Developer: Nikolay Verevkin
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
iChapaev by MaxNick is supposedly fashioned after a Russian board game, but I have no real idea. At first glance, it resembles checkers a great deal. However, once you start playing it, it more so resembles a checker fight between two rivaling siblings.
The object of iChapaev is to knock all your opponent’s pieces off the board throughout a series of rounds, until you have advanced your own pieces from one side of the board to the other. Given that the initial instructions included with iChapaev are a bit ambiguous, it might seem as if the game is too complicated or nonsensical, but iChapaev is easy to learn and to play.
In essence, iChapaev features two sets of game pieces – white and black – positioned on opposite sides of a checkerboard. You are given the option to play against a computer opponent or against a second player. The 2-player mode is a more entertaining than playing against the ai, but you can tweak the difficulty levels from easy to medium or even difficult to up the computer challenge. Whichever mode you play, your objective is to aim your pieces at an opposing piece and remove it from the board, but without knocking your own piece off in the momentum and ricochet.
If you are successful at removing your opponent’s pieces, you will advance a row at the start of the next round. Similarly, if your opponent removes your pieces first, they will advance towards your side of the board. Play continues until one player has advanced all the way to the opposing player’s starting row.
Though iChapaev lacks the strategy required for chess, or even checkers, it does require you to put some thought into the projection of your piece before you let it go. On the easy setting, a projection arrow and strength meter are displayed so you know exactly where and how fast your piece will be released. On the medium setting, only the projection arrow is displayed and on the hard setting, there is no display at all. The display makes each move predictable, so advancing to hard is better left for after you get the hang of controlling your moves.
If you’re looking for a quick and fun game that offers a second-player option and have tired of checkers and tic-tac-toe, then iChapaev could prove an entertaining alternative. Be careful when selecting which piece to use as your projectile, once you touch one, you can’t change your mind. If you’d like to “try before you buy,” you can download iChapaev Lite for free.