a colorful board game for everyone
Martello is a simple yet challenging board game for a single player. Try to move and eat the pieces on the board until only a single one of them is left. A colorful combinatorial game for everyone!
Let's play on a square board with 36 pieces in 6 colours and 6 symbols. The aim is to eliminate all but one piece.
The main rule to consider: “neighbour eats neighbour”, but only if they have the same colour or the same symbol. There are two kinds of neighbours: Horizontal neighbours: two pieces in the same horizontal row with no other piece in between. Vertical neighbours: two pieces on the vertical white zone at the edge of the board, on adjoining white squares.
Martello was invented in 1976 by the Swiss mathematician Peter Hammer. In 1984 it was launched as a board game with the support of the game producer Mändu Stauffer. The graphic artist Jürg Peter Hunziker created the visual look of the game. Daniel Graf implemented the game anew in the form of an app and so Martello was released in April 2014, 30 years after its creation. Emily Wangler ported the app to Android.
If you have any questions or feedback, we would be delighted to hear from you.
The app is available for free in the iOS App Store for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch as well as on the Google Play Store for all Android phones and tablets.
We have put a lot of effort into making the game as accessible to beginners as possible and at the same time also challenging for more experienced players.
The mathematician Peter Hammer (1951) was a member of the Swiss national team in chess and a passionate card player in the seventies.
In 1976, on vacation in Greece - first with Swiss Jass cards - the simple idea of «neighbour eats neighbor, if they match in suit or rank». If only one line is layed out this idea is quite useless as there are only few combinations. But if the 36 cards get placed into six rows with six cards each and one allows vertical movements only at the edge, then a wonderful world awakes.
In 1977, the 36 cards got replaced by 36 pieces numbered from one to six in order to also incorporate the symbols of a dice into the game.
In 1981, at the chess grand master tournament in Biel Peter Hammer got to meet the Bieler game producer Mändu Stauffer. A friendship developed and the idea to produce a board game together came up.
In 1983, the graphic designer Jürg Peter Hunziker from Solothurn invented the design of the game Martello. He created with six colours and six symbols – as points and rings – the 36 different pieces of the game.
In 1984, the board game Martello was released. It can still be purchased at Fata Morgana.
In 2013, Peter Hammer contacted the ETH computer science student Daniel Graf from Vilters to develop a game based on Martello. Graf used the digital space and added ideas like varying the size of the board. He also did a small research project under the supervision of Prof. Luke Zettlemoyer at the University of Washington in order to create the solver for the game. You can find out more about the solver in this report.
In April 2014, or 30 years after its creation, Martello got released as an app online.
In November 2015, Emily Wangler ported the app to the Android operating system.
You can find a press kit with logos and high resolution screenshots of the app here:
Of course we are more than happy to provide any additional material. Just let us know.
This is our collection of people playing Martello all over the world. Let us know if you are also playing Martello in some exotic place.
Summer 2014 in St. Petersburg
Spring 2015 in Marrakesh, Morocco
Spring 2016 in Paris
Summer 2015 at the EXPO in Milano
Spring 2015 in London
Spring 2016 in Paris
Do you have any questions or problems?
Let us know if you like the app, found a bug or just want to say hi.
The app does not collect or store any kind of personal data.
The only data stored is the list of games played. This list is only stored on the device and does not get uploaded or transmitted in any way.
The app does not connect to the network at all, except if you click on one of the links in the 'info' section.