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Win the game by moving your craft around to capture enough of the opponents gems to stop them capturing your gems. The game ends when a player cannot capture anymore gems : The winner is the one with most gems.
There only 3 simple moves shown further below and it is up to the player to engage their strategies and arithmetic to win the game. The game is really easy to learn as shown below. The app has quick demonstrations of these moves.
Gemtactix has similarities to Chess and Draughts board games as explained in the comparison section below.
Gemtactix is similar to Chess and Draughts in the following ways:
MOVING TO CAPTURE OPPONENTS PIECES
In Chess a player has six types of pieces. Each piece has different rules for moving about the Chess board. In Draughts though all pieces have the same moves except when doubled up on recapture on the Draughts board. In both Chess and Draughts the move for each piece is pre-dertemined by the game rules. In Gemtactix on the other hand each players craft piece moves in an anti-clockwise direction on their side of the board. The length of the move is determined by the number of gems that the craft has. In addition if capture conditions are right the player's craft can move up into the opponents side of the board to execute a capture of gems.
The craft can move in a reverse direction (clockwise) if it drops its last gem in a checkered vault that already has a gem and if a reverse move from that vault results in a capture of the opponents gems. The player however has to decide if they want to execute a reverse capture or continue moving ahead.
So while Chess has a number of different moves for each of its six types of pieces and draughts has two main moves, Gemtactix has three main moves, however the length and direction of these moves increases in variety depending on the number of gems in each vault and the players decisions to continue, capture or reverse capture. As you play the game one sees that the number of permutations of gems in each vault and possible arithmetic makes Gemtactix rich in the variety of moves even though it has three simple moves for the player to consider. This variety keeps the player on their toes as they need to apply certain tactics and strategies for each move to eventually win the game.
STRATEGIC THINKING, POSITIONING, PLANNING & MEMORY
Chess and Draughts get the players involved strategic thinking about their moves and those of the opponents. Gemtactix similarly requires to apply strategic thinking and tactics to ensure they win the game.
In Gemtactix one needs to assess ones opportunities and threats and move their craft accordingly. In addition, arithmetic is required to ensure that ones craft moves to the required vault and arithmetic is also required when assessing the opponents possible moves. Therefore Gemtactix requires one to practice mental arithmetic as they plan their moves. This gets more difficult if one is planning more than one lap of the craft movement since keeping all the changing vault gem numbers gets more demanding on ones memory. Thus Gemtactix also helps one practice strategic thinking, planning, arithmetic and memory.
TWO PLAYER SOCIAL PASTIME GAMES
Chess, Draughts and Gemtactix are two player board games and have been a great social pastime for centuries. Now you can play other players of Chess or Draughts online or via mobile devices. Indeed Gemtactix allows one to player other opponents in real time via the game center anywhere in the world.
Gemtactix is a mancala board game in that it uses the sow and capture moves that all manacla games share. Gemtactix like omweso, Bao etc use a four row board rather than a two row board & store that Oware, Kalah, Wari use.
Mweso and Bao also use slightly different rules for sowing on capture than Gemtactix.
Some Mweso and Bao rules that Gemtactix does NOT apply are:
-RELAY REVERSE CAPTURE i.e. if there are two or more capture possibilities on reverse the player can chose one over the others. In Gemtactix, only the first possibility of reverse capture is executed, making the game a littler simpler.
-CAPTURE AND RESTARTING SOWING from the start of the capture move (in both reverse and forward movement - double lap). Instead in Gemtactix one continues moving forward from the next vault after the vault of capture (single lap). This makes consolidated positions for each player harder to maintain. Consolidated positions are those that do not allow the opponent to capture one's gems but can force the opponent into making errors. By making consolidated positions short lived, it makes the winning of the game easier to tip from one player to the other as one has to be alert to the effect of their moves on their subsequent positions and as players discover captures are not always beneficial.
Main Screen Levels of Play Against Galactic Control .
Main Board Game in Play The Game center with leader boards etc.
1 - MOVING
2 - CAPTURING
3 - REVERSE AND CAPTURE
Capture as many gems as possible as this gives you more options to win the game.
When capturing think if the capture leads to a quick end of turn or if capturing from the next vault leads to more captures. Also think if the move makes your defense stronger or weaker.
Movement and captures that give you a full loop on your side of the board give more chances for future capture but also leave your gems exposed to capture by the opponent.
Analyze the strengths, weaknesses of your position and those of the opponent and see what opportunities or threats exist in the positions.
Remember the reverse capture for your self and that the opponent can use this as well.
When short of Gems use defensive tactics to minimize losses and use the opponents weaknesses to plan for a recovery capture.
When playing higher levels or experienced players, proper defense of your starting positions can make the difference between winning or losing. Forcing the opponent to make errors can be a useful opening tactic.
Make sure your sums and movement plans add up correctly as errors can cost you the game.
Press the Green Button on the main screen above for the Game Center and you can play anyone in the world who is in the game center in one of two ways:
SOCIAL BOARD GAMING HAS NEVER BEEN THIS GOOD!!
See your score position on the leader board and challenge friends to beat your score. Playing others around the world or playing against Galactic Control can help improve your score. Scoring is ranked according to difficulty as follows:
Trainee Level: You vs. Galactic Control. This level is free to play.
Game Center: You vs. Other Players On Game Center. This is free to play.
Professional Level: You vs. Galactic Control. This level unlocks if you win 5 games vs Game Center Opponents. So you can play it for free.
Master Level: You vs. Galactic Control. This level costs 69p and is the most challenging.
Scores are based on the gems captured when the game is over. The first two digits of the score indicate how many gems you captured to win the game. In addition there is a time bonus that is calculated based on winning the game within 15 minutes. Your bonus points are indicated by the last digits of the score. This is a reward for quick and correct thinking when making decisions.
See how your skills are improving by looking at the Achievement board. Achievement points are awarded for the number of wins made in playing the various levels against Galactic Control.
The Gemtactix game is derived from mancala games played across Africa and the Middle East, in particular the variant mancala games played in Eastern and Central Africa. The origin of the games are a mystery: however what is known is that they have been played for many centuries as a social pastime for communities on Earth. These mancala games have been compared to Chess and this similarity is explained above.
The following are various popular online two player game sites:
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The following are acknowledgments for software, pictures, music and sound effects used in the game:
Graphics by: Time Tracer Limited
Music & sound effects : Licensed from artists as listed below:
The Isphere by Beat It.
Sci-Fi Warm Background loop by Sound Tricks.
Sci-Fi Strange (background theme) by mackaymusic.
Sound Effects: Sound Pack 114 by UnlimMedia.
Gem Drop Sound Effect: by Time Tracer Limited.
Certain Background pictures of space : Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech
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