Rainbow Chase is a mancala game invented by Mike Zapawa in December 2021.

Play Rainbow Chase interactively

Rainbow Chase Board

The game is played on a board with two rows of six pits each. Each player owns a single row of the board, North or South. The pits are colourful. The game uses 48 beads, 8 of each colour . In the initial setup, there are four beads of the corresponding colour in each pit.

To sow, choose any non-empty pit on your side of the board. Take all the beads from the pit into your hand, and start sowing them one by one, according to the following rules:

  1. Visit the pits counterclockwise, starting from the pit to the right of your chosen pit
  2. If you make a full circle, skip the original pit you took the beads from
  3. If no beads of a certain colour are present on the board or in your hand, skip the pits of this colour
  4. Other than the exceptions in rules 2 and 3, do not skip any pits until you run out of beads
  5. If your hand contains a bead corresponding to the colour of the pit you are visiting right now, you should place it there
  6. Other than the exception in rule 5, you can place your beads in whatever order you see fit

If you visit a pit on the enemy side of the board that does not contain a bead of the corresponding colour (for instance: a Red pit with no Red beads inside) and you sow it with a bead of the corresponding color, you might choose to immediately capture the contents of this pit before continuing to sow.

If your chosen order of sowing allows you to make a capture, you must do so. During a single move you might not choose to capture the contents of more than one pit, though you might choose to capture the contents of a single pit more than once in a single turn if possible. If your move allows you to make more than one capture, you are free to choose which to perform.

Forced passing and ending the game
If your opponent is out of moves, you get an additional turn. The game ends when all beads have been captured, and the player who captured more beads wins. If both players captured exactly 24 beads, the game ends in a draw.

Rainbow Chase © Mike Zapawa