Have Fun with These 7 Old Board Games

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Published on: March 28, 2018

The attraction of old board games such as chess and go stem from the fun, competitive playing field they offer as well as the variety of moves you can come up to beat the opponent. The oldest recorded board game was Senet in First Dynasty Egypt, but people have been playing with the dice long before that.

Traditional board games can be as addictive as all the other electronic games but they have digital versions nowadays too. Now that’s timeless!

Mancala
Mancala has different variations but the goal is to count and capture pieces usually made up of pebbles or seeds. Two players take turns playing on a board with pits to try to capture as many pebbles from each other. It goes by different names in parts of Africa, South and Southeast Asia and the Caribbean.

Checkers or Draughts
This fast-paced game probably originated in Mesopotamia when a board similar to the one used today was found in the city of Ur. It remained popular but it was only in 1756 when the rules for Draughts were written that it became a competitive game worldwide. There are many checkers variants today such as Chinese, Spanish, and Turkish checkers.

Fanorona
This board game from Madagascar has become popular ever since it was featured in Assassin’s Creed 3 along with Checkers and Nine-Men’s Morris. There are three versions of the game depending on the size of the game board. All the black and white pieces are prearranged and the players take turns capturing the opponent’s pieces first by moving them forward or backward.

Mahjong
The game was probably invented during the Qing dynasty in China. Mahjong gave rise to other card and board games such as Rummy, as well as its Korean and Japanese variants. It can be played by up to four players. The objective is to take turns drawing tiles to create sets by removing identical tiles or pairs.

Backgammon
The earliest form of the game was found in Iran dating from 5,000 years ago. Two players take turns rolling the dice to determine the movement of their pieces (known by various names such as chips, pips, checkers, etc.) The objective is to try to remove all of your pieces first before the other person does.

Nine Men’s Morris
The game began in the Roman Empire and requires two players to take turns moving pieces on a checkered board. First, they place all the pieces pieces on the board until they can form a horizontal or vertical row of three identical pieces to remove a piece from an opponent until all the pieces are gone or blocked from moving. There are three other variants, namely; three-men’s morris, six-men’s morris and twelve-men’s morris.

Vaikuntapaali
This game is popularly known today as Snakes and Ladders. Its primary goal was to teach morality by punishments and rewards. Climbing the ladder meant that hard work was rewarded, while the snakes brought down the sinners.

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