Mancala World

Banan-Cala → German.

Other Names: Banana-Cala
Inventor: Vince Kurr, 1998
Variant of Kalah
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Single laps
Region: USA

Banan-Cala was invented by Vince Kurr who lives in San Mateo, California. He is the director of, the largest internet game & puzzles store. The game was published in 1998 in London, England, by University Games. It was also marketed in Germany through the Heidelberger Spieleverlag.

Banan-Cala is the most challenging variant of a series of three games named Kid-Cala because they were especially designed for children. Kid-Cala was nominated Toy of the Year 2000 in the Netherlands.


The board consists of two rows of six playing holes each. In addition, there is a large store hole called "mancala" at the right side of each player.

Initially a player owns 24 fruits (six bananas, six grapes, six apples and six oranges) which are stored in his mancala before they are used in the game.


Initial Position

At the beginning the board is empty except for the two mancalas.

In the first move each player distributes one to six fruits one by one, starting in his right-most playing hole and sowing to the left. Any combination of fruits is permitted.

In the following moves a player may either sow the contents of one of his holes clockwise into consecutive holes of both players including his opponent's mancala or distribute up to six fruits from his own mancala as described above.

If the last fruit is dropped into an empty hole of the player's own side and the opposite enemy hole contains at least one fruit, the contents of the opponent's hole as well as the last distributed fruit is captured. The captured fruits are stored between the board and the player (not in the mancala).

The game is finished when a player cannot move. His opponent wins all fruits remaining on the board. Grapes, apples and oranges count one point, while bananas are penalty points (-1) and must be subtracted. A total of 24 points is possible. A draw is achieved when both players get 12 points.


Robin King suggested in 2002 that each fruit should have a different point value. For instance, bananas could count -1 points, grapes 0 points, apples +1 points and oranges +2 points. This makes the game even more challenging for enthusiasts.



There are still two bananas and one orange on the board. Both players have got 12 points each. (Robin King variant)

South to move and win.


Haffner, F. 
Règles de Jeu. University Games Corporation, San Mateo CA (USA) 2000.
King, R. 
Kid-Cala. In: Games Magazine; Buyer's Guide Issue 2002.


Hours of fruitful fun await you from this charming rendition of the classic African family of games. (...) Now you can compare apples and oranges without getting sour grapes.
Robin King (2001)

External Links

Solution to the Puzzle

1. 1! 3
2. 2 4
3. 3! 5
4. 4 6
5. 6! M
6. M! 1x
7. 1 South wins 14 : 10 points.


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