Last year, I was browsing a book about traditional games. This puzzle is described as a single player game from Indonesia. This is a simple puzzle. But for me it’s very interesting because this is the first puzzle that I saw with the mechanic of “Mancala games”. I think may be a basic idea for different puzzles with same mechanic.
The rules are as described:
Start position is as seen on the photo. You play this puzzle on a board with six cell or five cell. Five cell version is easier than six cell version. But both of them are good puzzles. Ruma is the yellow marked cell on the board. To start, place two seed in each cell except ruma. Moves are made in clockwise direction.
Pick up the seeds from any cell and drop them, one in each cell, to the next cells, including the Ruma. This is called sowing the seeds. Plan your move so that the last counter does not fall into an empty cell. if your last counter fall on an empty cell you loose and you must restart.
After you have dropped the last seed, pick up all the seeds in that cell and continue sowing as before. If the last seed falls into the Ruma, you may pick up the seeds from any cell and sow them. But if the last seed in your hand falls into a cell that was empty, you lose the game. You win when all ten seeds are in the Ruma.
I am playing now with this puzzle. I am looking for is it possible to play on a board with more cell or start with more seed on each cell. If you like make your own CD in version you can download or preview free PDF file from here (1 MB on secure server box.com), you can print and put in a CD case.