Updated: August 2, 2021 12:51:53 pm
Board games once brought entire families together at gatherings. While the whole idea of pre-video game social gaming is still fun and enjoyable to date, social norms due to the ongoing COVID pandemic have made it difficult for people to enjoy a classic game of carrom, jenga or checkers with their buddies.
However, while popular titles like Chess and Ludo get away with online websites and apps where people can play against AI or their friends over the web, there are some traditional games that many people do not know can be played online. Here are 7 popular traditional board games from Asia that you can actually play online.
Chaturanga is an ancient Indian strategy game that is often referred to as the ancestor of Chess. The game dates as far back as the Gupta Empire and literally means four-limbed, referring to the ancient army divisions of the Infantry, Cavalry, Elephantry and the Chariotry. Today, considered a popular variant of the modern Chess, the game can be played on Chess.com once you find it under its Variants section.
Parcheesi or Pachisi is a cross and circle board game that also originated in ancient India. Played on a board shaped like a symmetrical cross, the game requires players to roll cowrie shells with the number of shells resting upward indicating the number. The game gets its name from pachhees (the number 25, the maximum number obtainable in a single throw). There are also some versions of this game where the largest score that can be thrown is thirty. Parcheesi can be played on websites like Playspace.com and also a few apps that you can find on the Google Play Store.
Wei Qi (Go)
Wei Qi, or Go is a popular Chinese board game that is also known as the encircling game. Played between two players with white and black coins/stones placed typically on a 19 x 19 board, the strategy game is considered to be one of the four arts of the Chinese scholar. While the game appears simple on the surface, plenty of rules and strategic approaches make it hard to truly master. The game can be played online in varying board sizes and difficulty levels at cosumi.net/en.
One of the most popular Chinese games that is also played across the world, Mahjong was also present in Microsoft’s Windows Vista and Windows 7 as one of the built-in games. Played usually with multiple tile sets and four players, Mahjong is a complex board game that comes with many rules. While it may take a while to learn and master, if you think you can try your hand at the game, you can play it online at http://www.free-play-mahjong.com and arkadium.com.
Popular in the Middle East, Tawla 31 or simply tables, is a board game also known as backgammon across different parts of the world. Known for its balanced reliance on strategic skill as well as sheer luck, Tawla is often enjoyed with Turkish coffee. Traditionally played between two players, the title offers four sections of the board, two of which belong to either player and the other two are called the ‘battlefield’. Tawla 31 can be played on a few apps available on the Google Play Store.
A popular board game that originates from Japan, Shogi requires skill, strategy and patience to master. Often seen in popular culture depictions like the Naruto anime series, Shogi is similar to Chess in terms of the goal of the game, which is to capture the other player’s king. However, with a different set of playable characters and different rules, Shogi is very well its own game in itself. You can play Shogi online via a number of platforms including lishogi.org and 81Doho.com.
Dama, or Turkish Draughts is another title popular in the Middle East. The game involves an 8×8 board and two players, who control 16 in-game pieces called Men. The objective is to control your men and kings to out-number, block and beat the opponent to win. Dama can be played on a Google Play Store app of the same name, as well as on online platforms like playok.com.
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