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Patolli (Windows)

Patolli Windows The splash window.


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Patolli is a shareware conversion of an ancient board game of Meso-American origin, popular with Toltecs, Maya and Aztecs, among others, and mentioned by the Spanish conquistadores. Its name comes from the Aztec word for "bean", and the game was often associated with gambling, with the players betting vast sums on its outcome. Versions of Patolli are still played today in Meso-America.

The game is a race game between two players, reminiscent of the popular Ludo board game: You, the "merchant", against "Smoking Mirror", an Aztec demon, each trying to move his six markers over a cross-shaped 68-squared board as quickly as possible. Each game starts with the players betting an amount of "assets". The player who first gets all his tokens back home gets the pot; besides, you get one asset from your opponent for each token safely brought home. The game ends when one of the players goes bankrupt.

The pieces are moved by throwing beans instead of dice, each one marked with a dot on one side. Throwing five beans at once, you can get up to five dots, which represent the count of squares to travel, with five dots counting as ten squares.

Several special squares make them game more interesting. Some give you an extra turn, others force you to pay 2 beans to your opponent. It is normally not allowed to land on squares already occupied by another piece, but the squares on the central crossroads squares are an exception: If you land on an opponents token here, you can bump him back to the start.

A nice detail of the game are the "Aztec facts", random bits of information on Aztecs and other Meso-American people, that the game displays from time to time.


Patolli Windows First move.
Patolli Windows The tutorial, showing the way the tokens travel.
Patolli Windows Each game begins with the players placing a bet.
Patolli Windows When you land on one of the black triangular squares, you have to pay two assets to your opponent.

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Related Web Sites

  • Official Home Page (The official page of the program's author P.S. Neeley, where you can download the shareware version.)
General Error (4364) added Patolli (Windows) on Oct 17, 2006