Title:
IDIOM GAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A game includes a plurality of playing cards with each card having a number of phrases listed on a face thereof; a random number generator, wherein the amount of numbers that may be generated by the random number generator equals the number of phrases listed on each playing card; a method selecting device; and a timer. The plurality of playing cards, the random number generator, the method selecting device, and the timer are housed in a box together. A method of playing the game includes the steps of generating a number, selecting a clue methodology, selecting a card from the plurality of cards, determining a portion of information to be guessed based on the generated number, attempting to guess the portion of information utilizing the clue methodology, and scoring a point value if the portion of information is determined.



Inventors:
Hampton, Wendy Michelle (Lawrenceville, GA, US)
Bizzell, Daniel Lee (Davidson, NC, US)
Wynn, Matthew (Charlotte, NC, US)
Stancombe, Todd S. (Charlotte, NC, US)
Randal, Ronald W. (Huntersville, NC, US)
Gammon, Jason A. (Charlotte, NC, US)
Hamlett, Brian (Charlotte, NC, US)
Pool, Alexa (Charlotte, NC, US)
Application Number:
11/459604
Publication Date:
03/01/2007
Filing Date:
07/24/2006
Assignee:
BOUNCING BRAIN PRODUCTIONS SUBSIDIARY 7, LLC (520 Elliot Street, Charlotte, NC, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Tillman Wright, Pllc (P.O. BOX 471581, CHARLOTTE, NC, 28247, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of playing a game, comprising the steps of: (a) selecting a card having a plurality of idiomatic phrases contained thereon; and (b) attempting to determine one of the plurality of idiomatic phrases contained on the card by using a particular clue methodology, wherein said selected idiomatic phrase is determined by a random number generator and said particular clue methodology is determined by a method selecting device.

2. A method of playing a game, comprising the steps of: (a) using a random number generator to generate a number; (b) using a method selecting device to select a clue methodology; (c) selecting a card from a plurality of cards, each of said plurality of cards having a plurality of idiomatic phrases contained thereon; (d) determining one of the plurality of idiomatic phrases contained on the card based on the generated number, the determined idiomatic phrase to be guessed; (e) attempting to guess said determined idiomatic phrase utilizing the clue methodology; and (f) scoring a point value if said determined idiomatic phrase is correctly guessed.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the steps of the method are performed by a team of players.

4. The method of claim 3, wherein steps (a)-(d) are performed by a member of the team.

5. The method of claim 2, wherein steps (a)-(f) are repeated in a rotating manner by a plurality of teams until one of the plurality of teams reaches a predetermined point value.

6. The method of claim 2, wherein steps (a)-(f) are repeated in a rotating manner by a plurality of teams for a predetermined number of rounds of play with a winning team having the highest number of points after the predetermined number of rounds of play.

7. The method of claim 2, wherein said point value is determined by the number generated using the random number generator.

8. The method of claim 2, further comprising providing an allotted time within which said determined idiomatic phrase may be guessed.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein said allotted time is determined by a timer that is retained in a game box while the game is being played.

10. The method of claim 2, wherein the method selecting device is a die having characters disposed on each of six sides.

11. The method of claim 10, wherein said characters represent six different clue methodologies utilized to aid in guessing said determined idiomatic phrase.

12. The method of claim 11, wherein one of said clue methodologies requires a player to act out said determined idiomatic phrase to be guessed.

13. The method of claim 11, wherein one of said clue methodologies requires a player to illustrate said determined idiomatic phrase to be guessed.

14. The method of claim 11, wherein one of said clue methodologies requires a player to describe said determined idiomatic phrase to be guessed, or to give a literal definition for said determined idiomatic phrase to be guessed, without using any words contained in said determined idiomatic phrase.

15. The method of claim 11, wherein one of said clue methodologies allows a player to choose which clue methodology to use to assist his or her teammates in attempting to guess said determined idiomatic phrase to be guessed.

16. The method of claim 11, wherein one of said clue methodologies requires a player to use a clue methodology chosen by a player from an opposing team.

17. The method of claim 11, wherein one of said clue methodologies allows a player to choose five letters which said player believes to be present in said determined idiomatic phrase to be guessed, and wherein another player then indicates whether and where the chosen five letters are present in said determined idiomatic phrase to be guessed.

18. The method of claim 2, wherein one or more players on the same team guess said determined idiomatic phrase and, if not correctly guessed, then one or more players on one or more opposing teams guess said determined idiomatic phrase.

19. The method of claim 2, wherein, if said random number generator generates the number six, then each team of a plurality of teams is allowed to concurrently guess said determined idiomatic phrase utilizing said selected clue methodology.

20. A game, comprising: (a) a plurality of playing cards, each card having a number of idiomatic phrases listed on a face thereof; (b) a random number generator, wherein the amount of numbers that may be generated by the random number generator equals the number of idiomatic phrases listed on each playing card; (c) a method selecting device; and (d) a timer; (e) wherein the plurality of playing cards, the random number generator; the method selecting device, and the timer are housed in a box together; and (f) wherein each card has six idiomatic phrases listed on a face thereof.

Description:

I. CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

For purposes of the United States, the present application is a nonprovisional of, and claims priority under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) to, U.S. provisional patent application No. 60/712,564 filed Aug. 31, 2005. The entire disclosure of this patent application is hereby incorporated herein by reference.

II. COPYRIGHT STATEMENT

All of the material in this patent document is subject to copyright protection under the copyright laws of the United States and other countries. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure, as it appears in official governmental records but, otherwise, all other copyright rights whatsoever are reserved.

III. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Family game playing is very popular in the United States. Examples of well-known games include Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, Taboo and Cranium. Part of the appeal of these games is interacting with family members and friends to achieve a common goal, e.g., answer a question or figure out an unknown drawing or phrase. As such, games have become an enjoyable way to socialize with one another. Based on the popularity of available games, it is thought that a game that combines the challenging aspects of available games and adds new challenging aspects would be very enjoyable and well received.

Further, it is recognized that the English language includes a large number of phrases, each having a meaning other than the literal meaning of the words that make up the phrases. These are known as idiomatic phrases or idioms. Examples of such phrases include “Cat got your tongue?” or “Two peas in a pod.” Idioms are a funny, quirky part of the English language that are used by most all English speakers. Based on the funny nature of idioms themselves, it is thought that a game based on these phrases would be very entertaining and amusing.

A game based on idioms is known. U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,890,844 and 4,991,854 are drawn to a game that utilizes idioms to familiarize children and non-native English speaking adults with the English language. The game includes a board having a number of spaces and a plurality of cards having on one face an idiomatic phrase, the definition of such phrase and a number indicating the number of spaces a player may advance upon correctly identifying a phrase, and having on the opposite face a picture depicting the literal meaning of the idiomatic phrase. The goal of the game is to be the first player to reach the last space on the board. There are a number of ways to play the game. One exemplary method is for an opponent to be shown the face of one of the plurality of cards having a drawing depicting the literal meaning of the idiomatic phrase and then have the opponent guess the idiomatic phrase depicted therein along with the meaning of the phrase. This game playing method supports the stated purpose of the game of learning the English language.

Although, the above-described game is probably enjoyable, it would be more entertaining to have a game based on idioms that has more variety in the game playing method and that includes a team playing aspect that allows members of the same team to interact with one another.

IV. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention includes many aspects and features. In a first aspect, a game comprises a plurality of playing cards with each card having a number of phrases listed on a face thereof, a random number generator, wherein the amount of numbers that may be generated by the random number generator equals the number of phrases listed on each playing card; a method selecting device; and a timer. The plurality of playing cards, the random number generator, the method selecting device, and the timer are housed in a box together.

In a feature of this aspect, each card has six phrases listed on a face thereof. In another feature of this aspect, the phrases listed on the cards are idiomatic phrases. In yet another feature of this aspect, the random number generator is a standard die. In still yet another feature, the method selecting device is a die having a method signifying character depicted on each side thereof. In accordance with this feature, each of the method signifying characters is different.

In an additional feature, the game further comprises a small dry erase board having an erasable writing surface and a dry erase writing instrument. In yet another feature, the game further comprises a tray arranged to receive and retain the plurality of playing cards and the timer, and the tray is sized to fit snugly within the box.

In still yet another feature, the timer is retained in the tray while the game is being played. With further regard to this feature, the timer may comprise a mechanical timer that is incorporated into and forms part of the tray, includes a dial that is twisted for countdown, and ticks while counting down. Alternatively, the timer may comprise a sand timer similar to an “hour glass” and the sand timer may be is unable to stand upright on its own.

In another aspect of the invention, a method of playing a game comprises the steps of selecting a card having information contained thereon and attempting to determine a selected portion of the information by using a particular clue methodology. The selected portion is determined by a random number generator, and the particular clue methodology is determined by a method selecting device.

In yet another aspect of the invention, a method of playing a game comprises the steps of (a) using a random number generator to generate a number; (b) using a method selecting device to select a clue methodology; (c) selecting a card from a plurality of cards with each of the plurality of cards having information contained thereon; (d) determining a portion of the information to be guessed based on the generated number; (e) attempting to guess the portion of the information utilizing the clue methodology; and (f) scoring a point value if the portion of the information is determined.

In a feature of this aspect, the steps of the method are performed by a team of players. In another feature of this aspect, steps (a)-(d) are performed by a member of the team. In yet another feature of this aspect, steps (a)-(f) are repeated in a rotating manner by a plurality of teams until one of the plurality of teams reaches a predetermined point value. In still yet another feature, steps (a)-(f) are repeated in a rotating manner by a plurality of teams for a predetermined number of rounds of play with a winning team having the highest number of points after the predetermined number of rounds of play.

In an additional feature, the point value is determined by the number generated using the random number generator. In another feature, the method further comprises providing an allotted time within which the portion of the information may be determined. In accordance with this feature, the allotted time is determined by a timer. It is preferred that the timer is retained in a game box while the game is being played. With regard to this feature, the allotted time is 60 seconds.

In another feature, the method further comprises determining one team out of a plurality teams to start the game. With regard to this feature, the starting team is determined utilizing the random number generator. In yet another feature, the random number generator is a number die.

In a further feature, the method selecting device is a die having characters disposed on each of six sides. With regard to this feature, each of the six sides contains a different character. In accordance with this feature, the characters represent six different clue methodologies utilized to aid in guessing the portion of information to be guessed. In furtherance of this feature, one of the clue methodologies requires a player to act out the portion of information to be guessed; one of the clue methodologies requires a player to describe the portion of information to be guessed or to give a literal definition for the portion of information to be guessed without using any words contained in the portion of information; one of the clue methodologies allows a player to choose which clue methodology to use to assist his or her teammates in attempting to guess the portion of information to be guessed; one of the clue methodologies requires a player to use a clue methodology chosen by a player from an opposing team; and one of the clue methodologies allows a player to choose five letters which the player believes to be present in the portion of information to be guessed and wherein another player then indicates whether and where the chosen five letters are present in the portion of information to be guessed. With respect to this last clue methodology, the five letters may be all consonants, all vowels, or any combination thereof, such as three consonants and two vowels.

In another feature, the information contained on each card of the plurality of cards is a list of idiomatic phrases. In accordance with this feature, each card of the plurality of cards contains a list of six idiomatic phrases. In further accordance with this feature, the portion of the information to be guessed is one of the idiomatic phrases in the list.

In an additional feature, if the random number generator generates the number six, each team of a plurality of teams is allowed to guess the portion of information utilizing the clue methodology during an allotted time.

In other features: when the phrase is not correctly guessed by a team within the allotted, opposing teams are given the opportunity to correctly guess the phrase and thereby “steal” the point; and opposing teams are allowed to concurrently guess the phrase along with the team whose turn it is under certain circumstances, such as when a “six” is given by the random number generator.

In addition to the aforementioned aspects and features of the present invention, it should be noted that the present invention further includes the various possible combinations of such aspects and features.

V. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further aspects, features, embodiments, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description with reference to the drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a game and the pieces and packaging thereof in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a schematic illustration of one of the plurality of playing cards of the game of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a flow chart illustrating a method of playing the game of FIG. 1.

VI. DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As a preliminary matter, it will readily be understood by one having ordinary skill in the relevant art (“Ordinary Artisan”) that the present invention has broad utility and application. Furthermore, any embodiment discussed and identified as being “preferred” is considered to be part of a best mode contemplated for carrying out the present invention. Other embodiments also may be discussed for additional illustrative purposes in providing a full and enabling disclosure of the present invention. Moreover, many embodiments, such as adaptations, variations, modifications, and equivalent arrangements, will be implicitly disclosed by the embodiments described herein and fall within the scope of the present invention.

Accordingly, while the present invention is described herein in detail in relation to one or more embodiments, it is to be understood that this disclosure is illustrative and exemplary of the present invention, and is made merely for the purposes of providing a full and enabling disclosure of the present invention. The detailed disclosure herein of one or more embodiments is not intended, nor is to be construed, to limit the scope of patent protection afforded the present invention, which scope is to be defined by the claims and the equivalents thereof. It is not intended that the scope of patent protection afforded the present invention be defined by reading into any claim a limitation found herein that does not explicitly appear in the claim itself.

Thus, for example, any sequence(s) and/or temporal order of steps of various processes or methods that are described herein are illustrative and not restrictive. Accordingly, it should be understood that, although steps of various processes or methods may be shown and described as being in a sequence or temporal order, the steps of any such processes or methods are not limited to being carried out in any particular sequence or order, absent an indication otherwise. Indeed, the steps in such processes or methods generally may be carried out in various different sequences and orders while still falling within the scope of the present invention. Accordingly, it is intended that the scope of patent protection afforded the present invention is to be defined by the appended claims rather than the description set forth herein.

Additionally, it is important to note that each term used herein refers to that which the Ordinary Artisan would understand such term to mean based on the contextual use of such term herein. To the extent that the meaning of a term used herein—as understood by the Ordinary Artisan based on the contextual use of such term—differs in any way from any particular dictionary definition of such term, it is intended that the meaning of the term as understood by the Ordinary Artisan should prevail.

Furthermore, it is important to note that, as used herein, “a” and “an” each generally denotes “at least one,” but does not exclude a plurality unless the contextual use dictates otherwise. Thus, reference to “a picnic basket having an apple” describes “a picnic basket having at least one apple” as well as “a picnic basket having apples.” In contrast, reference to “a picnic basket having a single apple” describes “a picnic basket having only one apple.”

When used herein to join a list of items, “or” denotes “at least one of the items,” but does not exclude a plurality of items of the list. Thus, reference to “a picnic basket having cheese or crackers” describes “a picnic basket having cheese without crackers”, “a picnic basket having crackers without cheese”, and “a picnic basket having both cheese and crackers.” Finally, when used herein to join a list of items, “and” denotes “all of the items of the list.” Thus, reference to “a picnic basket having cheese and crackers” describes “a picnic basket having cheese, wherein the picnic basket further has crackers,” as well as describes “a picnic basket having crackers, wherein the picnic basket further has cheese.”

Referring now to the drawings, the preferred embodiments of the present invention are next described. The following description of the preferred embodiment(s) is merely exemplary in nature and is in no way intended to limit the invention, its application, or uses.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the pieces of a game and packaging thereof in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention. The game 10 includes a plurality of playing cards 12, a random number generator, a method selecting device and a timer 18. In a preferred embodiment, the random number generator is a conventional die 14 having six sides with a number of dots ranging from one to six disposed on each side of the die. For purposes of this application, this die 14 will be referred to herein as a number die 14. It is preferred that the timer 18 be a mechanical timer having a time duration of 60 seconds (not shown), although a sand timer also may be used as illustrated in FIG. 1. The game further preferably comprises a small dry erase board having an erasable writing surface and a dry erase writing instrument (not shown). The Ordinary Artisan will understand that although specific embodiments of the pieces of the game will be described herein, any number of embodiments of the particular pieces may be utilized to perform the particular functions of the various pieces.

The game pieces may be stored within a game box 20 when the game 10 is not being played. Further, some of the pieces may be held within the game box 20 while the game 10 is being played. More particularly, a tray 22 having a perimeter shaped similarly but slightly smaller than a perimeter of the game box 20 fits snuggly within the box 20 and is arranged to receive and retain the plurality of playing cards 12 and the timer 18 during game play. The cards 12 are maintained in a card retaining space 24 and the timer 18 is maintained in a timer retaining space 26. The tray 22 enables the plurality of cards 12 and timer 18 to be easily accessible during game play. The tray 22 may also retain the number die 14 and other game pieces when the game 10 is not being played.

Furthermore, when the timer 18 is a sand timer, it is configured such that it will not stand upright on its own, and therefore, will not work properly, if it is not placed in the timer retaining space 26 of the tray 22. This timer arrangement is intended to aid in keeping track of the timer 18, since small pieces are often easily lost. When a preferred mechanical timer is utilized (not shown), the mechanical timer preferably is incorporated into and forms part of the tray ticks while counting down. By incorporating the mechanical timer as part of the tray, the mechanical timer is less likely to be separated and lost from the tray and the other game pieces.

FIG. 2 is a schematic illustration of one of the plurality of playing cards. Each card 28 of the plurality of playing cards 12 has a numbered list of idiomatic phrases 30 disposed on a face thereof. For example, a card 28 may include the phrases “Don't Make A Mountain Out of A Mole Hill” or “A Ballpark Figure.” Preferably the list of phrases 30 contains six phrases, to correspond with the numbers that may be rolled using the number die 14. During game play, a selected player from a team rolls the number die 14 to determine which idiomatic phrase the particular team will be trying to guess during its turn. For example, if the selected player rolls a three, then the team will be trying to determine the third phrase in the list of phrases 30 during its turn. The game 10 preferably includes between 400 and 500 cards and, consequently, the game 10 preferably includes between 2,400 and 3,000 idiomatic phrases. The opposite face of the card 28 preferably contains a graphic indicia of the game 10. During game play, the plurality of cards 12 are maintained in the card retaining space 24 of the tray 22.

It is preferred that the method selecting device is a die 16 having characters disposed on each of six sides of the die 16. Each character represents a method for giving clues to teammates to aid in guessing a phrase from a selected card, therefore, this die 16 will be referred to herein as a method die 16. It is further preferred that the method die 16 have a different character disposed on each of the six sides of the die 16.

In the preferred embodiment, the following clue giving methods are represented by characters on the method die 16: 1) “Perform It,” 2) “Draw It,” 3) “Speak It,” 4) “Letter It,” 5) “Choose It,” and 6) “Lose It.”

Perform It

The “Perform It” character requires the player giving clues to act out a phrase or words in the phrase to be guessed in order to help his or her teammates guess the phrase.

Draw It

The “Draw It” character requires the player giving clues to draw a phrase or words in the phrase to be guessed to help his or her teammates guess the phrase.

Speak It

The “Speak It” character requires the player giving clues to either give teammates the literal definition of the selected phrase or describe the words in the selected phrase without saying any of the words in the phrase.

Letter It

The “Letter It” character requires the player giving clues to inform his or her teammates whether, and if so where, five letters chosen by the teammates are present in the phrase to be guessed. The teammates may choose five letters.

Choose It

The “Choose It” character allows the player giving clues to choose the method of giving clues to his or her teammates.

Lose It

The “Lose It” character allows an opposing team to choose the method of giving clues that the guessing team will be required to use.

The game 10 is played in teams, with there being a minimum of two teams having at least two players each. On a team, one player gives clues and the remaining players use the given clues to guess the phrase to be guessed. The number of teams and the number of people on each team is not limited.

Prior to teams starting the game, the teams decide on a point total that must be reached in order to win the game. The winning point total may change from game to game as it is selected by the players involved in a particular game. The team that reaches the predetermined point total first is the winning team. Alternatively, the teams may predetermine a number of rounds of the game to play. The team having the highest point total at the end of the predetermined number of round is the winning team. The scoring of points is discussed below.

FIG. 3 is a flow chart illustrating a method 100 of playing the game 10. The method 100 begins with the teams determining which team will be the starting team or the first guessing team 110. In a preferred embodiment, a player from each team rolls the number die 14. The team that rolls the highest number is the starting team. (Note that if a team ties, then the teams that tie roll again to determine order as between the teams that tie.) The team going second after the starting team may be selected in any number of ways. For example, play may move to the team sitting to the left of the starting team or play may move to the team rolling the second highest number with the number die 14 at the beginning of the game. If only two teams are playing, then play moves to the team that was not the starting team.

The starting team chooses a player that will be responsible for giving clues to the rest of his or her teammates in the guessing team 120. The chosen player selects a card 28 from the tray 140 and rolls the number die 14 to determine the phrase from the list of phrases 30 for which clues will be given and rolls the method die 16 to determine which method the chosen player will use to give clues to the teammates 130. Once the chosen player knows the selected phrase and the method by which clues will be given, the timer 18 is started 150. The team has 60 seconds to guess the selected phrase.

The number die 14 also determines the points that are available to be scored during the turn of play. Specifically, the point total available to be scored by the guessing team equals the number that is rolled with the number die. For example, if the guessing team rolls a five, then the team will score five points if it correctly guesses the phrase to be guessed.

As an example of game play, a chosen player gives clues to his or her teammates according to the method that was rolled with the method die 160, e.g., if the chosen player rolls “Draw It,” he or she will attempt to illustrate the phrase or words belonging to the phrase. The team will try to guess the selected phrase based on the chosen player's clues. If the team is able to guess the selected phrase in the time allotted, the team scores the point total determined by the number die 170. If the team is unable to guess the selected phrase in the time allotted, then that team scores no points. Play then moves to the next team so that the next team may take its proper turn 190.

Play continues in this manner, rotating from team to team, until one of the teams reaches the predetermined point total or the predetermined number of rounds has been played 180. The winning team is the team with either the predetermined point total or the highest number of points after the predetermined number of rounds of play 200.

The large number of available phrases to be guessed substantially decreases the probability of a phrase being repeated for a long period of time. Because the game does not have a board, it is ideal for playing during travel or at other times when space may not be optimal. In addition, the game may be played by as a few as four players or by many more than four players. Moreover, the game is suitable for players of all ages.

Variations

The game of the present invention may be played according to a number of variations to the foregoing rules of play. This variability keeps the game fresh and fun for players even if it has been played many times.

For example, in a preferred variation of the rules of play of game, if the team is unable to guess the selected phrase in the time allotted, then another team is given a single opportunity to “steal the points” by correctly guessing the selected phrase based on what that team has heard and seen during game play. If there is more than one opposing team, then the other opposing teams may take a single guess either in order of play or in a race against each other to correctly guess the selected phrase. If another team correctly guesses the selected phrase, then that team receives the points that were originally available to the guessing team whose turn it was. Play then moves to the next team so that the next team may take its proper turn.

In another preferred variation of the rules of play, if a six is rolled using the number die, then all teams are given the opportunity to concurrently guess the selected phrase. In particular, when a six is rolled, the other teams have the opportunity to guess the selected phrase in conjunction with the guessing by the team whose turn it is. If another team correctly guesses the phrase, then that team receives six available points. Play then moves to the next team so that the next team may take its proper turn.

Based on the foregoing description, it will be readily understood by those persons skilled in the art that the present invention is susceptible of broad utility and application. Many embodiments and adaptations of the present invention other than those specifically described herein, as well as many variations, modifications, and equivalent arrangements, will be apparent from or reasonably suggested by the present invention and the foregoing descriptions thereof, without departing from the substance or scope of the present invention.

Accordingly, while the present invention has been described herein in detail in relation to one or more preferred embodiments, it is to be understood that this disclosure is only illustrative and exemplary of the present invention and is made merely for the purpose of providing a full and enabling disclosure of the invention. The foregoing disclosure is not intended to be construed to limit the present invention or otherwise exclude any such other embodiments, adaptations, variations, modifications or equivalent arrangements, the present invention being limited only by the claims appended hereto and the equivalents thereof.





 
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