10 strategy games that are good for your brain
From chess to StarCraft, here are 10 classic strategy games that will challenge - and strengthen - your brain.
Chess: King of games
The word chess is derived from the Persian "shah," which means king. The board was developed between the third and sixth centuries in India and is comprised of 64 small squares. Only two players can play against each other, using 16 pieces each. The aim is to checkmate your opponent by threatening their king in such a way that it cannot escape or be freed by another piece in the next move.
Go: Made in Asia
Go originated in China, but was largely developed in Korea and Japan. It's played with black and white stones on a board crisscrossed by 19 horizontal and 19 vertical lines. Stones are placed on the intersections of the lines, with the aim being not to eliminate your opponent but to capture a majority of the board.
Shogi: Japanese chess
This Japanese variation of chess is played on a board divided into nine fields, though smaller or larger boards are also common. There's one important difference between shogi and chess: In the Japanese version, pieces are not assigned to a particular player, but can be used by both. Checkmate, however, is still the aim of the game.
Checkers: Jump and steal
A checkers board looks like a chessboard, but the rules differ greatly. In this case, players can only move their pieces diagonally across the darker squares, one square at a time, until they are able to capture their opponent's piece by jumping over it. The winner is the first to steal all of the other player's pieces. Checkers is also known as draughts and is called "Dame" ("lady") in German.
Nine Men's Morris: Mill's the game
The board consists of three squares of gradually smaller size drawn within each other. Two players participate with nine tiles each. The aim is to get three of the tiles in a row, known as a mill, which allows you to remove one of your opponent's tiles. The winner is the first to reduce his opponent to two tiles, thereby hindering a three-tile mill.
Tic-tac-toe: Circle or square?
It's perhaps the best game for long car trips, because all you need is a pencil and piece of paper. Tic-tac-toe dates back to the 12th century. Two players alternate in drawing an X or an O on a nine-square grid. The first player to create a row - horizontally, vertically or diagonally - wins. Tic-tac-toe was one of the first strategy games played on computers.
'Connect Four': The vertical board
It's also considered a board game - but it's played vertically. "Connect Four" was introduced in 1974 and is a game for two players. The first to get four tiles of their color in a row - vertically, horizontally or diagonally - wins. It's similar to tic-tac-toe, except there are 42 open squares instead of just nine.
'Civilization': From the board to the screen
Initially conceived as a board game, "Civilization" was introduced in 1980. The idea was complex: A civilization must survive hardships from antiquity to the Iron Age. Seven players can play simultaneously and one game can last up to 10 hours. In 1991, "Civilization" was launched as a computer game and became an international hit.
'Anno': Playing with people and resources
Another favorite resource-related game is "Anno," introduced in 1998. The idea behind it is to discover and populate fictional islands and then meet the needs of the new island residents. It's also possible for players to compete against each other - simulating attacks and trade.
'StarCraft': A national pastime
For some it may be a simple diversion, but in South Korea "StarCraft" is a national pastime. The real-time strategy game was introduced in 1998 and has remained one of the most popular computer games on the market. Player build a base, collect resources and acquire soldiers to fight their opponents. Online tournaments are of national importance in South Korea - and even open to spectators.