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Category Board, Space, Blocking


Overflow is a drawless Mancala-inspired game invented by Michael Amundsen in April 2022.


Overflow is played on a checkered board initially filled with neutral stackable pieces, one per square.
The dark squares make up the house of the Dark player, and the light squares make up the house of the Light player. The goal is to empty your opponent's house.

There are two types of moves in Overflow, both of which are sowing moves, somewhat akin to what you see in mancalas. All moves are bound by the restriction that there must always be exactly one orthodiagonally connected group of stacks on the board. The one kind of sowing only drops pieces onto already occupied squares and the other kind spills out of both the group of already occupied squares and out of the board itself, hence the names: contained moves and overflow moves.

Sowing in general:
Sowing in general is picking up a stack from any square and distributing its pieces along one of the 8 directions onto a contiguous line of squares – usually placing one of the N pieces from the chosen stack in each of the N or so squares in the sowing direction. The details are given below.

Overflow moves:
An overflow move involves sowing into empty squares – possibly in addition to occupied squares – and over the edge of the board. It's important to remember that these two things always go together in this game, namely (1) sowing over the edge and (2) sowing into empty squares. That is to say, if you are to sow into one or more empty squares, the number of squares in the chosen sowing direction must be smaller than the number of stones in the chosen stack. The pieces that end up outside the board are removed from the game.

Contained moves:
Contained moves only sow onto already occupied squares. A contained move must sow the chosen stack as far as possible. If it's impossible to sow each of the pieces in the stack into an occupied square of its own, you place the remainder of the pieces on the last occupied square you reached. You are not obligated to chose the stack that can be sown the farthest, but whatever stack you chose, if you do not make an overflow move move with it, you must chose a sowing direction that allows you to sow onto as many occupied squares as possible.

You may always chose freely between contained moves and overflow moves when both kinds are available.

Note that no stack will have both a contained move and an overflow move available in the same direction. All moves are completely determined by the choice of stack and direction.


Michael Amundsen

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Ludeme Description



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