Title:
Game with players competing for points and avoiding obstacles
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Game apparatus including tiles, movers, and/or player boards, and methods of game play suitable for use with the same. Some embodiments have a plurality of tiles that are adapted to be placed into a plurality of stacks. Some tiles may optionally include layer indicia adapted to indicate a starting location for each tile in the tile stacks.



Inventors:
Yu, Brian (Hawthorne, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/397990
Publication Date:
11/02/2006
Filing Date:
04/04/2006
Assignee:
Mattel, Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KOLISCH HARTWELL, P.C. (520 SW YAMHILL STREET, SUITE 300, PORTLAND, OR, 97204, US)
Claims:
1. An apparatus for playing a game, comprising: a plurality of tiles, each tile having a first face that includes layer indicia, each tile also having a second face, the tiles being adapted to be placed in tile stacks within a plurality of spaces in a playing area, such that tiles having common layer indicia are placed into a common location in each tile stack and in a predefined order.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the tiles are adapted to be individually moved among: a hidden state in which the first face is disposed face-up atop a tile stack; a revealed state in which the second face is disposed face-up atop a tile stack; and a removed state in which the tile is removed from the tile stack.

3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the second face includes one of a plurality of game indicia.

4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the game indicia includes a plurality of gem indicia and wherein, in the removed state, tiles having gem indicia are adapted to be placed in one of a plurality of player holding areas.

5. The apparatus of claim 4, further comprising a player board for each player, the player boards each being adapted to receive one or more tiles, wherein the player holding areas include the player boards.

6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the player boards each include a plurality of spaces that are each adapted to receive one or more tiles.

7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the spaces are arranged in a plurality of rows and a plurality of columns on each player board.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein an equal number of tiles include each layer indicia.

9. A method of playing a game, comprising: providing a plurality of tiles, each tile having game indicia that include a plurality of gem indicia; providing a plurality of player boards that are each adapted to receive one or more tiles; placing a plurality of first tiles on a first player board; placing a plurality of second tiles on a second player board; and incrementing a score associated with a player board by an amount corresponding to a number of first tiles that have a designated gem indicia and corresponding to a number of second tiles that have the designated gem indicia.

10. The method of claim 9, wherein each player board includes a plurality of spaces that are arranged to define a plurality of rows and columns of spaces, each space being adapted to receive one or more tiles; wherein placing a plurality of first tiles includes placing a plurality of first tiles in a plurality of corresponding first spaces that are each disposed in a first row on the first player board; where placing a plurality of second tiles includes placing a plurality of second tiles in a plurality of corresponding second spaces that are each disposed in a second row on the second player board.

11. The method of claim 10, wherein a location of the first row on the first player board has a predetermined relationship with a location of the-second row on the second player board.

12. The method of claim 10, wherein the location of the first row on the first player board is the same as the location of the second row on the second player board.

13. The method of claim 10, wherein placing a plurality of first tiles includes placing a first tile in every space of the first row.

14. The method of claim 9, wherein incrementing includes adding a predetermined number of points to the score, wherein the predetermined number increases as the number of first tiles that have the designated gem indicia increases, and wherein the predetermined number of points is decreased by the number of second tiles that have the designated gem indicia.

15. The method of claim 9, further comprising: providing a scoreboard having a plurality of scoring spaces that include sequentially increasing numeric indicia and a score marker corresponding to each player board; and wherein incrementing includes moving the score marker corresponding to the player board by a number of scoring spaces corresponding to the amount.

16. The method of claim 9, wherein placing a plurality of second tiles includes placing a plurality of second tiles on a plurality of second player boards.

17. The method of claim 9, further comprising removing the first tiles from the first player board and placing each of the first tiles in a discard area.

18. A method of playing a game comprising providing a plurality of tiles that are each adapted to be moved between a hidden state, in which a first face is face-up, and a revealed state, in which a second face is face-up; providing a plurality of spaces that are each adapted to receive at least one of the plurality of tiles; placing tiles in each space; removing at least one tile from each of one or more of the plurality of spaces; inverting the state of first tile is disposed in a first space; and inverting the state of a second tile that is disposed in a second space that has a predetermined location relationship with the first space and that has a predetermined quantity relationship with the first space.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein placing includes placing an equal number of tiles in each space.

20. The method of claim 18, wherein placing includes moving all tiles to the hidden state.

21. The method of claim 18, wherein removing includes removing at least one tile that is in the revealed state.

22. The method of claim 18, wherein inverting the state of a first tile includes moving a first tile from the hidden state to the revealed state; and wherein inverting the state of a second tile includes moving a second tile from the hidden state to the revealed state.

23. The method of claim 22, wherein the second space is adjacent to the first space.

24. The method of claim 22, wherein the second space has a greater number of tiles than the first space.

25. The method of claim 24, wherein placing includes forming a stack of more than one tile in each space; wherein inverting the state of a first tile includes moving a top-most tile in a first stack disposed in the first space from the hidden state to the revealed state; and wherein inverting the state of a second tile includes moving a top-most tile in a second stack disposed in the second space from the hidden state to the revealed state.

26. The method of claim 25, wherein the first face of each tile includes layer indicia, and wherein placing includes stacking tiles in each space in a predetermined order as indicated by the layer indicia of each tile, with tiles having a common layer indicia occupying the same location in each stack.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/675,699, filed on Apr. 27, 2005, Mexican Application No. ______, filed Feb. 10, 2006 of the same title, and Canadian Application No. ______, filed Feb. 10, 2006 of the same title, which are incorporated herein by reference for all purposes.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure relates generally to games, and more particularly to games that include a plurality of tiles.

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

Examples of games wherein players compete for points can be found in the disclosures of U.S Pat. Nos. 6,746,017, U.S. Patent Application Nos. 20040065999, 20030127800, and 20020043761, and non-U.S. patent application GB2,116,438. All of the aforementioned disclosures are incorporated herein by reference.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

The present disclosure describes game apparatus that may include tiles, movers, and/or player boards, and methods of game play suitable for use with such apparatus. Some embodiments have a plurality of tiles that are adapted to be placed into a plurality of stacks. Some tiles may optionally include layer indicia adapted to indicate a starting location for each tile in the tile stacks.

The game may be based on a theme, for example, to enhance game play value and/or marketability of commercial embodiments, to facilitate comprehension of a set of rules of game play, and so forth. In a commercial embodiment of the present game, components are based on a theme of a mine or an archeological site, and the game indicia may reflect upon or incorporate this theme. For example, game tiles may include indicia that represent valuable jewels, damaging iron ore, or sinkholes that may be found at a mine or an archeological site. Similarly, movers may represent a drilling or digging apparatus that may be used in the context of mining or archeology. Other embodiments may use alternate themes.

Some methods for playing the game may include placing tiles on a plurality of player boards, and incrementing a score of a player by an amount corresponding to a number of tiles on the player's player board having a designated gem indicia. Optionally, the amount may correspond to a number of tiles in a group of tiles on an opponent's player board having the designated gem indicia. Some methods for playing the game may include placing two or more tiles in each space of a playing area, and removing at least one tile from one or more of a plurality of spaces. Some methods may optionally include a step for inverting the state of tiles that are disposed in one or more spaces that have a predetermined location relationship and/or a predetermined quantity relationship with another space having a tile that has been inverted.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of exemplary game components, including a plurality of tiles, a guide ring, a plurality of player boards, a plurality of markers, and a scoreboard.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of several tiles of FIG. 1 having gem indicia of several colors.

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the reverse face of several of the tiles of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a partial perspective view of an arrangement of tiles and markers during play of the game of FIG. 1 FIG. 5 is a plan view of two player boards that have tiles placed upon them during play of the game of FIG. 1.

FIGS. 6-9 are plan views of tiles having various other game indicia.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DISCLOSURE

An illustrative example of a game is shown in FIG. 1 and is indicated generally at 20. Game 20 may include a plurality of tiles 22, a tile ring or guide 24, a plurality of player boards 26, a plurality of markers 28, and a scoreboard 30. In this example, tiles 22 may be adapted to be arranged such that multiple tiles may be placed within each of a plurality of spaces 32 that may form a grid within guide 24. Spaces 32 may be of any suitable shape or shapes and sizes to provide either a regular or irregular array. In the example shown in FIG. 1, spaces 32 are rectangular shaped and allow for a dense, regular arrangement of spaces, although other shapes, or combinations of shapes, such as triangles, hexagons, or other quadrilaterals are possible.

Tiles 22 may have any suitable shape and size to be received in a space 32. In the example shown in FIG. 1, tiles 22 and spaces 32 have substantially the same size and shape. Multiple tiles may be placed within a single space by stacking the tiles one upon the next to form a plurality of tile stacks 34 that collectively form a three-dimensional arrangement 36.

As shown in FIG. 1, guide 24 has a height corresponding to the height of the three tiles that form each tile stack 34 of the illustrated embodiment, and may thereby retain tiles 22 in a neat and orderly arrangement at the outset of game play, or during the course of play with game 20. In other embodiments, tiles may be arranged in side-by-side arrangements within spaces 32, or in combinations of side-by-side and stacked arrangements either with or without a ring or guide 24.

Tiles 22 may have a playing face 38 that is opposite a reverse face 40. The playing face of each tile may include one of a plurality of game indicia 42. Game indicia may be generally divided into two groupings, namely a first grouping of game indicia that directly aid the player in a goal of accumulating points, and a second grouping of indicia that have a variety of special meanings during game play.

Game indicia that fall within the first grouping may include gem indicia 44 having images of gems of varying colors. FIG. 2 shows the playing face 38 of several tiles 22 including gem indicia 44 of several colors. Game indicia that fall within the second grouping may include iron ore indicia 76, sinkhole indicia 78, fossil indicia 80, and thief indicia 82, each of which will be described in greater detail below.

Reverse face 40 may include order or layer indicia 46. Tile stacks 34 may include tiles that are adapted to be stacked in a predefined order, as indicated by layer indicia 46, such that tiles that include common layer indicia may be disposed in a common layer within arrangement 36. In the present example, layer indicia may include three different layer indicia, with each layer representing a layer of earth in an excavation site, such as the crust, the mantle, and the core layers of the earth.

Accordingly, tile stacks 34 may each include a tile having crust layer indicia 48 stacked on top of a tile having mantle layer indicia 50, which, in turn, may be stacked on top of a tile having core layer indicia 52. In this example, each tile stack 34 includes an equal number of tiles at the outset of game play, but this does not have to be the case. FIG. 3 shows the reverse face 40 of three tiles 22 including the three layer indicia of the present example.

In some examples, tiles may be stacked such that tiles that include common layer indicia may be disposed in a common layer, but in a random order. In other examples, tiles may be stacked in any order without regard to layer indicia, or layer indicia may not be present. In examples in which tiles are placed side-by-side in spaces 32, layer indicia, if present, may indicate an order of play of tiles 22.

Tiles may be adapted to be individually moved among three states. In the hidden state, tiles may be disposed in at least one space 32 with reverse face 40 face-up. Similarly, in the revealed state, tiles may be disposed in at least one space 32 with playing face 38 face-up. In embodiments where tiles are placed in tile stacks 34, a tile in the hidden state or in the revealed state may be disposed atop a tile stack.

In the removed state, tiles may be removed from the at least one space and placed in various locations, such as beside the arrangement or in one of a plurality of player holding areas 54, which may include player boards 26. Accordingly, the player boards may include a plurality of spaces 56 that are each adapted to receive one or more tiles. Spaces may be arranged to form a plurality of rows 58 and a plurality of columns 60 of spaces. In the example shown, player boards 26 each include two rows 58 and five columns 60 of spaces. However, other examples may include player boards with fewer or more rows and/or columns. Player boards may also include player affiliation indicia 62.

Markers 28 may include a plurality of pairs of movers 64 and score markers 66. Movers and score markers may include player affiliation indicia 68 and 70, which may correspond to player board player affiliation indicia 62. Accordingly, each player of game 20 may have a uniquely identified set that includes a player board 26, a mover 64 and a score marker 66. In the present example, each set of items includes player affiliation indicia 62, 68, 70 that bears a different common color. In other examples, the player affiliation indicia may include common symbols, characters, shapes, or other uniquely identifying indicia.

Movers 64 may be adapted to be placed within one or more spaces 32, and to be moved from one space to another during play of game 20. In the illustrated embodiment, movers 64 may be adapted to be placed atop one or more tile stacks 34. In other examples, movers may be placed beside one or more tiles 22 within one or more spaces 32.

Score markers 66 may be adapted to be used in conjunction with scoreboard 30. Scoreboard 30 may include a plurality of scoring spaces 72 that include sequentially increasing numeric indicia 74. For example, the scoreboard may include scoring spaces 72 with sequentially increasing numeric indicia from 1 to 50. In order to track the score of each player of game 20, players may each move a corresponding score marker 66 from one scoring space to another, with the numeric difference in the numeric indicia corresponding to a number of scored points.

Any other suitable scoring mechanism may be included with game 20, such as a board and peg combination that is similar to a cribbage scoring device, a card having a window through which numeric indicia that are disposed on a rotatable wheel may be visible, a writing instrument and a piece or pad of paper, or an appropriate electronic device.

Game components such as tiles 22, guide 24, player boards 26, markers 28, and scoreboard 30 may be manufactured from a material or materials which are sufficiently durable to withstand repeated game play, but are also economical for a mass-production game of this type. Typical materials include cardboard, plastic, metal, and wood.

In some methods of game play with the components described above, each player may take a player board 26 and the corresponding markers 28, including the corresponding mover 64 and score marker 66. Scoreboard 30 may be placed in a location that is accessible to one or more players, and the score marker for each player may be placed in a starting area on the scoreboard.

In order to set up tile arrangement 36, tiles may be placed into each of a plurality of spaces 32. In some embodiments, an equal number of tiles may be placed into each space. In some embodiments, each of the tiles may be moved to the hidden state when placed into the arrangement. In other embodiments, a stack of more than one tile may be placed in each space, and, optionally, tiles may be stacked in a predetermined order as indicated by the layer indicia of each tile.

In the present example, tiles may be separated into groups according to layer indicia 46, each may be moved to the hidden state with layer indicia 46 on the face-up side of each tile, and each group may be randomized. Tiles may then be placed into stacks 34 in a predetermined order, as indicated by the layer indicia. Accordingly, a tile having crust layer indicia 48 may be placed atop a tile having mantle layer indicia 50, which, in turn, may be placed atop a tile having core layer indicia 52.

Tile stacks may then be placed in spaces 32 to form arrangement 36. In other examples, tiles may be placed into stacks in any order, and the order in which tiles are placed into stacks in these embodiments may be the same for all stacks, or the order may vary randomly and/or systematically from stack to stack. In still other examples, tiles may not include layer indicia, and tiles may be placed into stacks randomly.

To start play, each player may place a mover 64 atop a tile stack 34 at a corner space 32 of arrangement 36. As play progresses, players may each execute a turn in sequence with the other players of the game. During a turn, players may have the option to perform a number of activities depending on the game situation, and various tiles having game indicia of the second grouping that the player may control. At the start of each turn, each player may receive a number of activity points; for example, five activity points may be given. Each of the activities may cost the player a different number of activity points. In some embodiments, players may be required to capture at least one tile during each turn.

In some examples, activity points may be carried from one turn to the next. In these examples, activity points may be tracked independently of the players' scores. These embodiments may include an additional marker (not shown) that may be used in conjunction with scoreboard 30, or a similar device, to track the number of activity points accumulated by each player. Other embodiments may require that players track activity points manually during the course of each turn, or may provide a plurality of tokens or similar objects (not shown), corresponding to each activity point, that are given to the player at the start of each turn and returned as each activity point is spent. In still other examples, activity points may be related to points scored during play of the game. Players of these game embodiments may choose to sacrifice scored points in order to perform game activities.

One game activity may be movement of movers 64. In the example shown in the figures and described herein, it may cost a predetermined number of activity points, for example one activity point, to move a mover 64 from one space 32 to an adjacent space. In this example, where spaces 32 are rectangular, a space that is adjacent to a particular space may be one of the four spaces that share a common side with the particular space. In other embodiments, spaces that are diagonal from the particular space may be considered adjacent as well. Additionally, in some examples multiple movers 64 may not occupy the same space 32.

For example, FIG. 4 shows a situation during the play of game 20. Shown are an orange mover 64a and a yellow mover 64b, each located atop one of the plurality of tile stacks 34 in spaces 32a and 32b within arrangement 36. Several of tile stacks 34 have varying numbers of tiles having crust layer indicia 48, mantle layer indicia 50, and core layer indicia 52 having been removed. Additionally, several tiles 22 atop tile stacks 34 are shown in the revealed state, with the playing face showing and the game indicia 42 of gem indicia 44 revealed. In this illustrated game situation, the player corresponding to the orange mover may move the orange mover, at the cost of one activity point, to any of the adjacent spaces 32c, 32d, 32e, or 32f.

Players may also have the option to move movers 64 from one space 32 to any other non-adjacent space, at the cost of a predetermined number of activity points. In the illustrated example, it may cost five activity points to move a mover 64 from one space 32 to any other non-adjacent space. In some embodiments a top tile of the tile stack 34 in the target space may be in either the hidden state or in the revealed state. In other embodiments, the top tile of the tile stack 34 in the target space may be in the revealed state only. In some embodiments, the player who moves to a space in this manner may be required to capture the top-most tile of the tile stack 34 in the target space.

According to rules of some embodiments of game 20, players may remove at least one tile 22 from one or more of the plurality of spaces 32. In some embodiments, a tile in the revealed state may be removed from the tile arrangement 36. A tile that is removed from the arrangement may be placed in a player holding area such as on one of a plurality of player boards 26. Optionally, a tile may be placed in a corresponding space 56 on a player board.

In the present example, players may remove or capture a tile 22 that is in the revealed state in the same space as the player's mover 64, and move the tile into the removed state. A captured tile having gem indicia 44 may be moved to the removed state by placing the tile in a space 56 on a player board 26, as shown in FIG. 5. In the example shown in the figures and described herein, a tile that has been placed on a player board may remain in that space until specific game activities are perform that allow the player to move or discard the tile, as will be described below. In other examples, players may be free to move tiles from one space 56 to another throughout the game.

In some embodiments, capturing tiles may cost activity points, and the cost may dependent upon the layer indicia 46 and/or the game indicia 42 of each captured tile. In other embodiments, capturing tiles having at least one of the plurality of game indicia or having at least one of the plurality of layer indicia may not cost activity points. In some embodiments, a player may capture any tile in the arrangement, regardless of the position of the player's mover 64.

Tiles that have game indicia in the second grouping may be removed from the arrangement as soon as the tile is moved from the hidden state to the revealed state, thereby revealing these game indicia. FIGS. 6-8 show tiles having game indicia of the second grouping, including iron ore indicia 76, sinkhole indicia 78, and fossil indicia 80. Removal of tiles having these indicia, or the revelation of these special game indicia, may be followed by other actions.

For example, when a tile having iron ore indicia 76, shown in FIG. 6, is moved from the hidden state to the revealed state, thereby revealing the iron ore indicia, the tile may be removed from the arrangement 36 and placed into a discard area. The player whose actions caused the iron ore indicia to be revealed may choose one tile having gem indicia to be removed from his player board and also be placed into the discard area. Tiles that have been placed into the discard area, as a result of a tile having iron ore indicia or as a result of any other game activities, may not generally be used again in the course of game play.

FIG. 7 shows a tile 32 having sinkhole indicia 78. When a tile having sinkhole indicia 78 is moved from the hidden state to the revealed state, thereby revealing the sinkhole indicia, the tile may be removed from the arrangement 36 and placed into the discard area. The player who revealed the sinkhole indicia may then move an additional tile from the space 32 from which the tile having sinkhole indicia was removed from the hidden state to the revealed state, and perform actions relevant to the movement of that tile.

FIG. 8 shows four tiles 32 having fossil indicia 80. A tile having fossil indicia 80 may be removed from the arrangement 36 and placed into a special area of the playing area where a plurality of tiles having fossil indicia may be collected. In the example shown and described herein, four tiles having fossil tiles are provided, and play of the game is concluded when all four tiles having fossil indicia are collected. In some embodiments, the collection of a predetermined number of tiles having fossil indicia, which may be fewer than the total number of tiles having fossil indicia provided with game 20, may indicate the conclusion of play of game 20.

Optionally, the second grouping of game indicia may include thief indicia 82, as shown in the tile of FIG. 9. Tiles having thief indicia 82 may be captured by a player immediately when a tile having thief indicia is moved from the hidden state to the revealed state, thereby revealing the thief indicia. Alternatively, a player may capture a tile having thief indicia when mover 64 is moved to the space 32 that contains the tile having the revealed thief indicia.

Tiles having thief indicia 82, once captured, may be placed in any convenient location, such as to the side of player board 26. A player who has captured a tile having thief indicia 82 either may take or “steal” a tile having gem indicia 44 from a player board 26 of another player, or may move a tile having gem indicia 44 from one space 56 on that player's player board to another space 56.

The player who uses a tile having thief indicia 82 may use a number of activity points to perform the actions, and/or may place the tile having thief indicia in the discard area when the actions are completed. Game 20 may include any number of tiles having thief indicia, or the game may include tiles having thief indicia that allow a player to steal or move multiple tiles simultaneously, at varying activity point costs. Other examples may include tiles having other additional indicia that may allow players to perform other game activities such as capturing additional tiles 22, moving tiles between the first and revealed state, moving mover 64, or receiving bonus activity points.

According to rules of some embodiments of game 20, players may invert the state of tiles disposed in one or more spaces. In some embodiments, players may invert the state of a tile in a space that has a predetermined location relationship and/or a predetermined quantity relationship with another space having another tile the state of which the player has inverted.

In some embodiments, players may invert the state of a tile that is disposed in a space that is adjacent to the space of another tile that the player has inverted. In some embodiments, players may invert the state of a tile that is disposed in a space that has a greater number of tiles than another space of another tile that the player has inverted. In some embodiments, a tile may be moved from the hidden state to the revealed state only during game play.

In the present example, a player may choose to move the top-most tile in the tile stack in the space occupied by the player's mover 64 from the hidden state to the revealed state. This action may cost a number of activity points, which may vary according to the layer indicia of the top-most tile in the tile stack 34 in the space. For example, if the top-most tile has crust layer indicia 48, this action may cost one activity point. Similarly, if the top-most tile has mantle layer indicia 50, this action may cost two activity points, and of the top-most tile has core layer indicia 52, this action may cost three activity points.

The player may move tiles in additional spaces from the hidden state to the revealed state. In the present example, the-additional spaces may include spaces that may be adjacent to and that may have a greater number of tiles than the space having a tile that the player moved to the revealed state. Players may take any actions appropriate to the revealed game indicia 42 of each inverted tile, including each of the second grouping of indicia described above.

In the game situation shown in FIG. 4, a set of tiles may include the top-most tile 22 in the tile stack 34 in the space 32b occupied by the yellow mover 64b, as well as tiles disposed in spaces that are adjacent to the space 32b and that contain a greater number of tiles than space 32b. In this example, a space that is adjacent to another space may be one of the four spaces having a common side with the other space. Accordingly, if the player corresponding to the yellow mover opts to move, from the hidden state to the revealed state, the top-most tile in the tile stack 34 in the same space 32b as yellow mover 64b, the player may also move the top-most tile in the tile stack located in adjacent space 32g.

In this example, the player may not move the top-most tile in the tile stack located in adjacent space 32f to the revealed state because this stack does not contain a greater number of tiles than the stack in space 32b. Similarly, the player may not move the top-most tile in the tile stack located in adjacent space 32h to the hidden state because in this example, tiles in adjacent spaces may only be moved to the revealed state and not return to the hidden state.

In other embodiments, spaces that are diagonal from the particular space may be considered adjacent as well. If this were the case, then the top-most tile in the tile stack located in diagonal space 32i may be moved to the revealed state by the player corresponding to the yellow mover in the game situation depicted in FIG. 4. In other examples, tiles may also be moved from the revealed state to the hidden state, or other location relationships and/or other quantity relationships may be used.

In some embodiments of game 20, a score of a player may be incremented by an amount corresponding to a number of tiles on a player board that have a designated gem indicia, and corresponding to a number of tiles on one or more opponent's player boards having the designated gem indicia. In some embodiments the tiles may include tiles that have been placed in a common row on a player board. In some embodiments, the group may include tiles that form a completed row on a player board.

In some embodiments, a number of points that may be added to the score of a player increased as the number of tiles on the player's player board increases. In some embodiments, the number of points may be decreased by the number of tiles that are on one or more opponents' player boards.

In some embodiments, a score marker of the player is moved by a number of scoring spaces corresponding to the amount of points scored. In some embodiments, the tiles in the group are removed from the player board and placed in a discard area.

In the present example, the number of points that a player may score may correspond to the number of tiles having a designated gem indicia 44 that have been placed in a filled row 58 on the player's player board 26, and to the number of tiles having the designated gem indicia that have been placed in the corresponding row on the player board of one or more opponents.

For example, FIG. 5 shows player boards 26a and 26b. Top row 58a of player board 26a, which has the capacity of five tiles 22, is shown holding three tiles having red gem indicia 44 and two tiles having blue gem indicia 44. Top row 56b of player board 26b is shown holding two tiles having green gem indicia 44, one tile having blue gem indicia 44, and one tile having red tile indicia 44. In this example, the player corresponding to player board 26a may score a number of points corresponding to the three tiles having red gem indicia in top row 58a, and the one tile having red player indicia in top row 58b.

The exact number of points that players may score may correspond to the number of tiles having the designated gem indicia in each group. In the present example, a group on the scoring player's player board with one tile having the designated indicia may correspond to one point, a group with two tiles may correspond to three points, three tiles may correspond six points, four tiles may correspond to nine points, and five tiles may correspond to fifteen points.

Also in the present example, the number of points corresponding to the number of tiles having the designated gem indicia in row on the scoring player's player board may be reduced by a count of the number of tiles having the designated gem indicia that are disposed in the corresponding row of an opponent's player board. Accordingly, in the example shown in FIG. 5, the player corresponding to player board 26a may score six points for the three tiles having red gem indicia in top row 58a of player board 26a. This score may be reduced by one point corresponding to the one tile having red gem indicia on the top row 58b of player board 26b.

As discussed above, the player may increment his score on scoreboard 30 by moving score marker 66 five scoring spaces 72. Tiles in the scored group may be removed from player boards and placed in the discard area. Accordingly, the five tiles in row 58a may be placed in the discard area after they are scored. In some embodiments, tiles from player boards that were used in determining the score of an opponent may also be placed in the discard area. In the example in FIG. 5, the tile with red gem indicia in row 58b on player board 26b may be placed in the discard area after the tiles in row 58a are scored.

In some embodiments, the number of points may be a simple arithmetic function of the number of tiles having the designated gem indicia. In other embodiments, the number may be determined in other ways, or combinations of ways, and may be provided in a set of rules that accompany game 20.

This disclosure may include one or more independent or interdependent inventions directed to various combinations of features, functions, elements and/or properties. While examples of apparatus and methods are particularly shown and described, many variations may be made therein. Various combinations and sub-combinations of features, functions, elements and/or properties may be claimed in one or more related applications. Such variations, whether they are directed to different combinations or directed to the same combinations, whether different, broader, narrower or equal in scope, are regarded as included within the subject matter of the present disclosure.

The described examples are illustrative and directed to specific examples of apparatus and/or methods rather than a specific invention, and no single feature or element, or combination thereof, is essential to all possible combinations. Thus, any one of various inventions that may be claimed based on the disclosed example or examples does not necessarily encompass all or any particular features, characteristics or combinations, unless subsequently specifically claimed. Where “a” or “a first” element or the equivalent thereof is recited, such usage includes one or more such elements, neither requiring nor excluding two or more such elements. Further, ordinal indicators, such as first, second or third, for identified elements are used to distinguish between the elements, and do not indicate a required or limited number of such elements, and do not indicate a particular position or order of such elements unless otherwise specifically indicated.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

The methods and apparatus described in the present disclosure are applicable to toys, games, and other amusement devices, and to industries in which amusement devices are used.





 
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