Title:
Three-dimensional game with pegs and beads
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed is a three-dimensional board game for two or more players. The game may also be easily adapted to be a video game. The game board is a flat surface with upstanding pegs arranged on the base in rows and intersecting columns. The pegs may be detachable from the board surface. The board surface may include indicia for playing another game such as chess, checkers, or backgammon in addition to an array of holes for receiving removable pegs. The pegs are adapted to receive beads with a central aperture drilled through them. The beads are marked to be associated with a particular player, with two or more players being possible. According to the game rules, the beads are separated into one set for each player. The players in turn place one bead on any of the pegs. To win the game, a player must align, in an uninterrupted sequence, a specific number of beads, either horizontally, diagonally or vertically. Beads may be stacked upon one another thereby adding playing levels, or planes, and complexity to the game.



Inventors:
Thomson, Ken E. (Meridian, ID, US)
Application Number:
10/447215
Publication Date:
03/04/2004
Filing Date:
05/27/2003
Assignee:
THOMSON KEN E.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/248, 273/260, 273/290
International Classes:
A63F3/02; A63F3/00; A63F9/00; A63F11/00; (IPC1-7): A63F3/00; A63F3/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PEDERSEN & COMPANY, PLLC (P.O. BOX 2666, BOISE, ID, 83701, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A versatile game board comprising a plurality of rows and columns of upright, removable pegs extending vertically from holes in a flat board surface wherein said pegs are adapted to receive a plurality of beads and the board surface includes indicia for another game.

2. The game board of claim 1 wherein the indicia provided on said board surface defines a standard checkers or chess playing board so that when said pegs are removed a game of chess or checkers may be played.

3. The game board of claim 2 wherein upon the standard checkers or chess board is defined an eight-by-eight matrix of upright pegs for receiving beads.

4. The game board of claim 1 wherein the indicia marked on said board surface defines a backgammon playing board so that when said pegs are removed a game of backgammon may be played.

5. The game board of claim 1 wherein said rows and said columns of upright pegs are arranged in a symmetric array with an equal number of columns and rows.

6. The game board of claim 1 wherein the board is mounted on a rotating platform.

7. A game board comprising a plurality of rows and columns of upright, removable pegs, the pegs being adapted to receive a plurality of beads and extending vertically from holes in a flat board surface, wherein the flat board surface is mounted upon a rotating pedestal.

8. The game board of claim 7 wherein the game board surface is elevated upon the pedestal to a height of generally about 2-8 inches.

9. The game board of claim 7 wherein a clock is seated in the pedestal for timing game play.

10. The game board of claim 7 wherein a plurality of pull-out drawers are built into the pedestal for storing game pieces or other items.

Description:

DESCRIPTION

[0001] This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 60/383,329, entitled “Three-Dimensional Game with Pegs and Beads”, filed on May 24, 2002, the disclosure of which is herein incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] This invention relates, in general, to board games for entertainment. More specifically, this invention relates to a three-dimensional board game involving the strategic placement of beads upon vertically extending pegs placed in an array above a flat surface.

[0004] 2. Related Art

[0005] The use of board games and other games for entertainment purposes is known. In addition, such games requiring the strategic positioning and movement of a player's pieces, like chess and checkers, are known. Several attempts have been made to produce challenging board games that are simple to set up, easy to learn and can be played by a number of players of variable skill levels.

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 5,116,061 (Zentner, Jr.) discloses a rotatably mounted round pedestal on a base. The pedestal has a number of pegs of generally equal length projecting upwardly around its periphery to receive marked hollow beads from each of two players. The game is won when a player aligns four beads on the pegs in a row either horizontally, diagonally or vertically.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 5,183,256 (Hale) discloses a round game board with a plurality of diametric rows of pegs which are radially taller near the center. The pegs receive hollow beads according to rolls of dice by the players.

[0008] Leisure Dynamics, Inc. has produced a board game called “Score Four” providing an array of pegs upon which a plurality of beads may be placed. Each turn, a player places a single bead upon any peg in the array. To win the game, a player must align four beads in uninterrupted sequence upon the pegs.

[0009] However, none of these games possesses the unique configuration, versatility or specific advantages of the invented three-dimensional board game.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] According to the objects of the invention, the present invention is a three-dimensional board game for two or more players. The game may also be easily adapted to be a video game. The game board is a generally flat surface with upstanding pegs arranged on the base in intersecting rows and columns. In the preferred embodiment, the game board comprises generally 3-10 rows and 3-10 columns. Typically, the pegs are about the same length so that they extend upwardly to about the same height. The pegs are adapted to receive a plurality of beads, preferably with a central shaft drilled through each bead so that the beads may be slid onto the pegs. The beads are marked and/or shaped to be associated with a particular player, with two or more players being possible.

[0011] According to the preferred game rules, each player begins with one distinctive set of beads. The players, in turn, place one bead on any of the pegs, with the object being first to obtain, over several turns, an uninterrupted alignment of a specific number of beads, either horizontally (at any bead level), diagonally or vertically. Due to the preferred three-dimensional nature of the game, these uninterrupted alignments of beads may extend from row to row or column to column on any level, may extend vertically on a single peg, or may extend diagonally on any level or diagonally from level to level.

[0012] Preferably, the upstanding pegs are detachably inserted into the playing surface. For example, the pegs may be removable such that they stand rigid and straight to receive the beads when in place, but lie flat in, for example, a pull-out drawer when not in use. This way, changes to the game board are easily accomplished via removal of rows and/or columns of pegs. This way, the pegs may also be easily removed from the board surface for safety and convenient storage. Additionally, the game may be made more challenging by removing individual pegs from the array if desirable.

[0013] Detachable pegs may also facilitate the playing of different board games on the same board surface. For example, the surface beneath the pegs may be painted with a standard checkers, chess or backgammon playing board.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] FIG. 1 is a top, side perspective view of one embodiment of the instant invention with a rectangular board and a pedestal holding a drawer and a timer/clock.

[0015] FIGS. 1A, 1B and 1C are top, perspective views of embodiments of different beads according to the present invention.

[0016] FIG. 2 is a side view of the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1 from the point of view of the arrow B in FIG. 1.

[0017] FIG. 3 is a top view of the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1.

[0018] FIG. 4 is a top, side perspective view of another embodiment of the present invention with a different number of rows and columns of pegs on the board game, compared to the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1, which is illustrated as being adjustable by removing pegs.

[0019] FIG. 5 is a top, side perspective view of the embodiment depicted in FIG. 4, but showing also several alignments of beads that may be used to win the game.

[0020] FIG. 6 is a top view of a preferred embodiment of the invented game board with a standard checkers or chess board design and an eight-by-eight array of holes for receiving removable pegs.

[0021] FIG. 7 is a top view of a preferred embodiment of the invented game board with a backgammon playing board and a four-by-four array of holes for receiving removable pegs.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0022] Referring now to the Figures, there are depicted several, but not all, embodiments of the invented three-dimensional (3˜D) game. FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a preferred embodiment 10 of the invention with a generally rectangular board surface 12. Three-dimensional game 10 has board surface 12, and, optionally, board pedestal 14, which supports and raises the board off of a table or other structure. Preferably, board surface 12 rotates on pedestal 14 to facilitate easier viewing of the board by all players and to allow each player to more easily position game pieces. Also in the preferred embodiment, pedestal 14 may include a plurality of pull-out drawers for storing game pieces or other items.

[0023] Parallel rows of upstanding pegs 16 are arranged on board surface 12 (in, for example, the direction of arrow A). Also on board surface 12, parallel columns of pegs 16 are arranged (in, for example, the direction of arrow B). Preferably, the number of rows equals the number of columns, but this is not required. The example board shown in FIG. 1 includes four columns and four rows, but fewer or more may be used.

[0024] On pegs 16 are placed, for example, white beads 18 and black beads 18′, as shown in the figures. A central aperture 20 is drilled through each bead 18. Aperture 20 inner diameter (i.d.) is adapted to fit and slide easily over the outer diameter (o.d.) of pegs 16. This way, the beads 18 may be conveniently placed on pegs 16 above the board surface 12 or above lower beads 18. Preferably pegs 16 are long enough to accommodate 3˜10 beads stacked upon one another so that such pegs would provide for 3˜10 playing levels or planes, respectively.

[0025] In the preferred embodiment, beads 18 are marked such that they may be associated with a particular player. For example, in FIG. 1A, bead 18 is white; in FIG. 1B, bead 18′ is black; and, in FIG. 1C, bead 18″ has a contrasting, central, colored stripe. Beads 18 may be marked in any number of different ways, there being provided a different set of beads, approximately 20˜50 in number, for each player. While spherical beads are preferred, alternative shapes are possible, with a specific shape being associated with a particular player. For example, younger players might enjoy one player playing with round beads and another playing with square beads or they may prefer animals or other distinctive forms such as, for example, monkey-shaped beads vs. tiger-shaped beads.

[0026] In FIG. 1, there are eight beads in place on the pegs. Starting in the leftmost column of FIG. 1, and traversing from the front row to the rear, there is a white bead in the front row, a white bead in the second row, and a white bead stacked on a black bead in the third row. In the second column, there is one white bead followed by two black beads. In the third column from the left, there is only one black bead. Thus, this figure shows play wherein seven beads have been played in the bottom level, and one bead has been stacked in the second level.

[0027] FIGS. 2 and 3 further illustrate the advancement of the game as shown in FIG. 1 to include multiple rows and columns and multiple playing levels, or planes. As the game is played, all rows, columns and playing levels may or may not be used.

[0028] FIG. 4 demonstrates another embodiment 100 of the present invention. In this case, three-dimensional game 100 has just three rows (in the direction of the A arrow) and three columns (in the direction of the B arrow). By contrast, game embodiment 10 depicted in FIGS. 1-3 has four (4) sets of both rows and columns. Modifications in the number of rows and columns may be accomplished via a separate board, or boards, having different numbers of rows and columns of pegs. More preferably, variations to the playing board may be easily made by removing or inserting detachable pegs 16 to the board surface 12. In the removable peg option, the players may remove any unwanted pegs prior to play to arrive at, for example, a three-by-three array. In the preferred embodiment, the pegs are long enough to at least accommodate as many beads as there are rows or columns. For example, a four by four board should have pegs at least long enough to accommodate four vertically-stacked beads.

[0029] Pegs 16 may be attached to the board surface 12 via holes 22 drilled into the upper surface of the board. A sufficient friction fit hold may temporarily fix the pegs in place on the playing board. This way, more complexity may be achieved in the game through the addition of rows and/or columns. Also this way, pegs 16 may be conveniently removed from the board surface 12 and stored, for example, in drawer 24 in pedestal 14, for safety and/or convenience during non-use of the game. When the pegs 16 are removed, the board surface 12 may be used as another game board surface. For example, the surface of the board beneath the removable pegs may be painted or otherwise marked with a standard checkers, chess or backgammon playing surface motif, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7. For embodiments featuring a standard chess or checkers board design, the upright pegs may be positioned at or near the center of each square in the eight-by-eight matrix or at the meeting of the square corners. In another embodiment, the entire board surface 12 may be removed from the pedestal 14 and flipped to reveal a different playing surface. In another embodiment, when the game is not in use, the board surface 12 may serve as an end table or other support. In still another embodiment, a three-dimensional game according to the present invention may be constructed for traveling. Preferably, for the traveling game, the number of pieces will be kept to a minimum and the pieces may be generally smaller than those of a game for home use.

[0030] To play the game, several sets of distinctive beads 18, 18′, 18″, for example, are provided, one for each player. The first player places a bead on a selected peg 16. In turn, each of the players place beads, one at a time, from their sets on selected pegs. The object of the game is to be the first player to align, in an uninterrupted sequence (typically a line), a pre-determined number of beads either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Preferably, the number of beads is the same, or generally the same, as the number of rows and/or columns. The winning bead sequence may be on or terminate at a second, third or fourth playing level above board surface 12. For diagonal lines, the winning sequence may also terminate at, for example, the second third or fourth playing level.

[0031] In some cases, to limit the length of a game or to make the game more challenging a clock, or clocks, may be used. For example, in such situations, each move may be timed and the turn forfeited if the move is not made within the designated time limit. A timing clock 26 (or clocks, as the case may be) may be provided, for example, in pedestal 14.

[0032] FIG. 5 illustrates some of the many bead sequences that may be considered “winners” according to the three-dimensional game of the present invention. For example, rules of game play for the four-by-four peg array in FIG. 5 may allow a three or four-bead sequence to win the game. FIG. 5 illustrates several of the many combinations of three beads that could win the game. Sequence “I” is a horizontal line of three white beads on the first level (directly against the board surface 12) in the second column from the left, and sequence “ii” is a vertical line of three white beads in the farthest column to the right, next to the last row. Sequence “iii” comprises three beads in the following positions: bottom level, second column from left, third row from front; second level, third column from left, second row; and third level, rightmost column, first row. Therefore, sequence “iii” forms an uninterrupted diagonal line.

[0033] Alternatively, the board in FIG. 5 could be used for play wherein sequences of four or more beads are needed to win. For example, four rows and four columns are present, so many lines of four are possible, or, if the pegs are high enough to permit more than four stacked beads, the rules may provide for the winning line to be five or more vertical beads.

[0034] The game of the present invention may also be easily adapted to be a video game. In this case, the structural features of the game, for example, the board surface, pegs and beads, will not physically exist in three dimensions, but will be represented as such on a video screen. These types of embodiments of the present invention may be accomplished with conventional programming techniques. Preferably, advantageous features present in the board game such as, for example, the ability to rotate the game to view different angles, will be present in the computer game as well.

[0035] Although this invention has been described above with reference to particular means, materials and embodiments, it is to be understood that the invention extends instead to all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.





 
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