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December 29, 2000

A Game By Any Other Name

When I was growing up, we had a board game that I distinctly remember was called O Wa Ri. It was a mass-produced product, with the form factor of a typical Milton Bradley game. When you lifted the lid of the box, you were confronted with an injection-molded plastic board, spotted with bowl-like depressions. In a cloth sack were smooth stones which could be placed in these pits. It's been several decades since I saw that game, so I don't remember the exact details of the layout or how one played.

Recently, I was browsing games available for my Palm Pilot, and came across a game called Awele. When I downloaded it the docs referred to it as a version of Mancala. This all seemed vaguely familiar! A search on the Internet confirmed that what I was seeing was the game I played as a child.

Here is yet another version of the game for the Palm Pilot, this time called Owari!

According to this site, the rules are simple, but the complexity of play is great. Certainly, playing against the computer, I get my butt whooped most of the time. I need to play against another human. Maybe Kelly would like to try? The beauty of the game is that it can be played with just about any equipment. Fourteen salad bowls and a bunch of dried beans would do just fine. Hmmmm.

Then again, if I just want to get my butt whooped on the Internet, there's this Web-based version. "qbullet.smiley"

Posted by dpwakefield at December 29, 2000 01:33 PM