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Kalakh  1991

Sergey Ryzhkov's first known game, Kalakh is an EGA version of the ancient game of Kalah, known in Russia as Калах (pronounced "kalach", ending with the voiceless velar fricative, or "hard ch sound", found in most European languages). Usually called Mancala in the West, Kalah is a "sowing game", like Wari. The board consists of a row of six pits for each player, known as "houses", with six coins in each house, and a larger pit called a "store" (called a "kalakh" in this game) for each player to place their captured coins. Gameplay is simple, with each player taking turns removing all of the coins from one of his houses and distributing one coin at a time, counter-clockwise around the board, except for the house that he drew from. If this causes two or three coins to be left in any of his opponent's houses, he captures them and places them in his store. Kalah differs from Wari in that the player sows a coin into his own store, though not his opponent's, so the store is actually part of the board. If the player's last coin lands in his store, he gets to play again. If a player has no coins in any of his houses, his opponent scores all of his remaining coins into his store. The player with the most coins at the end of the game wins, and the difference in scores can be used to decide how much the losing players owes the winner if the game is played for money. The computer opponent has three difficulty levels. Though the author notes that he saw little commercial potential for the game, it's equally likely that he distributed the game as freeware because he would not have been entitled to profit from the game as a citizen of the Soviet Union.

Added by DOSGuy

Graphics modes

EGA Mode 10h
640×350×16c

Kalakh

Downloads

Kalakh Freeware (231,215 bytes) 30 July 1991 DOS Play online

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Availability

This game was originally released under a freeware license.