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Play OverviewPlay Overview

Pawnbarian (2021) 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

You play as a warrior on a 5-by-5 chessboard that represents a level in a dungeon, filled with various enemies that attack in turn-based fashion - bloodthirsty Capybears, imposing Golems, and eldritch Blightsacks. Each dungeon is 7 levels deep and you use the same deck and health bar through all 7 levels.

Play involves selecting a card, which have traditional chess piece symbols on them, and then moving your figure in the pattern allowed by that type of piece (diagonally for a Bishop, L-shape for a Knight, etc). Your aim is to land on all the enemies to capture them while avoiding or shielding yourself from their attacks. The game tells you how much damage each square will get at the end of your move so you need to be strategic about where you end up as well as who you attack, as they have a wide variety of special abilities.

As you complete each encounter and progress to the next floor, you can either purchase additional health or upgrade the cards with additional powers with the gold you find in the dungeon. You can choose from six characters, each with a different deck and core mechanic. There are also three themed dungeons to tackle that require a unique approach.

Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Pawnbarian 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Angela Hickman Newnham and updated 12 months ago.
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Play StylePlay Style

This is a Battle and Strategy game with Brain Game, Fighting, Puzzle and Traversal elements. This is a single-player game.

You can play this game in the following styles:


Play Time: It takes between 15 minutes and half an hour to play a round of this game. A single run is complete after winning several increasingly difficult floors, culminating in a boss fight.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 7 for mild violence.

Skill Level

9+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game.


Pawnbarian usually costs £7.19. 


Steam StoreSALE PC £7.19 £3.59 until 22/07/2024
There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 24/09/2021

Price: 50% off

Out Now: Android, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Players: 1

Genres: Battle, Strategy (Brain Game, Fighting, Puzzle and Traversal)

Accessibility: 28 features

Components: 2D Overhead, Board and Grid

Developer: j 4 nw (@_j4nw)

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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