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Chess goes gangsta in this fun redesign

Chess is an already-beautiful game that can take any amount of customisation; search for custom chess sets online and you'll find a wealth of weird and wonderful designs, from ornate fantasy and sci-fi inspired sets through to gloriously minimal objets d'art.

The latest look for chess comes in the form of a mobile game: Chess Gang is developed by Polish studio, Evil Empire (opens in new tab), and it's based around street gang culture.

Chess Gang takes it to the streets

Chess Gang takes it to the streets

So instead of trying to outwit your opponent and capture their king, in Chess Gang your aim is to be the smartest and strongest on the street in order to defeat your opponent's kingpin and steal their cash. Like any good video game, it even has special moves, like promoting your pawns or castling to enforce your dominance.

That's right – it's chess. You don't mess with the rules of chess. What we love about Chess Gang, though, is its powerful visuals, with all the pieces reimagined as gang members and rendered in cartoon sticker form.

Konrad Kirpluk has designed a whole new set of chess pieces

Konrad Kirpluk has designed a whole new set of chess pieces

They – and the rest of the game's street-art inspired visuals – are the work of Doncaster-based graphic designer and illustrator Konrad Kirpluk (opens in new tab), and they're a joy to behold. You get baseball-wielding pawns, pit bulls as knights, gun-toting bishops, rooks and queens, and kings clutching bags overflowing with readies; cartoon fun rather than gritty street violence.

Konrad created his striking chess pieces in Adobe Illustrator, and as an added bonus he's made a second set of characters that'll be coming to Chess Gang in a future update, in which instead of rival gangs you'll be able to play as cops versus yardies.

The in-game graphics all follow the same street art style

The in-game graphics all follow the same street art style

You can see the full set of Konrad's designs over on Behance (opens in new tab); Chess Gang is available now on iOS (opens in new tab) and Android (opens in new tab) for a very reasonable 99p.

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Jim McCauley
Jim McCauley

Jim McCauley is a writer, performer and cat-wrangler who started writing professionally way back in 1995 on PC Format magazine, and has been covering technology-related subjects ever since, whether it's hardware, software or videogames. A chance call in 2005 led to Jim taking charge of Computer Arts' website and developing an interest in the world of graphic design, and eventually led to a move over to the freshly-launched Creative Bloq in 2012. Jim now works as a freelance writer for sites including Creative Bloq, T3 and PetsRadar, specialising in design, technology, wellness and cats, while doing the occasional pantomime and street performance in Bath and designing posters for a local drama group on the side.