Game: Marble Game ?
(Detail from Brueghel's Painting)

Marble Game

This marble game appears to be a row game, but a row game requires at least five holes.

It is not clear how many holes there are, for in the painting there may be more holes which the angle of the figures prevents us from seeing.

This might be a type of Shuttle Puzzle. While a "Shuttle Puzzle" today is usually a hand-held object. Perhaps in the past, a board for the game was dug as holes in the ground. If this be so, then the "marbles" used for the game would be of a size appropriate for the ground holes. In the painting, the boy at the right is placing a marble into one of the holes while the others watch.

How The Game Is Played

As a row game, two players alternate, each attempting to fill three holes in a row, while preventing their opponent from doing the same thing. However, this may be a different marble game which was played in the 16th century and is no longer played.

Row Game Matrix Nevertheless, the game as illustrated in the painting could be a "Shuttle Puzzle ". Puzzles of this type require a number of sequential moves in order to be solved. Normally, one person at a time tries to solve the puzzle. The solution involves moving counters back and forth a specific number of times on the playing surface. To see a number of traditional "Shuttle Puzzles", click on the one pictured at the right, or the item in the left column menu. Use your "back button" to return to this page.

Last update February 9, 2010