What is one thing that people across the country did when the pandemic hit? If you are thinking of acts like getting anxious, worrying, complaining, and wondering what to do at home the whole day, you are not wrong. However, there is one thing people of all ages did together. If you still haven’t guessed what it is, it was playing Ludo. A popular children’s game instantly shot up in popularity when everyone was locked in their homes and had run out of ways to entertain themselves. People took old boards out of the cupboards, and everyone seemed to be playing it – celebrities, friends, cousins, bosses, old, young, and middle-aged alike turned to their childhood favorite or discovered it now. The most popular game in India became the most played game during the lockdown. It instantly became the top-rated game on GooglePlay Store and app store. Ludo download apps became one of the most searched strings of words on the internet.
For the uninformed, Ludo is a traditional board game known to have originated in India. It is played with a minimum of two players and a maximum of 4 players. When four players play the game, they usually pair up in teams of two. Each player is given four lives, and turn by turn; they have-to roll the dice and move their pawn up the spots on the board. The first player to get all the pawns out of their house and around the board is declared the winner. Though everyone knows of the game, no one really knows where it came from. This article digs a little deeper into the exciting history of the game.
The Roots of the Game Ludo
Alfred Collier applied for a patent in England on August 29th, 1891, claiming to have invented the board game he christened ‘Royal Ludo’. But centuries before Mr. Collier “invented” the game, people in the Mughal court used to play a very similar game known as Pachisi or Chaupar. However, that is also not when the game is said to have originated. Though the game’s exact origins are uncertain, the earliest proof comes from the Ellora caves in Maharashtra, where the board game was depicted as illustrations on the walls. For centuries Indians played similar versions of the game known as Ludo today. Popularized as a board game now, it wasn’t always so. Earlier it was played on various mediums like cloth slate boards using seeds, shells, staves and dice.
Not only that, a similar game made an appearance in the Hindu mythology Mahabharata as well. This was the game that Pandavas and Kauravas played, which led to Draupadi’s Cheerharan, the Pandavas exile, and the final nail in the coffin that led to the war of Kurukshetra. From mythology to history, Ludo has made an appearance everywhere. Akbar is believed to be so fond of the game that he created halls dedicated to this game in his palaces at Agra and Fatehpur Sikri. However, when the British patented the game as Royal Ludo, it became popularized in the world as it is now.
The Reason for Ludo’s Popularity
In the digital world, it has also been adapted in the form of apps that allows people to play with each other even when they are far away from each other. But why is it that even after centuries, Ludo has not lost its charm? Maybe it is because of its simplicity and elegant design, or how it brings people together to spend some quality time, or simply because it’s fun and addictive. Not only that, people believe that the strategy involved in winning the game teaches the players some essential life lessons, such as how you can still win the race despite starting late, how patience is the key to success, how never to underestimate others’ performance, how to plan-ahead so that you always have an alternative plan of action and to stay alert as others want to win as well.
Since the lockdown did not allow people to go out and purchase non-essential things or meet their family and friends, the online version of Ludo became widely popular. Despite other games that allowed people to connect with others and play together, the nostalgia associated with that ultimately drew people towards it. Some even connected with old school and classmates and played it online to relive the unforgettable memories they made as children. Most importantly, people realized that Ludo is a great stress buster. So much is left to the probability that you do not have to worry about the outcome overly. The younger generation, who might have assumed Ludo to be an older man’s game, have found it interesting that they can’t stop playing. It is also easy to understand, making it more appealing than other games on the app store. Unlike other board games today, Ludo does not have many layers to it; it is a simple, straightforward game that people of all ages enjoy equally. Considering how much time people spend playing this game, app developers have added new features that allow people to make some money from winning. Some apps allow the option to play with real money and win attractive rewards. The amount deposited is limited to a few hundred or thousands to discourage heavy betting.
So, what are you waiting for? Download the game on your smartphone and relive your childhood along with making a quick buck!