Snakes and Ladders is known worldwide (aka Chutes and Ladders) originates from an Ancient Indian game. First released by MB games and later on by Hasbro it is a board game for 2 or more players. Players roll a dice and move their piece on the board. Landing on a Snake (or Chute) means that the players piece moves back squares and Ladders allow the players piece to move up squares. The first player to reach the end square wins. The Ancient Indian origin symbolises help and hindrance to life, symbolised by the Snakes and Ladders. The game is available in numberous editions including many cartoon charecters aswell as electronic versions.
The size of the grid (most commonly 8×8, 10×10, or 12×12) varies from board to board, and the exact positions of the snakes and ladders can differ between versions both factors affecting the duration of play. Random die rolls determine game piece movement.
In the United States the most widely known edition Chutes and Ladders is from Milton Bradley (which was purchased by the game’s current distributor giant Hasbro). It is played on a 10×10 board, and players advance their pieces according to a spinner instead of a die. The theme of the board design is playground equipment—children climb ladders to go down chutes. The artwork on the board teaches a morality lesson, the squares on the bottom of the ladders show a child doing a good or sensible deed and at the top of the ladder there is an image of the child enjoying the reward. At the top of the chutes, there are pictures of children engaging in mischievous or foolish behaviour and the images on the bottom show the child suffering the consequences.
In Canada the game has been traditionally sold as “Snakes and Ladders”, and produced previously by the Canada Games Company. With the demise of the Canada Games Company, Chutes and Ladders produced by Milton Bradley/Hasbro has been gaining in popularity.
The most common in the United Kingdom is Spear’s Games’ edition of Snakes and Ladders, played on a 10×10 board where a single die is used.
During the early 1990s in South Africa, Chutes and Ladders games made from cardboard were distributed on the back of egg boxes as part of a promotion.