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Using Chess Pieces

Chess is, perhaps, the greatest game of all time. Still, that doesn't mean that it can't be improved upon? Whether or not these games make the game better, they use the basic chess moves to create a new experience.

It's a testament to how deeply ingrained the different chess piece moves are in our psyche. Putting them to work in different contexts feels both familiar and unfamiliar. We know how they work, which are the most valuable and which are our favourites. But in a new context, these things are challenged so we discover new uses for each of them.

This list includes 13 games from the last 7 years, with 30 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to play with chess pieces.


Release Date: 21/09/2021

Out Now: PC

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Grid

Chessplosion is an action, puzzle game where you drop chess pieces on a board to trigger bombs in the shape of their related chess moves. Your aim is to use the different pieces (and bomb attacks) to trap opponents like Bomberman. No prior chess...

Not Chess

Release Date: 15/11/2020, updated in 2021

Out Now: Android, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Board and Grid

Not Chess is a puzzle game similar to Chess, but you only have one piece, which morphs into whatever piece you take. It's a simple way of getting to grips with some of the basic rules of chess in a low-pressure, single-player environment, while also...

Auto Chess

Release Date: 18/04/2019

Out Now: Android, PC, PS4 and iOS

Components: 2D Overhead and Grid

Auto Chess is a strategy game where you set up automated actions to gain a competitive advantage. As you play you purchase units that will battle for you, each unit has different attributes that can collaborate with other units. The goal ultimately is...


Release Date: 24/09/2021

Out Now: Android, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Board and Grid

Pawnbarian is a puzzle game where you attack enemies in a dungeon based on chess moves. You build a deck of different pieces and use them in battles

Shotgun King

Release Date: 12/05/2022, updated in 2022

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Grid

Shotgun King is a gruesome game of chess where you play a single piece with a shotgun. It combines turn-based strategic runs with classic chess moves. It's a game of Chess where all your comrades have gone to the other side (and you found a firearm).

Really Bad Chess

Release Date: 13/10/2016, updated in 2017

Out Now: Android, iOS and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Grid and Text

Really Bad Chess is like chess, but with random pieces selected for each player. Try 8 Knights, 4 Bishops, and 3 pawns. Starting positions are also non-standard. It sounds like a bad idea (hence the name) but actually opens the imposing chess challenge...

Knight's Retreat

Release Date: 11/02/2021

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Components: 2D Overhead and Grid

Knight's Retreat is a chess-themed puzzle game. It's not played on a chess board, but the pieces do move as they usually do. Rather than check-mate, your aim is to get your Knights back to their home squares in each level.

Checkmate Showdown

Release Date: 15/11/2023

Out Now: PC

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and 2D Side-On

Checkmate Showdown is a strategic fighting game where you move your pieces on a chess board and then use them in fights to try and take off enemy pieces. You use fists, kicks, and weapons to defeat opponents in combat, and the winning piece gets to stay...


Release Date: 05/10/2021

Out Now: PC

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Board and Grid

Chezzle is similar to chess, but here you only have one piece that changes to whatever you take. It features a relaxing soundscape and encouraging messages, and allows you to get the grips of the rules of chess at your own pace while also creating a...


Release Date: 02/01/2021, updated in 2022

Out Now: PC and Web

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Grid

Chessformer is a running and jumping game where you are trying to capture the king. The twist is that it's turn based and you move around obstacles using chess pieces that can only behave as they do in the game of chess.

Checkmate Kings

Release Date: 30/01/2023

Out Now: PC

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Pixels

Checkmate Kings is a frantic shooting game where you play a king who can summon chess pieces by shooting the opponent king. Play is a mix of arcade-style shooting to build an army of pieces and then triggering their specific movement to hit the enemy...

Lazy Chess

Release Date: 26/01/2021

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Board and Grid

Lazy Chess is a puzzle game that simplifies the classic game for newcomers. Rather than choose any move yourself, you simply choose between the best two options.


Release Date: 12/08/2022

Out Now: PC

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Grid

SokoChess is a puzzle about pushing chess pieces into place. You use your white pieces to push the black pieces to their destination, but must avoid being taken as you do it. It's an unusual take on Sokoban block-pushing puzzles, not least because your...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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