BaghChal is an app derived from a Nepalese board game that will immediately remind Western players of checkers. In the game, two teams play on a five-by-five grid. One team plays offensively, and the other defensively. The teams consist of goats and tigers. The tigers try to eat the goats, by hopping over them, as in checkers, and the goats try to defend themselves by blocking the possibility of that move.
The premise of the game is a little confusing (why are multiple goats capable of preventing tigers from eating them?), and for some obscure reason the app represents the tigers with lion faces, but the gameplay presents some interesting challenges.
The tigers have four pieces that start out at the four corners of the board. The goats have twenty pieces that must be placed on the board before they can begin moving. The board has 25 total spaces, which means that if all of the goat pieces make their way onto the board without any of them being eaten, there is one space available for a move.
The object for the player playing defensively is to create a distribution of goats that makes it impossible for any of the four tigers to move. The object of the game for the player controlling the tigers is to eat five goats. Which side has the upper hand depends on whether the tigers manage to eat any goats while the goat pieces are being added to the board. If only one movement space is available when the game begins, the challenge between the two teams becomes a little more balanced and interesting.
Unfortunately, unless the game software is enforcing is some rule that I am unfamiliar with (and if it is, the help section should explain it), the BaghChal app suffers from a bug that causes it at times to forbid a seemingly valid move. Ultimately, this makes the app more frustrating than fun.
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