Still learning the ropes of Chess? Fret no more with Chess with Friends. Those who have played other Zynga games such as Words with Friends or Hanging with Friends will be familiar with the formula. Unlike a real-time chess game, this title gives you all the time in the world to make a move. You can take hours, even days to consider which tactic to employ -- perfect for beginners and casual chess players.
Get Good with Practice
Although you will still have to rely on outside sources to explain the rules to you, Chess with Friends does give you several nifty advantages. First is that it allows you to practice solo before playing an actual match. Chesster the chess coach is available both online and offline in different skill levels. Next is that Chess with Friends also allows you to touch pieces to see how they move around the board. If you change your mind and you wish to move another piece instead, pressing the Cancel button will do just that. If, however, you end up pressing Submit instead, then you will need to wait for your friend to counter before you can get another chance to make a move.
They say that mistakes are a great way to learn so keep in mind that there are no undos in Chess with Friends. You can review how the match progressed by using the Back and Forward buttons. If you're at a disadvantage, this is a great way to get a visual of your opponent's strategy. If you have the upper hand, this is still handy as it helps you spot your weaknesses. After all, knowing which moves you botched will surely help you do better during your next match.
Multiplatform Chess Combat
Chess with Friends is available on several platforms. This means that you are not limited to the contacts on your mobile device. You can start matches with Facebook friends and across both iOS and Android devices. If you're the type to enjoy surprises, you can also opt to play a match with a random opponent. Or, if you're looking for someone specific, you are also given the option to start a game with them so long as you know their username. Not only is this such a convenient way to play, it also ensures that you are not restricted to opponents who may tend to use the same set of tactics for every match.
As this is a social network game, it features a chat feature which you can use to either discuss strategies with friends or trash talk them, depending on what floats your boat. We like the fact that this is integrated into the system instead of requiring players to communicate using outside sources. This makes it easy to coordinate whether or not a match should be continued or not. It also makes it more fun to learn new strategies as a play-by-play is always at the tip of your fingertips.
Are you a self-proclaimed master? In that case, you'll be glad to know that the game keeps track of your win, loss and draw stats. Now, not only can you feel good about your win-lose ratio, you can also gloat about it to friends. Kidding aside, this is a good way to get motivated and expand your chess know-how.
As for our recommendations, well, we would have loved to have an offline mode so we can also use the app to play with our friends in real time. Surely, this is a simple thing to integrate into the game, seeing Chesster can be challenged without an internet connection. Also, having the ability to personalize board styles would add a nice little incentive for long time players.
Not Only for Chess Fans
Basically, if you're looking for a free chess game which allows you to play anytime without the added time pressure, Chess with Friends is a stellar option. It has all the bells and whistles of a social network game: multi-platform connectivity, an integrated chat feature and plenty of options to find opponents. It also has a handy practice mode which allows you to pit your skills against an AI opponent before you initiate a match with your pals.
So, are you ready to play chess on the go? Zynga's Chess with Friends is available on both the iOS and Android platforms.