Touch 5G or newer.

Download the Really Bad Chess app and play on your iPhone or iPad. Click here to download the app for Android or Windows devices.

Developer site: Support

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

Ranking - Games (iPhone) - United States
  • Really Bad Chess is currently ranked #198 on the iOS store in united states.
  • Really Bad Chess is a highly rated app with 4.5 stars.

App Updates (View More)

  • Release v1.1.2 Oct 21, 2016
  • Release v1.1.1 Oct 20, 2016
  • Release v1.1 Oct 19, 2016

More Apps by Zach Gage

App Data

Current Version: 1.1.2
File Size: 67Mb
Genre: Puzzle, Board
Publisher: Zach Gage
Content Rating: 4+
Users Rating: 4.50 (583 reviews)
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Really Bad Chess App Add-Ons

  • $0.99

    100 Undos

  • $2.99

    Full Game Unlock

Note: Add-ons available as in-app purchases

Really Bad Chess Reviews (See all reviews)

Made me love Chess again!

Rated 5 out of 5
By Muhlakai on May 21, 2017
I used to play in tournaments when I was younger, but hated the memorization that was really requisite to succeed...

My favorite game

Rated 5 out of 5
By Kenwoodfarm on April 28, 2017
I've downloaded hundreds of games. This is the best I've ever played and the only one on my home screen....

Very fun chess

Rated 5 out of 5
By krisy003 on April 4, 2017
Honestly I've always been intimidated by chess thinking I have to play it right but playing this game I've learned...

Fun but...

Rated 4 out of 5
By JThe rbrnrnrhenbe on April 1, 2017
Please fix a bug where I would usually start out a normal game and suddenly the app would freeze on...

Great take on the game

Rated 4 out of 5
By Grant0 on April 1, 2017
A very enjoyable game. It really makes you think differently about strategy. It'd probably be a pain to implement, but...

Fun, but flawed

Rated 3 out of 5
By Donaldjnelson on March 22, 2017
The idea for this game is fantastic. It's fun. It's challenging. One problem: it does not recognize draws by repetition....

Best thing to happen to chess in 500 years.

Rated 5 out of 5
By In Two Minds on March 2, 2017
Have been playing chess since I was a kid. But can't recall ever being so excited about the game until...

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