My recent blog about the L-Game reminded me of other simple games and I did a bit of digging on the web. If you are ever looking for ideas for games or game mechanics, take a look at the Wikipedia page on abstract strategy games.

It reminds me of my teenage years when I used to get Games & Puzzles magazine. Here’s an interesting list of subjects from there, many with links. I wrote my first game for my O-Level (*you were allowed to do games in those days*) based on game I saw in Games & Puzzles magazine. It was a tennis game using 2 dice. Here’s the game play details.

The tennis court is split into 12 segments numbered 1-12 with the net between segments 6 and 7. Bit Like this:

Opponent ----------- 12 1 11 2 10 3 9 4 8 5 7 6 --- Net ---- 6 7 5 8 4 9 3 10 2 11 1 12 ----------- You

The ball starts with you. To serve, you roll two dice and move the ball by the total. So if you get less than 7 then the serve failed as the ball doesn’t cross the net, otherwise it moves the ball by that amount so it ends in segments 7-12.

If for example you rolled 9 then the ball would be in segment 9 which from your opponents point of view is 4. The opponent can now roll either one or two dice and move the ball by the amount. In this case I’d choose one dice as a roll of 1 or 2 would fall short but 3-6 would get it over the net. If you rolled two dice then 9 or above would take the ball out of the court. There’s no real skill except figuring out whether 1 or 2 dice maximises the odds of the ball staying in play.

It’s a fun little game and easy to code in C or any language.