Ludo is a game played and evolved by many generations in the history. The first ever version known as “Pachisi” was created in India in the 6th century. The earliest evidence of this game’s evolution in India is the depiction of boards on the caves of Ellora. The original also referred as “Chaupar”, is very famous to be played in Mahabharat where Pandavas lost all their wealth when they lost in game.
a game that teaches us, to deal with our luck.
The contemporary version, Chaupar was played with the shells they find in the sea. Number of shells with top side visible is the number of moves you get for your pieces. Next, Pachisi was modified to play with a cubic die with dice cup and it was further patented as “LUDO” in England in 1896. The royal navy took Ludo and converted it into board game “Uckers”.
As most of us know that, typical ludo board is colored bright yellow, green, red and blue. Each player has four tokens and the goal of the game is to make sure you reach your color home with all four tokens first. There are some safe places where you can’t be killed, while on your journey you kill other players token to move ahead faster and the dice decided how many steps to move.
Ludo is a game played and evolved by many generations in the history teaches us many things, starting from just basic counting to motor skills for young kids to managing multiple tokens and understanding the permutations and combinations of the number rolled on dice. Taking quick decisions in order to move forward. Always look out for enemies they come from all directions. Luck is rarely going to work in your favor. Ludo caters to all age groups as there are so many hidden learning every time you play with it.
There are so many variants of the same game and game play all over the world. For example :
- Uckers, British (a simple first design of ludo board game version)
- Pachisi, Indian (a plus original version with 3 cubic dice)
- Fia, Swedish (first wooden color verion)
- Eile mit Weile (Haste makes Pace), Swiss (a jigsaw puzzple based foldable compact design)
- Co ca ngua, Vietnamese (tokens as horses)
- Parchis, Spanish (individual dice and a rolling containe incolved)
- Parques, Colombian (a more graphical version of classic uckers)
- Mens Erger Je Niet (Mate, Don’t get angry), Dutch (first ever 6 player version)
- Kizma Birader, Turkish (often involves cards in place of dice with actions and rewards)
- Coppit (Do not lose your head), German (a circular path based on the ludo adaptation)
- Petits Chevaux (Little Cavalry), French (tokens shaped as horse, often involves betting)
Hasbro has designed multiple variants of the original Ludo, that has similar type of game play
- Aggravation: available in 4 and 6 player version. Played with marbles and it has multiple number of dice. Shortcut routes are made to reach the home faster and in a clever way.
- Headache: goal is to take different routes with the fixed dice in center and land on your opponents cones. Put your color on top higher number of times to win
- Parcheesi: individual set of two dice, your opposite member is your team mate you both play with co-ordination and help each other win faster.
- Sorry!: Sorry has a new designed layout with just the border path laid out in front to move forward.
- Trouble (also called Kimble and Frustration): Trouble again has a fixed dice in center and a cones structure to hop on each other like Headache.
- Aeroplan chess (Chinese version): It has more shortcuts and direct routes on the main board area that utilize the power of flying.
With different versions, come different rules in all parts of the world including the changes in the main board, to changes in the dice, to changes in number of players, to changes in the safe places on board. Despite of creating so many versions the core of the game still remains same even after so many centuries. The fun that it brings to families and friends in infinite. And different designs that are created based on original version that keeps the essence of the game alive with providing themes and other play values. That is why Ludo is one such game that has been there for generation and is definitely not going anywhere.
Edited by – Jesal Patel