Piggy Gambit Is a Grandmaster Level Chess-Inspired Puzzle Adventure

Piggy Gambit
Reviewed On
Steam (PC)
Available For

Piggy Gambit is an adorable chess-themed puzzle adventure, and yes, you read that correctly. My guess is that it is designed to teach you how to play chess by forcing you to avoid getting killed by “bad” pieces while accepting guidance from “good” pieces. Piggy Gambit is surprisingly engaging and worth giving a look if you like chess, box puzzles, and the meaning of life.

Plot Ahoy!

You play a piggy who has spent far too much time away from the real world, and he wants to return to it and also find some meaning in his life. However, as the piggy you must set out across the Chess Kingdom in order to reach your goal, and the King has been suffering from strife for ages.

As a result, you must dodge evil chess pieces, blobs, and other malevolent beings to cross the gameboard. You do this by pushing pieces out of their move zones, opening up paths with an axe, or even blowing up obstacles.

Review Notes

I had a vague recollection of how the pieces in chess moved, so I thought I was more prepared than I really was because Piggy Gambit does a beautiful job of blending chess into a standard box puzzle. As your main foes are actually chess pieces that are governed by their abilities in chess, knowing the movements provides a leg up, but it’s far from a guarantee that you will survive the level. You may dodge the knight only to be eaten by a blob instead.

Piggy Gambit very much relies on an awareness of what’s going on across the entire board. If you don’t happen to remember how the various pieces move, the game provides you with a tactical map as you enter the level and shaded squares that Piggy Gambit refers to as danger zones. These spots are, of course, where the individual piece would be able to land and “take” an opposing piece. Your standard move sets haven’t changed.

However, the addition of hazards like blobs change the playing field both literally and figuratively. Your goal is not to take the opposing side’s king but rather to find the best path across a given level-board. Doing so requires that you think of the board both as a puzzle and a chessboard simultaneously as each board teaches you a bit of something about chess. There’s a board in which you have to demonstrate that you recognize how knights can protect each other or other pieces. In other boards, you’ll use built-in D-Pad keys to direct a pawn to move and block bishops or rooks. Again, you’ll need to keep in mind the existence of blobs and other malicious hazards.

Piggy Gambit does a really great job of building skills from one board to the next, so you’re never faced with a steep learning curve. You use the skills developed by passing previous boards to solve the puzzle in the one you currently face. However, also like chess, Piggy Gambit doesn’t offer an undo option; once you’ve made your move, the “bad pieces” must make theirs. That’s no great loss really because you simply restart on the same board on which you previously lost a life. There’s not really any other consequence, which is just fine. Sometimes, finding that perfect path is challenge enough on its own.

I did very much like that the title starts you out by introducing the items that you can use to help yourself through the puzzles—axes, wood for bridges, etc.—before introducing the chess pieces. It’s an extremely well-designed tutorial that actually teaches you not only how to use items but also how to think about the chess boards you’ll be traversing. If anything, the way each skillset flows from the previous one is Piggy Gambit’s best feature.

Visually, Piggy Gambit is adorable. The art-style is very cartoony, but that’s not really a problem. The music doesn’t change much, but it’s innocuous enough not to become distracting or annoying. The worlds are short, and so long as you don’t end up dying multiple times, they’re really bite-sized enough that you can blow through several in a relatively short period of time. The dialogue isn’t exactly amazing, but let’s be honest, we’re not playing Piggy Gambit for the story. We’re here to solve puzzles and maybe blow up an ill-tempered knight or two.


Piggy Gambit is an adorable and interesting hybrid of box puzzle and chess adventure, and it’s definitely low-key enough to provide ample relaxation after a long week at work.

Piggy Gambit is also perfectly fine for kids, although if your children don’t usually enjoy puzzles, they may not care for it.

Honestly, the premise alone intrigued me enough to want to try it, and I think that puzzle game fans should definitely give this gem a look.

Piggy Gambit retails on Steam for $7.99.

Stray Thoughts From Behind the Keyboard

  1. Oh, Piggy, I’m not sure how becoming a shepherd would really work for you.
  2. Yeah, I’m not in love with the chess piece dialogue. At all.
  3. The levels are really well designed and feature a wide variety of red herrings. Be on the lookout.
  4. I loved the visuals of the topiary chess pieces.
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One thought on “Piggy Gambit Is a Grandmaster Level Chess-Inspired Puzzle Adventure”

  1. What a delightful adventure Piggy Gambit offers! The clever blend of chess and puzzle elements creates a unique and engaging experience. Navigating through the Chess Kingdom, dodging evil chess pieces, and overcoming various obstacles make for a thrilling journey. The game’s progression, seamlessly building skills from one level to the next, ensures a smooth and enjoyable learning curve.

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