Solitaire Chess by ThinkFun

Common Sense Media says

Logic puzzler great for a wide range of ages, skill levels.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The app is easy to start playing -- pieces move according to regular chess rules, but the goal is to capture pieces until only a single piece is left on the board. The easy-level puzzles are fairly simple; the difficulty increases with higher levels. Players can solve puzzles in any order, and there is a hint button for help.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

An info page lists the developer's name and URL but does not have an active link to it.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Solitaire Chess is an innovative puzzle game that uses the basic rules of chess and combines it with the classic peg-jumping solitaire game. The game teaches basic chess movements as well as planning ahead for future moves. The game is easy to play and has a helpful option that will show where a piece can be moved. There are 400 puzzles in four difficulty levels so there is plenty to challenge a player at any skill level.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions

Math

  • patterns
  • sequences

Hobbies

  • board games

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • decision-making
  • hypothesis-testing
  • logic
  • memorization
  • part-whole relationships

Self-Direction

  • achieving goals

Emotional Development

  • persevering

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Clean graphics, easy navigation, a simple game concept, the ability to replay endlessly, plus 400 puzzles across four levels of difficulty give this app a wide range of appeal.

Learning Approach

The app can help develop memory, probability, and strategy skills through repeated practice. Hints respond by making the correct next move, which doesn't necessarily help kids strategize.

Support

A tutorial helps with basic moves, Solitaire Chess rules, and how to use hints, reset, and undo. Kids are able to reset all data and replay endlessly.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions

Math

  • patterns
  • sequences

Hobbies

  • board games

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • decision-making
  • hypothesis-testing
  • logic
  • memorization
  • part-whole relationships

Self-Direction

  • achieving goals

Emotional Development

  • persevering

Kids can learn the basic pieces and moves of chess and then apply that information to a simple puzzle: make every move a capture and finish with just one piece. Kids learn to test out and remember sequences as well as consider the powers and limitations of each piece. Four levels provide a range of challenge; it takes serious perseverance and resets to figure out some, while ohers come easily. Solitaire Chess is a great starting point for kids who want to build chess and memory skills.

This Learning Rating review was written by Leslie Crenna

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What's it about?

Faced with an arrangement of traditional chess pieces on a 4x4 board, kids drag pieces to capture others and test out various sequences until they find one that leaves only one piece standing. The difference from regular chess is that every move must be a capture. Kids will need to reset many times before finding the right sequence. Kids can choose Challenge or Quick Play (same puzzles just no menu) among four levels with 100 puzzles each.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

SOLITAIRE CHESS is an app version of a board game and is a fairly faithful translation. The player is presented with a small 4-by-4 chess board with several pieces on it. The pieces move as in regular chess, and the goal is to capture pieces until only one piece is left on the board. In the easy levels, nearly anyone familiar with chess will be able to easily solve the puzzles, while those who are new to chess will be able to familiarize themselves with the rules. There is a handy option that will show where pieces can be moved, and a hint button that will solve the puzzle one step at a time. With 400 puzzles, players can find a challenge for any skill level, particularly since you can skip to any challenge without solving previous ones.


Solitaire Chess is ingeniously designed, and the harder puzzles are extremely challenging. For players who love puzzles (and particularly those with an interest in chess) this is an ideal app.

Families can talk about...

  • Learn to play chess together.

  • Try checkers to get used to board mechanics.

  • Discuss ways to plan and remember series of moves.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
Price:$1.99-$2.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:January 20, 2011
Category:Puzzle Games
Publisher:ThinkFun, Inc.
Version:1.0.3.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.0 or later

This review of Solitaire Chess by ThinkFun was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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