DescriptionThe Royal Game of Ur is a computer conversion of one of the most ancient board games known to mankind, dating back about 3500 years. It apparently was very popular among Sumerian rulers and spread from Mesopotamia all over the ancient world, from India to the Mediterranean.
The game is played by two players. Each one has seven markers and three dice shaped like a tetrahedron (4-sided regular solid), each one with one marked corner.
The game's rules are quite simple: The game is played turn-wise. Each player has to follow a certain path on the board by throwing his dice and advancing the appropriate number of squares. The first player who gets all his pieces to the last square and out of the game has won.
At the beginning of your turn, you throw your dice. Each marked corner that faces up counts 1 point, so you can get from zero to three marked corners by throwing the three tetrahedrons. If you throw an odd number, you get another throw, while even number end your turn.
To get a piece onto the board and enter the race, you first have to throw a One. Then, you can bump enemy tokens: If you land onto a square with one enemy token, you bump him out of the game -- but if you land onto a square with two enemy tokens, it's your token who goes back to start. Finally, there are five special squares on the board, marked with a rosette. If you land onto a rosette, you can advance another of your tokens by five squares. But if you pass a rosette without landing on it, it's your opponent who can advance one of his tokens, and your turn ends.
This may sound confusing, but the game enforces all rules, so you cannot really do something wrong. It also comes with a tutorial explaining the rules and with a help file, which also contains some historical information about the game.
Another feature of the game are the "Sumer facts", interesting tidbits of information about ancient Sumeria appearing in the lower left corner of the game.
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Related Web Sites
- The Royal Game of Ur for Windows (The game author P.S. Neeley's page for this game, where you can download the Shareware version for free.)