Description: SparkChess aims to be the definitive smartphone and tablet game for Chess players. No matter what skill level you're at, there's something for everyone here. However, this is not your typical casual Chess game. In fact, this is a comprehensive game designed for Chess players, by Chess players. There's no confusing menu layout, everything is on the screen right there in front of you, you can get hints and study strategies as you play. With three different difficulties of opponents and an online multiplayer mode, SparkChess has a lot of the right boxes ticked. You can change how the board looks and the UI is designed to let the game show itself off as best it can. SparkChess is the Chess game for Android designed for Chess players, and not for the Angry Birds players out there.
How it Works: If you'd like to play the game on your phone, download it from the Play Store here, tablet users can download their version here. Once you've downloaded your version of the game, you're free to start playing. You can choose to play against one of the computer players, or head online to get some real practice.
I'm not too great at Chess, so I'll play against Cody.
While playing, you can ask the game to give you hints, which will highlight which pieces are in a good place, and which of them aren't. This works well for new players, as does the ability to Analyze the board.
You can change how the board looks, too. Which is a nice touch for younger players.
The 3D fantasy board is pretty cool.
Don't forget, you can also play online against others – all you have to do is sign-up or login.
Then you can find other players to play against.
Opinion: My Dad is actually a huge Chess player. He plays in local teams here in the UK and has won a few congresses in his time. So, there's no better person to try out SparkChess with. Normally, we would us Franz on the PC but, he spends a lot of time on his smartphone these days and was glad to hear that this is available on pretty much every platform there is – including Linux, Windows and Mac. For myself though, it was nice to be able to play a game of Chess and get genuine help. As a kid, my Dad tried to teach me Chess but, I was too interested in my Game Boy. Now though, I can play against Cody – the beginner difficulty – and get hints as I play along. It doesn't matter how good you are at Chess, SparkChess has something in it for everyone.
- Speed (4/5) – SparkChess ran great on my Nexus 7 and smartphones alike. There's no waiting around with this one.
- Features (5/5) – You could say there's only so much you can do with Chess but, SparkChess has everything a Chess player could want – no matter their skill level.
- Theme (4/5) – The 3D graphics and intuitive UI on offer here work great. Being able to change the board to a Fantasy type is great for younger players, too.
- Overall (4/5) – There's no denying that not everyone wants to play Chess but, SparkChess finally offers and Android title for Chess players, by Chess players.
- You can change how the board looks, making it more appealing to younger players.
- Multiplayer is easy to get to grips with, and offers a new challenge.
- Varying difficulty of computer players can help players get back into the game, or really learn the game for the first time.
- Hints used in the game are genuinely helpful and provide solid advice that can be applied easily in future games.
- Sound or music would add a lot to the game.
- Could be considered pricey for some players but, server costs for multiplayer aren't cheap.
Conclusion: SparkChess is one of those games that might not appeal to everyone but, has something for everyone in it. Even if you have just a passing interest in Chess, you can easily start to play SparkChess and have a lot of fun with it. From Hints to being able to Analyze the board, newer players will be able to understand the game much better compared to playing a simple, casual Chess title. The 3D graphics look classy and the UI gets out-of-the-way so you can focus on your game. Games like these are some of the best fits for online multiplayer and thankfully, this works great in SparkChess, too. For old players, new players or those that have forgotten the game – SparkChess is the Chess game for all players. If you would prefer the tablet version of the game, you can find it on the Play Store here.