Link-O was Jax ltd.'s version of Zinga-Zinga, which was distributed throughout North America from 2007-2019
Old El Falja game board carved into stones in the Algerian village, Ath Saida.
After carefully studying the game and its play he felt that it was still an exciting challenge but needed to be adapted to make it more appealing to modern audiences. Out of that grew the company’s second gameZhiZhu!, with its newly rounded playing space and updated rules. With these changes came new challenges and new fun, while still keeping the wisdom of the ancient world alive.
After an article about the father and son game invention team appeared in the Sacramento Bee newspaper, they immediately sold over 1000 units and were inspired to make this hobby into a family business. They even started attending many tradeshows to show off their creation and build interest for it within the industry.
Then at the 2006 Orlando Inventors Game Fair, the company Jax, Ltd. saw and liked Zinga-Zinga so much they decided to license it. In December of that year, they signed a licensing agreement giving them the rights to market and sell the game under the new name, Link-O™, in US, Canada, and Mexico.
ZhiZhu! is the perfect 1 on 1 game, that mixes traditional game strategy with a modern design and new challenges
In 2016, Yanni’s sisters, Annya and Katia Dahmani joined the game development team and together they all formed a new company, LZG Games and Toys, LLC.
LZG Games developed and launched a new version of Zinga-Zinga for the international market to tap into the European, North African, and Gulf markets.
Then in 2017, LZG Games and Toys decided that they would expand their catalog by adapting other ancient games that, like dominoes, were disappearing from daily play but still had value as a form of entertainment and a way to develop mental prowess. The search for their next game was on.
Then, Dahmane Dahmani returned to visit his native village Ath Saidha, Bejaia, Algeria after many years. Where he was surprised to discover some ancient El Felja game boards carved into stone surfaces there. This made him realize just how long this game had been a part of the local culture. Then, upon researching it further, he realized that El Felja was actually a variation of one of the most ancient games in the world, more commonly known as Nine Men’s Morris. It was an important game to the whole world's culture and had entertained countless generations, under numerous names, throughout the centuries. Yet, it was hardly being played anywhere in the 21st century.
How Did Our Mission Begin?
The story of 3-4-5-Games begins back in 2003 as part of a young boy’s elementary school project. This boy, Yanni Dahmani, came up with a novel way to teach US geography through a game he called Vamanos To America (Let’s Go to America). The game was enjoyed by Yanni’s classmates and his father, Dahmane, a former Intel engineer. Seeing how innate games were to childhood development, learning and pleasure, Dahmane became interested in developing more games that the whole family could enjoy together.
Soon after, the two realized that the classic game of Dominoes was no longer very interesting to the average modern player, yet still retained something in its foundation that was attractive and intuitive to learn. The father and son team decided that their first project together would be to update Dominoes for a new generation, which led them on a journey to becoming game developers.
Along with the new game and the new mission, a new company was also born. In 2020 LZG spun off a new company called 3-4-5 Games, specifically dedicated to bringing ancient games back in new forms.
3-4-5 is now looking for more ancient games that still have that unique ability to challenge our core strategic thinking, while also being simple to learn but difficult to master. If you know of any that you think deserve to be adapted for modern audiences, please let us know, we’d love to hear from you. Until then we will be traveling the world turning over every ancient game board until we find the next game we feel is ready to rescue from the mists of time.
Yanni and Dahmane Dahmani with their first game invention which was based on Dominoes.
A few months later, after spending many hours working closely together, the father and son team had created the dominoes adaptation now known as Zinga-Zinga. Taken from Swahili, the word Zinga means to turn in circles, and that’s just what players do in a race to fill four circles that must connect sequentially. The luck of the draw can bring a “Zinga” for extra points or even the win. What goes around comes around in a beautiful balance of strategy and chance.