Tsoro is an ancient two-player mathematical strategy board game that has been played for over a thousand years. It has its root in Zimbabwe. Tsoro belongs to the same class of African strategy board games such as Oware, Mancala, Bao, and Kalah.
Tsoro is a game that was played by warriors to improve their enemy capturing and raiding strategies in war situations. It was also used to teach children how to count. Kings and chiefs often settled disputes by playing Tsoro. Today it is played frequently during leisure times and sometimes competitively - warning: it is highly addictive and "unputdownable" (maybe as addictive as angry birds and temple run!).
In its original form, the game was played by digging 4 rows of small pits in the ground which were then populated with a pre-determined amount of pebbles or seeds. Each of the two players occupy two rows of pits.
Tsoro has countless variations. In this Android implementation, the game is played on a board that has 4 rows with each row containing 7 pits. At the start of the game, all pits are filled with the same number of seeds (the initial number of seeds can be selected from the options menu . The 2 top rows belong to the top player and the 2 bottom rows belong to the bottom player.
In Tsoro for Android, the top player is your Android device (CPU)or Player 2 and the bottom player is you or Player 1.
The starting player (always you or Player 1 depending on game mode) chooses any pit from his/her set of pits and collects all the seeds in that pit by clicking on that pit and then distributes them one per pit in the succeeding pits going in one direction (either clockwise or anti-clockwise).
This direction is maintained throughout the game. If the last seed falls into a non-empty pit in the outer row, the player collects all the seeds in that pit and redistributes them into the succeeding pits.
If the last seed falls into a pit in the inner row, the player captures all the seeds in his or her opponent's two pits in the same column as his or her pit and distributes them as before.
A player's turn ends when the last seed being distributed lands, either in an empty pit in the outer row, or in a pit in the inner row which is in the same column with an empty pit in the opponent's inner row.
The game ends when one of the two players has captured all the seeds in the pits of the other player. The winner is the player with all the seeds.
This app requires an internet connection to verify the validity of the Google Play purchase licence.
In upcoming updates, the ability to play against a human player over a network connection will be included.
For suggestions, problems, bug reports and comments please get in touch via email or directly in the app using the "Send Feedback" button within the options menu.
If you would like to volunteer a translation of the app to your native language please get in touch also.