Title:
Board game using deformable game pieces
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A game (10) includes a playing surface (12), a first set (14) of game pieces (18A-E) and a second set (16) of game pieces (20A-E). The playing surface (12) includes a plurality of positions. The first set (14) of game pieces (18A-E) includes a movable first game piece (18A) that occupies one of the positions and the second set (16) of game pieces (20A-E) includes a movable second game piece (20A) that also occupies one of the positions. The first game piece (18A) and the second game piece (20A) engage each other when the game pieces (18A, 20A) simultaneously occupy the same position. When engaged, the game pieces (18A, 20A) are moved relative to the each other by one or more of the players to cause a deformation in one of the game pieces (18A, 20A). The deformed game piece is removed from the game 10. In one embodiment, the game pieces (18A-E, 20A-E) of each set (14, 16) can move in a distinct pattern from one another on the playing surface (12). Further, in one embodiment, the game pieces (18A-E, 20A-E) can be break-off keys.



Inventors:
Oprisko, Kris (San Diego, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/670920
Publication Date:
03/24/2005
Filing Date:
09/23/2003
Assignee:
OPRISKO KRIS
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/289, 446/69, 273/288
International Classes:
A63F3/02; (IPC1-7): A63F3/00; A63F3/02
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
The, Law Office Of Steven Roeder G. (5560 Chelsea Avenue, La Jolla, CA, 92037, US)
Claims:
1. -17. (Canceled)

18. The method of claim 44 further comprising the step of removing the deformed game piece from the game.

19. The method of claim 48 wherein the step of engaging the game pieces occurs when the first game piece occupies the same designated position as the second game piece.

20. The method of claim 44 wherein the game is played by a first player and a second player, and wherein the step of moving the engaged game pieces includes the first player and the second player moving the engaged game pieces to cause the deformation in one of the game pieces.

21. The method of claim 44 wherein the step of moving the engaged game pieces includes rotating one of the engaged game pieces relative to the other engaged game piece.

22. The method of claim 44 wherein the step of moving the first game piece includes providing a first break-off key, and the step of moving the second game piece includes providing a second break-off key.

23. The method of claim 44 further comprising the steps of the first player providing a first set of game pieces that includes the first deformable game piece and the second player providing a second set of game pieces that includes the second deformable game piece.

24. The method of claim 48 wherein the step of providing a first set of game pieces includes selecting one of the game pieces of the first set to be a first king, and wherein the step of providing a second set of game pieces includes selecting one of the game pieces of the second set to be a second king.

25. The method of claim 24 further comprising the steps of arranging the game pieces from the first set on the playing surface and arranging the game pieces from the second set on the playing surface.

26. The method of claim 25 further comprising the step of the alternately moving one of the game pieces from the first set and moving one of the game pieces from the second set.

27. The method of claim 26 further comprising the step of engaging one of the pieces from the first set with one of the pieces from the second set whenever one game piece from each set occupies the same designated position on the playing surface.

28. The method of claim 27 further comprising the step of the first player winning the game by engaging and deforming the second king with one of the game pieces from the first set.

29. The method of claim 48 wherein the step of providing the first set of game pieces includes providing game pieces that each has a specific pattern of movement.

30. The method of claim 29 wherein the step of providing the second set of game pieces includes providing game pieces that each has a specific pattern of movement.

31. The method of claim 48 wherein the step of providing a first set of game pieces includes providing five game pieces, and wherein the step of providing the second set of game pieces includes providing five game pieces.

32. (Canceled)

33. The method of claim 56 further comprising the step of removing the deformed break-off key from the game.

34. The method of claim 58 wherein the step of engaging the break-off keys occurs when the first break-off key occupies the same position as the second break-off key.

35. The method of claim 56 wherein the step of moving the engaged break-off keys includes two of the players moving the engaged break-off keys to cause the deformation in one of the break-off keys.

36. The method of claim 56 wherein the step of moving the engaged break-off keys includes rotating one of the engaged break-off keys relative to the other engaged break-off key.

37. The method of claim 56 further comprising the steps of the first player providing a first set of break-off keys that includes the first break-off key and the second player providing a second set of break-off keys that includes the second break-off key.

38. The method of claim 58 wherein the step of providing a first set of break-off keys includes selecting one of the break-off keys of the first set to be a first king, and wherein the step of providing a second set of break-off keys includes selecting one of the break-off keys of the second set to be a second king.

39. The method of claim 38 further comprising the steps of arranging the break-off keys from the first set on the playing surface and arranging the break-off keys from the second set along the playing surface.

40. The method of claim 39 further comprising the step of the alternately moving one of the break-off keys from the first set and moving one of the break-off keys from the second set.

41. The method of claim 40 further comprising the step of engaging one of the pieces from the first set with one of the pieces from the second set whenever one break-off key from each set occupies the same position on the playing surface.

42. The method of claim 41 further comprising the step of the first player winning the game by engaging and deforming the second king with one of the break-off keys from the first set.

43. The method of claim 58 wherein the step of providing a first set of break-off keys includes providing five break-off keys, and wherein the step of providing the second set of break-off keys includes providing five break-off keys.

44. A method for playing a game with a first player, the method comprising the steps of: moving a first deformable game piece along a playing surface having a plurality of designated positions; moving a second deformable game piece along the playing surface; engaging the first game piece with the second game piece when the game pieces occupy the same designated position as one another on the playing surface; and moving the engaged game pieces relative to each other to cause a deformation of one of the engaged game pieces.

45. The method of claim 44 wherein the step of moving the first deformable game piece includes the playing surface having a central row of designated positions, the central row being centrally positioned on the playing surface.

46. The method of claim 44 wherein the step of moving the engaged game pieces includes causing a temporary deformation of one of the engaged game pieces.

47. The method of claim 44 wherein the step of moving the engaged game pieces includes causing a permanent deformation of one of the engaged game pieces.

48. A method for playing a game with a first player and a second player, the method comprising the steps of: the first player providing a set of game pieces that includes a first deformable game piece; the second player providing a set of game pieces that includes a second deformable game piece; moving a first deformable game piece along a playing surface having a plurality of designated positions; moving a second deformable game piece along the playing surface; engaging the first game piece with the second game piece; and moving the engaged game pieces relative to each other to cause a deformation in one of the engaged game pieces.

49. The method of claim 48 further comprising the step of removing the deformed game piece from the game.

50. The method of claim 48 wherein the game is played by a first player and a second player, and wherein the step of moving the engaged game pieces includes the first player and the second player moving the engaged game pieces to cause the deformation in one of the game pieces.

51. The method of claim 48 wherein the step of moving the engaged game pieces includes rotating one of the engaged game pieces relative to the other engaged game piece.

52. The method of claim 48 wherein the step of moving the first game piece includes providing a first break-off key, and the step of moving the second game piece includes providing a second break-off key.

53. The method of claim 48 wherein the step of moving the first deformable game piece includes the playing surface having a central row of designated positions, the central row being centrally positioned on the playing surface.

54. The method of claim 48 wherein the step of moving the engaged game pieces includes causing a temporary deformation of one of the engaged game pieces.

55. The method of claim 48 wherein the step of moving the engaged game pieces includes causing a permanent deformation of one of the engaged game pieces.

56. A method for playing a game with a first player and a second player, the method comprising the steps of: providing a first break-off key that moves along a playing surface having a plurality of designated positions; providing a second break-off key that moves along the playing surface; engaging the break-off keys when the break-off keys occupy the same designated position as one another on the playing surface; and moving the break-off keys relative to each other to cause a deformation in one of the break-off keys.

57. The method of claim 56 wherein the step of providing a first break-off key includes the playing surface having a central row of designated positions, the central row being centrally positioned on the playing surface.

58. A method for playing a game with a first player and a second player, the method comprising the steps of: providing a first set of break-off keys including a first break-off key that moves along a playing surface having a plurality of positions; providing a second set of break-off keys including a second break-off key that moves along the playing surface; engaging the break-off keys; and moving the break-off keys relative to each other to cause a deformation in one of the break-off keys.

59. The method of claim 58 further comprising the step of removing the deformed break-off key from the game.

60. The method of claim 58 wherein the step of moving the engaged break-off keys includes rotating one of the engaged break-off keys relative to the other engaged break-off key.

61. The method of claim 58 wherein the step of providing a first set of break-off keys includes the playing surface having a central row of designated positions, the central row being centrally positioned on the playing surface.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to an interactive board game that can be played by two or more players.

BACKGROUND

Board games are well known. Recently, a variety of board games have emerged that test a player's knowledge. For example, some games can require a knowledge base involving somewhat trivial, relatively unimportant matters, while others may necessitate an understanding of historical or current events. These types of memory games focus on what a player has learned during his or her lifetime. A person playing one of these knowledge-based games may not have a knack for recalling such inconsequential information, or may simply not be interested in “fast facts”.

Unfortunately, games requiring black and white knowledge of specific information may not require any strategic skills. In particular, no specific tactics or plan of attack is necessary to play these kinds of games. Moreover, no decision making abilities are required. As a result thereof, very often the more well-read person will continually prevail, rather than one who can outfox his or her opponent. Further, knowledge-based games can lack any sort of physical element. After a short period of time, the lack of strategy, variation and/or a physical element to the game can cause the players' interest to diminish.

In light of the above, a need exists to provide an improved strategy-based game that also includes a physical component. Another need exists to provide a game which is relatively easy to learn and understand, mentally challenging, and fun to play.

SUMMARY

The present invention is directed to a game for one or more players. In one embodiment, the game includes a playing surface, a first set of game pieces and a second set of game pieces. The playing surface includes a plurality of positions. In this embodiment, the first set of game pieces includes a movable first game piece that occupies one of the positions and the second set of game pieces includes a movable second game piece that also occupies one of the positions. The first game piece and the second game piece engage each other when the game pieces simultaneously occupy the same position. When engaged, the game pieces are moved relative to the each other by one or more of the players to cause a deformation in one of the game pieces. In one embodiment, the deformed game piece is removed from the game.

The playing surface can include any number of positions. In one embodiment, the playing surface includes at least 25 positions, which can include a five-position by five-position array. In another embodiment, each set of game pieces includes five game pieces, with each game piece within each set moving in a distinct pattern from one another on the playing surface. Further, in one embodiment, the game pieces can be break-off keys.

The present invention is also directed to a method for playing the game. In one embodiment, the method includes the steps of moving a first deformable game piece along a playing surface having a plurality of positions, moving a second deformable game piece along the playing surface, engaging the first game piece with the second game piece, and moving the engaged game pieces relative to each other to cause a deformation in one of the engaged game pieces. In another embodiment, the method includes providing a first break-off key that moves along a playing surface having a plurality of positions, providing a second break-off key that moves along the playing surface, engaging the break-off keys, and moving the break-off keys relative to each other to cause a deformation in one of the break-off keys.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The novel features of this invention, as well as the invention itself, both as to its structure and its operation, will be best understood from the accompanying drawings, taken in conjunction with the accompanying description, in which similar reference characters refer to similar parts, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a simplified top plan view of first embodiment of components of a game having features of the present invention;

FIG. 2A is a diagram illustrating possible movements of a first type of game piece;

FIG. 2B is a diagram illustrating possible movements of a second type of game piece;

FIG. 2C is a diagram illustrating possible movements of a third type of game piece;

FIG. 2D is a diagram illustrating possible movements of a fourth type of game piece;

FIG. 2E is a diagram illustrating possible movements of a fifth type of game piece;

FIG. 2F is a diagram illustrating possible movements of a sixth type of game piece;

FIG. 3A is a top view of an embodiment of one of the game pieces;

FIG. 3B is an end view of an embodiment of the game piece illustrated in FIG. 3A;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of two game pieces in a disengaged position;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of two game pieces in an engaged position prior to a battle; and

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of two game pieces following a battle between the game pieces.

DESCRIPTION

Referring initially to FIG. 1, a game 10 for two players (not shown) having features of the present invention includes a playing surface 12, a first set 14 of game pieces and a second set 16 of game pieces. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, the first set 14 includes a first game piece 18A, a second game piece 18B, a third game piece 18C, a fourth game piece 18D and a fifth game piece 18E. The second set 16 includes a first game piece 20A, a second game piece 20B, a third game piece 20C, a fourth game piece 20D and a fifth game piece 20E. In an alternative embodiment, the game 10 can include greater than two sets 14, 16 of game pieces.

The game 10 is particularly suited for use by two players, although more than two players can play the game 10 at a time. Alternatively, the game 10 can be played by a single player.

The playing surface 12 illustrated in FIG. 1 is two-dimensional and square, and is divided into a plurality of positions. The design of the playing surface 12 can vary depending upon the design requirements of the game 10 and the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E, and/or the number of players. For example, the playing surface 12 can be a rigid game board, a fold-up game board, a roll-up game board or any other suitable surface. Further, one or more of the positions of the playing surface 12 can include one or more holes or depressions (not shown) for maintaining a particular orientation of the game piece(s) 18A-E, 20A-E that occupy the positions. Stated another way, one or more of the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E can have a portion (not shown) that fits into the hole or depression that keeps the game piece(s) standing upright.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, the playing surface 12 is divided into a first side 22, an opposite second side 24 and a central row 26 positioned between the first side 22 and the second side 24. Each side 22, 24 includes a first row 28 and a second row 30. In this embodiment, each first row 28 is positioned along the perimeter of the playing surface 12.

For convenience of discussion, a first position 32A, a second position 32B and a third position 32C are specifically identified in FIG. 1, although it is recognized that 25 total positions arranged in a five-position by five-position array are illustrated in FIG. 1. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the second game piece 18B of the first set 14 is positioned on the first position 32A, the fifth game piece 20E of the second set 16 is positioned on the second position 32B, and no game pieces are positioned on the third position 32C. It should be recognized that any of the positions on the playing surface 12 can be the first position 32A, the second position 32B or the third position 32C.

In alternative embodiments, the playing surface 12 can include greater or fewer than 25 positions. For example, the playing surface 12 can have any suitable dimensions, such as a six-position by six-position square, or a four-position by five-position rectangle. In still another embodiment, the playing surface 12 can have a hexagonal or another polygonal shape, and the positions can have another suitable shape, such as triangular, rectangular, hexagonal or circular, as non-exclusive examples. In yet another embodiment, the playing surface 12 can be three-dimensional.

The number of the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E included in each set 14, 16 of the game 10 can be varied to suit the design of the playing surface 12. For example, each set 14, 16 of game pieces can alternatively include greater or fewer than five distinct game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E. Further, each set 14, 16 can include greater or fewer than five total game pieces, whether or not they are distinct from one another.

In one embodiment of the game 10, all game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E in each set 14, 16 are positioned on the playing surface 12 during the game. Alternatively, as explained in greater detail below, one or more select sets including a first select set 34 and a second select set 36 of game pieces can be established from each corresponding set 14, 16 of game pieces. In this embodiment, only the select sets 34, 36 are positioned on the playing surface 12, while the remaining pieces in each set 14, 16 are either not used during the game 10, or are “rotated” in for use during the game 10. For example, although each set 14, 16 can include five game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E, respectively, the players may opt to play the game 10 so that each player uses only four game pieces 18B-E, 20B-E, or fewer than four game pieces, which would comprise the select sets 34, 36 of game pieces. In this embodiment, the decision regarding which four game pieces to use from each set 14, 16 of five game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E can be determined by the player using the respective set 14, 16, or by one or more of that player's opponents. Alternatively, any other suitable method of determining which game pieces to use in the select sets 24, 26 can be utilized.

Importantly, the foregoing example represents one embodiment wherein the select sets 24, 26 include fewer game pieces than the total number of game pieces in the corresponding set 14, 16. Any number of game pieces in each select set 24, 26 can be used in the game 10 provided the number is less than the total number of game pieces in the respective set 14, 16.

Additionally, in one embodiment of the game 10, each player selects one of the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E from his or her set 14, 16 to be a “king”, as illustrated in FIG. 1. In this embodiment, the first set 14 includes a first king 38, which in this example has been selected to be the third game piece 18C, and the second set 16 includes a second king 40, which has been selected to be the first piece 20A. As provided herein, the game piece 18C, 20A that is designated the king 38, 40 from each corresponding set 14, 16 can have its own characteristics that may or may not be consistent with the normal characteristics of that game piece 18C, 20A. For example, the kings 38, 40 can have independent rules regarding the pattern of movement, as described more fully below. In this embodiment, the remaining pieces 18A, 18B, 18D, 18E, 20B-E that form each set 14, 16 (or each select set 34, 36) are referred to herein as “pawns”. In an alternative embodiment, the king is not selected from one of the five game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E, but is an additional game piece (not shown).

During the game, the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E are moved by the players from one position to another on the playing surface 12. The design of each type of game piece 18A-E, 20A-E can be varied. In one embodiment, one or more of the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E of each set 14, 16 can differ in one or more ways. For example, these differences can include size, shape, color, relative strength and/or pattern of movement.

Each game piece 18A-E, 20A-E can be a different size and/or shape, provided that the size and/or shape of each game piece 18A-E, 20A-E is such that the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E can be physically engaged with one or more of an opponent's game pieces, as explained in greater detail below. The game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E can also include a stand (not shown) which can be a relatively flat surface that allows the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E to maintain a substantially upright orientation on the playing surface 12 so that each game piece 18A-E, 20A-E can be more easily identified and handled by the players. Further, the stand can allow a specific orientation of the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E to delineate which game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E belong to which players. The stand can be snapped in place, or can be formed integrally with each game piece 18A-E, 20A-E. Alternatively, the game pieces can lie substantially flat on the playing surface 12 without the use of the stand.

Moreover, each game piece 18A-E, 20A-E within a set 14, 16 can have a distinctive marking. For example, each game piece can have a different letter, number, picture, Roman numeral or another suitable distinctive marking that identifies the game piece.

In one embodiment, the game pieces can have different colors. For example, the first game piece 18A, 20A can have a first color, i.e. green or blue, for example. The second game piece 18B, 20B can have a second color, i.e. yellow, orange or red, for example. The third game piece 18C, 20C can have a third color, i.e. white. The fourth game piece 18D, 20D can have a fourth color, i.e. purple. The fifth game piece can have a fifth color, i.e. black. It is recognized that the foregoing examples represent one embodiment of the game 10, and that the colors of each game piece 18A-E, 20A-E can vary from those set forth above. Alternatively, the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E can have a combination of more than one color. Still alternatively, two or more game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E can have the same color.

In one embodiment, one or more of the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E can become permanently deformed during a battle. Alternatively, the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E can be temporarily deformed during a battle, and can be subsequently restored to their original configuration for use during another battle or another game. For example, the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E can be “break-off” keys. Some examples of various types of break-off keys are more fully described in United States Patent Application Publication No. US 2001/0009837 A1, filed by Teunenbrock et al., published on Jul. 26, 2001. However, any break-off key or another suitable game piece that is capable of being temporarily or permanently deformed during a battle with another game piece can be utilized with the game 10 described herein. As far as permitted, the disclosure in United States Patent Application Publication No. US 2001/0009837 A1 is incorporated herein by reference.

As explained in greater detail below, in one embodiment of the game 10, when two game pieces occupy the same position, e.g., the first position 32A on the playing surface 12, the players to whom the two game pieces belong engage the game pieces in a battle. Once the game pieces are engaged, the battle occurs. During the battle, the engaged game pieces are moved relative to each other by the players until a portion of one of the game pieces becomes deformed, snaps off or otherwise breaks. For example, the movement of the engaged game pieces by the players during a battle can be in the form of turning, twisting, pulling or otherwise exerting a force on one or more of the engaged game pieces relative to the opposing engaged game piece(s).

The game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E can also have different relative strengths. In one embodiment, the relative strength of one or more of the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E, or one or more portions of each game piece 18A-E, 20A-E can vary. The relative strength of each game piece 18A-E, 20A-E can be determined by the materials used to form the game piece 18A-E, 20A-E, thereby giving at least a portion of the game piece 18A-E, 20A-E a characteristic rigidity. Alternatively, the relative strength of each game piece 18A-E, 20A-E can be determined by the size, thickness and/or shape of one or more portions of the game piece 18A-E, 20A-E. For example, each game piece 18A-E, 20A-E can have specific regions that are thickened, have the same thickness, or are less thick relative to one or more of the other game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E. Still alternatively, the relative strength of each game piece 18A-E, 20A-E can be established using a combination of rigidity of materials and altering the size, thickness and/or shape of one or more portions of the game piece 18A-E, 20A-E. Further, other suitable methods of varying the relative strength of each game piece 18A-E, 20A-E can be used.

With these designs, each game piece 18A-E, 20A-E can have a different susceptibility to becoming deformed or broken during a battle. The extent of the susceptibility to breakage and the number of game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E having a certain relative strength can vary. At the two extremes, some of the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E can have a high relative strength, e.g. a low susceptibility to becoming deformed, while other game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E can have a low relative strength, e.g., a high susceptibility to becoming deformed. Still other game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E can have a relative strength that is between these two extremes. Alternatively, all of the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E can have substantially the same relative strength.

The game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E can be made from various materials. For example, the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E can be formed from plastics such as polyvinyl chloride, polyamide, polyester or polyolefin, as non-exclusive examples. Alternatively, the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E can be formed from ceramics, metals, or any other suitable materials which allow the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E to potentially become deformed during a battle, or cause deformation to other game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E during a battle.

Additionally, each game piece 18A-E, 20A-E can move in a distinct pattern. Alternatively, some game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E can move in one specific pattern, while other game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E can move in one or more different patterns.

FIGS. 2A-2E are diagrams that represent various movements of the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E in one embodiment of the game 10. It is recognized that each pattern of movement illustrated in FIGS. 2A-2E can be varied from that which is illustrated, and/or can apply to more than one of the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E or to none of the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E.

FIG. 2A is a diagram of a pattern of movement for each of the first game pieces 18A, 20A (illustrated in FIG. 1) in each set 14, 16 (illustrated in FIG. 1). In this embodiment, each first game piece 18A, 20A can move diagonally across one or two positions, and cannot change direction during the course of the move, as illustrated in FIG. 2A. FIG. 2A illustrates various movements of the first game piece 18A, 20A from two representative positions. It is recognized that the pattern of movement illustrated in FIG. 2A could commence from any position on the playing surface 12, provided the first game piece 18A, 20A moves either one or two positions in a diagonal direction.

Each set 14, 16 can include any number of first game pieces 18A, 20A. For example, in one embodiment, each set 14, 16 can have one or more first game pieces 18A, 20A that move in the pattern illustrated in FIG. 2A, provided the number of first game pieces 18A, 20A in each set 14, 16 are equal. Alternatively, each set 14, 16 can include a disparate number of first game pieces 18A, 20A. Somewhat similarly, each set 14, 16 can include any number of second game pieces 18B, 20B, third game pieces 18C, 20C, fourth game pieces 18D, 20D, and/or fifth game pieces 18E, 20E, recognizing that in this embodiment, each game piece 18A-E in the first set 14 and each game piece 20A-E in the second set 16 can move according to the same or a different pattern of movement, as described below.

FIG. 2B is a diagram of a pattern of movement for each of the second game pieces 18B, 20B (illustrated in FIG. 1) in each set 14, 16 (illustrated in FIG. 1). In this embodiment, each second game piece 18B, 20B can move forward, backward, left or right across one or two positions, and cannot change direction during the course of the move, as illustrated in FIG. 2B. FIG. 2B illustrates various movements of the second game piece 18B, 20B from two representative positions. It is recognized that the pattern of movement illustrated in FIG. 2B could commence from any position on the playing surface 12, provided the second game piece 18B, 20B moves either one or two positions in a forward, backward, left or right direction.

FIG. 2C is a diagram of various patterns of movement for each of the third game pieces 18C, 20C (illustrated in FIG. 1) in each set 14, 16 (illustrated in FIG. 1). In this embodiment, each third game piece 18C, 20C can move forward, backward, left or right across one or two positions, as illustrated in FIG. 2C. However, in this embodiment, the third game piece 18C, 20C necessarily must change direction during the course of a move if moving across two positions. In this embodiment, the change of direction must be in a direction that is perpendicular to the direction moved from the initial position during that move. Stated another way, the movement of the third game piece 18C, 20C is L-shaped. It is recognized that the patterns of movement illustrated in FIG. 2C could commence from any position on the playing surface 12.

FIG. 2D is a diagram of various patterns of movement for each of the fourth game pieces 18D, 20D (illustrated in FIG. 1) in each set 14, 16 (illustrated in FIG. 1). In this embodiment, each fourth game piece 18D, 20D can move forward, backward, left or right one position, then can move one additional position in a diagonal direction, as illustrated in FIG. 2D. Further, in this embodiment, the fourth game piece 18D, 20D necessarily must change direction during the course of a two position move. It is recognized that the patterns of movement illustrated in FIG. 2D could commence from any position on the playing surface 12.

FIG. 2E is a diagram of various patterns of movement for each of the fifth game pieces 18E, 20E (illustrated in FIG. 1) in each set 14, 16 (illustrated in FIG. 1). In this embodiment, each fifth game piece 18E, 20E can move forward, backward, left or right across one, two or three positions in any direction, as illustrated in FIG. 2E. Further, in this embodiment, each position of movement can be made in a different direction, although not required. FIG. 2E illustrates various movements of the fifth game piece 18E, 20E from three representative positions. It is recognized that the patterns of movement illustrated in FIG. 2E could commence from any position on the playing surface 12.

FIG. 2F is a diagram of various patterns of movement for the kings 38, 40 (illustrated in FIG. 1). As provided above, any of the game pieces of each set 14, 16 can be designated by each respective player to be the king 38, 40. In this embodiment, the king 38, 40 can move across up to four positions per turn, in any direction, as illustrated in FIG. 2F. FIG. 2F illustrates two examples of movements of the king 38, 40 starting from two different positions. It is recognized that the patterns of movement shown in FIG. 2F could commence from any position on the playing surface 12.

FIG. 3A is a top view of an embodiment of a first game piece 318, which can be representative of any of the other game pieces, i.e. the second game piece, the third game piece, etc. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3A, the first game piece 318 includes a handle 342 and an engager 344. The handle 342 can be disk-shaped, key-shaped, or can have any other configuration that allows a player to easily grasp the first game piece 318.

The engager 344 illustrated in FIG. 3A includes an engaging region 346 and a coupler 348. The engaging region includes a perimeter wall 349 that defines an engager cavity 350 (shown in phantom). The coupler 348 extends from the engager cavity 350, and is shaped to be inserted into a substantially similar engager cavity 350 of a second game piece 420 (as illustrated in FIG. 4, for example), adjacent to the coupler 348 on the second game piece 320.

FIG. 3B is an end view of the first game piece 318 illustrated in FIG. 3A. In this embodiment, the coupler 348 can be connected by a snap connection or another suitable means to a pin 352, which is positioned near the perimeter wall 349 of the engaging region 346. An opening (not shown) can be formed in the perimeter wall 349 of the engaging region 346, at the location of the pin 352. With this design, it is possible to produce the first game piece 318 in an simple and accurate manner, since the thickness of the pin 352 can easily be adapted in a mold (not shown) in which the first game piece 318 is formed by means of a moving part in the mold. Depending on the degree to which the moving part moves inwardly, for example, during an injection molding process, the pin 352 will be thicker or thinner and thus stronger or less strong resulting in a first game piece 318 having a greater or lesser relative strength.

The game 10 provided herein is particularly suited for a number of alternative rules and variations. The rules and examples of two embodiments of a two player game 10 are provided below. Those skilled in the art will recognize that the rules for the two player games 10 or a game for more than two players can be varied and that no limitations are intended by the examples provided below other than as provided in the appended claims.

Playing the Game

Referring back to FIG. 1, in one embodiment of a two player game 10, each player chooses one of the sets 14, 16 of game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E. For example, the players can alternately choose game pieces that comprise each player's set 14, 16 of game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E. Alternatively, the players can each choose a predetermined set 14, 16 of game pieces. Still alternatively, the players can each assemble and maintain a select set 34, 36 of game pieces from the corresponding set 14, 16 of game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E. In one embodiment, any combination of colored game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E and/or any combination of patterns of movement can be used by each player.

The players can then arrange their respective game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E on the playing surface 12. This can be accomplished by the players taking turns placing one or more game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E on the playing surface 12, or by each player placing his or her respective game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E on the playing surface without regard to the placement of the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E by the opponent. Still alternatively, a barrier (not shown) can be placed across the central row 26 of the playing surface 12 so that each player cannot view placement of the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E by the opponent. In an alternative embodiment, the final pawn to be placed by each player is positioned by the opposing player.

The rules governing location of placement of the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E can be varied. For example, in the embodiment of the playing surface 12 illustrated in FIG. 1, the rules can permit placement of the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E only in the first two rows 28, 30 of each side 22, 24, with the first player using the first side 22, and the second player using the second side 24. In this embodiment, no game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E can initially be placed in the central row 26. Further, each player designates one of the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E from his or her respective set 14, 16 to represent the king 38, 40, while the remaining pieces are designated as the pawns.

In one embodiment, the kings 38, 40 must initially be placed in the center position of the first row 28 of each corresponding side 22, 24. In alternative embodiments, the kings 38, 40 can have designated initial starting positions other than the center position of the first row 28 or each corresponding side 22, 24. In still another embodiment, each player can position the king 38, 40 in a location of that player's choosing.

Once the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E are positioned on the playing surface 12, the players can determine which player will commence play. This can be accomplished by any suitable means, i.e. coin flip, rock/paper/scissors, or another appropriate method. The first player takes the first turn while the second player takes the second turn. The players then continue alternating turns for the remainder of the game. Play is limited to within the boundaries of the playing surface 12.

Each turn consists of moving one of the player's own game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E according to the specific patterns of movement allowed for that selected game piece 18A-E, 20A-E as agreed upon by the players. If one of the game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E is moved to a position, i.e. the first position 32A, the second position 32B, the third position 32C, etc., which is occupied by one of the opponent's game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E, a battle will occur. Each player picks up his or her respective game piece 18A-E, 20A-E and engages the game piece 18A-E, 20A-E held by the opponent.

In a second embodiment of the two player game 10, each set 14, 16 includes three game pieces 18A-C, 20A-C. One game piece from each set 14, 16 is selected to be the king 38, 40, while the remaining two game pieces in each set 14, 16 are the pawns.

Although the movements of each game piece 18A-C, 20A-C can vary, in this embodiment, all of the different colored game pieces with the exception of the black game pieces can move one or two spaces in a diagonal direction only. Moreover, in this embodiment, if the game piece is moved two spaces, the move to the second space is in the same direction as the move to the first space.

The black game piece can be moved one or two spaces in the forward, backward, left or right directions. For moves across two spaces, the move to the second space is also in the same direction as the move to the first space.

In this embodiment, the king 38, 40 is positioned in a center position of a corresponding first row 28 of each side 22, 24. Each of the players' two pawns can be placed in any position in that player's side 22, 24. The game 10 is then commenced and played as described above.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of opposing game pieces including a first game piece 418 and a second game piece 420 prior to engagement before a battle.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of two opposing game pieces including a first game piece 518 and a second game piece 520 that are in the engaged position immediately prior to movement of the game pieces 518, 520 relative to each other during a battle. At this time, the pin 552 on each game piece 518, 520 is still intact. At a moment designated by the players, e.g. at the count of three, the engaged game pieces 518, 520 are moved relative to each other by the players. This movement can vary according to the design of the game pieces 518, 520. For example, the movement can include rotation, direct pulling apart, or otherwise exerting a force on the opponent's game piece 518, 520 until one of the game pieces 518, 520 becomes deformed. In one embodiment, the elbow of each player must remain on surface supporting the playing surface 12 (illustrated in FIG. 1) at all times during a battle. In one embodiment, once one of the game pieces 518, 520 becomes deformed, the battle is terminated.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of two opposing game pieces including a first game piece 618 and a second game piece 620 following a battle during which the second game piece 620 has become permanently deformed. In this embodiment, the deformation occurs when the force between the game pieces 618, 620 causes one of the pins 652 to break off. Once the battle is terminated, the deformed piece 620 is removed from the game 10, the remaining game piece 618 is allowed to continue to occupy the position where the baffle started, and play continues. If a battle occurs during which one player's king becomes deformed, the opposing player wins the game. Thus, the object of the game is to cause deformation of the opponent's king.

In the event both game pieces 618, 620 become deformed during a battle, each player can replace that game piece 618, 620 with a replacement game piece (not shown), which can have the same pattern of movement, the same relative strength, and/or the same color. Alternatively, the replacement game piece can be different than the deformed game piece 618, 620 being replaced, provided the players agree in advance. Moreover, the replacement piece can be repositioned to any position within the respective player's side which is different than the position in which the battle occurred. In the event one of the players does not have a replacement game piece, neither player may replace the deformed game piece 618, 620.

In one embodiment of the rules of the game 10, a player can opt out of a battle. To opt out, once two opposing game pieces occupy the same position on the playing surface 12, one player can remove his or her game piece from the playing surface 12 for the remainder of the game 10 without engaging in a battle. This allows the player to prevent the possible deformation of the removed game piece. However, in one embodiment, a player cannot opt out of a battle involving his or her king.

In another embodiment of the rules of the game 10, game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E (illustrated in FIG. 1) are not permitted to “jump” over any other game piece 18A-E, 20A-E. In an alternative embodiment, certain game pieces 18A-E, 20A-E as agreed upon by the players, i.e. the second game pieces 18B, 20B and/or the fifth game pieces 18E, 20E, can jump over one or more of the remaining game pieces 18A, 18C, 18D, 20A, 20C, 20D.

In one embodiment of the game 10, no player can move his or her king 38, 40 (illustrated in FIG. 1) until all other game pieces of that player have become deformed, and thus, removed from the game 10. Once this occurs, the king 38, 40 is “sprung” from the original position of the king 38, 40, and the king 38, 40 is free to move around the playing surface 12. As provided above, a king 38, 40 that has become sprung has a specific pattern of movement (illustrated in FIG. 2F). In one embodiment, a sprung king 38, 40 must reach and defeat the opponent's king 38, 40 in a battle within two turns of that player. If this does not occur, the opponent wins the game 10.

While the particular game 10 as herein shown and disclosed in detail is fully capable of obtaining the objects and providing the advantages herein before stated, it is to be understood that it is merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiments of the invention and that no limitations are intended to the details of construction or design herein shown other than as described in the appended claims.