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Chek is a 2 or 4 player pass'n'play board game for the Playdate Handheld Console! The game is designed to sit between checkers and chess in terms of strategy - quite simple to learn but deep in interaction. A game of Chek often swings between careful movement of groups of allied pieces, followed by a bloodbath of combat. 

Chek for Playdate

Playdate Gameplay:

  • Players may choose from a number of different board setups at the Title Screen. 
  • When selecting, use the D-pad to move your Hand icon over one of your own pieces. Use A button to select the piece and Crank to place the Selection box over a Blank or Opponent space in any 4-way direction. The A button confirms your choice. 
  • You may Move or Attack once per turn. Play progresses Clockwise.
  • An attack triggers dice rolls in the background with the results displayed on the right side of the screen. The Last move made is indicated on the bottom left. 
  • High Roll wins the conflict and Defender wins Ties. If there is an Ally piece in an 8-way radius of the conflict space, the attacker gets a +1 to their roll. This is a Bully Bonus.
  • After the attack, if there is an Opponent or Ally piece in an 8-way radius of the conflict space, this will trigger a Chain state. The Winner of the conflict can select an Opponent to attack with a +1 to die roll or can select their own Ally pieces along a contiguous chain to reach other Opponents on the board. 
  • Play to last piece standing or end the game at any point by mutual agreement. Dock the Crank to end the game. 

Playdate General Notes:

The game is built to manage game flow, but there are edge cases that Players should handle. 

  • During a Chain state, the Player may be able to Link to other pieces they have on the board but may have no Chain attacks available. The Player should use the B button to cancel out of the Chain state at that point. 
  • Additionally, during a 4-player game, 1 or more players will eventually lose all of their pieces. Players should use the B button to skip player turns in order to continue the play progression. 
  • Players must Dock the Crank to end the game. There is a possible endstate where two opposing players have only a single piece left. In these cases, players should advance toward each other for a final attack or may Dock the Crank and end the game to score their respective pieces. 
  • Players may Dock the Crank at any point to save the current board state and continue the game at a later time. This is suggested. Backing out to the Playdate's Home screen from an active board using the Menu button may cause erroneous save data when loading back into Chek. If this happens, please choose to start a new game. 


  • I would love to apply a minimax algorithm to add a Basic CPU opponent, but will have to think on its implementation. I am open to help with this! You can reach me on the Playdate Squad Discord and Twitter @LDBR_art to talk design. 
    • You can also Leave a Comment Below.
  • You could pretty easily play this multiplayer on stream or in a zoom/discord with one player controlling the Playdate and others calling out their moves ie "B2 to B3, attacking Open Circle". I'm open to developing an asynchronous multiplayer method using a code system to send/receive board states. 
    • Happy to talk with interested parties that would like to help.
  • I also REALLY want to show the version of Chek that plays with a Pack of Cards or to develop the framework further and include Hero/Class mechanics. This release is the first step towards those goals!
  • More than anything, I want to see this game played and see people exploring strategies. I have it up for Pay-What-You-Want but truly - if money is an issue, just download it and tell me what you think! Or take the rules below and play it IRL with friends. Game it out! Break it! Have fun and Tell me about your experience. That's why I made this game.

Chek Board Game 

Chek is a board game for 2 or 4 players, designed to distill small-scale conflict from large-scale strategy. In its most basic form it can be played on an 8x8 board with a set of pieces and a pair of dice.

SETUP: 8x8 standard chess/checkers board, 24 pieces, pair of 6-sided die

  • A player's pieces are designated by a unifying color or symbol
  • First player is chosen arbitrarily
  • Play moves Clockwise
  • For a Standard 4-player game, 6 pieces occupy the middle squares on each side of an 8x8 board. Other beginning setups possible for 2 or 4-player matches, decided on by the participants

MOVE: Each turn the current player moves a piece of their own, one space in any 4-way direction

  • Players may MOVE or ATTACK once per turn

ATTACK: An ATTACK is a MOVE onto an opponent-occupied space

  • Players attack adjacent pieces in any 4-way direction
  • Each player rolls a single die - High roll wins / Defender wins ties

BULLY: Attacker gets +1 to their attack roll when two or more of its own pieces are 8-way adjacent to contested space. (Inclusive of the attacking piece)

  • The Winner is the Attacker OR Defender with the winning die roll. 
  • This means control of the board can change hands on a failed attack!
  • The Winner SCORES the Opponent piece by removing it from the board and taking the contested space
  • The Winner may then CHAIN or LINK in any 8-way direction

CHAIN: CHAIN attacks follow the procedures of an ATTACK but in an 8-way direction

  • CHAIN attacks get +1 to die roll / Defender still wins ties
  • Winner of each CHAIN attack takes control and may ATTACK or LINK as able

LINK: Players may use their own 8-way contiguous pieces to continue a CHAIN to other opponents that they may be able to reach

  • CHAINs and LINKs are contained within a single turn
  • Play continues from Final attack Winner

OBJECT: Player with the HIGH SCORE Wins

  • Play to the last piece standing
  • Ties are allowed
  • When two opposing pieces remain on the board, the remaining players may move to attack each other or may end the game and score their own respective pieces
  • Players may end the game at any time by unanimous agreement of active players
  • Surviving pieces are added to the respective players’ Score


Chek Theme composed by Kevin Flatt.

Chek Ruleset PDF by Robyn Heffler.

Thanks to Scott Hall for key architecture advice.

Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(3 total ratings)
Tagsboard, Board Game, checkers, Chess, Local multiplayer, localmultiplayer, Multiplayer, Playdate, Tabletop
Average sessionAbout a half-hour
MultiplayerLocal multiplayer
Player count2 - 4


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Click download now to get access to the following files:

Chek - Pulp-Edition v1-2.pdx.zip 186 kB
Chek Printable Ruleset.pdf 225 kB
Bunny Bundle Magazine PDF 14 MB

Development log


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I love 'simple to play, hard to master' board games, but I have a hard time envisioning how to play them!  Often I lean on short YouTube tutorials to help prime initial play sessions.  Is that something you might be open to?  Filming a short tutorial on the checkerboard?  Thanks!


Oh I'm absolutely planning on it! Ideally in next couple days.