By Michael Hartley
Mancala is a game with many variations all over the world. This website allows you to play mancala against the computer. Mancala is a traditional game, with many variations. Some of these are known by other names, such as Kalah, Oware, Congkak, Omweso, Bao, Sungka and Igisoro. The rules of the mancala game on this web page are as follows :
- Each side of the board has a row of holes, and there are two big holes at the ends, called "mancalas".
- At the start of the game, each hole has a number of seeds in it.
- Your side is the lower one. Your Mancala is on the left
- When it's your turn, you click on one of your holes. This allows you to pick up the seeds in that hole, and drop them into neighboring holes, one by one, going clockwise around the board.
- If the last seed drops in your mancala, you get another turn.
- If the last seed drops in an empty hole on your side, you get to take all the seeds opposite (and the last seed you dropped) and keep them in your mancala. Then, it will be the computer's turn.
- If the last seed drops into a hole on the computer's side, it will be the computer's turn.
- The winner is the player who has the most seeds in the end.
A mancala game in play
To start the game :
- Choose a difficulty level (how smart you want the computer to be)
- Choose how many holes per side, and how many seeds per hole.
- The Time Per Move shows a rough guess of how long the computer will take each time it moves. If this is too long, try lowering the difficulty level (or running the game on a faster computer!)
- When you are ready to play, click the button that says "Click Here To Start The Game"
- If you want to quit, click "Click Here To Quit".
Mancala involves a lot of counting - and also strategy. It is possible to defeat the computer at level 5, but it's very very difficult! If you manage to do it, congratulate yourself!
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