The Goose Games and Snakes and Ladders are both played on 63 + 1 fields (Goose Game) and 64 fields (Snakes and Ladders). This is an indication for their great age, which they share with chess which is also played on 64 fields. In this view it is nice to know that two present day classics checkers and scrabble also started on a chessboard. Ludo is the other game that originated in India, but that was derived from Parchesi. In Spain often on the reverse side of the Goose Game is Ludo.
Snakes and Ladders (or Chutes and Ladders) is an ancient Indian board game played mainly in english speaking countries. It was known in India as Moksha Patamu. The game is a representation of destiny and desire in life. The game represents a life journey complicated by virtues (ladders) and vices (snakes). The game was introduced in England in 1892.
The origin of the Goose Game is unclear, but it already existed in medieval europe. It's invention is attributed to the Templars, but it cannot be denied that it has great resemblance to Snakes and Ladders. This possibly hints to the same origin. Since the 16th century it was mostly played as childrens game.
The goal of the game is to move your pawn from the start (bottom square) to the finish (top square), helped or hindered by ladders and snakes, respectively. The game is a simple race contest played with dice without a skill component, and is popular with young children.
The board consists of a spiral with 63 numbered squares and the game is played with dice. The pawns start outside the board and when they land on a square with a Goose that brings good luck, since it allows the player to move again by the same distance. Additional shortcuts, such as spaces marked with a bridge, move the player to some other specified position. There are also a few penalty squares which force the player to move backwards or lose one or more turns, the most recognizable being the one marked with a skull and symbolizing death; landing on this space results in the player being sent back to start. The first player reaching square 63 wins.