Under construction – updated periodically
This is a list of shogi smartphone apps. If you’re looking specifically for desktop/laptop websites where you can play shogi, see our Play Online (Websites) page.
- This is a free version of animal shogi, by the creators of ShogiWars. You can play against the computer; and if you register, you can play against other people online or against a friend. You can even watch other people’s matches live. This is a great app for practicing animal shogi. (For more information about animal shogi, please see here.)
(note: this video is of the Japanese version)
- This is the official animal shogi app. Unfortunately it is only in Japanese, and it costs C$1.04 to download. If you can read Japanese, this app may be a bit easier for beginners to get the hang of animal shogi than the app above. (For more information about animal shogi, please see here.)
(note: this video is only in Japanese)
- (Also known as “Kanazawa Shogi Level 100 Lite.”) This is probably the best free Android application for playing shogi against a computer. It is named “Level 100” because you can adjust the difficulty on a scale from 1 through 100 (1 being easiest, and 100 being most difficult). The graphics are excellent. This free version only offers several difficulty levels (1, 14, 39, 73, 89, 92). If you purchase the full version (Shogi Lv.100) for C$5.29, you can use all 100 difficulty levels, change the shogi piece font (including using Roman letters), and save/email your game records (kifu).
- Update (Jan. 2015): Kanazawa Shogi 2 is now available. There isn’t currently a free version; it costs C$6.25 to purchase. The graphics are improved and there are now 300 difficulty settings.
- Bonanza is one of the most popular applications in Japan for playing shogi against a computer. The graphics are clean, and you can retract moves if you make a mistake (although you will learn more quickly if you don’t retract moves!). This app has many features (including an English menu). Interestingly enough, it was developed by a computer programmer who was once a research fellow at the University of Toronto. The biggest disadvantage of Bonanza (compared to Kanazawa Shogi Level 100 mentioned above) is that the “easy” mode can be very difficult for beginners.
- Update (April 2015): This app seems to be no longer available (temporarily?) for Android, but is still available for iPhone.
- Tsume means “checkmate puzzles” or “endgame problems”. These are used to improve a shogi player’s attacking skills, particularly in terms of how efficiently they are able to checkmate their opponent. Tsume exercises are recommended for new shogi players. This is probably the best tsume shogi app for Android – however, it is only in Japanese, and it isn’t free (it costs C$4.32 to purchase). A free Android alternative is Shogi Problem Paradise, which is also only in Japanese, and contains advertisements.
- Kifu means “game record”. Applications exist that allow players to record their game as they play, enabling them to analyze their games after they are finished. During Vancouver Shogi Club events, you may notice some players recording their kifu on a smartphone or tablet, which they will take home and review later (or email to their opponent). This app, Shogi Kifu Free, is an easy-to-use kifu program. It allows players to begin with a full game or a handicap game, and users can write commentary regarding specific moves.
- Competitive shogi games (in tournaments, title matches, etc.) are usually timed with a countdown (byoyomi) clock. Websites like 81Dojo have a byoyomi clock built in to their games – but what about when you play shogi in real life? Clocks with the byoyomi feature specific to shogi are very expensive (usually more than $100), and are almost impossible to find for sale in North America – but luckily there is an open-source Android app that turns your phone into a byoyomi clock. The menu is in English, and various sound notification options exist.
- ShogiWars is a very popular shogi app in Japan that lets you play live online games against other people. Unfortunately it is only in Japanese. This is for intermediate (or stronger) players: the skill level is fairly high, and the time clock is fairly short. You can play three games free each day without having to pay.
iPhone and iPad