Developer: Nikolay Verevkin
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
Wild West Checkers is a slingshot-style checkers game where players attempt to shoot their opponents checkers off the board without losing any of their own. The second such iPhone app I’ve come across with the same principle, and coincidentally the same seller, Wild West Checkers is similar to iChapaev, but sports a wild west cowboy and Indian theme and a price tag of 2 dollars higher.
Like iChapaev, Wild West Checkers uses the touch screen interface and displays the trajectory angle and strength of your shot. By aiming your checker at an opponent piece, the goal is to knock the opposing piece off the board without shooting your own piece off screen and maintain control of the board. If your piece also shoots off the board, your turn is over. If you can run the board and advance your line of checkers to the top row, you win.
When reviewing iChapaev, I learned that this form of checkers was supposedly fashioned after a Russian board game. If so, Wild West Checkers gives the game quite the western touch indeed with the whole cowboys versus Indians theme.
On the home screen, the icon displays a pistol versus tomahawk design and there is a little cartoon graphic at the launch of Wild West, with a cowboy and an Indian facing off against each other over a crate of “dinamite.” Combine this with the selection menu featuring a pole with wood plank signs, western style background music and a game board with an old fashioned map, and it rounds out the Wild West theme completely.
Wild West Checkers has the standard components – single or two player game selection, auto-save function, and sound and difficulty setting preferences – but unfortunately delivers nothing new beyond the theme. That’s not to say this version of checkers isn’t fun. It can be, especially when looking for a quick two-player game and some passive-aggressive screen time. The controls are responsive and accurate and meet expectations, but if you can live without the Wild West theme, then iChapaev gives you nearly the same gameplay for just $.99.
In short, Wild West Checkers is iChapaev remade with a new theme. It's a fun enough game, but the bigger question is whether the wild west theme is worth the extra dough to you. For me, the theme is okay, but without a price drop, I feel scalped.