Mancala World
Arkaneum Merchant
Other Names: Space Mancala
Inventor: Emir Fithri Bin Samsuddin
Jr., 2010
Variant of Kalah
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Single laps
Region: Malaysia, iPhone

Arkaneum Merchant was designed in 2010 by Emir Fithri Bin Samsuddin of Sungai Buloh, a town in the state of Selangor, Malaysia. It is a spiced-up Kalah variant for iPhone or iPod touch 2.2.1 or later. The game is also known as Space Mancala. Arkaneum Merchant is Samsuddin's first iPhone game and he spent about two months (not full time as he was also developing some other apps/games) to create it. The game features cool graphics and sound effects, two modes of play against the computer (novice and expert), a high score record and multi characters choices.

Each player is a "space merchant" who operates a "drone" which tries to gather more "ores" (i.e. "seeds) called "Arkaneum" and the rare "Arkaneum alloy", the "Arkanites", than his rival. The rows are called "ore carriers" and the pits "ore containers". Capturing "ores" results in "teleporting" them to the player's "base" (i.e. store) with the drone's "electro-crane".

The rules to the game are similar to Kalah, although the game was also influenced by the Malaysian Congkak (e.g. seven holes per row, clockwise sowing).

A game in progress (screenshot)


  • Arkaneum Merchant has a space theme.
  • The game is played on a two-rank board with seven holes ("ore containers") on each side.
  • Depending on the player's choice, an ore container can contain three to seven "ores" (seeds) at the start of the game.
  • Sowing is clockwise and the player's "base" (store) is on his left.
  • Each "drone" has a limited "energy", which is used for sowing. At the end of the turn, a drone can return to the "landing pad" and "refuel". Players are required to pay for the backup energy at the end of the game.
  • Single ores are unstable and "mutate" to "Arkanites", which are much more valuable. However, they are reverted back to their original form, when another ore is closeby.

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