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Escape Senet

picture of senet game board


Escape Senet is a modification of one of the earliest board games, the Ancient Egyptian Senet. Senet is defined by David Parlett as a 'race game,' that is, a game where players race to see who can get their piece or pieces from the starting position to the goal. The game has been modified so that the central aspect of competition has been replaced with cooperation - in order to win the game, players must work together. The cooperation aspect is introduced through the presence of a third player controlled by the game rules, the Monster. The Monster consumes everything in its path and is stoppable only by the river at the end of the game board. Because the Monster moves after ever roll of the dice, if players fight amongst each other to be the first to get all their pieces to the goal, the Monster will eat all the pieces. If the Monster eats enough pieces, it is the game's true winner. As a result, players must cooperate against a common foe. Escape Senet is an exercise in modifying a basic game of competition into cooperation. Because a large number of board games are some variety or other of 'race games', this illustrates one strategy that may be applied to more complex race game systems. A digital version of this game is planned.


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