Mancala World
Ägyptisches Muschelspiel
Other Names: Ägyptisches
Inventor: (?), 1972
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Single laps
Region: Germany

Ägyptisches Muschelspiel ("Egyptian shell game"), also called Ägyptisches Bohnenspiel ("Egyptian bean game"), was first described in a game book that was published in the German Democratic Republic in 1972.

Henry Parker claimed in 1909 that he saw mancala boards on the roof-slabs of the Kurna temple, at the entrance of the temple of Karnak, at the Luxor temple and at the south-east corner of the Pyramid of Menkaura at Gizeh. However, modern egyptologists never found any mancala game in the ancient Egyptian culture. Parker's report, however, inspired the creation of this mancala game in the early 1970s. The exotic name may have helped to sell the game and many sets were produced in Communist Germany in the 1980s.


Ägyptisches Muschelspiel employs a board which consists of an elliptical circle made of 12 bowls. Each player controls six of them.

At the start of the game each hole contains five shells.


Initial Position

On his turn, a player sows the contents of one of his friendly holes, one by one, clockwise into the following holes.

A turn ends after a single lap.

If, at the end of a turn, two or more consecutive holes on either side of the board (in fact, they can be on both sides) contain just one shell, these shells are removed from the board.

The game ends when a player has nothing to play with.

A player who cannot move loses. The player who moved last wins the game. Draws or ties are not possible.


Gorys, E. 
Das Buch der Spiele: Über 500 Freizeitspiele für Erwachsene. Fackelverlag, Stuttgart (Germany) 1976, 234-235.
Machatscheck, H. 
Zug um Zug: Die Zauberwelt der Brettspiele. Verlag Neues Leben, Berlin (Germany) 1972, 160-161.
Parker, H. 
Ancient Ceylon: An Account of the Aborigines and of Part of the Early Civilisation.Luzac & Co. Publishers, London (UK) 1909, 594.


© Wikimanqala.
By: Ralf Gering
Under the CC by-sa 2.5 license.