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Things From Another World
Puzzle Master
by (Web published), Al-Jabar Games (2012)
Player Count
1 to 4

Player Ages

Playing Time
15 minutes
  • Abstract Strategy
  • Educational
  • Number
  • Math
  • Designers
  • Cyrus Hettle
  • Robert P. Schneider
  • Mechanisms
  • Hand Management
  • Rating: 6.5/10 from 3 users


    The game of Al-Jabar is based on concepts of color-mixing familiar to most of us from childhood, and on ideas from abstract algebra, a branch of higher mathematics. Once you are familiar with the rules of the game, your intuitive notions of color lead to interesting and often counter-intuitive color combinations created in gameplay.

    While the mathematics involved uses elements of group theory, a foundational topic in abstract algebra, understanding the game is not difficult and requires no mathematical background. A game involves reducing your original hand of colored pieces before the other players.

    Each player takes a turn by exchanging any combination of 1, 2 or 3 pieces from his or her hand for a set of 1, 2 or 3 pieces from the Center having an equal sum of colors. After the exchange, pairs of like-colored marbles are canceled from the center and replaced by a black marble, and the other players receive black marbles as well.

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