Games from Around the World

Here's a dectet of strategy games from around the world for you to play over the 'Olympic' summer when athletes from many nations will be gathering in London for the 2012 Olympics. 

Try playing outdoors - at the park, on the beach, in the garden - and use stones, pebbles, shells or acorns for 'counters'.

See if you can find a winning strategy - see if you an become the Achi champion, for example, amongst your family and friends. 

Each game is great for developing 'gold-medal' strategic thinking muscles -enjoy!

Achi

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

This game for two players comes from Ghana. However, stones that were marked for this game in the third century AD have been found near Hadrian's Wall in Northern England.

Two Stones

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

This game is known as Pong hau k'i in China and Ou-moul-ko-no in Korea. Find a friend to play or try the interactive version online.

Sz'kwa

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

This Chinese game for two players is a simple version of Wei ch'i or Go. Each player has 20 distinctive pieces - try coins, pebbles, shells. You could try marking the board out in wet sand.

Mulinello Quadrupio

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

A game from Italy. Play with a friend and see if you can be the first to get five pieces in a line.

Pumpkin Patch

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

A game for two players based on a game from the Somali people of Africa. The first player to pick all the other's 'pumpkins' is the winner.

Mu Torere

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Try playing this game from New Zealand at the beach by drawing the board in the sand. Find an opponent and see if you can win by ending up with your shell in the centre space.

Seega

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

An ancient game for two from Egypt. You'll need twelve distinctive 'stones' each to play. You could chalk out the board on the ground - do ask permission first.

Alquerque

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

This game for two, was played in ancient Egypt as far back as 1400 BC. The game was taken by the Moors to Spain, where it is mentioned in 13th century manuscripts, and the Spanish name Alquerque derives from the Arabic El- quirkat. Watch out for being 'huffed'.

Oware

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Oware is a Mankala-like game of strategy from Ghana. Simple rules, but not so simple to win - and you'd better be good at counting! Play the computer or play a friend.

Scissors, Paper, Rock Chinese Style

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Try the Chinese version of this well-known game with a friend. Great to play in the garden or in the park.

What English games would you add to this collection? 

What is your favourite strategy game? 

Can you find some more strategy games from other countries?