The game of Yut is a traditional Korean race game dated to the 4th century CE. It is a fast paced and addictive game usually played in teams in which players will throw yut-sticks instead of dice to determine the movement of pieces. The goal is to race around the board and remove your pieces, but there are shortcuts to be taken, opponents to be captured and paybacks to be feared along the way.
For 2 or more players, with a duration of 15 minutes. The game is very well balanced between tactics and luck and it's quite dynamic. We specially recommend it for children.
The game of Yut, or 'Yut Nori', is well known and appreciated in Korea and is an important part of its culture. It was developed around the 4th century in the Kingdom of Buyeo (today's North Korea and Manchuria) and represents the activities of farmers, which would raise animals and take them to the market. The game, in its original Korean, is filled with references to animals, such as cows, horses and pigs, both in the names given to throw results and to board spaces.
A more exotic explanation for the game tells us it's a representation of the cosmos under a Confucianist perspective. The central space represents the Pole Star and each space represents a constellation. The four paths represents the seasons and the four regions of the board represent the four regions of Korea. The game is, then, a representation of the journey of life in a balanced cosmos. This less likely explanation is indeed supported by the ancient practice of divination with the help of Yut sticks.
The game of Yut spread through the Korean peninsula, suffering few modifications on the way, and is today considered one of the three major local board games (the others being Baduk and Janggi, which are local variations of Go and XiangQi, respectively). Yut is played in holidays and celebrations and is specially associated with the Seollal festivities, the Korean New Year – its most important holiday.
Yut is a dispute between two teams, each controlling a set of tokens (called 'mal'). The teams alternate turns throwing the Yut sticks and moving tokens according to the results. The goal is to move all tokens around the board and back to the starting point.
(Yut teams usually have more than one participant and the game can be played by several people at once. In this version we've included four sets of tokens in case players want to participate individually, although it wouldn't be the traditional way to play it.)