Aros Magic Go-Moku/Renju/Ninuki-Renju


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Go-Moku, Renju and Ninuki-Renju are Japanese board games that have similarities but require different playing strategies to win. Hence Aros Magic offers them as three separate programs. Nevertheless, registration entitles you to a single activation code that will work on all three programs.

A game of Aros Magic Ninuki-Renju in progress 

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Go-Moku can be simply described as a five piece tic-tac-toe. The objective is to get five pieces of one's color lined up in an unbroken sequence without gaps. It is a suitable starting game for novices and young children. It is known that a proficient starting player (Black) can always force a win in Go-Moku. For this reason, it is natural to progress to the more balanced games of Ninuki-Renju and Renju after mastering Go-Moku.

Download Aros Magic Go-Moku for Windows (165 KB)


Ninuki-Renju adds capturing to Go-Moku. A minor variation has been marketed under the name of Pente.  A capture is made by trapping exactly two opponent pieces. The first player to either capture ten opponent pieces or place exactly five pieces of their color in a row wins.

If White is placed on B, it captures the two Black pieces
However if Black is placed on A, no capture occurs since it must trap exactly two White  pieces


Download Aros Magic Ninuki-Renju for Windows (170 KB)


Renju game play is the same for White as in Go-Moku, but it achieves game balance by restricting some of Black's moves. If Black makes or is forced to make these disallowed moves, it loses the game. These restrictions are not applicable to White. Because of these rules, the typical winning strategy is different for each player. The following explain the Renju restrictions for Black:

  1. An X-sequence is a continuous, unbroken sequence of X pieces of the same color.
  2. An open-3 is a 3-sequence with an unoccupied space on either end. Additionally, beyond the unoccupied space there cannot be a piece of the same color. An open-4 is defined similarly for a 4-sequence. 

    A White open-3
  3. A double-3 is the formation of two open-3s in a single move. Similarly, a double-4 is the formation of two open-4s in a single move.

    A disallowed double-3 is formed if Black plays on X

In Go-Moku, a double-3 or a double-4 leads to a guaranteed win -- this is Black's advantage as it can force a double-3 or a double-4 eventually. Thus, it is disallowed for Black in Renju. Practically, Black wins in Renju by forming a simultaneous open-3 and an open-4. White has no restrictions; but its typical strategy is to win by forcing a Black double-3 or double-4.

Download Aros Magic Renju for Windows (168 KB)


  Aros Magic Go-Moku Aros Magic Ninuki-Renju Aros Magic Renju
Objective Get at least five pieces in a row Get exactly* five pieces in a row or capture ten pieces Get exactly* five pieces in a row for Black; at least five pieces in a row for White
Board Size 19x19 19x19 15x15
Second move restrictions   Black cannot play within 2 spaces of the first move Black cannot play within 2 spaces of the first move
Additional restrictions     Black cannot play a double-3 or a double-4 in the same move

*If more than five pieces are in a row and exactly five are required for victory, play continues normally.



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