This game hails from the ancient city of the same name, Surakarta in central Java, Indonesia. It’s called “dam-daman” by the Javans themselves, and in the Bahasa language it’s Permainan, which simply means “the game.” The history of the game is typically vague, but it can also be found in China and Korea (with slightly different rules). There is also a variant called Bas-basab Sepur which is played on a board of 7×7 spaces. The first written description of the game in the west was in French in 1970, and in Sid Sackson’s “Book of Classic Board Games” (1990) he called it “Roundabouts.” Even in its native lands the game is scarcely seen, but its unique board layout and capture has met with some popularity in recent decades.
This game can be played by 2 players ages 6 and up. One game of Surakarta takes about 10 Minutes to play.