3 Issues with New Mancala Games

The team at Mancala Games have had a chance to try multiple newer generation boards. Here are the results:


From our own assessments and from researching online reviews we have found 3 similar complaints:

  1. Pockets too shallow. When playing Mancala there are times when pockets can become fairly full, too the point the beads spill over into other pockets. Also, is a player is doing very well against their opponent their stores on the end can become full as well. This can make for some sloppy gameplay while accidents can happen and it may be hard to keep track. It's almost as if the game manufacturers have never played a full round of the game they created.
  2. Beads easily break. It seems that the most common bead in store-bought Mancala is a color-filled glass bead. Combined with the issue above it does not take long for a bead to hit the floor and break. What you have left is a sharp piece of glass to play with. Unfortunately, most game makers do not provide spare pieces.
  3. Lack of character. While not really a functional issue we at Manacla Games believe that if the roots of a game go back 5000 plus years it should display some of that history and heritage. Even though the most popular style Mancala on retail shelves is Kalah, which only dates back 50 years, a worldly or ancient appearance would increase adoption. 

Below are some examples of Mancala family boards that appear to address some of our complaints:




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