Rock Paper Scissors Chess

Rock Paper Scissors Chess

April 8, 2020 0 By Ryan Sanders

Ryan looks at Mindware’s Rock Paper Switch.

2-4 Players | Ages 8+ | 30-45 Minutes

Rock Paper Switch is what you get when you mix Chess and Rock Paper Scissors (Roshambo) together. The idea is each player has rock, paper and scissors pieces that each move differently on a 10×10 checkerboard. Rocks can move any direction but only up to 3 spaces. Paper can move horizontal or vertical any number of spaces in s straight line (like the Rooks in Chess). Scissors move diagonally any number of spaces in a straight line (like the Bishops in Chess). Each players setup in their pieces in their own corner. The object is to be the last one standing (this plays up to 4 people) with at least 1 of each piece. If you lose all of one type (i.e. all your rocks) you are eliminated from the game. There are also 4 switch spaces near the middle of the board, that if you land on, allows you the option to switch with any other piece you own on the board. Like normally rock paper scissors – a rock can only capture scissors, scissors can only capture paper, and paper can only capture rocks. If you are playing with 3 or 4-players and a player is eliminated, the rest of their pieces are wild and can be used by any player to capture opponent pieces (or to switch). Advance rules allow players to set up their pieces on their side any way they want (in turn order).  That’s pretty much most of the rules. 

Three piece types in the game.

Gameschool Aspect: What Does It Teach?

Rock Paper Switch features many of the same thinking skills you learn from games like Chess, like planning ahead and deductive logical reasoning – “if I move here, you will move there, then I…” However, unlike Chess you really need to protect all your pieces, as you can lose if any of them run out, so you have to keep an eye on that as you play the game. 

The game pieces are a pretty nice soft plastic 3-d molds in shapes of the pieces they represent (expect the scissors to have a slight curve due to this). This is a nice touch of say tokens with pictures. I do wish that the blue pieces were a different color like green, since the blue used is very similar to the checkerboard blue. The player colors are white, yellow, a salmon/coral pink, and blue. The board is a nice quality. And speaking of the board, I want to make a side-note that I appreciate the 10×10 checkerboard (which isn’t always easy to find) – it will allow you to also play other games (just ignore the switch spots) that used that size board, for example International Checkers (which features a bigger board and ‘flying kings’) 

Now on to my final thoughts…

To be frank, after reading the rules, I didn’t expect to really like the game much, but after getting it to the table, it won me over within the first game. I enjoy it. I’m not sure I would play this one with just adults, however, it’s a good game for mixed aged companies (adults and kids playing together). It’s also easy enough that once the kids play it once or twice with adults, they could play on their own (which is nice). This one my 5th grader seemed to also enjoy. Rock Paper Switch is a GREAT one to play before introducing your kids to Chess (or kids want to play more Chess-like games, outside of Chess). They most likely already know how to play Rock Paper Scissors, but this also allows them to get used to an abstract game where every piece type moves differently, with the Paper and Scissors pawns even moving like a Rook and Bishop (respectively) in Chess. If you’re looking for a game that is Chess-like, but easier to teach and play for your child, Rock Paper Switch is a good choice.

Rock Paper Switch is out now. 

Thanks to Mindware for sending a review copy for an honest review. 


Ryan Sanders is the founder, owner, and editor-at-large of Adventures in Gameschooling. He’s also the guy behind its social media accounts. God has blessed Ryan and his wife Mary, with five children, which he homeschools. As a Christian, he believes that he should not only look out for your own interests but other peoples too (Philippians 2:4) and this is one of his guiding principles for Adventures in Gameschooling. Ryan’s expertise is informed by almost two decades of experience as a stay-at-home father and from the running The Inquisitive Meeple where he performed over 300 written and podcast interviews within the board game industry.