Senet Deluxe - The Ancient Game of Life and Afterlife
Senet is an ancient Egyptian race game and the predecessor of our modern Backgammon. The oldest known form of the game is shown in a painting from the tomb of Hesy (circa 2686-2613 BCE). Many pictures of the game and artifacts have been discovered and are displayed in Museums around the world. The commonness of these finds indicates that the game was very popular in its time.
The main adversaries in Senet are the Spools and the Pyramids. These pawns follow a path from their start positions to the House of Horus in an inverted 'S'. The player moving all of his pawns off the board first wins. Fields on the Senet board are called houses. Some of these have special significance and are adorned with icons like the Ankh symbol. Instead of dice flattened sticks are used. Each stick has a bright side and a dark side. Every bright side is a point. If only dark sides are showing the player is awarded 5 points. When a 1, 4, or 5 is thrown the player gets another turn.
When moving into a field occupied by an opponent, the pieces switch places. If, however, the opponent's pawn is part of a row of two or more, it cannot be beaten. It is possible to 'jump' over an opponent if it isn't part of a row of 3 pieces or more. 3 pieces are considered a block and are an important strategic tool.
Through symbology Senet hints at the afterlife as seen from an Egyptian point of view. If one's piece is beaten on one of the last three fields or the jump over the House of Water is not successful one moves back to the house of Rebirth. In such the game alludes to reincarnation and the journey of the dead.
Senet Deluxe is a truly unique strategy game. It features great animation, a soundtrack, an intelligent adversary, enforceable backwards moves, highlighting for acceptable moves, game statistics and online help. Be prepared to spend many hours with the most popular game of the antiquity.
For more screenshots and several videos of the application in action, please visit the website indicated below.
This version adds improved compatibility for iOS 11.x, fixes some minor issues and updates the game's icon.
Ratings and Reviews
The computer gets the numbers it needs. The computer gets to roll again much more often than the human. It appears that better rolls for the computer were a substitute for actual strategy algorithms. Frustrating.
The game is beautiful and I had high hopes. But as another reviewer observed (and I realized too late), the number generator is incorrect for the game. It does, indeed, appear to generate random numbers 1-5 with equal probability. This ruins the strategy of the game, which relies heavily on the unequal probability of throwing a particular number. They need to fix this in the next update. If it were fixed, it would be a 5-star game. As it is, it's not senet, but a senet-wannabe and not worth the $7.99. Very disappointed.
Fun & Well Done
This second version of Senet available for iOS is also five stars in my opinion. While not as graphically sophisticated as the other competitor, game play is a bit better due to implementation of the rules requiring clearance of the top row before any of a player's pieces may be removed from the board at the end of the third row, and the "blocking" feature where three or more consecutive board spaces occupied by a player's pieces block an opponent's pieces from passing, regardless of the throw count made. It also features an optional setting to require backward moves on the board if no forward move is available, which would enhance and extend game play for more experienced players. Also importantly, this version offers a two-player option. App works well on my iPad Air, with very good graphics and sound/music, and like the competing game, offers an optional "suggested legal moves" setting to help beginning players learn the game - this can be turned off when the player becomes more proficient. I'll probably play this version more than the other as I become more experienced, because the first row clearance and blocking game rule features referenced above make game play more fun.
- Arthur Roolfs
- 34.7 MB
Requires iOS 10.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
English, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Swedish
- Age Rating
- © 2008, Rogame Software
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.