Game Spotlights

Published: June 28, 2021

Jess C.

New Collection – Classic & Ancient Games

Classic & Ancient Games

Checkers. Chess. Go. Backgammon. Cribbage. Dominoes. MahJong. Mancala. Senet. Chinese Checkers. Marble Solitaire. Nine Men’s Morris. Othello. Chances are, you’ve played at least one of these ancient and beloved board games.

Some of these classics have been around for mere decades, or only a paltry handful of centuries.  Others have been around for thousands of years, since before even the ancient pyramids of Egypt.

two people playing mancala
Mancala, an ancient game

The oldest known board game is generally agreed to be Senet, which likely began its life as a popular game around 3500 BCE in the Nile delta of ancient Egypt. We might not know exactly what the original rules are, but that hasn’t stopped this game from being enjoyed even today.

Nearly as old, Checkers or ‘Draughts’ is documented back to at least 3000 BCE in what is now Iraq, and Backgammon originated around the same time in ancient Persia. Go, or Weiqi, is documented in ancient China long before Confucius put ink to paper.

Chess by comparison is fairly young. Its origins date back to about the 6th or 7th century in India, but the game as most know it today evolved in the middle ages. Practically yesterday! Even more recent, ‘Captain’s Mistress’ is the ancestor of Connect Four, so named because of the story that Captain Cook (supposedly) was obsessed with the game, playing it for hours at end on his seafaring voyages.

Certainly games existed long before all of these; dice and other gaming implements have been found in ancient Mesopotamia and dating back even further, to the earliest known human settlements. But true board games like Senet, Checkers, Chess, and MahJog, have not only endured the ages, but thrived as staples of the human species.


New Collections

Old games, meet new tech.

With so many games of this nature co-existing on our modern website, we’ve had requests for a way to browse them all together. Many other such requests for similar groupings have come to us over the years, and we’ve long wished for a way to showcase other groupings of games. Your wish is our command!

Our new website now allows us to customize and create hand-picked collections, curated by us, for your convenience and enjoyment. Our database has been around for a long time, and it just wasn’t designed for this particular function. We’ve been hard at work convincing it to do our bidding, and we’re happy to report that it’s ready for use. We have lots of plans for this new feature! Stay tuned and keep your eyes peeled for more…


Classic & Ancient Games Collection

person playing board game
Chinese Chess Photo by Damian Patkowski

Now, if you’re one of those who’s ever been frustrated by searching for “Go” and getting results like Stratego, we present the new Classic & Ancient Games collection! We’re saving you the trouble of filtering down to find what you’re after, or sifting through the offerings of dozens of publishers, to showcase hundreds of games that fit this category.

In addition to the best-known games mentioned above, we’ve added a few less well known classics, as well as some more modern games that evoke the spirit of these ancient games. Games like Othello and Mastermind might not be truly ancient, but their spiritual ancestors certainly hail from this category, so we’ve included them here.

We’re sure to add more over time, so if you have a suggestion or you’ve found something that ought to be in this collection, don’t hesitate to let us know. Its a vast number of games we have in our database, with more landing every day, and surely our industrious staff of gremlins missed something, somewhere.  We hope you enjoy it!


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