Lazy Chess is a uhh… chess game, who would have thought right? It’s literally just chess, the only thing that’s different in this is that Lazy Chess only lets you make one of two moves on each turn. It gives you the best and second best option for any given time, other than the first couple of moves which it claims are best but considering it’s the first move of the game there is no ‘best’ at that point.
The game lets you make a lot of choices on how to make the game harder or easier. The game naturally only sets the game to only allow two choices for each turn, but you can change it to allow you to see two, three, or four moves to choose from each turn, though as of writing I don’t think it’s working as I changed it to four and it never let me choose between more than two moves a turn. The more turns you have a choice between the harder it is to find the best choice. You also have AI difficulty which you can set, it sets itself based on how well you play, but you can force it up higher or lower, it has a total over twenty-one levels from zero to twenty. They give you a rating after each game you play. The rating is based on how well you played versus the average chess player, I’m not sure if it’s based on world rankings or just the rankings of people who have played their game. Your ranking is naturally how the AI is modified for you after each game, though there are ways to change that too. You can also determine how much time the AI has to think from half a second to upwards of I believe five seconds, the longer it can think the better its moves will be which also increases the difficulty of the AI. Beyond that you also have some visual changes you can make to the game. You can change between a small handful of chess board colors and between a bunch of different visual styles of chess pieces.
There’s also multiplayer, challenges, and different game modes you can play with. Currently there’s five different challenges that are just well known cases in the past, the challenges have the board set up different ways. For instance there’s The Queen’s Gambit, a fairly well known situation in chess, another is a famous match set up where a computer beat a chess world champion for the first time, and a few others, just to show how popular these challenge concepts are. As for game modes there’s eight different game modes. The N best mode is when you have the choice between the best two to four moves each turn, which is the default mode for the game that I’ve already talked about. There’s also a Best + Random which gives you the best choice and a random choice, which sounds easier but one random choice could really hurt your ability to win. There’s Shallow mode which gives you and the AI really kinda crappy moves as the computer doesn’t think very hard anymore. All Random mode which is really fun and very hard to win sometimes it literally gives you random movies, there’s no more best move, it’s all about picking the least shitty move. Both sides mode is where you play both sides of the game where you’re trying to beat black with white, but black has better moves, which makes it surprisingly difficult to beat black. 2×2 mode which is very trippy and I don’t like it personally, each side makes two movies, white makes a move for white and then a move for black, then black makes a move for black and a move for white and it keeps alternating like that, it makes things fairly complicated and can mess up what minor strategy you can come up with, you know, without being able to move whatever piece you want. In Piece Focus allows you to choose any possible move for a single piece, so it’s kind of like N Best but instead of the best two moves which are usually two different chess pieces but having the option of one move you can choose, instead of that it’s a single piece with all possible places it can be moved to that you get a choice from. Swipe mode allows you to move something in any of the eight directions and once you do so EVERY piece that’s possible to move like that will, this is another mode I don’t like because it’s really hard to wrap my head around to win.
I didn’t really play the MP as that’s just not my thing, but the SP stuff I rather enjoyed overall. The game has a bunch of options to modify things and change the overall difficulty so I’m rather enjoying it. I just wish the menu options would work better, as stated previously I couldn’t get it to show me the four best movies, only the default best two, even when I changed that option. The challenges though were my favorite thing, they’re really really fun. I hope they eventually add some more into it, though I don’t know if that’s planned. If you like chess or what to get into chess, this is a pretty good game, if you don’t like chess then you probably won’t like a chess game, I know the concept is absolutely shocking right? I really liked it and thought it was fun. On one just extra note, the company that made the game makes educational games and they all seem to be a non-profit game, which is always a plus.
A review copy of the game was provided by the dev.
darkmikasonfire awards Lazy Chess the Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval.