Over the 1982-1983 Christmas holiday, Demian Freeling's father, famed abstract game designer Christiaan Freeling, suggested to his then seven-year-old son that he should design a chess-like game using a seven-by-seven board and seven yet to be defined pawns on the second rank and a royal piece in the middle. Drawing on his own experience with Chess and Xiang-Qi, Demian came up with Congo in just over an hour's time. Games tend to be fairly quick and bloody. Set on an African Savannah with a river running horizontally across the board, the central royal piece is, of course, a lion, and a player wins by capturing the opposing lion. Lions move by stepping one space in any direction, but (except to capture the opposing lion for the win, which it can do by facing the opposing lion on an open file) is confined to the three-by-three area in the middle of its side of the board. Reading the initial setup across the first rank, there is a zebra that moves and captures like a Chess knight. Next is a crocodile that can move and capture by stepping one space in any direction or may race all the way to the river on an open file or may swim horizontally within the river along its entire unobstructed length. Next comes an elephant that moves and captures by jumping one or two squares orthogonally. Next is the lion, then another elephant. Next is a monkey that moves by stepping one space in any direction or captures (possibly repeatedly) by jumping over pieces by a short leap (i.e., the monkey's capturing movement is like the piece movement in Halma, but with immediate capture). Last comes the giraffe, which can jump one or two steps in any direction or capture by jumping onto pieces two spaces away in any direction. Like animals on opposing sides are lined up opposite their counterparts. The second rank on each side is filled with un-promoted pawns that move and capture by stepping one space straight or diagonally forward, and may (but only from across the river) also retreat one or two spaces straight backward without capture. Pawns promote to a super-pawn upon reaching the last rank, and may additionally move and capture one space horizontally or retreat one or two spaces diagonally backward from any space on the board. Any piece except the crocodile may only stay in the river for one turn, after which it drowns if not moved further.