Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Solitaire Chess Mobile App

Solitaire Chess Mobile App

Spring 2011 Mobile Apps
Ages: 8 & Up
Developer: ThinkFun
Developer: ThinkFun Inc.
Download Price: $2.99
Review:

This is a highly addictive blend of two classic games - solitaire and chess. Users are presented a scenario with a number of chess pieces, depending on level of difficulty, and are challenged to eliminate all but one of the pieces off the board using defined chess moves. Each move has to eliminate a piece, so you might see a move to eliminate a pawn with a knight but it has to leave you with a follow-up move. The game board is similar to a chessboard but smaller - four squares by four squares - and though there is a tutorial, a basic understanding of chess is helpful. It looks much easier than it is.

There are 400 different challenges and four levels of difficulty, from Easy to Expert. When users get stuck, and they will, there are "back" and "hint" buttons to return the board to a previous state or provide suggestions on how to move forward. It requires the same concentration and focusing skills as chess, but without an opponent. It's a challenging app but the Hint and Back tools keep it from being frustrating. The repeat and long-term value is great.

Teresa DiFalco   ©2011 Parents' Choice
Teresa DiFalco is a writer, editor and mother in Vancouver, Washington. Her work has appeared in the New York Times and the Oregonian, and she writes a movie column for Vancouver Family Magazine. She's a strong speller, a menace at badminton, and makes a passable souffle.

Look for this product at:
ThinkFun Inc.
703-549-4999
http://www.ThinkFun.com/

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