The game Merells likely dates back to at least ancient Egypt and was once commonly played across the world. 

At 3-4-5 games, we believe there is wisdom in ancient games, and we can bring it back with a modern twist.

These games are ancestors of some of the world’s most ancient forms of amusement, and they speak to our inner nature. Many of them are not overly complicated games by modern standards, but are complicated in their ability to challenge our core strategic thinking, problem solving, and resource management abilities. These ancient games are all forms of critical thinking that our distant ancestors needed for survival. Modern people also need fun, engaging ways to learn to face these types of challenges as children, because experience is the best teacher. As adults we need to constantly hone and keep these skills sharp, or fall behind. And in retirement we need to keep our minds active to keep our grasp on all the wisdom we’ve gained in our lifetime.

Our Philosophy

Our latest game ZhiZhu! ​is based on one of the world's most ancient games, Nine Men's Morris. The founder of

3-4-5 games, Dahmane Dahmani, knew this game as El Felja while growing up in his native village Ath Saidha, Bejaia, Algeria. 

When he returned to Algeria after many years he discovered some ancient El Felja boards carved into stone surfaces and realized how long this game had been a part of the culture there. Then, upon researching it further, he realized how important this game was to the world's culture overall. 

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 ZhiZhu!with its rounded game space and updated rules. With his changes come new challenges and new fun, while still keeping the wisdom of the ancient world alive. 

Games teach us strategic thinking and generally keep our minds sharp at all ages.

That is why we at 3-4-5 Games search the world for the games our ancestors played, looking for those great ones that are on the verge of being forgotten. When we find a game that we as humans seem to inherently understand and are attracted to, we carefully log and research its history and the culture that surrounded it. We also play it over and over to comprehend what about it calls to our basic needs for strategic competition. Then we take that foundation and develop a new version that interprets it for a modern generation who need more challenges and complexity.

We believe that in every village and town, in every corner of the world there are traditional games being lost forever.

Most importantly, we do all this while making sure we create a game that you will feel comfortable with on first contact, a game you get. Because games don’t need to be grand stories and books of rules to create joy and to challenge you. Just as our ancestors understood, sometimes the greatest games only needed a simple board, some stones and a deceptively simple set of rules to help foster generations of human minds. 

Did You Know?

Why Do We Make Games?

Playing games is in our DNA. It is how we learn as children, how we socialize as adults, and how we keep our minds sharp in our later years. Games come in endless forms and levels of difficulty, but there are very few games left that people can truly connect with and understand the moment they begin to play them. When people do come across this kind of game, most of them understand it very quickly, and it just feels natural. The problem is, many of these kinds of  games have disappeared, gone out of fashion, or are on the verge of being forgotten.