Bringing back glory: Combined ludo & chess board game by Indian entrepreneurs
Ajitesh Sharma, an ex-scientist from ISRO, an entrepreneur and filmmaker along with his spouse Shilpa, who is a fashion designer, and Dhirendra Rawat, who is a dynamic entrepreneur in printing & packaging have come together to combine Ludo and Chess and made an exciting & synergic board game, Squarace.
India, 16th March 2022: When one decides to spend some quality time in a fun way with family, the ideas of shopping outings, picnics, movies, travel, adventures, and so many other things may pop up. But if that time has to be spent inside the comfort of your home, then board games are the number one choice of many families. And when we talk about board games, Ludo & Chess are two names that are the undisputed choice for most.
It’s interesting to know about the Indian connection of both games. The earliest evidence of Ludo (as ‘Pachisi’) and Chess (as ‘Chaturanga’) can be traced back to ancient India in 6 AD. Both the games originated in India, but foreign invaders & rulers took them away; Moving between continents, the games transformed to current forms. While the modern versions of both games are not credited to being designed in India, the lineage is undisputedly Indian.
So, we are talking about a journey spanning more than 1500 years for these games, yet there is no recorded instance of someone thinking to combine these games in a playable format. Well, not anymore!
Meet Ajitesh Sharma, an ex-Scientist from ISRO, an entrepreneur and filmmaker, who along with his spouse Shilpa who is a Fashion Designer, and Dhirendra Rawat, his friend, who is a dynamic entrepreneur in printing & packaging, has combined Ludo and Chess to make an exciting & synergic board game, ‘Squarace.’ The name of the game is made from the words Square and Race. In Hindi, it is titled ‘Chaturangini,’ meaning an army having soldiers, horses, elephants, and chariots.
In Squarace, the four pieces of Ludo are replaced by four pieces of Chess – Knight, Bishop, Rook, and Queen. However, four colors of Ludo and Black & White Squares of Chess are kept intact. The game combines the fun of Ludo with strategic elements of chess in a coherent manner; it’s an ideal combination of the fun of Ludo and Skill of Chess.
The game was conceived in a moment of discovery that Ludo and Chess are two of the most popular games globally, yet no one, at least in the apparent knowledge, has ever tried to merge and make a new game. This discovery led to a detailed process where first the board was conceptualized in mind and then on paper. Next, the hand-drawn versions were all played along with and tested by family members, and more versions evolved from those discussions. Finally, the design was digitally done and sent for prototype and app development. When one looks at the board and pieces, it’s quite evident that much thought has been put behind this game. This bunch of curious Indians has truly done something never done before.
The Squarace is developed in both physical and app formats; the game can be purchased from major online stores. Additionally, the app can be downloaded and played for free from the Playstore – currently, it is available in Android Version only. However, as per the team behind it, the best experience is when you play it in person with your near and dear ones.
As per Dhirendra, this game is just the beginning. They are looking forward to jointly developing many such original games that can change the common misconceptions about our country's thinking and manufacturing capabilities.
Ajitesh believes that the greatest satisfaction in this whole process was derived from the fact that, to some extent, we were honorably able to bring back to our country a lost treasure, something which was rightfully ours earlier.
The game is already making its name internationally, winning prestigious Muse Awards & NYX Awards of the USA and currently competing in other renowned competitions, another testimony to the fact that this trio of filmmakers, entrepreneurs, and fashion designers, along with the other team members, is bound to taste success in future, as their first attempt itself is something which was not being done across so many geographies & eras.
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