Spotlight on Games > Translations
English Translation
Fri Apr 29 03:02:14 UTC 2016
Stierkampf im alten Kreta
[Minotaur: Bull Leaping in ancient Crete]

for 3-5 players aged 8 and up

50 Playing pieces
1 Bull horn figure
1 Leather tossing ring

Aim of the Game
Each player must put his skills as a bull leaper to the test.
As in Memory players collect pairs of horns pieces through which the ancient practice of wild bull leaping is simulated over five phases. Each horn pair piece has a corresponding piece in the same two colors. All of the horn pieces of a color belong to a phase and represent, with 1-5 points, the five skill levels.

As in Memory pairs of pieces are collected. However, these only need to match in color, not in value. Such pair combinations are, however, unresolved, because by the end of the game, each pair of a color showing the same value forms a resolved combination, which may not be altered.

[Pictorial example. The Initial Situation shows a pair of pieces, one having value 1, the other value 5. Then, as the Eventual Result, two pairs of pieces are shown, one pair in which both have value 5 and the other in which both pieces in the pair have value 1.]

As the example shows, at the end either a high or a low value is possible.

Which pair values can be formed depends on the skill of the players with the horns of the bull horn figure.

Each player tries via ring tosses to earn finished pair combinations. Each must therefore cleverly and tactically choose when to challenge opponents to toss the ring and in which combinations. The winner is the player who by the end of the game has the highest total value over all leaping phases.


  1. The playing pieces are mixed face down on the table depending on the number of players. We recommend placing the pieces in ordered rows and columns.
      3 players - pairs of each color, values, 1/3/5, 6x5 matrix
      4 players - pairs of each color, values 1-4, 8x5 matrix
      5 Players - pairs of each color, values 1-5, 10x5 matrix
    Of course, the pieces can be arranged randomly on the table, which makes the memory aspect more difficult.
    When there are 3 or 4 players, the rest of the pieces are put aside and will not be used.
  2. The bull horn figure should be easily accessible by all of the players at approximately the same distance from each. The tossing ring is placed next to it.
  3. The first player is determined.
  4. Each player should complete a few practice throws before play begins to develop a feel for throwing.

Playing the Game
Starting with the first player and continuing clockwise, each player takes a turn. A turn consists of either (1) trying to form a match or (2) challenging an opponent.

Forming a Match
To try to form a match, the player reveals any two pieces so that all can see them. If there is a match and the player wishes, he may claim them. Possible pair combinations always consist of same-colored left and right horns. The points on the two pieces can be different – since resolution is deferred until later, they can be changed. The points on the two pieces could also be identical – this is a resolved combination that cannot be changed.

Taken horn pairs are placed face up in front of the owning player. If a pair cannot be be combined or the scoring combination does not correspond to the player's plans, they may be returned, face down, to their positions in the matrix.

It then becomes the next player's turn.

Each player may, in the course of the game, collect at most one pair in each of the five colors. It does not matter with which color each begins or the order in which they are collected.

Issuing a Challenge
If in the course of collecting pairs two players each hold left or right horn pieces of the same color (in the leaping phase) and one or more values that match the pieces of the other player, one of these players can during his turn challenge the other to a skill toss. Challenges may be made on any of the player's turns without the player needing to announce future planned challenges. The challenged player must accept.

General example: In the blue leaping phase, player A challenges player B. The situation is that both A and B have half of a left-right match with identical values.

[Illustration shows that Player A h as blue 1/2 while Player B has blue 2/3.]

When a player issues a challenge, a contest is undertaken. This counts as the player's turn.
He indicates the value of the piece he wishes to contest over and must first toss, trying to get the ring to land over one horn of the bull horn figure. Then the challenged player also makes a toss.

If the challenger wins the contest by successfully getting the ring on the horn when the opponent does not, he receives the contested piece and gives the loser the piece it is replacing from his own collection.

Example 1: A challenges B for a value 3.
Beginning situation:
A holds a blue pair having values 1 and 2.
B holds a blue pair having values 3 and 2.

Result: A's toss succeeds. B's does not. A takes B's 3 and gives B his 2.
Results for A: 1/3 is an unresolved combination. The turn passes to the next player.
Results for B: 2/2 is a resolved combination which can no longer be changed (B can turn these pieces over).

If Player B as the challenged player had succeeded in winning this contest, he could have chosen whether or not to take the other piece. Since there is the danger that A will challenge again, it may be wiser to take the value 1 piece from A and give A the lower-valued, resolved combination of 2/2. Therefore B would hold the 1/3 combination.

As the example shows, it is not always wiser to contest for the higher value.

Example 2: Beginning situation:
A holds a pair having values 1 and 2.
B holds a pair having values 3 and 2.
C holds a pair having values 1 and 5.
B challenges A for a value 1 so that later he can challenge C for value 5.
Result: A does not succeed. B succeeds. B gives A his 2 and takes A's 1.
B could first challenge C only in his next turn.

Possible new starting situation: B holds a pair having values 3 and 1.
C holds a pair having values 1 and 5.

In tossing, if both or neither of the contestants succeed, the situation remains unchanged. A new challenge may be made later by either of the players, or by another player with pieces of this color.

Regardless of the outcome it becomes the turn of the next player.

Hint: Crucial to a challenge is the time at which it is made, the score and the correct assessment of the opportunities arising for other players to win combinations via toss during the game. As the game progresses, more and more pieces will be converted into resolved combinations, whereby it is the objective of all the players to achieve these in their highest possible values.

Game End and Scoring
The game ends when all pieces have been taken from the table and been combined into resolved combinations. The pair values of each player are added together to determine the winner.

For example: a pair of "2" pieces is worth 2 points while a pair of "5" pieces is worth 5 points.

In case of a a tie between two or more players, it is decided by ring toss. Each of the players involved receives three tosses, alternating turns. If this does not break the tie, there is more than one winner or ring tosses continue until a winner is determined [like penalty kicks in soccer].

Minotaur can also be played in a simplified version in which memory has a greater influence on the chances of winning. In this version a player may only try to take pieces of matching value. Scoring is the same.

Example: Player A holds the 1/2 pair in blue. Therefore he can challenge B who is holding the blue 2/3 in order to gain the "2".

This variant is shorter [fewer challenges] and suitable for children.

Idea and Design
Michael Sohre
(C) 1993 Sohre – play & art

(C) 2010 THETA-promotion
Johannistisch 20
D-14532 Kleinmachnow
Tel: ++49(0)33203 78628
Mail: info @
English Translation by Rick Heli