Chess is an iconic board game that has stood the test of time and is still enjoyed by competitive and casual players alike. Of course, a mobile version of chess might be a hard sell for many in 2019 unless it manages to add a new wrinkle or twist like we've seen with Really Bad Chess.
Juanma Altamirano is another indie mobile developer looking to add modern twists to the game of chess. His latest creation is Chessplode, which adds epic explosions to the mix and, in turn, introduces an entirely new way to play that forces you to throw out most conventional strategy while adding a whole lot of extra chaos to the board in the process.
For anyone who's not familiar, the goal of a normal game of chess is to put your opponent's king into a checkmate by strategically moving your pieces around the board and taking out your opponent's pieces one by one.
Those basic rules still apply in Chessplode — you're still trying to put your opponent's king into checkmate — except every time a piece is taken every other piece in the same line and column explodes. Explosions affect all pieces on the board, including your own, so you'll also need to avoid too much friendly fire. The only exception is when a king is caught up in the resulting explosion. In that case, the king cancels out the explosion and reverts the move into a boring old chess capture.
Still following along? Good!
In a traditional game of chess, your main goal is to try and protect your king using other pieces, but in Chessplode the king is the only piece that can save a whole row of pieces from getting Thanos-snapped out of existence. Therefore, you need to be a bit more proactive with your king and use him to protect the other pieces you want to keep away from harm, and forces you to completely rethink your strategy. It also makes the king that much more useful to move around during the game.
This simple twist quite literally blows up the core strategy of playing chess in a way that's equally satisfying and frustrating.
Chessplode gives you several ways to play. You can play against other players in online or pass-and-play modes that use a traditional board set up. But the real madness is found with the chess puzzles. These puzzles often look similar to board setups found in Really Bad Chess — except with explosions. There's a good mix of pre-made puzzles but you can also create your own puzzle levels and play those created by other users. In theory, that means Chessplode can provide endless content in a free-to-play title.
In-app purchases, unintrusive ads, and social sharing grants you more undos for any bad moves you make trying to solve a puzzle, but it's a pretty fair system that doesn't take away from the core gameplay in any way.