Chess by Post pairs a simple chess game with a powerful online ecosystem to try and create a unique multiplayer experience (and itâ€™s even free!).
The presentation is extremely basic, and the online play is unfortunately buggy, but with some few fixes to that the gameplay could be really great.
You can play a ranked game against a random opponent (who is matched to your skill level), start an unranked game with another online WP7 device, or compete in an unranked local multiplayer game by passing the phone with your friend. The ranking system is great since you will hopefully play games with people who will give you a nice challenge. The inclusion of that local multiplayer is great since you canâ€™t always play online. But to our disappointment, the applicationâ€™s push and toast notifications seemed to not be working for both me and my Windows Phone friend. That means you will have to open the game just to check if itâ€™s possibly your move. The app is supposed to have toast notifications and a live tile, but there have been some other marketplace reviews concurring that it isnâ€™t working. Once that gets fixed, playing an online game will be perfect. As it is now, without those push notifications working, itâ€™s tough to play a game online. Otherwise, itâ€™s your classic chess game. The controls work well, the online chat is a nice touch, and you can even cycle through all of the previous moves that were made in your current game.
The visuals are extremely basic (they work, but donâ€™t look special) and there arenâ€™t any sound effects. The presentation is the weakest part of the game.
Lasting Value: 3/5
If the push and toast notifications actually worked, the lasting value would be absolutely perfect, since you could play multiple games of chess at your leisure throughout an entire week, but with the way it is now, you have to open the game every single time to see if itâ€™s your turn. This doesnâ€™t make you want to keep playing the game. The inclusion of local multiplayer is good, but that isnâ€™t always an option. Thereâ€™s no computer to play against, so sometimes you wonâ€™t be able to play the game at all.