When it comes to a heated online chess match, there's nothing quite worse than losing because of something silly, like getting disconnected or having the app hang. Thankfully, you don't have to worry about these with Social Chess. Aside from having a crisp, clean layout, it is also optimized for stability, you don't have to worry about it suddenly crashing or slowing down in the middle of a match. Also, it's easy to jump right in the game. Unlike other apps which require you to go through email validation, SocialChess allows you to create an account directly from it UI. You can then begin a match (or two or five) instantly.
In addition to running smoothly, you never have to worry about your user info being shared or filled with spam. The best part is that the developers take user feedback into account when implementing new features. This means that if you do end up really enjoying the game, you have a voice when it comes to updates.
Get Social and Then Some
If you've played other titles such as Chess With Friends, then you'll have a basic understanding on how asynchronous multiplayer works. SocialChess takes things one step further by integrating an Elo rating system which calculates the skill level of a player based on their wins and losses. Because of this, simply pushing past a number of lower ranked opponents won't raise your stats. For a worthwhile challenge, you can search for players with a similar rating to yours. With the in-app chat feature, you can easily interact with others to improve your game. Finished matches can be stored for future reference as well as conveniently sent through e-mail.
For the free version of SocialChess, you are given the ability to play five matches at once. Of that's not enough for you and you're left craving for more, you can always pay for a year's subscription to get access to a hundred. Search for friends using the app's search function, or, if you're feeling adventurous, you can opt to go up against a random opponent. On the other hand, if you're feeling a bit hesitant about playing against a real life opponent, this title even lets you practice against the AI. You're going to miss out on shaky moves and mistakes, but getting a winning streak going could build your confidence.
Convenience is Key
Waiting for turns? There's no need to check SocialChess compulsively to get on top of things. Push notifications alert you when a game is active and matches may be played across multiple devices. If, in case, you are in an area without internet access, you can still respond to games and have your moves sent later. The system is so convenient, it certainly sets a high bar for other free chess apps.
To sum it up, SocialChess is great not because of fancy animations or gimmicks. It's one of the best apps out there because it keeps things simple and accessible. It appeals to all types of players thanks to the number of multiplayer options available. Hate random pop-ups? There are no ads even on the free version. Subscriptions are optional and the Elo rating system keeps matches challenging but not impossible. If you're looking for some honest-to-goodness chess fun, we highly recommend giving SocialChess a try.