If you frequently find yourself waiting in long lines, somewhere with little space, or just bored and in need of a quick pick-me-up game, then Thumb Chess may very well be for you! A fun and tiny twist on a timeless classic, Thumb Chess is the new pocket game for everyone! Let’s take a closer look.

What Is It?

A one-card-only version of chess featuring only Rooks, Bishops, and Knights with slightly different movement abilities, played with only your thumbs! Pretty self-explanatory, actually. 

Who Is It For?

I’d really recommend this one to anyone. I think if you like Chess already, you’ll enjoy it because the basics are still there, and if you find the original a little too difficult, this will work because it’s a trimmed down, easier version. It’s good for younger audiences to start them out, and teach the concepts of Chess, and good for those gamers who love short rules! (i.e. MEEE).

Quality of Components

I have a prototype copy which is just cardstock; it gets the job done, but it will wear quickly. I don’t know what the final copy will be like, but I’m sure it will be plenty sturdy since you constantly have to handle it to play.


  • Fast and simple to learn, teach, and play!
  • You can keep it in your pocket/wallet/purse and always be ready for a game! You don’t need any space to play, and it is awesome for that.
  • Good “starter” Chess.
  • Good level of strategy. Not too easy, but not overly complex. Gives you plenty to think about and plenty of ability to try planning ahead, but make sure to watch your opponent’s every move!


  • No given rules for starting positions which could mean if you’re not paying attention it could end without even playing; I think there should be a rule about not starting adjacent.
  • The symbology of the roles doesn’t do it for me. I thought the Rook should have a double arrow (to denote any number, either direction easily), the Knight should have 3 “bumps” to signify it can jump over thumbs (what the Bishop symbol currently is), and the Bishop (which was the hardest to think of something for) could have a “E” or “even” to denote it could move any even number of spots, no jumping. The way the symbols were didn’t help me visualize what moves they could do.
  • I also thought the symbols should be above the pieces on the card so you don’t cover them with your thumbs while playing, to help visual learners.


I’d probably give this one a 2.5/5 for difficulty. It wasn’t too hard, mostly because it’s small so there isn’t too much going on to take in. But you have to move your left thumb according to what your right thumb is one, and visa versa, so it does take some thinking to make sure you know where you’ll end up and don’t get yourself trapped!

Final Thoughts

I thought this was a good game! I’m not big into Chess, but I was able to play this a few times in a row and had fun every time. It’s super quick and light, but I love that I could just bring it any and everywhere and have a game I can pull out in line for food or rides at an amusement park or something! Definitely recommend if you’re always gaming on the go!

Happy Gaming~

Additional Information:
Publisher – Project Danger
Designer – Floyd Pretz

*I was provided a prototype copy of this game to do this preview*
*All components shown are subject to change*

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