Chapaev Pro in Review – A cruel way to treat checkers!

Growing up in Russia, one of the favourite school break pastimes was always a friendly game of Chapaev. Born out of a perverted version of checkers, we’d use figures made out of common stationary along with a checkers board – just about anything went!
Suffice it to say that when I was offered the chance to review Chapayev Pro for the iDevice, I was more than surprised, but pleasantly so. Now the whole world can be opened up to the amazing board game that is Chapaev.

Chapaev Pro is an adaptation of the exUSSR original board game. Played on a standard chess/checkers board and with common checker figures, it is a very hands on experience not for the faint of heart. Well, the latter is of course somewhat of an exaggeration, though don’t expect the calm pace of classic checkers. Instead players have to hurl their pieces at the opponent’s very own via well placed flicks of a finger to knock them off the playing field. The last one to have figures on the board wins.

The developers decided to embrace the basic game mechanics themselves rather than the actual experience and simplified the game a bit. Instead of actually flicking the pieces you have to simply tap-n-drag to define the direction and the power of the strike. On the other hand they’ve introduced multiple types of figures and some more complex game mechanics to make the game more interesting.

Both parties start with at the opposite ends of the board with the same units. These can range from the common light, medium and heavy ones to conventional and gas bombs and gas-masked units. Some even have a limited amount of moves, after which they self-destruct, so clever use is required to win. Speaking of which – you can win a battle, but not the war. Meaning – once you overcome your opponent, you’ll start over but now one row closer. The war (match) is won only after you literally push the opponent off the screen from the very beginning by winning enough matches to reach the other part of the board.

Graphically Chapaev Pro looks quite nice, especially on the larger screen of an iPad. Ground, air and naval sets of pieces and battlefields are available, though they differ only in appearance. I have to confess I would love to see the option of using the flick-to-launch mechanic instead of the tap-n-drag to control your pieces; it would make the gameplay much more authentic. There is multiplayer of sorts, but of the pass-n-play variety. So you’d take a turn and give the iDevice to your opponent for him/her to make theirs. And although it would be fine for those school break fracases, I find the absence of online play rather disappointing. Also the occasional crashing of the app made for some additional frustration.

Chapayev Pro brings the age-old exUSSR kids’ favourite to the attention of the general public, and does a good job of that. It does not make a complete transition of the experience, but instead adapts it to make the game more accessible to the casual crowd of iOS gamers. Unfortunately the frustrating technical glitches and the lack of online multiplayer rather limit the appeal of Chapaev Pro. Still, if you’re interested in how the Russkies had their fun when the rest of the world was already busy with Apple 2s and the like, it’s certainly a worthwhile pick – especially at the current promotional price of Free.

With this I declare Chapaev Pro officially touched!

Tap It Rating - 3/5

App Summary
Title: Chapayev ProDeveloper: Kynitex
Reviewed Ver:1.1.12Min OS Req:3.1
Price:FreeApp Size:13.06MB
  • Original game mechanics
  • Universal
  • Nicely adapted controls
  • No online multiplayer
  • Stability issues
  • No flick-control options

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