Pawnbarian: a Puzzle Roguelike

Author: j4nw

100K+ install
Role Playing


Chess-inspired puzzle roguelike. Demo – single IAP unlocks full game.

The ad-free demo contains a single character and dungeon.

Pawnbarian is a turn-based puzzle roguelike with bite-sized, but challenging sessions. Play cards to control your hero like a chess piece on a tiny dungeon board, outmaneuver enemies with their assortment of tricky abilities, and become the mightiest warrior of the Chesslands!

– Use a deck of chess pieces to hack and slash through hordes of monsters.
– Pick up the basics instantly if you’re familiar with chess, or learn in minutes if you aren’t.
– Carefully plan your moves to navigate challenging, emergent tactical situations.
– Spend treasure to upgrade your cards with additional powers.
– Blitz through quick 15-30 minute runs – or die trying.
– Take on the infinite post-run Gauntlet to see how long you can survive.
– Pick from 6 characters to conquer 3 dungeons, all requiring an unique approach.
– Progress through Chains, a series of extra difficulty modifiers.

Not Features
– No permanent upgrades, and not much that needs unlocking. The progress and satisfaction come from your growing mastery of the game’s elegant systems!
– No complex and varied builds. The shops provide a few key decisions, but the bulk of the roguelike depth lies in how you approach the emergent combat puzzles!

Detailed info

File size: 0 MB
Update time: Jul 18, 2022
Current version: N/A
Require Android: N/A
Developer: j4nw
Price: Free
0 votes

Customer review

Dylan Troiano

Very creative wonderful art, im in love.

Hector Hurtado

Promising concept but it's so needlessly complicated that almost all the fun is lost after a few minutes

Brian Tong

Loses novelty quickly

Tomas Moraga

Fun chess based game

Wargene G

Saw you put a response to a review that said git gud lol and I'm just gonna give a 5 star before I even play the game because I know it's going to be awesome

Youssef Moataz

Great game, really fun concept, amazing execution.

devesh kumar

Good game except that Chinese board it's confusing.

Aquic Andaquak

I played this for about 5 minutes, I already love the concept. I've not gotten an ad, and I think I'm in love. Never stop making games.


You have just tutorial and one dungeon with a number of floor to play before you need buy the game (currently about $4.3). But gameplay is pretty nice and fun, free dungeon doesn't feel unbalanced as I expected (it isn't easy and isn't too hard).


I love the concept, but it is kust too difficult to play, the fact that I have to stall for 5 rounds so rng can give me two bishops feels unnecessary and annoying

Trevor Reynafarje

Very addicting and fun. Worth getting the full game

Coco Loco

I loved it! It had a really nice vibe going with all the nice characters. The gameplay is fairly simple too but quite challenging. Once gotten the hang of, I could beat all 7 towers easily but that's just the first dungeon. The game is paid and this is only a demo which is very understandable, just that I was hoping there would be more content for free players as I beat it in just one day. Still, a really nice game and I recommend it even if only for the demo! Keep it up devs, wish you the best!

Debasish Dutta

Really a good strategy game. Had a good experience. Sad that I can't buy it rn.

Elisabeta Kraja

Why do you have to pay money to play andbit is really short for a game.


This game is a really fun rogue like strategy game. I actually paid for the full version and have not regretted it. I think the different characters shake up your strategy for each run. Personally I'm a fan of the mystic. The only complaint I have is that blight does not affect the enemies. It would be interesting to plan strategies around that concept. Thank you!

Vernon Eubank

Edit: I'm dumb. On subsequent playthroughs. I forgot the effect of Spark Imp

_ Doodash

Great fun, nice concept

Daniel Rebucas

Mentally and logically challenging, awesome!


I love the gamestyle, and the mechanics are very fun to use

Rain Dewhirst

Good asf game developed by a small dev, definitely worth paying the $7 for the full game, I was instantly hooked just on the demo.


I think that this a great idea but i wish it didnt cost money to finish the game i was so ready to play a couple more hours and then it asked to pay

Atte Karjalainen

When downloading, I did not realice that this was just a demo. And it was quite short. But still, it was fun and free of ads.

Lukáš Kessl

PERFECT GAME! Chess with only one pawn 11/10

Robert sherman

Great game, but it needs an undo move button and a safety measure that confirms if you want to skip your turn before you are out of moves. I've failed dungeons multiple times when I used the wrong piece or accidentally skipped my turn when I was flipping between pieces.

Ashley Glenday

Excellent casual mobile game. Not too easy or too hard.

Chloe Scully

Great fun! Very unique

Maxamillious Titan

Way too hard now, no way to win. First level(7 boards) heath is chipped away. Got to board '6' once. $6.99 I bought it, and can't get passed level one. Needs to be more likeable to play and not sooo extreme!!!

Keanu X



Challenge, fun, good game

Adam Frank

Love everything about the game. Best strategy game in the Playstore!

Matthew Coy

The paywall is a stupid idea, this game might as well be premium from the start. Dev, you deserve to be punished with reviews like this. You're underhanded and not unique.

Kurt Smith

Money is kinda tight so i haven't gotten the full game but I've played the demo several dozen times by now. The game flows very well and the sound and music really works great. Definitely give this a try.



Chad BroChill

Concept is fantastic, but there's no option to continue buying health or upgrades in the Gauntlet. Besides making it completely unplayable for the berserker class, it's silly to not have any way to make a fully-powered guy and go up against a full board of enemies. Some of the enemy mechanics are seemingly inconsistent, with 'nimble' enemies attacked with knights not moving the same way every time, blight being placed where you're standing (sometimes), etc. Very fun when it feels fair, though.

Nuclear Exterminator

Very challenging, and a very unique idea for a game. Just wish I had the money to buy it.

Storm -_-

Pretty fun and easy to play! The tight space u get and the piece combinations with the enemies with tricky skills are pretty thrilling and pretty fun. Looking forward to the more updates


Pretty good game

Wajih Hassan

Worth buying full version, I would prefer there to be more stages then the current three. Also, I have no idea how shogi works so I just skipped that character, would be really cool if it explained how to use shogun.

Adam Sanderson

Great production quality. Perhaps the paid classes are more interesting, but the game doesn't feel terribly deep.

Darth Jedi

Awesome Chess Game


Amazing chess-like puzzle, sadly costs 6$ to play the full game. Try it and if you like it considered buying it!

Oliver Taylor

It's a really fun spin off on chess. I would highly recommend giving it a go.

Nate Baker

Thought it was good at first until the last level just kill you nomatter what, so I wouldn't buy it. Don't know many that would.

2nd Io

The idea of this chess game is Marveling, unique, and Inspiring. Chess as a progression game. The reason I rated 3 stars is because there was only the tutorial and one dugeon, which cut the experience short. I personally dont think 6.99 is worth it for 2 more dugeons. The game should have a update where it adds 7+ new dungeons. Then theres a Good chance I would buy it, because I want to spend money on things that are well worth.

Parker Cole

Im a young android developer, and ive never written a review for an app but this game deserves one. The UI is organic and intuitive. The strategy is complex while the mechanics and controls simple. Its risky selling an app bc nobody pays for apps. Yet, they collect no data. Also, the game doesnt have 1000 threads eating power. This game respresents the way apps should be. Good demo, cheap price, fun. Its not a PORT its a mf MASTERPIECE. I hope to make stuff like this one day. This is the way.


great idea

Caleb Groves

It's pretty good, and decently fun, but minus one star because it doesn't tell you that this is a demo up front.

Alex Adolph

Fun concept but it's only a demo that costs $7 to unlock only 2 more dungeons and 5 characters. Really wish it was advertised as a demo and that it was either cheaper or had more content in the full version.


Great game! Surely there is some other way to monitize it though?

Jeremy Cole

10/10 such a cool and fun game. My expectations weren't super high originally, but the thought provoking levels blew me away. Really tempted to buy the full game just to play through with all the other characters

Daniel Zhou

Even the free version is totally worth it, the developpers did a great job, I might get the full version soon

Aman Shrivastava

I enjoyed it but the difficulty curve is crazy. Hard to casually recommend to anyone.

Sniper Monkey

İ can help you about Turkish localization


Decent game, but random modifiers on enemies can make things nearly impossible. IE an enemy that dodges the first hit per turn and is also immune while the player is next to them. With only two moves per turn, that can be nearly impossible to defeat. If that combo in particular is a conscious choice and not random chance, that's even worse.

hmmm was taken

Honestly, this is a great game that kind of forces you to think. It is challenging, but it's not difficult. What's most important is that it's fun. No ads to ruin the experience. I like the mechanics, which are simple and easy to get into. The only problem is that the game is too addictive. Overall 10/10

Wiggler Wiggler

My one problem that's keeping me from giving this game the review it should deserve is how blight works. I thinks it's cool to have a lingering damage source, but the fact that it lasts forever can turn a clean run sour. With having luck based draws, it becomes a problem way too quick when blight enemies leave so much of it, you can be one move away from winning and take 9 damage because you have nowhere to move, and that's just frustrating and disheartening.

M Arief Budiman

nice mechanic, but it just a one demo.

Shad Hall

Very fun strategy game! I really like this new take on chess. Long-press on anything in the game for details.

Anthony _

Good game. Another dungeon would be great, but it's a good game nonetheless.

Broth Hunter

Great game with lots of replay value


Good, but there's not a lot of free content. I would definetly prefer more content with ads. The only other downside is that the difficulty is pretty high, and it really takes some thinking.

Inferno Bandit

The game is great, but you have buy the full game to play anything past the first dungeon

game- zilla

Really enjoyable game especially if you like chess


It's fun and plays well, it's unfortunate that the entire game is locked behind a pay wall beside the first level.

Ryan Martin

Definitely worth checking out! No ads, full game unlocked for $, but the base game is very fun on it's own

Andrew Protic

Edited because the developer raised a good point. It was honestly my mistake for not having read the description, i thought that it was trying to trick people into paying by not mentioning it was a demo. I apologise for my mistake. The gameplay is solid, fun, and enganging. The available dungeons are highly distinct and each have a unique theme. This game is worth a try!

Patrick Grayson

Very well-polished game! Loved the iterations on enemy types, and it has a satisfying gameplay loop.

Alexander Leonov

I dislike the games that have the logical unknown rules, and it is the psychiatrist gambling. UNINSTALLED.


Balancing issues. Otherwise a fine game.


Very fun

Lucian Tiriteu

Nice concept

Naufal hafizh w

Is it still beta or what?

Dobesek Bthit

pls i need gauntlet mode for the demo version i never got to finish it on pc. also it seems easier compared to the pc demo version.

A Vlog

Good game you guys should buy it, I'll just pirate an apk though cause phone games aren't meant for buying.

Joel izhere

This game is incredible! Not only is this a mobile game that isn't predatory, it also has a full featured demo that allows you to fully grasp the mechanics of the game. This mix of chess movement with roguelike upgrades is exceptional. I'm not a huge mobile game fan, but I ended up purchasing this game immediately after finishing the demo because this is definitely a offline game I needed to have in my pocket to pull out whenever I need to kill time. Do yourself a favour and try the demo!

Tom Joseph

Do not let the kinda dumb name fool you. This is a great great game. The more I play it the more I appreciate the strategy involved. While you do not need to, I bought the game because it is worth it. And I rarely buy games. Definitely give it a try.

King Bear

A lot of potential, but if it was free to play other characters it will be the best.

Plavi Robot

Tbh really small in demo but a great idea and even demo is great and in the beggining challenging but revording.

Shady Goat

Although i only played the demo, I quite enjoyed it! Ithas a lot of potential for strategy.


Very cool game, I like how they let you play, then offer everything at the premium price. The strategies are fun, and not over complicated. Very fair pricing for me, USA. PS: thank you, this kind of game is so refreshing from what is currently out there.

Oliver Arnold

Reply: You know what, that's fair. I'll give it a chance, it was a fun game, I like seeing good developers getting supported. Original:Amazing gameplay. Really enjoyable experience. But disappointed that there is only 3 levels. I just can't justify buying that.

Anthony Hobbs

Bad Instructions. Only get a ornery for free

Berker Tektaş

It's a nice game and I would buy it if they would say it's paid at the beginning but no the Dev wanted us to download the game and make us play demo *cough* sorry a training.. then you must pay if you want to play which is just a scam to not to put the game in paid section***** update***** then make a demo not a tutorial it just shows what to do for 2 levels which is 20 seconds this is not a demo

Bambang Primanto

A great and innovative roguelike puzzle with replayability. Granted if you want the full experience you need to buy the full version

Sohail Mohammad

Underrated game....awesome core gameplay ..its novel

clypeus productions

Good game but why is it 9 gigs for the demo? Please tell me why Edit: I uninstalled and reinstalled and it was not 9 gigs so prob android being weird

Jordan Mooneyhan

A really great game but theres just no where near enough content to make paying for the full justified. Youd finish the whole game in 2 hours

Bryan Blake

Great game . Props for giving us the option to skip the tutorial. I did and almost one shot the goblin cave and felt good about learning the system based off intuition a good ui and prior experiences. Thank you.

Андрей Гура

Затягивающая игра, сочетающая в себе шахматные и карточные механики. Плюсом является то, что партии достаточно короткие в сравнении с шахматами. Минус - нельзя остановить игру без потери прогресса в любое удобное время. Если подземелье не покорено и пришлось прерваться, начинай опять с первого этажа. Что уж говорить о самой партии. Т.к. эта игра есть и на мобильных платформах, то этот минус становится действительно серьезным. Тем не менее, очень рекомендую игру всем неравнодушным к шахматам.


Nice design, fun to play.

Ryou Woodware

This game is a fun take on chess, wish there was more games like it!

Art Joseph T. Labado

I hope shotgun king is in mobile already but for now this could work too

Chris Laurie

Just amazing, thank you


banger chess

Alex Anton

Great game, seems inspired from "Hoplite" which is also a great game (albeit no longer updated). Glad that someone took the torch while making it an unique experience. Would recommend

ImNewToThis 17

Would be a pretty good game if it wasn't hidden behind a massive paywall

Desmond DiBurgo

Super dope game, would an online mode maybe a pvp style mode be possible in the future


Game is so good.

Lee Shakespeare

I played the demo of this and its great! I love how its based on chess and I love the new pieces you get with the additional characters. I thought there was only a few levels at first, but with the different heroes it does make up a lot of content. I did buy the full version and really like it. Thanks for the game j4nw, happy to see what you do next. :)

Woundy Newman

I never review games... But this one is too good! Looks so simple and clean. No ads, only 1 IAP to unlock the full game. It never even asks for a review! Besides all that tho, the game is just really really fun. Love it so much I'd gladly pay for more levels, or a few more characters! Wish more mobile games were like this.