Every board game has its own tales to share with regard to its origin stories. In contrast, they may have different background tales to regal us with, but the fables surrounding our favorite board games never fail to astonish. Ludo is one such board game that has many secrets locked within its unassuming gameplay. Ludo was no mere child’s game, to begin with. It bore witness to the loss of a kingdom and the rise of another and was indirectly even the cause of conflict. It was a silent witness to the royal conversations of numerous kings and queens ensconced in their luxurious dwellings and the idle chatter of their subjects as they wound down their respective days with the versions of ludo that were in vogue then. From Ludo’s invention to how it traveled around the world in its many versions to finally end up on our smartphones, where installing it was only a matter of downloading the ludo money apk – the Android installation file and begin to play the game. According to The Economic Times, The resurgence of board games has seen an entire ecosystem of board game cafes and communities in India.

A brief tale of Ludo’s sensational rise to fame is what we will be sharing here.

Ludo’s Initial Journey:

The game of ludo has plenty of references in Indian history, with evidence of the game being found among the ruins of the Indus Valley civilization, thus heralding its earliest adoption sometime in 2300 BC. Ludo finds reference even in Vyasa’s magnum opus, the Mahabharata, the events of which were set in the period between 400 BC and 200  AD. In ludo’s checkered history, the game has gone by many names – some of them being Chausar, Chaupad, or Pachisi. By the time it reached the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar towards the end of the 16th century, it had adopted the name Pachisi. Emperor Akbar was so enamored by this game that he converted large portions of his many palaces solely for playing ludo.

How The Game Went From Pachisi To Ludo:

At the twilight of the Mughal empire, the British took control of India, resulting in India’s cultural influences reaching the shores of England. Among them was the game of Pachisi, or ludo as we now know it. An Englishman named Alfred Collier possibly stumbled across some locals playing the game and saw it as a business opportunity. He harnessed the idea of ludo and tweaked the game to align it with Victorian values back in Great Britain in 1891. He added a cup for rolling the die and patented it as Royal Ludo. Thus modern ludo was born and has largely remained unchanged. From England, the game took root in other parts of the world where they all went by their own names in the local languages of the inhabitants. The most notable change was in the United States, where it was rechristened Parcheesi, similar to the name used in India long ago.  The main difference between Parcheesi and Royal Ludo is that Parcheesi sticks to the ancient Indian design more closely and uses two dice instead of one that the British version uses.

Ludo Embraces The Internet And Reinvents Itself:

With the widespread adoption of the internet, the makers of Ludo saw an opportunity to popularize the game further and cater to a broader audience. The result was online modes of ludo for tablets,  computers, and the now ubiquitous smartphone. Taking the game one step further while maintaining the game’s time-honored gameplay, the developers were able to modify and improve the game to a tech-savvy audience wanting more from the game by way of innovative mechanics. All this while remaining true to the game’s original spirit was a tall order, but one the developers managed to pull off. In a way, the more it changed, the more it remained the same. 

Ludo’s Popularity Buoyed By The Pandemic:

When stay-at-home and other pandemic-associated restrictions became the new buzzword, people sought things to entertain themselves while staying indoors. The result was bringing home dozens of board games, including ludo, when the earliest opportunity to leave home presented itself. Millions flocked to the board game’s physical version as it was the ideal family game. Playing online was the go-to option for individuals barricaded alone in their homes.

The Nostalgic Connection:

Everyone experiences nostalgia for old experiences or a sentimental longing for a time period they associate with happy memories. For many, ludo has been the perfect antidote to rekindle those feelings of longing while reminiscing about the past. The tradition of a ludo board in virtually every home in some form or other continues. Hence, the cherished feeling of reliving joyous childhood memories from ludo while passing on their fondness for the game to the upcoming generations is a sufficient reason for many people to cling to the game when looking for entertainment opportunities in a pinch. As you can see, while the traditional version of ludo took its time to reach all corners of the world, online ludo has traveled faster around the world than Jules Verne’s character, Phileas Fogg, who did it in 80 days. Both offline and online versions have contributed to the game’s popularity to get to where it is today.  As a game, ludo is easy to master but hard to let go of., thanks to its addictive quality. The Indian public and the world at large have placed Ludo in a bear hug and are never likely to let it go. Such is the love for the diminutive board game.