Mancala World
Inventor: Kristin Looney, 2000
Ranks: Five by Five
Sowing: Single laps
Region: USA

Volcano was designed by Kristin Looney (USA) in 2000. It is the original game for which the Volcano board was made. The game is played with six sets of Icehouse pieces and was thus the first game to use all six colors available at the time.

Volcano is produced by Looney Labs, a small game company of which Kristin Looney is the owner, CEO and president. Besides the standard rules, there are several variants:

Mini Volcano (Ryan L. McGuire, 2003) is played on a 4x4 board, Mega Volcano (Andrew L. Looney, 2002) on a 6x6 board, Melting Volcano (Roy Levien, 2006), and Hexano (Jeremiah Wittevrongel, 2005). People are also encouraged to experiment with their own house rules and a few are given on

The first Volcano tournament was held in 2001 in Columbus OH (USA).

Volcano has been compared to mancala games.

It has in common with them:

  • Pieces are not owned by an individual player until they are captured.
  • Many pieces can be on the same board position.
  • Pieces are distributed in a similar manner (called "sowing" in mancala games).

Volcano differs from most mancala games in the following:

  • Pieces don't cycle around the board. If the end of the board is reached, the move ends.
  • Each stack of pieces is characterized by a certain order (top to bottom) that must be followed when they are distributed.
  • There are 15 different gaming pieces.

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By: Ralf Gering & Víktor Bautista i Roca
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