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Chess-Like Play

Chess is a game that has stood the test of time. It's the ultimate test of strategy, forward planning and cunning. While there are some games that offer a computer chess experience, more interesting are games that use chess as inspiration.

These games use the familiar movement of the pieces, the ability to plan ahead and the standard grid layout as part of their video game challenge. Although this may sound like a bad idea (why not just play proper chess) many offer a nuanced and intriguing experience. They also have the benefit of being an on-ramp to the world of chess that can be unapproachable.

The games in this list all have chess-like elements, are turn-based and usually played in a grid playfield.

This list includes 39 games from the last 28 years, with 152 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to enjoy chess-like play.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 16
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to MA 15+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Racing, Role-Playing, Shooting, Simulation, Strategy and Turn-Based
Total Likes: 152
 

 

Potion Craft

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 21/09/2021

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure, Creative, Point-and-Click, Puzzle and Strategy

Developer: Tiny Build (@TinyBuild)

Players: This is a single player game

Potion Craft is a puzzle adventure game where you create potions in an ancient looking workshop. More than learning recipes, your potions need to strategically combine the qualities of each ingredient to explore the potion-map and create brews to help...

Transformers: Battlegrounds

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 8-12 year-olds

Release Date: 23/10/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Strategy

Developer: Outright Games (@Outright_Games)

Players: You can play this with 2 players online

Transformers: Battlegrounds is a strategy game that's accessible for a range of abilities. It offers a robot-themed XCOM style game for younger players.

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 29/08/2017

Price: 43% off

Platforms: Switch

Genres: Shooting, Strategy and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 26 features

Developer: Ubisoft (@Ubisoft)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

Mario and Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a chess-like strategy game where you control cartoon rabbits (the Rabbids) and Nintendo characters in turn-based battles with fantastical weapons through four different worlds.

Bad North

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

Release Date: 31/10/2018, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Fighting, Puzzle, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 21 features

Developer: Raw Fury (@RawFury)

Players: This is a single player game

Bad North is a stylised strategy fighting game. You control an army defending an island and must train and develop your forces efficiently. The simple visuals and knife-edge Viking combat along with the jeopardy of losing precious troops make this a lot...

Babble Royale

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 15/12/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Fighting, Puzzle and Strategy

Developer: Flantz (@Flantz)

Players: You can play with 16 players in the same room

Babble Royale is a puzzle word game played against 16 other players online. You simultaneously race to make words as in Scrabble. Here though, you do this to inch across the board and stay out of the encroaching storm.

Into The Breach

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 27/02/2018, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, Stadia and Switch

Genres: Fighting, Puzzle, Strategy and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Subset Games (@SubsetGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Into the Breach is a fantasy turn-based battle. It's set in a future where humanity fights an army of giant monsters. You control mechs equipped with a variety of weapons and armour in carefully coordinate actions played out on super-small tile-based...

Stormbound Kingdom Wars

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 18/09/2017, updated in 2019

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Action, Fighting and Strategy

Developer: Paladin Studios (@PaladinStudios)

Players: You can play this with 2 players online

Stormbound is a strategic battle game combining Chess and Clash Of Clans gameplay. You build an army by earning cards for different units, defences and abilities. These have to be carefully chosen to do well in the battles...

No Plan B

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Shooting, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 30 features

Developer: GF X47 (@GFX47)

Players: This is a single player game

No Plan B is a tactical role-play game where you plan missions to neutralise various threats. Unusually, you don't directly control your team during the action. Instead, you plan orders for them ahead of time then watch as they execute your commands in...

Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 01/03/2022

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GBA, Wii and Wii U

Genres: Shooting, Strategy and Turn-Based

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: This is a single player game

Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp is a re-release of the classic turn-based strategy game on Nintendo Switch. You take charge of an army in strategic, turn-based combat. With land, air, and naval units across the battlefield, you work to take down enemy...

Tres Undos

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Release Date: 03/01/2022

Price: Free

Platforms: Web

Genres: Puzzle, Simulation and Turn-Based

Developer: Knexator (@Knexator)

Players: This is a single player game

Tres Undo is a hard puzzle game where you move blocks around a maze to fill holes and progress. The twist is that you can rewind time. On top of this the game layers the rewind ability to affect different elements differently. Then there are locations...

XCOM (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/1994, updated in 2017

Price: 85% off

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Fighting, Shooting, Strategy and Turn-Based

Developer: Firaxis Games (@FiraxisGames)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 2 players online

X-Com (which became XCOM) is a science fiction strategic battle game where you control units to stop an alien invasion. The long running series has come in many forms, but always has in common the finely tuned turn-based ground combat where you control...

Auto Chess

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 18/04/2019

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4 and iOS

Genres: Strategy

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: Drodo Studio (@DrodoStudio)

Players: You can play this with 8 players online

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...

Bonfire Peaks

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 30/09/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5 and Switch

Genres: Narrative, Puzzle and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 26 features

Developer: Draknek (@Draknek)

Players: This is a single player game

Bonfire Peaks is a puzzle game where you explore a Minecraft-looking world. Unlike the generalised blocks of that game, here the landscape is lovingly crafted and pulsing with life. It's a tightly designed puzzle game about closure, that invites you to...

Tactical Breach Wizards

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Fighting, Shooting, Strategy and Turn-Based

Developer: Pentadact (@Pentadact)

Players: This is a single player game

Tactical Breach Wizards is a small-scale, turn-based fighting and shooting game. You play a team of wizards in modern-day tactical gear, breaching and clearing rooms full of enemies with a combination of guns, abilities and spells.

Chessplosion

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 21/09/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 34 features

Developer: CT Matthews (@CTMatthews)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 4 players online

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...

Chroma Squad

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 30/04/2015, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Fighting, Strategy and Turn-Based

Developer: Behold Studios (@BeholdStudios)

Players: This is a single player game

Chroma Squad is a strategy game themed around the The Power Rangers TV show. Rather than the heroes, you play the stunt actors who quit the show to start their own Power Rangers-inspired series. Rather than kill enemies in the turn based encounters,...

Cinco Paus

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 25/12/2017, updated in 2021

Platforms: iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Turn-Based

Developer: Smestorp (@Smestorp)

Players: This is a single player game

Cinco Paus is a puzzle game where you try and get through 5 rooms picking up treasure as you go. What makes it unusual are the magic wands that help you do this. What appears to be a maze game turns out to be a challenge to discover the effects of each...

Clubhouse Games (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 29/09/2006, updated in 2020

Platforms: DS and Switch

Genres: Action, Platform, Puzzle and Turn-Based

Developer: Clubhouse (@Clubhouse)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 4 players online

Clubhouse Games, is a series that offers classic board and card games in one large bundle. It's not only great value but introduces children to a wide range of real-world games to play with the family.

Fights in Tight Spaces

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 01/09/2020

Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Fighting, Simulation and Turn-Based

Developer: Fights Game (@FightsGame)

Players: This is a single player game

Fights in Tight Spaces is a turn based fighting game where you use your deck of cards to win combat battles in small rooms and other locations. As you progress you gain more cards and build a deck tailored to each battle.

Imbroglio

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Release Date: 18/05/2016, updated in 2020

Platforms: iOS

Genres: Fighting, Puzzle and Turn-Based

Developer: Smestorp (@Smestorp)

Players: This is a single player game

Imbroglio is a puzzle game where you take a character into a dungeon and progress by collecting stars. The twist is that combat is focused not only your abilities but the tile you and standing one when you attack. Although each character has different...

Knight's Retreat

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 11/02/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Puzzle

Developer: Qu Byte Games (@QuByteGames)

Players: This is a single player game

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.

Really Bad Chess

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6-12 year-olds

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

Platforms: Android, iOS and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Puzzle and Turn-Based

Developer: Helvetica (@Helvetica)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Chezzle

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 05/10/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Puzzle and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Game Dollar (@Game_Dollar)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Corrypt

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Release Date: 18/12/2012, updated in 2017

Platforms: Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Puzzle, Role-Playing and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: Smestorp (@Smestorp)

Players: This is a single player game

Corrypt is a role-playing puzzle game where you collect items and interact with characters in a maze filled with moveable boxes. In a novel twist, you can push and pull the boxes, but they stick to you, making it a challenge to move them out of the way...

Floppy Knights

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure, Fighting, Strategy and Turn-Based

Developer: Rose City Games (@RoseCityGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Floppy Knights is an adventure where you battle enemies using cards and turn-based strategy. With your robot, Carlton, and a group of virtual knights, you must liberate your town from hostile invaders. It looks like Advance Wars but has a unique blend...

Hearthstone: Battlegrounds

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 12/11/2019

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Fighting, Strategy and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Blizzard Ent (@Blizzard_Ent)

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 8 players online

Battlegrounds is a strategic fighting game mode in Hearthstone, where you collect and upgrade cards and pit your deck against 7 other players. Buy and sell the best cards, upgrade their abilities and more as you uncover winning strategies in this highly...

Not Chess

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

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

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 26 features

Developer: Ovidiu Tepes (@OvidiuTepes)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Pocket Card Jockey

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-14 year-olds

Release Date: 05/05/2016

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS

Genres: Puzzle and Racing

Developer: Game Freak Info (@GameFreak_Info)

Players: This is a single player game

Pocket Card Jockey is a horse racing game you participate in my playing a series of solitaire card games. You race, breed and nurture a stable of horses for a range of owners, trainers and other interesting individuals.

Spaceland

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 30/10/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Fighting, Shooting, Strategy and Turn-Based

Developer: Tortuga Team (@TortugaTeam)

Players: This is a single player game

Spaceland is a quick turn-based strategy game where you command sci-fi troopers to shoot, kick, blow up and destroy the enemy. It's a little like a game of chess as you equip and plan your missions, before carefully moving and attacking on your turn.

Twinfold

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/11/2018, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Fighting, Puzzle and Strategy

Developer: Kenny Y Sun (@KennyYSun)

Players: This is a single player game

Twinfold is a puzzle fighting game played in a small maze. You move around the maze with your square character merging into golden baby cubes to gain energy and squashing angry enemy cubes.

Wargroove

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 01/02/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Fighting, Strategy and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 21 features

Developer: Chucklefish Ltd (@ChucklefishLtd)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 4 players online

This is a fantasy war game, similar to Advanced Wars from the Gameboy era, where players take turns in a variety of battles. Computer-controlled and human opponents compete to achieve objectives and be the last player remaining.

Concrete Jungle

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 23/09/2015

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Puzzle, Simulation and Turn-Based

Developer: Cole Powered (@ColePowered)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room

Concrete Jungle is a city-building puzzle game. It's the follow up for MegaCity. Rather than manage resources like a tradition city management strategy game, here you place cards to create buildings, parks, amenities and services on each square. The...

LetterĀ²

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

Release Date: 31/10/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Creative, Puzzle and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: Kamibox Ph (@Kamibox_Ph)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

Letters is a puzzle game where you place letters in a small grid and then swipe across words to score points and clear off the letters. Unlike other Letter-puzzles you can't see what's coming next and you can't move letters once placed. That makes it a...

Luckitown (Sokpop)

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Release Date: 20/01/2022

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Strategy and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Sok Pop Co (@SokPopCo)

Players: This is a single player game

Luckitown is a turn-based strategy game. You build a town around your castle to defend it from incoming enemies. You then roll dice and select combinations of results that allow you to buy and place defensive buildings while every turn the enemies move...

Pawnbarian

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Release Date: 24/09/2021

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Fighting, Puzzle and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: j 4 nw (@_j4nw)

Players: This is a single player game

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

Puddle Knights

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 07/10/2020

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Platform, Puzzle and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 35 features

Developer: Lock Pickle (@LockPickle)

Players: This is a single player game

Puddle Knights is a puzzle game where you use your cape to protect nobles from stepping in mud. While it may not challenge the ruling elites, it does create an intriguing challenge with steadily increasing difficulty.

Seven Scrolls

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 16/03/2020

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Turn-Based

Developer: Jesse Venbrux (@JesseVenbrux)

Players: This is a single player game

Seven Scrolls is a puzzle game where you explore a dungeon, kill enemies and get to the exit. What's unusual is that the rule of the game change as you pick up scrolls.

Snakebird

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-12 year-olds

Release Date: 04/05/2015

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Platform, Puzzle, Simulation and Turn-Based

Developer: Noumenon Games (@NoumenonGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Snakebird is a puzzle game about movement, shapes and gravity. You control multiple snakes on a quest for fruit. You move around the world by directing each one to collect fruit. It looks simple, but the novelty is that you soon have to create specific...

Swim Out

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/09/2017

Platforms: Apple TV, Mac, PC, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Puzzle, Simulation and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Lozange Lab (@Lozange_Lab)

Players: This is a single player game

Swim Out is a puzzle game like the popular Traffic Jam board game, where you need to get your swimmer to the exit of a busy swimming pool. As well as the different setting, this game extends the challenge as the other swimmers also move when you do.

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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