Friday, August 22, 2014

Solitaire Chess by ThinkFun Review

I've only played chess once or twice in my life and that was years ago. I can't even remember the moves each chess piece can do well except for the bishop which I clearly remember can move diagonally just as long as it stays on the same colored square.

I've received several games from ThinkFun already and this time, they sent me the Solitaire Chess - Strategic Skill Building Game.I was super excited because the game looks challenging.

If you're not familiar with ThinkFun, then now's the right time for you to know more about them. ThinkFun was actually founded in 1985 by Bill Ritchie and Andrea Barthello, a husband a wife team. The company was originally called Binary Arts and follows their noble mission "To translate the brilliant ideas of the craziest mathematicians, engineers and inventors into simple toys that can be appreciated by boys and girls around the world." Bill was a born puzzler but the 80's was a tough time for toy companies. Andrea, who is a no stranger to challenge vividly remembers declaring "We can do this!" as she pulled into their driveway. Now, ThinkFun is the world's leader in addictively fun games that build reasoning and creative thinking skills through play.

When I received my Solitaire Chess Game, I thought it was a traditional chess set but realized that there's a twist. It's actually a single-player logic puzzle with the same basic chess piece movements like standard chess but there are differences to the rules of the game.

Here are the differences:

- All the pieces have the same color because it's a 1-player game.
- Every move must result in a capture of a game piece.
- Pawns are not promoted when they reach the top row.
- There is no "check-mate" for the King.
- By the design of Solitaire Chess, every challenge with a King chess piece will end with the King as the last remaining piece. (according to the rule book, this is not a rule but a hint.)

The Solitaire Chess Set has the following inside:
- 1 Spring Booklet with 80 challenges
- 10 Chess Pieces
- 1 Booklet with Instructions and Solutions

This is recommended for players ages 8 and up.

I read the instruction booklet and familiarized myself with the allowable movement of the chess pieces. See the drawings on the booklet? That's where you put the specific drawn chess piece. Then the game begins.

I set up the actual chess pieces over the drawings and started to play. This is page 1 of the booklet and I took a video of me demonstrating the 1st challenge.

This will be our little secret but it took me  almost 30 minutes to solve the 1st puzzle! LOL. I always win at Scrabble and other word games but this Solitaire Chess is new to me so, as funny as it might sound, it took me a while to figure out how to win my 1st challenge/puzzle. I had to start over and over again to strategically capture each game piece but I since I didn't want to quit, I really tried hard to solve the 1st challenge. I did however solve the next challenge/puzzle faster than the first. YAY ME! :)

The challenge booklet has 80 challenges/puzzles and each challenge/puzzle gets harder as you turn the page. I was just at the beginner level and I'm already having a hard time winning so I can't even imagine how long it'll take me for the Intermediate, Advanced and Expert pages. Maybe it'll take me a whole day to solve a challenge!

ThinkFun's Solitaire Chess is a must-have for those looking for a challenge or for those who wants to sharpen their brain. It really did challenge me and I can't wait to move on to the harder puzzles/challenges.

You can purchase ThinkFun's Solitaire Chess on their website for $19.99. BUY IT HERE.

DISCLAIMER: I have received one or more product/s mentioned above to try however, all opinions are honest and my own and are not influenced in any way. No other form of compensation was received. I only recommend products I think are worth sharing. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC 16 CFR Part 255.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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