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10 old board games that inspired modern games




Long before board games such as Monopoly, Yahtzee, Clue and Candy Land were enjoyed by families on game night, old board games flourished in parts of the world. The ancient Romans, Egyptians and Chinese were creative in the way they made boards and pieces out of stones, rocks and wood. Many of these games are similar to modern games in terms of appearance and playing style. Here are ten old board games that inspired today’s board games.

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Long before board games such as Monopoly, Yahtzee, Clue and Candy Land were enjoyed by families on game night, old board games flourished in parts of the world. The ancient Romans, Egyptians and Chinese were creative in the way they made boards and pieces out of stones, rocks and wood. Many of these games are similar to modern games in terms of appearance and playing style. Here are ten old board games that inspired today̵

7;s board games.

10th Chess set


Ludus Latrunculorum, translated “Game of Mercenaries”, is an ancient Roman strategy game. The game is similar to checkers and is played on boards with 7 × 7, 7 × 8, 8 × 8, 8 × 9, 9 × 9 or 9 × 10 grids. Two players move their pieces back and forth across the field, trying to conquer the opposing pieces while protecting their own pieces.[1]

The ancient game of military tactics was first mentioned in the Roman writings of Varro (116-27 BC) in his book De Lingua Latina. His writing mainly mentioned the grid of the game board, but the rules were first found in the anonymous Roman poem Laus Pisonis, which was written in the 1st century. Several Ludus Latrunculorum panels of different sizes and materials have been found in different places and can now be seen in museums.

9 Patolli


One of the oldest known board games in America is Patolli. The game was mainly played by a number of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures, and it is even reported that Montezuma enjoyed watching the nobles watch the game at court. The game was enjoyed by both citizens and nobles, and it was a strategy game mixed with luck.

Patolli was a game that focused on playing. The players brought the same number of items to play with (usually six items) and inspected each other before starting. The aim of the game is to move the six pieces in front of the other player from the starting field to the ending field. The game is played until one player has earned all of the other player’s items. It was known that gamblers gambled away their money, blankets, gems, groceries, houses, and even their family and freedom. Gambling would be so harmful to some that Spanish priests would have banned gambling during the Spanish conquest of Mexico.[2]

8th invoice


Ancient Egypt introduced us to a board game known as Senet which means “passing game”. It is one of the oldest known board games from 3100 BC. BC, where board fragments were found at burials in Egypt. The tomb of Merknera (3300-2700 BC) contains a hieroglyph that resembles the Senet board, but the first painting of the game appeared on the tomb of Hesy (ca. 2686-2613 BC).

The game board consists of 30 fields, which are evenly arranged in three rows of ten. There are two pawn sets, each with at least five pawns. The original rules of the game are still unknown, but there were parts of the text that revealed parts of the rules. The rules have most likely changed over time, which means that the rules of modern Senet sets do not reflect the rules that were used in ancient Egypt.[3]

7 The royal game of Ur


The Royal Game of Ur was widespread in the Middle East and dates from the early third millennium BC. The two-player strategy board game reached a spiritual climax and was seen by many as an expression of a player’s future and a transmission of messages from the supernatural.

The racing game is played with two sets of seven characters and a game board made of two rectangular boxes. You need strategy and luck to dominate your opponent while trying to move your seven pieces in front of the other player on the court. Ur’s game lost most of its popularity in late antiquity, where many believed that the game developed into an early form of backgammon.[4]

6 Gyan Chauper


A popular dice game in India is known as Gyan Chauper. The earliest versions of the game date from the 10th century AD. At that time the game was played on a painted cloth called Patas. The game was entertaining, but it was also played to teach morality. The central theme of the old game was the liberation from passions. It is popularly known in today’s society as snakes and ladders.[5]

In Gyan Chauper, players start at the bottom of the game board and roll the dice to move forward according to the number that lands on the dice. The game is based solely on luck and is a simple race to the top trying to avoid obstacles in the form of snakes that hold the players back. The board and gameplay have changed slightly over time in different regions of the world today.

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5 Alquerque


Alquerque is an abstract strategy board game that is believed to originate from the Middle East. Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani first mentioned the game in literature in his 24-volume work Kitab al-Aghani, which was published in the 10th century. Unfortunately, the rules were never mentioned in his work. However, rules of the game were found in the 13th century by Alfonso X of Castile’s Libro de los Juegos.

Before the game begins, each player places his 12 pieces in the next two rows and in the two right squares in the middle row. The goal of the game is to eliminate the other player’s figures by jumping the neighboring figure of an opponent and the point behind the figure is empty. Alquerque is considered the parent game of the US version of Checkers.[6]

4th Mehen


The board game Mehen from ancient Egypt was named after a snake deity in the ancient Egyptian religion. Evidence of mows from around 3000 BC was found. Until the end of the Old Kingdom around 2300 BC BC Found. Physical boards and tokens were found, most of which date from the predynastic and archaic times.

The game board resembles a sinuous snake that is divided into several rectangular spaces, and game pieces were often made from stones. Game boards with different numbers of segments were found, but it seems that the number of segments was of little importance to the game. The tokens are believed to have the shape of a lion or lioness and were supplied in sets of three, four, five or six along with a few small spherical pieces. The rules of Mehen are completely unknown today.[7]

3rd Go


The Chinese invented the abstract board game Go more than 2,500 years ago. The strategy game is believed to be the oldest board game that has been played continuously to this day. A recent survey found that over 46 million people around the world know how to play Go, and over 20 million of them are currently players. Much of the current players live in East Asia.

Two players alternately place their black and white stones on crossings of the board to start the game. Players must place stones on unoccupied junctions, except for those that are prohibited by suicide and knockout. A stone can no longer be moved after playing, but it can be removed from the board if it is captured. Players can pass on their move if they feel that nothing can be achieved and the game ends when both players pass in turn. The game is then scored to find out which player wins. Since Go is a mandatory game in many parts of the world, many play the game professionally.[8]

2nd Dogs and jackals


Hounds and Jackals was a popular board game that was invented around 4,000 years ago in ancient Egypt. The Bronze Age board game was once found entirely in the Theban tomb of Egyptian pharaoh Amenemhat IV from the 12th dynasty. The entire play set found is now kept in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.[9]

Hounds and Jackals, also known as 58 holes, is the modern name of the game from Howard Carter, the man who found the complete set in the Egyptian tomb. The original name of the game is unknown. Players move their ten small sticks with either dog or jackal heads along the board, which contains 29 holes on the player side of each player. The player who reaches the end point with all his pieces wins the game. The modern cribbage game has a similar board and may come from Hounds and Jackals.

1 Morris of the nine men


Have you ever noticed a game printed on the opposite side of a chessboard? If so, there’s a good chance it was a Morris nine-man board, also known as a cowboy checker. The strategy board game comes from the Roman Empire, but became more and more popular in medieval England. Many game boards were found in several cities, carved into seats on English cathedrals.

The two-player game is a strategy that can lead to a tie with a perfect game by both players. The game board consists of twenty-four points in a grid. Each player starts with nine black or white stones and removes the opponent’s stones until there are only two left. Once a player has successfully completed this or prevented their opponent from making a legal move, the game ends. There are also variations of the game known as three male Morris, six male Morris and twelve male Morris that change the game board and the number of parts played.[10]

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