From the first move this ancient game and beautiful puzzle will call upon your deepest powers of strategy and concentration as you match 72 stones on a board of 96 squares. You can play for points or kick back and meditate over each move with the deliberation of a Master. See if you can outdo your own best score in progressive games, and learn the secret of 4-Ways. As your strategy improves you will have a chance to discover what’s at the heart of Ishido and why, to some, The Way of the Stones is far more than a game.

Ishido is a board game where you attempt to match stones according to their colors and patterns.

– The Game Board is eight squares high by 12 squares wide.

– Stones come in sets of 72 stones. Each stone has two attributes:
A color/pattern and a symbol. There are six symbols and six
colors/patterns in each stoneset, thus creating 36 unique stones.
Each stone comes in a pair, hence 72 stones in each stoneset.

– The Within consists of the interior squares.

– The Beyond consists of the squares at the outer edges of the

– The Touchstone displays the next stone to be played.

– The Scoreboard shows both the number of points scored, and the number of 4-Way matches achieved.

– The Pouch shows a representation of the number of stones remaining to play.

Now that you’re familiar with the board, it’s time to cast the first stone. The game begins with a unique Opening Tableau of six stones on the board and a pouch of randomly ordered stones. The Opening Tableau consists of stones placed at each of the four corners and on the two center squares. Each of the six symbols and six color/patterns are represented in the Opening Tableau.

At each turn, one stone from the pouch is displayed on the touchstone. Every stone has two attributes: a symbol and a background color/pattern. You’ll try to place each stone on the board so that its color/pattern or symbol matches the stone next to it. You or other players then continue to place stones until no more legal matches are possible or until the pouch is empty.

-Placing Stones:
Point the cursor to the spot you want to place the stone on the board and click the left mouse button once. The stone on the touchstone will be placed onto the square you selected.

-Matching Stones :
Place each stone in a square next to (above, below, left or right – but NOT DIAGONAL to) another stone, matching either the color/pattern or symbol with the adjacent stone.
To legally place a stone next to two other stones, your stone must match one stone with the color/pattern attribute and match the second stone with the symbol attribute.
To legally place your stone so that it adjoins three other stones, you must match two of the stones with one attribute, and the third stone with the other attribute.
After you gain a little experience making two- and three-way matches, try your skill at a four-way match (4-Way). To make a 4-Way, place a stone in the center of four other stones, matching two of the stones on one attribute and the other two stones on the other attribute.

Players can get high scores by creating as many 4-Ways as possible, as early in the game as possible, as they try to empty the pouch.
Players receive points by legally placing stones next to other stones in the interior potion of the board (The Within). The greater the number of sides legally matched, the greater the number of points earned.
Points earned for legal matches are:
Single-sided match 1 point
Two-sided match 2 points
Three-sided match 4 points
Four-sided match (4-Way) 8 points
Each 4-Way match earns bonus points and doubles the points awarded for subsequent matches. For example, after the first 4-Way, a single-sided match earns two points, a two-sided match earns four points, a three-sided match earns eight points, and a 4-Way earns 16 points. The next 4-Way doubles the point scheme again, and so on.
Bonuses awarded after each 4-Way match are:
First 4-Way 100 points
Second 4-Way 200 points
Third 4-Way 400 points
Fourth 4-Way 800 points
Fifth 4-Way 1,600 points
Sixth 4-Way 3,200 points
Seventh 4-Way 6,400 points
Eighth 4-Way 12,800 points
Ninth 4-Way 25,600 points
Tenth 4-Way 51,200 points
Eleventh 4-Way 102,400 points
Twelfth 4-Way 204,800 points
At the end of the game, bonuses are awarded when fewer than three stones remain in the pouch. Bonuses awarded are:
Two stones left in pouch 250 points
One stone left in pouch 500 points
Empty pouch 1000 points
Since 4-Ways double the points achieved by matches and produce bonus points, a player who scores four 4-Ways without placing all the stones can actually score higher than a player who does empty the pouch but does not make any 4-Ways.

To become a master player, you need to learn the art of emptying the pouch while simultaneously creating as many 4-Way matches as possible. Using all four corners as well as the center of the board increases your chance of emptying the pouch and creating 4-Ways.
Learn how to make 4-Ways and play ahead. You can build a strong game by anticipating possible moves based on the stones you know are unplayed.