Chess Trainer: Written iPhone Game Review
Sure, we have fun and entertaining games such as Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, but what about old-school classics like board games? If you’re looking to challenge yourself beyond smashing vengeful birds into structures or slashing your way to ninjutsu glory, perhaps it’s time to teach yourself how to play the skillful game of chess.
Chess Trainer, developed by DoggyBag, is a free game aimed not only at teaching the basics of chess, but also helping seasoned players improve their skill and gameplay. Whether you”ve just started playing the game or you’re a pro, Chess Trainer is sure to become your new best friend.
Concept and Gameplay:
To be completely honest, I have absolutely no idea how to play chess. All I know is that the board looks similar to checkers and the object of the game is to capture the other player’s pieces. Beyond that, I’m a ship lost at sea. Maybe it’s for the best, though, because I could accurately tell whether or not Chess Trainer truly accomplished its goal of teaching new players the basics of the game.
When you first open Chess Trainer, you’re greeted with many options as to what you can do with the app. You can choose to complete lessons or challenge yourself with available puzzles and problems. First, we’ll take a look at how lessons in Chess Trainer work.
The free version of Chess Trainer starts you off with a three-part lesson in how to play chess. At first, I thought the lessons would be fairly dull and boring, but they are extremely informative and interactive. For example, Chess Trainer quizzes you as you progress through lessons just to make sure you’re paying attention and truly learning.
I have to honestly say that I’m surprised with how much I learned just from the first part of the lesson. From proper terminology to learning how to “read” the board, I learned more in the first few minutes of using Chess Trainer than I’ve ever known about the game. To me, that’s pretty darn impressive!
There are also more than 2500 tactical puzzles which will help you hone your skills. Like the lessons, there are a few puzzles available in the free version of the app, but many more can be purchased within Chess Trainer. The puzzles are organized by theme (such as opening, middlegame, endgame, and random problems) and difficulty.
Along with very detailed lessons and challenging puzzles, Chess Trainer includes a few more features which will surely appeal not only to beginner players, but experienced ones, as well. For example, there’s a handy Elo graph which shows your score history. Elo is a rating system designed to calculate the relative skill level of players in multiplayer games. It was initially invented as an enhanced rating system for chess, but has been adapted to countless other games such as professional sports and even computer games like League of Legends.
There’s also a global rank board which allows you to see top scores and where you stand among other Chess Trainer users from around the world. Though you can’t challenge other players to games in Chess Trainer, it’s still pretty fun to see how you compare to others, especially if you’re a beginner or highly experienced.
Not only can you beat the fact that Chess Trainer is free, but the additional lessons and puzzle packs are well worth the price. You can purchase both at your own pace, meaning you’re not spending a significant amount of money on a bunch of add-ons you might never use. Chess Trainer is perfect for beginners and seasoned pros, and I can’t recommend it enough if you’re looking for a fun and inexpensive way to learn the game.
Chess Trainer is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
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