Do you remember when was the last time you played a game of Batu Seremban? Or maybe even tried a board game referencing Malaysian culture? If you answered “no” to those questions, then here’s your chance to give them a go!

With Merdeka and Malaysia Day coming up while we’re still in lockdown, it seems like celebrations will be quiet this year. Still, it doesn’t have to be boring as this is the perfect time to enjoy a round or two of Malaysian games – modern and traditional – with the rest of the household. What better way to get into the patriotic spirit at home than with these, right? Read on to see our picks of Malaysian games to challenge everyone at home with.

1. Batu Seremban

Did you know that this traditional game is also called Selambut or Serembat? Commonly known as Batu Seremban, it was all the rage back then as we’d bring them to school and have Batu Seremban battles with our friends! Saga seeds, sand or tiny stones are wrapped and sewn into little cloth pouches (of which five make up a set) in a multitude of colours and patterns (you’ll notice that batik is a popular choice recently!). What’s great about this game is that not only will you have loads of fun tossing them in the air and hurrying to pick up the other “stones” on the ground, it’ll also train your motor skills and eye–hand coordination as you keep playing!

Shop a set here.

2. Ceper

If you’ve got bottle caps at home, don’t throw them away just yet. Instead, use them in a game of ceper! With only five pieces, this little game was popular among young kids during the ’70s to ’80s but because of its straightforward and easy-to-understand concept, it’s a timeless game that anyone can enjoy, even today. Best played in a group, players with a good sense of balance, control and estimation at hitting bottle caps from different trajectories are most likely to win!

Shop the bottle caps here.

3. Colek lidi

The colek lidi or pick up sticks game is an uncomplicated one that uses sticks and only sticks. Whether it’s plastic or wooden (think satay sticks), the game requires immense concentration and control as you try to lift each piece off the ground after releasing the bulk from your grip without touching or moving the rest.

Shop the pick up sticks here.

4. Congkak

Another traditional game you and a friend or family member can enjoy is congkak. Featuring a board of 14 holes parallel to one another with two bigger ones at each end, the two players will need to fill their respective ends with the most marbles, stones or round chips. While the game is typically relaxing, it comes with a bit of mental workout as it requires clever calculation in order to win. Still, it’s a great game to pass time and maybe improve your mathematic skills at the same time!

Shop the congkak here.

5. Drama Pukul 7

If you’re a fan of Malaysian dramas or soap operas, you’ll love this one! Created by Meja Belakang Art, Drama Pukul 7 (now in its third edition!) brings you all the plot twists, revenge, cliffhangers and more as each player tries to bring his/her fellow Hero and Heroine down by deducting their face value. While it takes some getting used to at the start, this game will surely keep you and your loved ones entertained as it’s all about channeling your inner drama queen or king while strategising how you can sabotage your “cast members”!

Shop Drama Pukul 7 here or pre-order the third edition here.

6. Guli or Kelereng

If you had a ton of marbles growing up, chances are that you’ve probably played with ’em in a game with your friends. Better known as permainan guli or kelereng, this game allows players to test their motor and thinking skills as they toss a ball of marbles into a group of them that’s been placed within a circle. As one or more are pushed out of the circle, the player with the most marbles at the end of the game wins.

Shop the marbles here.

7. Kaki Lima

Miss taking in the sights out of the city? No problem! The Kaki Lima board game solves it for you as you navigate pedestrians through the streets of George Town, Penang. Created by Goh Choon Ean, the game incorporates light strategy within the mechanics where players will need to explore, complete tasks and even meet other pedestrians along the way to gain victory points. What’s great about this game, apart from its immersive gameplay, is that it’s got some great visuals from photos of the city, taken by Choon Ean herself, to detailed illustrations of the pedestrians.

Shop Kaki Lima here.

8. Kleptopoly

Based on the popular board game Monopoly, Kleptopoly by C4 Center (The Centre to Combat Corruption & Cronyism) is more than just a fascinating scenario game; it’s an educational one too if you’ve ever wanted to understand anti-corruption, asset declaration and money laundering. In Kleptopoly, you can play as one of the four characters, buy, sell and trade properties inspired by 1MDB, and even go to jail for corruption or prove your innocence!

Learn more about Kleptopoly here.

9. Nak Makan Apa?

Isn’t this a question we all know too well?! Brought to you by the makers of Drama Pukul 7, Nak Makan Apa? is an enjoyable card game that answers that age-old (and sometimes frustrating) question of what to eat with a selection of local dishes and ingredients to complete them. The way this game works, to put it simply, is by matching three ingredients from the Selera pool to a Menu card. The last player to match a Menu card wins a point. However, there’ll always be someone making the choice very difficult (sounds familiar?) when Songeh cards are thrown into the mix. Nevertheless, we’re sure you’ll have tons of fun playing this!

Shop Nak Makan Apa? here.

10. The Lepak Game

If you love Cards Against Humanity, you’d love The Lepak Game! Invented by Rojak Culture, the word-matching game aims to bring Malaysians together, despite their ethnic background, to share loads of laughter, stories and meaningful conversations with one another. The best part is that it’s super easy to understand and doesn’t have a right or wrong answer! All that needs to be done is have the “boss” pick out a Yellow card while the rest of the players reveal a Blue card within their deck. The players will then have to persuade the “boss” with their best (and sometimes ridiculous) reasons to pick their Blue cards!

Shop The Lepak Game here.

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