Title:
Game of people and their times
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A game to reveal significant dates for extraordinary beings. The game comprises a game board including a time track comprising a plurality of sections distributed between a start space and an end space. A plurality of travel tokens move from the start space to the end space using means for controlling how the plurality of travel tokens progresses from the start space to the end space. As the travel tokens advance acquisition of a plurality of objects leads to revelation of the significant date for at least one extraordinary being.



Inventors:
Alessio, John Robert (Tappan, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/176760
Publication Date:
01/11/2007
Filing Date:
07/07/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F3/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
David O. Simmons (Galasso & Associates LP P.O. Box 26503, Austin, TX, 78755-0503, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A game to reveal significant dates for extraordinary beings and associated events, the game comprising: a game board including a plurality of spaces, wherein at least one of said spaces is a start space and at least one of said spaces is an end space; a plurality of travel tokens for designating movement of a plurality of players between said spaces; means for controlling how the plurality of travel tokens progresses between said spaces; and a plurality of objects for acquisition to reveal the significant date for at least one extraordinary being.

2. The game of claim 1, wherein: said spaces for a contiguous time track that winds around the start space; and the start space occupies a central point on the game board.

3. The game of claim 1, wherein the start space corresponds to a first point in time of civilized man and the end space corresponds to a second point in time of civilized man.

4. The game of claim 1, wherein the means for controlling progress of the plurality of travel tokens includes designated sections of the plurality of spaces of the game board.

5. The game of claim 4, wherein the means for controlling includes at least one of: a plurality of information cards used for determining movement of the plurality of travel tokens along the plurality of spaces; and a plurality of instruction cards used for movement of the plurality of travel tokens and for acquiring said objects for acquisition.

6. The game of claim 5, wherein the plurality of information cards present questions of events and beings from the dawn of civilized man to contemporary times.

7. The game of claim 1, wherein the means for controlling also includes a plurality of cards presenting information relating to at least one of events and beings from the dawn of civilized man to contemporary times.

8. The game of claim 1, wherein selected spaces of the plurality of spaces provide instructions leading to acquisition of one or more of the plurality of objects.

9. The game of claim 8, wherein at least a portion of the plurality of objects displays a respective number, from zero to nine, used to formulate the significant date.

10. A game to reveal significant dates for extraordinary beings and associated events, the game comprising: a game board including a plurality of spaces, wherein at least one of said spaces is a start space and at least one of said spaces is an end space, wherein the start space corresponds to a first point in time of civilized man and wherein the end space corresponds to a second point in time of civilized man; a plurality of travel tokens for designating movement of a plurality of players between said spaces; means for controlling how the plurality of travel tokens progresses between said spaces, wherein the means for controlling progress of the plurality of travel tokens includes at least one of designated sections of the plurality of spaces of the game board, a number generating device, a plurality of information cards used for determining movement of the plurality of travel tokens along the plurality of spaces and a plurality of instruction cards used for movement of the plurality of travel tokens and for acquiring said objects for acquisition and wherein the plurality of information cards present information relating to events and beings from the dawn of civilized man to contemporary times; and collectible game pieces including indicia used for reveal the significant date for at least one extraordinary being.

11. A game to reveal significant dates for extraordinary beings and associated events, the game comprising: a game board including a plurality of spaces representing a period of time associated with civilized man; collectible game pieces having indicia enabling a significant date for at least one extraordinary being to be revealed; and a plurality of cards each including information pertaining to at least one of events and beings from the dawn of civilized man to contemporary times.

12. The game of claim 11, further comprising: instructions for playing the game to reveal at least one of a date for an extraordinary being and an event associated with the extraordinary being, wherein said instructions include instructions dictating aspects of: assigning an extraordinary being to each player; determining means by which information about the extraordinary being to each player is discovered; and controlling movement of a travel token of each player.

13. The game of claim 12, further comprising: instructions for playing the game to reveal at least one of a date for an extraordinary being and an event associated with the extraordinary being, wherein said instructions include instructions dictating aspects of: designating a suitable margin of error for a revealed era of time to determining a degree of accuracy of an answer offered by a player to information about said at least one extraordinary being; and designating a reward a player receives for an answer that is within a particular degree of accuracy.

14. The game of claim 11 wherein the collectible game pieces are star-shaped items having at least one of indicia representing a numeral provided thereon, indicia corresponding to a travel token of a player provided thereon and indicia corresponding to an era of time provided thereon.

15. The game of claim 11, wherein the means providing playing instructions for acquiring the objects is selected from a random number generator and spaces included on the game board wherein the spaces contain playing instructions.

16. The game of claim 11, wherein the game board includes spaces having indicia used for controlling movement of a travel token of a player.

17. The game of claim 11, further comprising: a plurality of instruction cards having information provided thereof for at least partially controlling movement of a travel token of a player.

18. The game of claim 11, further comprising: printed information designating a suitable margin of error for a revealed era of time, wherein said printed information is used for determining a degree of accuracy of an answer offered by a player to a question about said at least one extraordinary being; and printed information designating a reward a player receives for an answer that is within a particular degree of accuracy.

19. The game of claim 11 wherein: the collectible game pieces are star-shaped items having at least one of indicia representing a numeral provided thereon, indicia corresponding to a travel token of a player provided thereon and indicia corresponding to an era of time provided thereon; the means providing playing instructions for acquiring the objects is selected from a random number generator and spaces included on the game board wherein the spaces contain playing instructions the game board includes spaces having indicia used for controlling movement of a travel token of a player.

20. The game of claim 19, further comprising: instructions for playing the game to reveal at least one of a date for an extraordinary being and an event associated with the extraordinary being, wherein said instructions include instructions dictating aspects of: assigning an extraordinary being to each player; determining means by which information about the extraordinary being to each player is discovered; and controlling movement of a travel token of each player; designating a suitable margin of error for a revealed era of time to determining a degree of accuracy of an answer offered by a player to a question about said at least one extraordinary being; and designating a reward a player receives for an answer that is within a particular degree of accuracy.

Description:

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

The disclosures made herein relate generally to a group activity that challenges the knowledge of a number of players participating in a game including the use of a game-board, cards and collectible items, and, more particularly, to a game that reveals significant dates coinciding with historical personalities based upon positioning of tokens on the game-board and acquisition of collectible game pieces according to rules of the game and instructions, derived from the game board and via selection or submission of cards, at various points throughout the game.

BACKGROUND

Games have been played throughout human history to provide entertainment during times of leisure and recreation. In many cases, games serve a useful purpose as aids to physical coordination and motion, to learning and to strategic thinking. From children's games to sophisticated games of strategy and knowledge, many games have been devised to satisfy a wide variety of entertainment needs.

A game that is played on a pre-marked surface with counters and/or movable game pieces may be referred to as a board game. Discoveries show that board games have been played for centuries to provide family entertainment or to challenge intellectually sophisticated players. Examples of challenging board games include those requiring strategic thinking, such as chess and checkers, games involving word formation, such as Scrabble™, and games that require significant knowledge of facts and names and places, such as Trivial Pursuit™. Less demanding board games provide simplified simulations of real life, some of which require deductive reasoning rather than extensive knowledge.

The oldest complete board game found by archeological excavation dates back to about 2500 B.C. and uses dice to control the movement of pieces on a board. Ancient Chinese games including Go and Mah Jongg continue to provide entertainment, having been played for four thousand years or more. Despite the availability of large numbers of board games, there is still a strong demand for new games and a willing pool of players to participate in exploring the latest of the game developers' creations. Development and design of new games fill a need that many games participants have for new entertainment, possibly after losing interest in a familiar game they have played many times.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

Embodiments of a game played in accordance with the present invention reveal significant dates for personalities described as extraordinary beings (EOB). An EOB is defined herein to be a person who is well known. Some EOB's are known for having contributed to or being associated with a particular well-known event, which is referred to herein as an Extraordinary Events (EOE). Examples of such EOB's include, but are obviously not limited to, Benjamin Franklin, Archimedes, Galileo Galilei, Leonardo da Vinci and Joan of Ark. An example of an EOE is Leonardo da Vinci having completed painting of “The Last Supper”. EOB's and EOE' may consist of globally known people/events or people/events known only in a particular region (e.g., a particular country or a particular city).

Embodiments of the present invention provide a game, playable by up to six participants, wherein the game comprises a game board including a path, also referred to herein as a time track that includes sections to be traversed as the game progresses. Travel tokens, placed at a start space on the time track, are movable according to rules of the game so that they travel to an end space. As the tokens travel along the time track, players answer questions and collect a variety of objects (i.e., collectible game pieces). Preferably, but not necessarily the collectible game pieces are in the form of star-shaped objects that are numbered and that are combined by a player to produce a date that could represent the significant date for an extraordinary being (EOB) held in secret by another player.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an entertaining and challenging knowledge-based board game.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a party game that identifies a time sequence for extraordinary moments occurring since the birth of humankind otherwise referred to herein as two seconds to midnight, which will be clarified further below.

In another object, the present invention challenges knowledge of historical times and the decision making ability of from two to six players (i.e., opponents), also referred to as rivals, who each compete for the chance to discover a date that has significance to another rival.

It is yet another object of the present invention to visually chart the progress of individual players towards a defined goal using a game board to show when a player reaches a final space on the board designated as the “The Time capsule Holding Area” from which the player has the opportunity to declare victory and win the game.

Yet another object of the present invention is to control the progress of individual players moving towards the final space of the game board using a variety of tactics for reward or penalty, i.e. forward or reverse progress, based on how players respond to pre-printed information (e.g., presented as questions or statements), or how they strategically present cards to gain advantage over their rivals.

In yet another object of the present invention, players each collect collectible game pieces as they progress from the start space on the game board, corresponding to the beginning of time, also referred to herein as the “Big Bang,” until they arrive at the finish space prior to entering the “Time Capsule Holding Area.” The collectible game pieces include numbered game pieces (e.g., numbered star-shaped game pieces) that, when suitably organized, produce a date that has significance to a rival player.

Even a further object of the present invention is to provide means for identifying one of the participants as the player to initiate the game by taking the first turn, after which turns are taken around the game board from one player to the next.

General embodiments of the present invention include a game board, a box or other suitable container for collectible game pieces collected during play, a plurality of sets of information cards (e.g., question cards) covering different eras in history, a plurality of instruction cards that are generally referred to herein as support cards, movable travel tokens marking players' current positions on the game board and other containers and holding areas for a variety of other pieces required by rules of play.

Players assemble around the game board used to follow the progress of the game from start to finish. At the finish, one of the players wins the game by declaring a key, previously hidden, date having significance to one of the other players. The game provides each of the players with a box, referred to herein as a “Chaos and Order Star Station.”

After setting up the components of the game, play starts by determining which player takes the first turn. Upon completion of the first turn control of the game board moves to the next player in rotation. Players move travel tokens forwards and/or backwards as they traverse the game board one or more spaces at a time. Direction and distance of movement is determined by numbers obtained from a number generating device (e.g., a spinner device, dice, etc), from the value of answers to pre-printed information (e.g., questions) that address historic time periods, from instructions printed on support cards, and/or from actions associated with special spaces randomly distributed on the game board between the start space and the finish space. Examples of means for controlling how the travel tokens progresses included, but are not limited to, a number generating device pre-printed information cards, pre-printed instruction cards, and/or actions associated with special spaces randomly distributed on the game board. As players progress between spaces of the game board, they collect collectible game pieces (e.g., star-shaped game pieces) that they retain in the storage device (i.e., referred to herein as a Chaos and Order Star Station). Star-shaped numbered game pieces and Ruling Star game pieces are examples of such collectible game pieces. During the game a player places game pieces (e.g., numbered star-shaped game pieces) into individual groups associated with individual rivals. At the end of the game, when a player has reached the finish space (e.g., designated the “Time Capsule Holding Space”), the star groups assist a player to accurately assemble a date in time that was previously known only to one other player. While residing in a holding area, referred to as the “Time Capsule Holding Area,” a player has the opportunity to address a rival, asserting knowledge of the rival's significant date. Numbered collectible game pieces (e.g., numbered star-shaped game pieces) provide evidence supporting the player's assertion. A device for holding and organizing such collectible game pieces is provided. If the rival concedes that the date is correct the player presenting the star filled shuttle becomes the game winner. In some embodiments of play, other game pieces may also be needed for a player to declare victory).

Having provided description of a game in accordance with the present invention, the inclusion of additional features results in a variety of optional useful embodiments as follows:

Turning now to specific aspects of the present invention, in at least one embodiment the game board is shaped as a hexagon having a spiral path or “time track” for which the start space occupies the center of the board. Travel tokens gradually move around the portions of the spiral path towards the finish space close to the perimeter of the game board. The expanding “time track” may include sections shaped as concentric hexagons or having circular geometry.

In at least one embodiment of the present invention, the game board has a circular shape preferably including a circular spiral path.

In at least one embodiment of the present invention, the game board has rectangular geometry and the design of the “time track” may be one of a variety of options selected from serpentine paths and circuitous paths that may include linear or arcuate portions and mixtures thereof.

At least one embodiment includes a start space at the center of the game board, wherein the start space represents a center circle labeled the “Big Bang.”

In at least one embodiment of the game in accordance with the present invention, travel tokens placed in the center circle move along the “time track” in clockwise fashion until reaching the space or finish space. Preferably, but not necessarily, the last space is a Time Capsule Holding Area space in which space a player must be located to declare victory. Optional last spaces may also be implemented (e.g., the 21st Century space), in which case a player must be in that space to declare victory.

In another embodiment in accordance with the present invention the container or box referred to as the “Chaos and Order Star Station” includes “Star Shuttles” at least equal in number to the number of game players. This allows a given player to acquire star-shaped game pieces and organize them in star shuttles reserved for stars collected from designated rivals. In the process of winning the game, a player draws a “Star Shuttle” from the “Chaos and Order Box” to reveal star numbers, in date form, to the designated rival. The game ends with a winner when the rival confirms that the correct date has been revealed.

In at least one embodiment, the game in accordance with the present invention includes a single tray or “Star Shuttle” that players share. A player, wishing to present a game-winning date, removes the “Star Shuttle” from a designated location either on or near the game board. The player assembles numbered game pieces in the tray to produce a desired date that is believed to have significance to a rival. Upon viewing the date in the tray or “Star Shuttle,” the rival confirms or denies accuracy of the date. A confirmed date results in a win for the player presenting the “Star Shuttle.”

In at least one embodiment of the present invention, a portion of the game board in front of each player includes an area or block containing a number of shallow cavities as receptacles to hold six star-shaped game pieces, up to four of which provide the date of significance to a rival (also referred to herein as the EOB or “Extraordinary Being Date”). Stars designating A.D. or B.C. and a special star (“Ruling Star”) populate the remaining shallow cavities belonging to the EOB block.

In at least one embodiment of the present invention, colored cards provide pre-printed information (e.g., questions) to challenge the knowledge players have of events occurring and people existing in historical eras from the dawn of the civilization (e.g., civilized human beings) to the beginning of the 21st Century.

More particularly the present invention provides a game to reveal significant dates for extraordinary beings. The game comprises a game board including a time track comprising a plurality of sections distributed between a start space and an end space. A plurality of travel tokens move from the start space to the end space using means for controlling how the plurality of travel tokens progresses from the start space to the end space. As the travel tokens advance, acquisition of a plurality of objects (e.g., collectible game pieces in accordance with the present invention) leads to revelation of the significant date for at least one extraordinary being.

Abbreviation of terms used herein is provided as follows:

TT: TIME TRAVELER (PLAYER)

RV: RIVAL (OPPONENT)

TC: TIME CAPSULE

SC: STAR CASE

EOE: EXTRA ORDINARY EVENT

EOB: EXTRA ORDINARY BEING

COSS: CHAOS AND ORDER STAR STATION

SS: STAR SHUTTLE

SP: SUPPORT CARDS

SNATCH: STAR SNATCH

STRIP: STAR STRIP

SWAP: STAR SWAP

STEAL: STAR STEAL

TW: TIME WARP

QSAR: QUASAR

RS: RULING STAR

TSS: TRIPLE STAR SWAP

2SEC: TWO SECONDS TO MIDNIGHT

These and other objects, embodiments advantages and/or distinctions of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and associated drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts game components in accordance with an embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein.

FIG. 2 depicts selected star-shaped game pieces in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 3A depicts a container used to conceal game pieces collected by players participating in a game in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 3B depicts a holder, referred to herein as a Star Shuttle that is used as a container for game pieces.

FIG. 3C depicts an alternative embodiment of the container depicted in FIG. 3A.

FIG. 4. depicts an information chart (Challenge Chart) and an instruction chart (Star & Space Chart) in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

How was the Universe created? That question has fascinated intelligent minds for centuries. The Big Bang Theory has become the dominant scientific theory about the origin of the universe. It suggests that a cosmic explosion occurred sometime between 10 billion and 20 billion years ago hurling matter in all directions. This explains why distant galaxies are traveling away from us at great speeds. The theory also predicted the subsequent discovery of a cosmic background radiation representing the glow left over from the explosion itself.

Fascination with the Big Bang theory revealed subject matter for the present invention that provides entertainment in the form of a board game dealing with a portion of the time spectrum from the Big Bang to the present day. A theorized 10 to 20 billion years have passed since the occurrence of the cosmic event of the Big Bang. Were it possible to condense all that time into a single year, the appearance of man on planet Earth would coincide with the last two seconds to midnight on the last day of the twelfth month, i.e. 11:59.58 P.M. on December 31st.

The game played in accordance with the present invention is suitable for three to six players and simulates a journey that begins with the Big Bang and traces a path to the 21st Century. During the journey, players consider extraordinary events (EOE) and extraordinary people or beings (EOB) that have characterized the civilized man's achievements over a time-frame condensed into “Two Seconds to Midnight,” which is also a preferred name used to identify the game discussed in greater detail in the following description.

Referring now to the figures wherein like numbers refer to like parts throughout the several views, FIG. 1 shows an embodiment of game components in accordance with the present invention. A game board 10 includes a Time Track 12 mapping a path of spaces representing a journey from a “Big Bang” central space 14 to a Time Capsule Holding space 16. A 21st Century space 17 precedes (e.g., immediately proceeds) the Time Capsule Holding space 16. Preferably, but not necessarily, the Time Track 12 is arranged in a spiral configuration. Optionally, however, the Time Track 12 may be configured in a non-spiral configuration.

A Spinner 18 (i.e., a number generating device) attached to the center of the game board includes six segments numbered 1-5 and 6/TW (i.e., Time Warp). Preferably, but not necessarily, the Spinner 18 has a shape resembling that of a spacecraft (i.e., an alien space craft). The 6 and TW may be used interchangeably depending on the situation.

Around the perimeter of the game board 10, each one of a plurality of groups of EOB Blocks 20 include respective cavities to hold collectible game pieces (e.g., placed face-down). Preferably, the collectible game pieces are star-shaped. However, it is disclosed herein that the collectible game pieces in accordance with the present invention may be other shapes besides star-shaped.

The game board 10 also includes a plurality of stepped portions in which to hold stacks of cards 22 (e.g., color-coded cards) of pre-printed information (e.g., questions). Preferably, but not necessarily, at least one connection between two spaces on different sections of the Time Track 12 (e.g., rings of a spiral path) are designated as a “Worm Hole” 23, which allows a player to move more rapidly between two different sections of the Time Track 12 (e.g., forward in time and/or backward in time).

Other components of the game include a container or Time Capsule 24, Travel Tokens 26, Stars 28, a Chaos and Order Star Station (COSS) 44 and Support Cards 30. The Stars 28 are defined herein to be collectible game pieces and objects for acquisition in accordance with the present invention. A Time Capsule 24 holds all the stars needed to solve a date also referred to herein as the EOB Date, having significance to one of the game players. Travel Tokens 26 serve as markers along the journey along the Time Track 12. Travel Tokens 26 preferably have a distinct color and design and each depict a prominent entity (e.g., creature) of the past, present and into the future. One embodiment of the game uses a Dinosaur, a Caveman, a Pharaoh, a medieval King, a StockBroker and a Robot as travel tokens. Each COSS 44 corresponds to a respective one of the Travel Tokens 26 (e.g., matching color and indicia). Numbers needed for assembling dates in accordance with the rules of the present invention are displayed on the surface of game pieces shaped like stars 28. Instructions printed on white Support Cards 30 contribute to the progress made by Travel Tokens 26 as they move from the Big Bang 14 to the 21st Century space 16.

FIG. 2 depicts regular star-shaped game pieces including numbered stars 32 and era stars represented by stars displaying “B.C.” 34 and stars displaying “A.D.” 36. Special stars add additional game pieces, including “Triple Swap Stars” (TSS) 38, “Quasars” (QSAR) 40 and “Ruling Stars” (RS) 42 that each correspond to one of the Travel Tokens 26 (e.g., the extraordinary beings (EOB) they represent) and correspond to one of the COSS 44.

FIG. 3A depicts the COSS 44. Each COSS 44 is color-coded to match one of the Travel Token 26 and provides storage and/or organization for collectible game pieces in accordance with the present invention (e.g., star-shaped game pieces depicted in FIG. 2) that a player accumulates while playing the game. The COSS 44 includes a plurality of Star Shuttles 46. In one embodiment of the game in accordance with FIG. 3, the COSS 44 includes five Star Shuttles (SS) 46.

A Shield 48 conceals accumulated game pieces from other players and includes a “Challenge Chart” 50 and a “Star and Space Chart” 52. The Challenge Chart 50 lists a margin of error considered suitable for a given era of time to determine if a player's reply to a question, from any of the colored cards (EOE and EOB), is on-the-mark, near-the-mark or off-the-mark. The Star & Space Chart 52 outlines the reward a player receives for an answer that is on or near the mark.

FIG. 3b depicts an alternate embodiment of the present invention using a single Star Shuttle 60 that is shared among players (i.e., a shared star shuttle 60). The single Star Shuttle 60 includes a sleeve 62 and a sliding strip 64. A player executing a discovery withdraws the sliding strip 64 from inside the sleeve 62 and places one or more game pieces 28 on the strip 64, while preventing rivals from observing the numbers on the game pieces 28 or the order in which they are arranged. Inserting the sliding strip 64 back inside the sleeve 62 the player passes the Star Shuttle 60 for inspection by the rival whose EOB number the player is attempting to solve.

FIG. 3c depicts an alternative COSS 66 that is configured without any Star Shuttles 46. This COSS 66 is preferred for use when players share a single Star Shuttle 60. For example, the Star Shuttles 46 of the alternative COSS 44 may be replaced with indicia (e.g., ink printed on a strip 68 included in the shield 48 made from cardboard or plastic sheet). The COSS 66 also includes lanes 70 used for collecting game pieces 28 corresponding to EOB dates associated with the Travel Token 26 of each opponent. Outer lanes 72 provide storage for additional game pieces 28 that are not considered part of an EOB date. In this manner, the COSS 66 is still used for storing and organizing collectible game pieces 28, but a shared Star Shuttle 60 is used to confidentially disclose collectible game pieces from one player to another, as described above. A player simply transfers the desired collectible game pieces from their COSS 66 to the sliding strip 64 of the single Start Shuttle 60. Optionally, each player may have his or her own single Start Shuttle 60. Thus, it is disclosed herein that various different configurations of use of a Star Shuttle or Star Shuttles is contemplated.

FIG. 4, depicts the information and instructions obtained from the Challenge Chart 50 and the Star & Space Chart 52 during the time the game is played.

Preparation for play in accordance with the present invention requires that all of the containers, components, card sets and play pieces be assembled ready for set up. It is advisable to use a means for inventorying game components such as, for example, a checklist and/or a list of game components to confirm availability of all needed parts and equipment. An example of such a list of game components is shown as follows:

GAME BOARD (One unit): The game board maps out a path of 106 spaces representing the journey from the “Big Bang” to the “21st Century.” It also includes stepped portions and shallow cavities in which to hold stacks of cards and game pieces respectively.

SPINNER (One part): Attached to the center of the game board, the Spinner has a shape resembling a flying saucer including six segments numbered 1-5 and 6/TW (Time Warp). The 6 and TW may be used interchangeably depending on the situation. The Spinner is one example of a number generating device used with a game in accordance with the present invention.

EOB BLOCKS (Six areas on the Game Board): Each EOB (Extraordinary Being) block includes six shallow cavities to hold star-shaped game pieces placed face-down. As is disclosed in greater detail herein, the EOB Blocks hold collectible game pieces used in solving an EOB date.

TIME CAPSULE (One container): A Time Capsule holds all the stars needed to solve a date also referred to herein as the EOB Date, having significance to one of the game players. As is disclosed in greater detail herein, the Time Capsule holds collectible game pieces used in solving an EOB date. The time capsule is one source for retrieving stars. The EOB Block is a second and preferred source for stars, because a discovery is not necessary for retrieving stars from the EOB block.

CHAOS AND ORDER STAR STATIONS (Six boxes): Used as an organizing tool, a Chaos and Order Star Station (COSS) is color-coded to match a player's Travel Token and provides storage for star-shaped game pieces that a player accumulates while playing the game.

STAR SHUTTLE(S) (tray-shaped part): In one embodiment of the game in accordance with the present invention, a COSS includes five Star Shuttles (SS). In this case, thirty of these parts (SS) satisfy the needs of the maximum of six players. A second embodiment of the game uses a single Star Shuttle to be shared among the players.

TRAVEL TOKENS Used as markers along the journey from the Big Bang to the 21st Century, Travel Tokens have a distinct color and design depicting prominent beings of the past, present and into the future. One embodiment of the game uses a dinosaur, a caveman, a pharaoh, a medieval king, a stockbroker and a robot as travel tokens, but the game is not limited to only these six. The number of travel tokens will define the maximum number of players.

STARS (star-shaped collectible game pieces): Numbers needed for assembling dates in accordance with the rules of the present invention are displayed on the surface of game pieces shaped like stars, although other shapes may be used. The stars fit into several categories as follows:

    • REGULAR numbered stars each having indicia designating an integer between 0 and 9 or an era (i.e., “A.D” or “B.C.”). The specific quantity of Regular stars will be sufficient to enable typical game play between a prescribed maximum number of players and, thus, may vary.
    • SPECIAL STARS include, for example, “Triple Swap Stars” (TSS), “Quasars” (QSAR) and “Ruling Stars” (RS) corresponding to each Travel Token. The specific quantity of Special Stars will be sufficient to enable typical game play between a prescribed maximum number of players and, thus, may vary. For example, in one embodiment, the quantity of each special star used in a particular instance of game play will be equal to the number of players playing during that instance.

COLORED CARDS: Color coded cards contain pre-printed information required for use while playing the game. Information printed on color-coded cards is preferably, but not necessarily, obtained from information sources including The World Book Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia Britannica and FactMonster.com. A first plurality of sets of color cards relate to EOB (i.e., the birth or death of an EOB and the corresponding date) and an additional set of cards provides information relating to EOE (i.e., an EOE and its corresponding date). In one embodiment, there are 4 sets of different color cards (i.e., three sets of EOB information cards and one set of EOE information cards). Information on the EOE and EOB cards may be presented as statements (i.e., an inferred question as all are questions) or presented expressly as questions (e.g., when did a stated EOE happen, when was a stated EOB born or when did a stated EOB die). Thus, EOE and EOB cards may interchangeably be referred to as question cards, information cards and information cards. The information cards challenge a player's knowledge of “Extraordinary Events” (EOE) occurring in three historical eras of which, for example, a first color set of information cards (e.g., green cards) covers events from 6,000 B.C. to 1 B.C., a second color set of information cards (e.g., yellow cards) covers events from 1 A.D. to 1899 A.D. and a third color set of information cards (e.g., blue cards) covers events to the end of the 20th Century, i.e. 1900 A.D. to 1999 A.D (or present time beyond the 20th century). The colors of the EOE and EOB cards correspond to color-coded Challenge Chart information. The set of EOB information cards may also be used as EOE cards, but have a special role in providing birth or death date information of “Extraordinary Beings” (EOB). Players obtain this information at the start of the game, holding it in confidence until another player, following the rules of the game, deduces information in the possession of only one other player. The specific quantity of Special Stars will be sufficient to enable typical game play between a prescribed maximum number of players and, thus, may vary.

SUPPORT (WHITE) CARDS: Instructions printed on white cards contribute to the progress made by Travel Tokens as they move from the Big Bang to the 21st Century. Instruction cards include, for example, cards for moving one space forward (bang) or backward (crunch) and/or cards allowing players to swap accumulated stars to move forward a number of spaces (stars for spaces) towards the “Star Capsule Holding Area space. Swapping occurs when a player's Travel Token lands on one of ten specially designated, dual use spaces on the game board and the player has the card matching the space. Designated spaces have interesting titles to describe each decade of the 20th Century as follows:

    • 1. turn of the century
    • 2. swinging teens
    • 3. roaring twenties
    • 4. trying thirties
    • 5. fearless forties
    • 6. innocent fifties
    • 7. sexual sixties
    • 8. funky seventies
    • 9. economic eighties
    • 10. neurotic nineties

Other support cards include, for example, one or more cards for doubling the distance a player may move a Travel Token in a given turn (i.e., Double the Distance cards), one or more cards for providing a player with the opportunity to advance over the game board using a procedure known as “Rally a Rival (i.e., Rally a Rival cards)” and one or more cards for trading game pieces for spaces (i.e., Stars For Spaces cards). Rallying a rival requires a rival (i.e., another player) to correctly respond to a question (i.e., provide a correct date for the presented information, which may not be presented expressly as a question) for reward of both the player and the rival. An incorrect answer results in a penalty to the answering Rival. During a game, white support cards should be used wisely because of their limited number. However, cautious use may be penalized because white cards may be lost in a SWAP.

CHALLENGE CHART (e.g., 1 per COSS): A “Challenge Chart” lists a margin of error considered suitable for a given era of time to determine if a player's answer to an information card, from any of the colored cards (EOE and EOB), is on-the-mark, near-the-mark or off-the-mark (e.g., as depicted in FIG. 4). The challenge chart information is color coded to correspond with the color coded information cards. For example, a particular portion of the information on the Challenge chart corresponds to a particular color of information card.

STAR & SPACE CHART (one in combination with each Challenge Chart): In combination with the Challenge Chart, the “Star and Space Chart” outlines the reward a player receives for an answer that is on or near the mark. Players are penalized and/or not rewarded for answers that are off the mark. The Challenge Chart and Star and Space Chart form part of the COSS providing a reference for moves in response to correct responses to information cards (e.g., correctly responding to a question) and also to serve as a shield when attached to a folding flap to keep accumulated stars hidden from rivals.

TIMING DEVICE: Time for responding to a question is limited to thirty seconds after inverting a timing Device (e.g., a sand-containing game timer).

STAR CASE: Providing storage for star-shaped game pieces the “Star Case” holds stars numbered from 0 to 9 concealed in separate numbered columns.

Turning now to a discussion of design of a specific embodiment of a game board in accordance with the present invention (e.g., the game board 10 discussed in reference to FIG. 1), various design aspects of such a game board are presented.

CENTER CIRCLE or BIG BANG: Play begins from the “Center Circle” preferably located in the center of the game-board.

BANG: When landing on a “Bang” space along the journey on the game board, a player's Travel Token moves ahead extra spaces according to the number printed on the Bang space. A BANG space is defined herein to be a space on a game board including indicia expressly or inferentially designating such space as requiring BANG functionality.

CRUNCH: Landing on a “Crunch” space requires the player to move their Travel Token back a number of spaces towards the center circle. A CRUNCH space is defined herein to be a space on a game board including indicia expressly or inferentially designating such space as requiring CRUNCH functionality.

VELOCITY SHIFT: When movement of a Travel Token coincides with a “Velocity Shift” space, a player has permission to spin the Spinner again. If the second spin produces a two or four or six the player advances (bangs) the Travel Token the number of spaces indicated. An odd numbered spin of one, or three or five requires the Travel Token to be moved back (crunched) the number of spaces shown on the Spinner. A SHIFT space is defined herein to be a space on a game board including indicia expressly or inferentially designating such space as requiring SHIFT functionality.

BLACK HOLE: A player landing on a “Black Hole” space loses one turn and must then spin on the following turn. If the imposed spin results in a “Time Warp” (coincident with #6 on the Spinner), the player's Travel Token remains in the Black Hole. A player cannot be challenged or rallied from the Black Hole. A BLACK HOLE space is defined herein to be a space on a game board including indicia expressly or inferentially designating such space as requiring BLACK HOLE functionality.

WORM HOLE: A connection (i.e., indicia) between two spaces on different rings of the spiral path provides a “Worm Hole” which allows a player to move rapidly and directly between different sections of the game board (e.g., adjacent rings of a spiral shaped path of spaces). A Travel Token landing on either one of the two connected spaces may move through the Worm Hole (between the rings) only if the move to one of the connected spaces occurred by a direct spin or the use of a Bang/Crunch one space card. Transfer via a Worm Hole is not allowed if a player's Travel Token lands on a connected space as a result of a Challenge.

STAR SWAP: Landing on a “Star Swap” space allows a player to trade one or more stars with any rival possessing stars. A Triple Star Swap card may be used while on the Star Swap space. A STAR SWAP space is defined herein to be a space on a game board including indicia expressly or inferentially designating such space as requiring STAR SWAP functionality.

STAR STEAL: When arriving at a “Star Steal” space on the game board a player takes one or more stars from the EOB block of any rival. A “Star Steal” is a valuable way to obtain numbered stars that are known to be part of a rival's secret date. A STAR STEAL space is defined herein to be a space on a game board including indicia expressly or inferentially designating such space as requiring STAR STEAL functionality. Once all the EOB blocks are vacant, a “Star Snatch” is performed as follows:

STAR SNATCH: A space including indicia corresponding to “Star Snatch” (e.g., a space labeled STAR SNATCH) provides opportunity for players to take a designated number of stars from the Time Capsule. If the Time Capsule is empty no stars can be taken on that turn.

STAR STRIP: From a space including indicia corresponding to “Star Strip” (e.g., a space labeled STAR STRIP), players place a number of stars back into the TC. The number displayed on the Star Strip star indicates the number to be returned to the TC. In the absence of a specific number, only one star needs to be returned to the TC. It is possible for a Star Snatch and a Star Strip to occur on the same turn. In this case a player first executes the Snatch followed by the Strip.

TWO SECONDS TO MIDNIGHT: Toward the conclusion of the journey to the 21st Century a player's Travel Token lands on the space including indicia corresponding to “Two Seconds to Midnight” (e.g., a space labeled TWO SECONDS TO MIDNIGHT), representing the dawn of civilization. From this space the player (i.e., a time traveler (TT)) has the option of either crunching any two rivals a combination of 12 spaces, even if one rival is in the Time Capsule Holding Area, or rotating the Spinner and taking the number of stars indicated from another rival's EOB Block, their COSS or from the TC. Crunching rivals while occupying the Two Seconds to Midnight space is the only way to displace them from the Time Capsule Holding Area.

SOLID COLORED SPACE: After landing on a “Solid Colored Space” a player has the option to be challenged by having the nearest rival select a colored card matching the color of the space. The rival then presents information (i.e., a question) from the top section of the card (e.g., reads a question or presents a statement) and immediately following flips the hourglass-shaped timer. Within a prescribed period of time (e.g., 30 seconds) as dictated by the timing device, the PLAYER must respond with the correct answer or one as close as possible to the date from the lower section of the card. During the time allotted for answering, no rival may speak unless the PLAYER elects to use a “Rally a Rival” card. Rules allow that a player may elect not to be challenged to respond to a question, but may use other playing options. All solid colored spaces have a number from 1 to 5 for matching the Spinner during a Time Warp. The last three colored spaces have two numbers each, i.e. ½; ¾; and ⅚ respectively.

SPECTRUM SPACE: Landing on a “Spectrum Space” requires a PLAYER to challenge the rival, leading other rivals on the board, to answer a question from a card of any color the player wishes. The use of white support cards is not allowed from this space. Another option of play is permissible only if all rivals occupy Black Hole spaces. Immediately after reading the question from the card, the player resets the timing device. The rival player then has a period of time dictated by the timing device (e.g., 30 seconds) to respond with the date from the bottom section of the card. Other players remain silent during the answer period.

21st CENTURY SPACE: In the final phase of the journey to the 21st Century, Travel Tokens land on the “21st Century Space,” also referred to herein as the “Time Capsule Holding Area,” which is the last space on the game board. From the Time Capsule Holding Area a player has four options that include revealing a rival's secret date (making a “Discovery”), snatching one star from the TC, declaring victory or rotating the Spinner to determine a number of stars that may be taken from a rival's EOB Block, or COSS or from the TC. No more than two stars may be removed from any one of these locations. If election of a spin results in a TW, the player must choose to be stripped of any six stars or instead to be sent back to the Two Seconds to Midnight space without playing that space's turn. This represents a second way to be bumped from the Time Capsule. The other way is by rival crunch discussed previously.

Turning now to a discussion of setting-up, playing and winning a game in accordance with the present invention for initiating play of the game, various aspects of setting-up, playing and winning such a game are presented.

Game Set-Up

Participants in a game in accordance with the present invention are referred to as “Time Travelers”. Each player selects a COSS and matching Travel Token, which is placed in the center circle (Big Bang) of the board.

Card stacks containing a plurality of cards of the same color are placed face down on color-matched (i.e. green, yellow, blue and purple) areas of the game-board (3EOE, 1EOB).

Before commencement of a game, each player's COSS contains a Ruling Star (RS), corresponding to the player's Travel Token, one B.C. star and one A.D. star.

A holding device (e.g., a cylindrical cup), referred to herein as the Time Capsule, is used to hold the 1 Triple Swap Star (TSS) for each player, 1 Quasar for each player participating in the game, and the number and type of ruling star to match the Travel Tokens residing in the center circle of the game board.

At this point, each player selects one purple (EOB) card from the stack on the board without revealing the card to rival player. Each card bears the name and a date of significance to the extraordinary being or person identified by the purple card.

Each player reads the name from their card and whether the letter B or D (signifying Birth or Death) appears after the date. Names are presented with enough time for players to make a written record for future reference. The date connected to an individual name is not revealed because this is the secret date that a rival must discover to win the game.

Each player then writes the name and era (A.D. or B.C.) on an outside surface (e.g., the back surface) of their COSS such that it is in plain view of their rivals. The surface on which the player writes is make in a manner enabling the writing to be wiped off such that they can write new EOB information on the COSS surface for each game. In one example, the players write on the back side of a laminated Challenge Chart with a non-permanent marker.

Upon completion of sharing identities of EOBs and with each player in possession of a “secret date,” all the numbered stars remain in their corresponding column (e.g., columns designated 0-9) of the Star Case (i.e., a container for holding the collectible game pieces). Now is the time for each player in turn to collect several sets of their secret date from the Star Case so that there is one set for each player in the game. The player then randomly places one set on their EOB Block and the other sets in the Time Capsule. If one player has a date of 1946, for example, and there are four players in the game, the player would collect four ones, four nines, four fours and four sixes from the Star Case and put three sets in the TC and one set would be placed on their EOB block on the game board along with their A.D. or B.C. star (whichever applies) and their ruling star. Before a game involving four participants (players) the Time Capsule should contain three sets of stars for each date plus the special stars. With three players the Time Capsule contains two sets of stars, with five players the TC contains 4 sets of stars and with six players the Time Capsule should contain 5 sets of stars.

When a player draws an EOB with a date containing less than four numbers, e.g. 6 A.D. or 108 B.C., the player includes one or more duplicate stars for their star sets to be placed in the TC. Regardless of how many numbers a player's secret date contains, all six slots on the EOB block should be occupied by stars that are placed randomly to make the date harder to solve. The A.D. or B.C. not used in the EOB block is kept in the COSS and may be used during the game, if needed.

Commencing Play and Playing the Game

Each player takes a turn to spin the Spinner rotatably mounted in the center of the game board. As indicated previously, the Spinner has divisions numbered 1 to 6. The division containing the number 6 also includes the letters TW, but these are ignored on the initial spin. After all players complete their spins, the one with the highest number takes control of the game board after which play continues with the player on the left of the starting player taking the next turn, i.e. in a clockwise order.

The game is designed for play by three to six players. Depending on experience of the game and the actual number of players, the game in accordance with the present invention may last from about two hours to about four hours.

Object of the Game

During the game, each player responds to questions with answers as close as possible to dates of extraordinary events (EOE) that have occurred during the history of the human race. While traversing spaces on the game board, from the Big Bang space to the 21st Century space, players also collect star-shaped game pieces to solve the date of significance for an extraordinary being (EOB) declared previously by a rival player

Winning the Game

The first player (i.e. a Time Traveler) to travel from the Big Bang space and land on the 21st Century space has the opportunity to solve the concealed EOB date of any rival while possessing the Ruling Star corresponding to the Travel Token of that rival. By declaring the correct date and displaying numbered stars in the correct order along with an A.D. or B.C. star and the selected rival's Ruling Star, the player wins the game.

Playing A Turn Players, taking turns in clockwise rotation or counterclockwise rotation (the present invention is not limited by direction of play), have a number of options depending on their position on the Game Board.

JOURNEY: At the beginning of the game each player, in turn, begins with a “Journey” or “Blast Off” determined by rotation of the Spinner. The spin produces a number from 1-6, which shows the number of spaces for a player to advance (bang) a Travel Token along the time track. Later in the game, a Journey represents a number of spaces moved after a player elects to spin the Spinner.

TIME WARP: The Spinner includes a division containing the number 6 and the letters TW for “Time Warp.” The first spin ignores the TW and the corresponding Journey covers six spaces. In future spins, when the Spinner stops at TW, the player controlling the board spins again and reverses the positions of the player's Travel Token with that of any rival having a Travel Token on a numbered space matching the number produced by the spin. If no match exists, then the player Bangs the number of spaces resulting from the second spin. TW is not available on this second spin.

CHALLENGE: A player may accept a “Challenge” only while occupying a solid colored space or challenge the leading rival player while occupying a Spectrum space. The appropriate card is read with time allowed for an answer. Based on the answer a reward or penalty is determined using the Challenge Chart in combination with the Star and Space Chart. All challenges are based on the color of the space the player occupies prior to the turn. When answering a question from a colored card, if an incorrect or off-the-mark answer is given control of the game transfers to the rival who read the Challenge and the game continues in clockwise manner from that person onward.

DISCOVER: While traveling between the Big Bang center circle and the 21st Century space, a player may take the opportunity to verify or “Discover” if their COSS has accumulated numbers matching those of the secret date of a rival. The “Discovery” is of two types. Before a discover process begins the player is required to announce whether they are proceeding under Discovery 1 or Discovery 2 as follows:

Discovery 1: While occupying an appropriate space a player uses a space shuttle (SS) to transport one or more numbered stars for inspection by a selected rival to verify their EOB date. If any star sent is incorrect, even though other numbered stars might be correct, the rival simply says, “No.” All the star(s) sent via the SS should be concealed from all but the player and the rival selected to respond. Using a cautious strategy, players may use Discovery 1 for only one star at a time. Submitting two or more stars represents added risk that is more likely to elicit a negative response from the rival.

Discovery 2: In a bold move, a player uses a SS to seek verification of a complete date believed to be the secret date of an rival player of choice. Upon inspection, unobserved by other players, if any star or the order of any star is incorrect the rival again simply says, “No.” Correct presentation of the date must be greeted by a “Yes.” It is not necessary to include a B.C. or A.D. star with the date unless the player is uncertain about which is the correct side of the timeline. At this point, substituting Quasars for other stars is not allowed.

BARTER: While occupying an appropriate space a player may use a white support card to “Barter” stars for spaces. In this process, the player bangs a number of spaces corresponding to the number of stars stripped from the COSS and returned to the TC. Stripped stars are shown to other rivals before being placed in the TC.

BANG OR CRUNCH ONE SPACE: When a valuable space lies either one space ahead or one space behind the landing space of a player's travel token, in lieu of the other options, a suitable white support card may be included in a player's turn to bang or crunch one space. This strategy is advisable when a valuable space lies one space away from a Travel Token.

CROSSING THE TWO SECONDS TO MIDNIGHT SPACE: Once a player reaches or crosses the “Two Seconds to Midnight” space (2SEC), the player has the option of retrieving any remaining stars from their EOB Block and placing them in their COSS and may also choose one Stars For Spaces cards. This is the only point in the game when a player has the opportunity to take stars remaining in their EOB Block and remove them from play.

ENTERING THE TIME CAPSULE HOLDING AREA: Before winning the game a player must reach the “Time Capsule Holding Area.” Access to this area is possible either by a spin yielding the exact number of spaces to bang or the use of their “Stars for Spaces” white support card to strip stars for spaces needed to reach the Time Capsule Holding Area. If, for example, a player possesses a Funky 70's SP and occupies that space, which is five spaces from the Time Capsule Holding Area, then the player can strip five stars to advance five spaces and enter the Time Capsule Holding Area.

DECLARING VICTORY: Once a player's Travel Token resides in the Time Capsule Holding Area, which is the last space on the game board, the opportunity is available for “Declaring Victory,” which is allowed only when occupying the Time Capsule Holding Area. The act of Declaring Victory requires the player occupying the Holding Area to assemble a complete date, including an A.D. or B.C. star and the Ruling Star associated with the complete date. One or more Quasars may be used in place of a numbered or A.D or B.C. star but the role of these unnumbered stars must be verbally verified. Placing the stars of the complete date in a Star Shuttle, the player displays the date to one rival and requests verification of the date from that rival. If the date is correct, then the player displays the date to all of the rivals, including the rival with the ruling Star corresponding to the EOB for the displayed date. If the date is wrong, play continues at the next player without any player knowing why the date was wrong. If it is more convenient, the player may reveal the solved date from their COSS to be seen by all rivals. Rivals also see that the player has only one Ruling Star, which is the one matching the winning date.

An affirmative response from the chosen rival signals victory for the player and an end to the game. If the chosen rival says, “No” to the presented date, the play continues.

Presented next is a discussion of strategies for playing and winning a game in accordance with the present invention. A preferred, but not necessarily limiting, version of the game involves a number of players answering questions, accumulating stars, using the support cards, working their way through the obstacles on the board, then doing discoveries to rearrange the stars to figure out the EOB dates, while attempting to enter the Time Capsule Holding Area. A variety of strategies applies to each one of these activities

There are, for example, several outcomes of playing the game wherein some players reach the Time Capsule Holding Area first without knowing the EOB date. Other players discover the EOB date during play, but fail to enter the Time Capsule Holding Area, while others know an EOB date but do not have the required Ruling Star. Through superior knowledge and familiarity with people and events, some players will automatically know one of the EOB dates from the beginning of play. However, such smart players could run into difficulties and fail to obtain all the right numbered stars in their star station to win the game using the known date. In these instances, a decision to switch to another date will be advantageous compared to waiting for the stars needed for the known date.

One player could decide to manipulate another player by volunteering to assist in a “Rally a Rival” situation. After the volunteer falsely claims to have knowledge about a date of an event, the player controlling the board might be tempted to use their Rally a Rival card to gain the benefit of the knowledge claimed by the other player. Lacking the correct answer, the volunteer's response is off the mark. Apart from loss of a useful card, nothing is gained or lost by the user of the Rally the Rival card that would probably have given the wrong answer anyway.

The Rival assisting in these circumstances, but giving the wrong answer, suffers the penalty of, for example, crunching 4 spaces. Why, one might ask, would a player risk losing ground by giving a wrong answer on purpose? The reason becomes clear if, by moving backwards, the volunteering player lands on a valuable space. This shows that a strategy of losing ground produces a desirable result. A similar strategy, in which the volunteer knows the correct answer, produces a reward for the player answering the question correctly and for the player surrendering the Rally the Rival card.

While playing the preferred, but not limiting, version of the game in accordance with the present invention, players can go after all the EOB dates simultaneously or focus on one that is most familiar to them. A decision on the number of dates to acquire also depends on the numbers displayed on the stars a player collects and if they already have the ruling star for a certain date. Date collection strategies change during a game due to the need to regain stars lost by a Star Strip or Star Swap, for example.

Travel tokens take twists and turns so players are constantly switching leads. While other players can observe each token and its traveling position on the board, they are not completely aware of a rival's progress because stars, acquired by rivals for solving dates, are concealed in the rival's star station.

Comparing progress between players, it is possible for one player to be in the lead but get knocked back by landing on a time warp space. Another player then jumps ahead into the future. A worm hole allows a player to skip a whole revolution of the time track, but returning to an inner ring, the other way, through a worm hole is also possible.

With each turn, a player uses one of several options of which the two most common are rotating the Spinner (i.e., taking a Journey of the number of spaces indicated by the Spinner) or accepting a challenge by having the nearest rival (ahead or behind) read a question that the player answers to gain (bang) a number of spaces determined by how closely the player's answer matches the true answer. A challenge is usually taken when a player reaches a colored space and a rival reads a question from a card having the same color as the space. The top part of the card has an event corresponding to a date on the lower half of the card. For example, a player landing on a yellow space can, on their next turn, make a decision to spin or have the nearest rival read the top card from the yellow card pile. This represents a challenge that allows a specified time period, e.g. 30 seconds, for reply. While on a Spectrum Space, a question card of any color can be chosen and the player on the space reads the card, not the nearest rival.

In general, spinning and taking journeys results in faster travel, but it is harder to collect stars needed to solve EOB dates. Challenging makes one move slower but is more convenient for collecting stars. A successful game-playing strategy combines both. Other factors of the game-playing strategy include what the spaces on the board indicate ahead and behind a player's current position, the relative position of one player's token with respect to those of rivals. how many stars have been collected by players in their star stations and on their EOB blocks and what support cards each player still holds.

A player whose travel token resides on a colored space has as a strategic option using a challenge to plan where on the game-board they will land next if they guess an EOE date, for example, and are rewarded by being on or near the mark. By reference to the star and space chart, each reward has two options. An answer that is “on the mark” allows a player to either bang two or four spaces depending on which number of spaces leads to the most desirable reward. The reward for a “near the mark” answer allows a player to move forward (bang) either one space or three spaces, depending again on which number of spaces leads to the better position on the game board.

The challenge strategy used together with a Double the Distance support card overcomes a problem when both optional spaces of an “on the mark” and a “near the mark” answer produce undesirable consequences. If both spaces ahead happen to be bad, a player can elect not to challenge unless the player needs stars and cares more about the stars collected than the reward of spaces traveled. When the challenge question is easy, the use of a Double the Distance support card, if one is still available from two that each player receives at the start of the game, permits a player to bang eight spaces instead of four spaces for “on the mark” answers or six spaces instead of three spaces for “near the mark answers.”

A challenge strategy helps players to avoid a risk associated with the preferred game in accordance with the present invention. When a player bangs spaces, as a result of a reward from a challenge, the move does not go through worm holes. Worm holes are risky and appear as spaces on the game board that a player reaches by taking a journey (spin) or using a Bang/Crunch support card (each player starts with three of them). There are three worm holes positioned along the time track of the game board to cause players loss of distance with less loss from the first Worm Hole and greatest loss of distance from the third Worm Hole.

A player may never use the challenge strategy, but still win the game by gathering stars on the board using a strategy of spinning and landing on star snatch spaces and a star steal spaces. It is harder to accumulate stars this way, but, with a lot of luck, it can be done. Even if a person knows nothing about history they can still win using only the spinner to control progress towards the 21st Century. For example if one always spins, there is a risk of landing on black hole spaces, worm hole spaces (going back a ring) or crunch spaces.

There is strategy to enter the Time Capsule Holding Area using cards matching a space that represents one of the decades of the 20th Century. When passing the 2 Seconds to Midnight space, a player receives a ticket for entry into the Time Capsule Holding Area (i.e., a card representing one of the decades of the 20th century). However, the player holding the ticket cannot use it without first landing on the space corresponding to the decade identified by the ticket.

Establishing a suitable position from which to enter the Time Capsule Holding Area also requires a player to have a star station with enough stars accumulated without giving up stars from the EOB date needed to win the game. Additional stars allow a player to barter spaces for stars to move into the Time Capsule Holding Area after landing on the space for the decade of the 20 h Century identified on the ticket issued to a player when passing the 2 Seconds to Midnight space. A player choosing a “Neurotic Nineties” card will need to barter two stars for two spaces. Bartering for spaces using a “Fearless Forties” card requires more stars but is nearer to the Time Capsule Holding Area.

A player having a star station containing a large bank account of stars needs up to six stars for a winning EOB date. Additional stars can be given up, provided the player is sure of the winning date. Then it would be wise to select the closest ticket and decade space closest to the Time Capsule Holding Area (i.e., the “Turn of the Century card or if it was already taken, the “Swinging Teens” card). Also, the closer a player travels towards the space for the Time Capsule Holding Area, the more star strips can occur with further loss of valuable stars. It is wise to accumulate many stars towards the end of the game as a cushion against having to break up the date that the player wants to hold as the winning date.

Failure to land on the correct decade space, identified by the ticket, means that a player must spin the exact number of spaces needed to enter the Time Capsule Holding Area. This can be frustrating due to the probability of landing on Star Strip spaces, resulting in the loss of stars. Obviously, it is advantageous to spin the exact number for entry into the Time Capsule Holding Area when a player is six or fewer spaces away. Although the Spinner allows a player to move up to six spaces, this maximum number introduces the time warp option requiring players to spin again to determine if it is necessary for the player to change places with a rival whose Travel Token occupies a space having a number matching the number produced by the second spin (Only the colored spaces display a number from 1 to 6). If no player occupies a matching space, a second spin producing the exact number of spaces allows the player to go right into the Time Capsule Holding Area.

All the activities of stealing, snatching, stripping and swapping stars and executing discoveries to solve secret dates can be interesting. Strategies for using worm holes and time warps and using support cards to enter the Time Capsule Holding Area, can also be challenging. For example, a player may strategize the use of a wormhole and/or a time warp to their benefit. The educational value of the game in accordance with the present invention, along with the strategic aspects, previously discussed, adds further interest and humorous enjoyment when people realize how little they know about the timeline of history.

Approaching the end of the journey from the Big Bang to the 21st Century, players select the option of discovery more often. Having accumulated stars and wanting to know where they belong, players look for clues by listening carefully to questions and answers that can give hints leading to a successful search for a winning EOB date. For example, consider that the death of Leonardo a Vinci represents a winning EOB date and is held by a rival who uses the Pharaoh Travel Token. A player already in possession of an AD star and the Ruling Star corresponding to the travel token needs to know the century and the year within the century that the EOB died. This information could be revealed by an answer to a question from cards from the yellow category, which address events from 1 AD to 1899 AD. Learning from a rival that Leonardo da Vinci painted the Last Supper in the Sistine chapel during the 1600s can lead to the conclusion that the painter died in the same century. On the basis of this knowledge, a player knows to place the number 1 in the first slot and a number 6 in the second slot under the Pharaoh column of the player's star station. Answers to questions are always announced during play to assess how close the answer was to the actual date of the event. The players need to calculate if they were on, near or off the mark with their response.

Paying attention and having good recall ability are useful for this game. For instance, the answer to a question might reveal the birth date of an EOB who provides a game-winning opportunity based on discovery of the date of death or vice versa. Knowing how long the EOB lived allows a player to calculate the EOB's secret, winning date.

A game in accordance with the present invention includes two of each Ruling Star for each player in each game. One is put in the Time Capsule container and obtained by a Star Snatch and the other is placed face down in the EOB block on the game board. As the game proceeds, Ruling Stars begin to accumulate in the players' star stations from which they can then be swapped or even stripped back into the Time Capsule container. Assuming that a player knows the secret date for an EOB, but is unable to obtain the appropriate Ruling Star, (e.g. the Pharaoh or the Robot) it will be necessary for the player to consider a more difficult task of solving a secret date for a different EOB while already in possession of the appropriate Ruling Star (e.g. the Dinosaur).

Declaring victory requires that a player has the Ruling Star that matches their Start Station (i.e., their COSS). Possessing other Ruling Stars, a player will try to keep them as long as possible as a strategy to prevent rivals from declaring victory. This strategy becomes more risky as a player approaches the Time Capsule Holding Area because extra Ruling Stars must be removed from a player's Star Station leaving only the one needed for declaring victory. After entering the Time Capsule Holding Area with more than one Ruling Star, victory will be delayed until unneeded Ruling Stars have been swapped to rivals or stripped back to the Time Capsule container based on the result of a spin. The danger of this latter action (i.e. stripping stars) is the possibility of losing stars needed to compose the winning EOB date. If giving up six stars will cut into a player's winning date, when a number 6 is the result of a spin, the player must decide to regain the stars by spinning again on the next turn (making sure to remember the forfeited numbers because note taking is not allowed in the game) or electing to be sent back to the 2 Seconds To Midnight space, then trying to get back into the Time Capsule Holding Area.

With respect to winning a game in accordance with the present invention, a player needs to satisfy two criteria to win the game.

1) Travel from the center circle (Big Bang) to the Time Capsule Holding Area (which is the last space) following the next to last space, which is the 21st Century space; and

2) Solve any date of another player's (rival's) EOB (extra ordinary being) by gathering and rearranging the numbered stars correctly on the star station along with the AD or BC star and the Ruling Star, which is the name of that player's travel token. In declaring victory a winner may not possess any other Ruling Star.

In the preceding detailed description, reference has been made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which are shown by way of illustration specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. These embodiments, and certain variants thereof, have been described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice embodiments of the present invention. It is to be understood that other suitable embodiments may be utilized and that logical, changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the present invention. To avoid unnecessary detail, the description omits certain information known to those skilled in the art. The preceding detailed description is, therefore, not intended to be limited to the specific forms set forth herein, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents, as can be reasonably included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.





 
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