Title:
BOARD GAMES WITH PROJECTILES AND METHODS OF PLAYING THE SAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Board games include one or more of a game board with a pathway, a plurality of playing pieces, a target, one or more projectiles for launching at the target, a plurality of cards, and a movement indication device. Movement of the playing pieces around the pathway is determined by where a projectile lands on the target upon being launched by a player, by indicia on a card drawn from the plurality of cards, and/or by a movement indication device. Targets may be integral to or separate from the game board.



Inventors:
Matilla, Kimberly (Venice, CA, US)
Ehret, Andrea (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/421418
Publication Date:
09/20/2007
Filing Date:
05/31/2006
Assignee:
MATTEL, INC. (333 Continental Blvd., El Segundo, CA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/317.3, 273/353, 273/440, 273/248
International Classes:
A63F3/00; A63B67/02; A63F7/20; A63F9/00; A63F9/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20090020951ONE BET POKERJanuary, 2009Colacone
20040041344Three-dimensional game with pegs and beadsMarch, 2004Thomson
20050269784Yard game apparatus and methodDecember, 2005Peters
20020190465Betting game using diceDecember, 2002Ibrahim et al.
20060197283Lottery-type gaming system for simulating an actual casino gameSeptember, 2006Thinnes
20090295085Darts scoreboardDecember, 2009Rauch
20070057468MULTI-DECK PLAYING CARD SET AND METHOD OF PLAYING CARD GAMES USING SAMEMarch, 2007Bruner Jr.
20090115136THREE-IN-ONE GAME SYSTEMMay, 2009Voden



Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kolisch Hartwell P. C. (200 PACIFIC BUILDING, 520 SW YAMHILL STREET, PORTLAND, OR, 97204, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A method of playing a board game, comprising: providing a game board having a pathway defined by a plurality of spaces, the plurality of spaces including a first set of spaces and a second set of spaces; providing a plurality of playing pieces for moving around the pathway in turns; providing a target having a first subtarget and a second subtarget; providing a projectile for launching toward the target; launching the projectile toward the target; moving a playing piece in a predetermined direction to a space of the first set of spaces if the projectile lands on the first subtarget; and moving a playing piece in the predetermined direction to a space of the second set of spaces if the projectile lands on the second subtarget.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein: the space of the first set of spaces is a nearest space of the first set of spaces in the predetermined direction; and the space of the second set of spaces is a nearest space of the second set of spaces in the predetermined direction.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein: the target further has a third subtarget; and the method further comprises moving a playing piece in the predetermined direction to a second nearest space of the first set of spaces in the predetermined direction if the projectile lands on the third subtarget.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein: the first set of spaces includes a subset of spaces; and the method further comprises: providing a plurality of cards with instructions to move the playing pieces; drawing a card from the plurality of cards if a playing piece lands on a space of the subset of spaces; and moving a playing piece according to the instructions when a card is drawn.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein the plurality of cards includes: a first set of cards with instructions to move a playing piece in the predetermined direction; and a second set of cards with instructions to move a playing piece in a direction opposite the predetermined direction.

6. The method of claim 4, wherein the first set of cards includes: a subset of cards with instructions to move a playing piece to a nearest space of the first set of spaces; and a second subset of cards with instructions to move a playing piece to a second nearest space of the first set of spaces.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the target is integral to the game board.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein the target is separate from the game board.

9. The method of claim 8, further comprising providing a target support member for supporting the target at an angle relative to a horizontal surface.

10. The method of claim 1, wherein the projectile launches by compressing the projectile against a surface and releasing the projectile.

11. A method of playing a board game, comprising: providing a game board having a pathway defined by a plurality of spaces; providing a plurality of playing pieces for movement around the pathway in a predetermined direction; providing a movement indication device for determining movement of the playing pieces around the pathway; providing a target; providing a projectile for launching toward the target; taking turns moving the playing pieces in accordance with the movement indication device; if a playing piece lands on a space with a first designation, launching the projectile at the target; and if the projectile lands on the target, moving a playing piece in accordance with the movement indication device again before the next turn.

12. The method of claim 11, wherein: each space of the plurality of spaces includes at least one designation from a plurality of designations; and the movement indication device is adapted to output a plurality of instructions instructing movement of a playing piece to a nearest space with a given designation.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the movement indication device is a die with sides corresponding to at least a subset of the plurality of designations.

14. The method of claim 11, wherein the target is integral to the game board.

15. The method of claim 11, wherein the target is separate from the game board.

16. The method of claim 15, further comprising providing a target support member for supporting the target at an angle relative to a horizontal surface.

17. The method of claim 11, wherein the projectile launches by compressing the projectile against a surface and releasing the projectile.

18. A board game comprising: a game board including a pathway defined by a plurality of spaces; a plurality of playing pieces to be moved around the pathway; a target with a plurality of subtargets; a projectile for launching toward the target for determination of movement of the playing pieces; and a plurality of cards with instructions for further determining movement of the playing pieces.

19. The board game of claim 18, wherein: the plurality of spaces includes at least a first set of spaces and a second set of spaces; the plurality of subtargets includes at least a first subtarget and a second subtarget; the first subtarget includes instructions for movement of a playing piece to a space of the first set of spaces if the projectile lands on the first subtarget; and the second subtarget includes instructions for movement of a playing piece to a space of the second set of spaces if the projectile lands on the second subtarget.

20. The board game of claim 19, wherein: the space of the first set of spaces is a nearest space of the first set of spaces in the predetermined direction; and the space of the second set of spaces is a nearest space of the second set of spaces in the predetermined direction.

21. The board game of claim 19, wherein the plurality of subtargets further includes a third subtarget including instructions for movement of a playing piece to a second nearest space of the first set of spaces if the projectile lands on the third subtarget.

22. The board game of claim 19, wherein the first set of spaces includes a subset of spaces with instructions to draw one of the plurality of cards.

23. The board game of claim 22, wherein the plurality of cards includes: a first set of cards with instructions for movement of the playing pieces in the predetermined direction; and a second set of cards with instructions for movement of the playing pieces in a direction opposite the predetermined direction.

24. The board game of claim 23, wherein the first set of cards includes: a first subset of cards with instructions for movement of the playing pieces to a nearest space of the first set of spaces; and a second subset of cards with instructions for movement of the playing pieces to a second nearest space of the first set of spaces.

25. The board game of claim 18, wherein the target is integral to the game board.

26. The board game of claim 18, wherein the target is separate from the game board.

27. The board game of claim 26, further comprising a target support member configured to support the target at an angle relative to a horizontal surface.

28. The board game of claim 18, wherein the projectile includes a compressible element configured to be compressed and released by a player so that the projectile launches from a surface.

29. A board game comprising: a game board including a pathway defined by a plurality of spaces, each space including a designation from a plurality of designations; a plurality of playing pieces to be moved around the pathway; a target; a projectile for launching toward the target if a playing piece lands on a space with a first designation; and a movement indication device configured to output instructions for moving the playing pieces around the pathway in turns and when the projectile lands on the target.

30. The board game of claim 29, wherein the instructions instruct movement of a playing piece to a nearest space with a given designation.

31. The board game of claim 30, wherein the movement indication device is a die with sides corresponding to at least a subset of the plurality of designations.

32. The board game of claim 29, wherein the target is integral to the game board.

33. The board game of claim 29, wherein the target is separate from the game board.

34. The board game of claim 33, further comprising a target support member configured to support the target at an angle relative to a horizontal surface.

35. The board game of claim 29, wherein the projectile includes a compressible element configured to be compressed and released by a player so that the projectile launches from a surface.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is based upon and claims priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) to the following U.S. provisional applications which are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties for all purposes: Ser. No. 60/687,395, entitled “Board Game with Movers and Flippers,” filed on Jun. 3, 2005; Ser. No. 60/689,358, entitled “Board Game with Movers and Flippers,” filed on Jun. 10, 2005; and Ser. No. 60/693,586, entitled “Board Game with Movers and Flippers,” filed on Jun. 24, 2005.

BACKGROUND

The present disclosure is directed to board games, and more particularly to board games in which players launch projectiles at a target and move playing pieces along a pathway on a game board.

Examples of traditional board games can be found in the disclosures of U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,103,898, 4,138,120, 5,139,271, 6,164,650, 6,176,486, 6,336,634, 6,491,300, 6,543,771, 6,592,124, and the games CLUE™, CHUTES AND LADDERS®, CANDY LAND®, and MONOPOLY®. Examples of games wherein action cards give certain instructions to the player can be found in U.S. Pat. Nos. 1,527,219, 3,643,957, 4,116,450, 4,434,984, 4,955,618, 5,758,876, 5,941,525, and 6,394,454. Examples of projectiles that can be used in games are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 1,329,201, 1,542,063, 3,592,470, 3,612,528, 4,085,933, 4,802,880, and 4,826,176, and can also be found in various versions of Tiddlywinks, ANTS IN THE PANTS® and ANTS IN THE SQUARE PANTS SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS® games. All of the aforementioned disclosures are incorporated herein by reference for all purposes.

SUMMARY

Board games with projectiles and methods of playing the same are provided. The board games include one or more of a game board with a pathway, a plurality of playing pieces, a target, one or more projectiles for launching at the target, a plurality of cards, and a movement indication device. In some embodiments of the board games, movement of the playing pieces around the pathway is determined by where a projectile lands on the target upon being launched by a player. In other embodiments, movement of the playing pieces around the pathway is determined by whether a projectile successfully lands on the target when launched by a player. The target may be integral to the game board or may be separate from the game board. Additional play value may be added by the use of cards with indicia that relate to movement of the playing pieces, or by the use of other movement indication devices such as a die.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates one embodiment of a board game according to the present disclosure, including a game board with an integral target, projectiles for being launched at the target, playing pieces to make movement around the game board, and a stack of cards.

FIG. 2 illustrates a projectile for use with board games according to the present disclosure.

FIG. 3 illustrates a set of action cards for use with board games according to the present disclosure.

FIG. 4 illustrates another embodiment of a board game according to the present disclosure, including a game board, a stand-alone target, projectiles for being launched at the target, playing pieces to mark movement around the game board, and a die with differently colored faces.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Initially referring to FIG. 1, a board game 10 includes a game board 12, a plurality of playing pieces 14, a target 16, at least one projectile 18, and a plurality of cards 20. Board game 10 may be provided with a box 22 as is typical for board games. Board game 10 and the accompanying components are depicted in the figures incorporating a theme corresponding to a children's book about a spider and other characters; however, any suitable theme (or no theme at all) may be incorporated into the board games and still be within the present disclosure.

Game board 12 may include a pathway 24 defined by a plurality of spaces 26 around which playing pieces 14 are moved during game play. Spaces 26 may be divided into multiple subsets of spaces with indicia such as color, or other designation, distinguishing the subsets. In other words, each space of the plurality of spaces may include at least one designation from a plurality of designations. A further subset of spaces 28 may include further indicia, or designation, 30 such as an image of a cupcake, in addition to the distinguishing indicia (e.g., color) discussed.

Indicia 30 may be indicated on one or more of the multiple subsets of spaces. For example, indicia 30 may be integral to more than one color space, as shown in the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1. Indicia 30 in the form of a cupcake is indicated on a first-colored space 32, three second-colored spaces 34, a third-colored space 36, and two fourth-colored spaces 38. Again however, any suitable configuration of further indicia 30 in relation to the plurality of spaces is within the scope of the present disclosure.

Pathways 24 may include start positions 40 and finish positions 42. Multiple start positions may be incorporated into the pathway such that each player of board game 10 begins with his/her playing piece 14 on a corresponding start space. Thus in the embodiment of FIG. 1, so that game board 12 is configured for play by four players, four individual start spaces 40 are provided. In such embodiments, the object of the game may be for a player to travel completely around the pathway in a given direction (e.g., clockwise), returning to his/her start position 40. As such, start positions 40 may also be finish positions 42. Board game 10 may be configured for play by any number of suitable players, and as a result may include a corresponding number of start positions 40.

Still referring to FIG. 1, playing pieces 14 may be in the form of any suitable playing pieces configured to generally indicate movement of play along pathway 24. Playing pieces 14 may include distinguishing indicia configured to correspond to multiple players of board game 10. The distinguishing indicia may be any suitable indicia including (but not limited to) different colors, different characters based on a particular theme incorporated into board game 10, different shapes, etc.

Any suitable set of playing pieces are within the present disclosure such that the playing pieces may be distinguishable from each other and thus assigned to respective players. For example, in the embodiment of FIG. 1, playing pieces 14 may include indicia corresponding to a theme (such as a children's book as discussed above), and further corresponding to the respective start positions 40, also as discussed above.

Still referring to FIG. 1, target 16 may be an integral target 44 (e.g., printed directly on a top surface 46 of game board 12), and may include indicia indicating a plurality of subtargets 48. The indicia indicating the plurality of subtargets may provide instructions correlating to various functions of the game. For example, the indicia may correlate to plurality of spaces 26 (e.g., the subtargets 48 may be differentiated by the same colors as spaces 26). Thus, one non-exclusive example of a game function, that the subtarget instructions may correlate to, is movement of playing pieces 14 around pathway 24, as will be discussed in further detail below.

Other non-exclusive examples of game functions that the subtargets may correlate to include, but are not limited to, instructing a player to take an additional turn, roll-again, draw a card, etc.

A subset of plurality of subtargets 48 may further include additional indicia 50, which may provide further instructions correlating to additional functions of the game, such that if a projectile 18 lands on or touching a subtarget with additional indicia 50, the further instructions are carried out. As will be discussed in greater detail below, one non-exclusive example of a subtarget may include a color, as discussed above, as a first indicia and an illustration of a cupcake as additional indicia 50, as shown in the depicted embodiment of FIG. 1.

As discussed, one or more projectiles 18 may be incorporated into board game 10. Projectiles 18 may take any suitable form as appropriate for various embodiments of board game 10. For example, as depicted in FIGS. 1-2, projectiles 18 may be in the form of a spider. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the spider may include a body 52 and legs 54 and may be resiliently deformable. The projectile may be incorporated into the game for launching toward the target for determination of movement of the playing pieces, or other functions as may be appropriate for an embodiment of the board game.

To launch the projectile, a player presses on the body of the spider toward or against a table top or other surface 56 and then releases it. In doing so, the legs of the spider generally deform in relation to the body and spread out on surface 56 (as indicated in dashed lines in FIG. 2). When the player subsequently releases the projectile, the potential energy created in the deformation of the legs convert to kinetic energy, and the legs spring back to their neutral position and force the spider into the air as generally indicated in FIG. 2. Stated differently, the projectile may include a compressible element configured to be compressed and release by a player so that the projectile launches from a surface.

Any form of projectile configured to be generally launched, thrown, tossed, or caused to travel from one location to another by a player toward a target may be used in conjunction with board game 10, and the present disclosure is not limited to the above described and depicted embodiment. For example, any of the projectiles and projectile launching apparatuses described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 1,329,201, 1,542,063, 3,592,470, 3,612,528, 4,085,933, 4,802,880, and 4,826,176 may be incorporated into the board game of the present disclosure. Also, the various forms of projectiles used in games such as Tiddlywinks, ANTS IN THE PANTS® and ANTS IN THE SQUARE PANTS SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS® games may likewise be incorporated into the board game of the present disclosure.

In some embodiments, the projectiles may include a spring element. The spring element may be compressed, causing the projectile to fly through the air after the spring element is released and the potential energy is transferred to the projectile. The spring element may be integral to the projectile or it may be separate from the projectile. Furthermore, the spring element may or may not be integral with the game board. Players may share a single spring element or each player may have their own.

In other embodiments, a device similar to that of a pinball plunger may be used. The pinball plunger may include a shaft portion. It may also include a handle portion. The plunger may also include a spring element. The player may cause the projectile to fly through the air by compressing (or lengthening depending on the configuration of the plunger) the spring element with the handle and shaft portions of the plunger, before allowing the spring to decompress (or compress) and exert the stored potential energy onto the projectile. Again, the plunger may or may not be integral to the game board. Players may share a single plunger, or each player may have his/her own.

In yet other embodiments, the projectile may comprise one section used for launching and another section of the projectile intended to fly through the air. Each of these sections may include one or more elements. For example, a device similar to the winks used in the game Tiddlywinks may be used as a projectile. In such embodiments, the player may hold one element of the projectile and exert force with that element onto another element of the projectile, causing the latter to fly through the air.

In yet other embodiments, a catapult-type device may be used to launch the projectile. The catapult may be an element separate from the projectile and may be able to store potential energy. The projectile may be placed in the catapult, on top of it, or beside it. The catapult may be released, releasing the potential energy onto the projectile and thereby causing it to fly through the air. Players may share a single catapult device, or each player may have their own. The catapult may or may not be integral to the game board.

Again, any form of projectile configured to be generally launched, thrown, tossed, or caused to travel from one location to another by a player toward a target may be used in conjunction with board game 10, and the present disclosure is not limited to the above described and depicted embodiment.

Turning now to FIG. 3, plurality of cards 20 may provide instructions for movement of the playing pieces around the pathway. As shown in FIG. 1, game board 12 may include indicia 58 whereon the cards may be placed during play of board game 10.

Plurality of cards 20 may have uniform first sides 60 (shown in the non-exclusive depicted embodiment as a cupcake), and second sides 62 including instructions for movement of the playing pieces around the pathway. Any appropriate scheme of instructions may be utilized such that players are instructed to move their respective playing pieces forwards or backwards, one or more spaces, around the pathway.

For example, as shown in FIG. 3, a first card 64 may include indicia of two like-colored circles corresponding to a subset of spaces on pathway 24 (shown in FIG. 1). Such indicia may instruct a player to move his/her playing piece in a forward direction to the second nearest space of the color indicated on first card 64. A second card 66 may similarly include two like-colored circles corresponding to a subset of spaces on the pathway. Second card 66 however may include a minus sign, thereby instructing a player to move his/her playing piece in a reverse direction to the second nearest space of the color indicated. A third card 68 and a fourth card 70 are shown and may include only one colored circle without and with a minus sign, respectively. These cards instruct a player to move his/her playing piece to the first nearest space of the color indicated, either in the forward or reverse direction, respectively.

Thus, plurality of cards 20 may include subsets of cards, each subset corresponding to a like color of spaces on the pathway of the game board, and each subset including instructions to move a playing piece to the nearest clockwise colored space, to the second nearest clockwise space, to the nearest counter-clockwise space, and to the second nearest counter-clockwise space. In addition to the cards depicted, further subsets of cards may be included with board game 10. For example, the subsets of cards may include cards with instructions to move a playing piece to the third space, fourth space, or any other appropriate space.

Again, instructions for movement of the playing pieces provided on the plurality of cards 20 may include any appropriate scheme, and are not limited to the depicted embodiments of FIG. 3.

Now that the various components of board game 10 have generally been described, the following description of playing board game 10 should be easily understood and may be described as a method of playing a board game.

A first method of playing board game 10 may be implemented with the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1. The game is played with one game board 12, four playing pieces 14, sixteen cupcake cards 20, four projectiles 18, and instructions. Games may be played by multiple players, each of which may choose or be assigned a projectile and a playing piece. The depicted embodiment is configured for play by two to four players and is shown with four playing pieces corresponding to four players; however, other configurations may provide for play by more than four players.

The plurality of cards 20 may be initially shuffled and should be placed face-down on indicia 58 on game board 12. Each player then places his/her playing piece in his/her respective starting position 40. The object of the game is to be the first player to move his/her playing piece from a player's starting position, clockwise around the pathway, and to return to his/her starting position which doubles as his/her finish position. Play begins by the youngest player launching his/her projectile 18 at target 44; however, other methods of determining a first player may be used. Launching of projectiles 18 may be restricted to an area near the respective players' start positions. For in example, in the instance of four players playing board game 10, a player, when he/she launches his/her projectile may be required to do so from the side of the board he/she is situated during game play.

Movement of the first player's playing piece is determined by if and where his/her projectile lands on the target (i.e., which of the plurality of subtargets 48, if any, the projectile lands on). If the projectile does not land on the target, the first player's turn ends, and play moves to a second player (positioned in the adjacent clockwise position). If the projectile does land on a subtarget, the first player moves his/her playing piece according to the instructions indicated. For example, if the subtarget does not include indicia 50 (depicted as a cupcake in FIG. 1), then the first player moves his/her playing piece clockwise to the nearest space along the pathway with a color corresponding to the subtarget. If the subtarget does include indicia 50 of a cupcake, then the first player moves his/her playing piece clockwise to the second nearest space along the pathway with a color corresponding to the subtarget.

If the first player's playing piece, upon movement according to instructions of the subtarget, lands on a space of the subset of spaces 28 including indicia 30 (depicted as cupcakes in FIG. 1), then the first player draws the top card of plurality of cards 20 and moves his/her playing piece according to the instructions thereon, as described above and indicated in FIG. 3. In this embodiment, the plurality of cards includes twenty cards corresponding to five colors of spaces of the pathway, each color represented by four cards as indicated in FIG. 3 (i.e., five subsets of cards, each subset corresponding to a like color of spaces, and each subset including instructions to move a playing piece to the nearest clockwise colored space, to the second nearest clockwise space, to the nearest counter-clockwise space, and to the second nearest counter-clockwise space).

If the first player's playing piece again lands on a space of the subset of spaces 28 including further indicia 30 of a cupcake, then the first player again draws the top card of plurality of cards 20 and moves his/her playing piece according to the instructions thereon. Play continues, until the first player's playing piece lands on a space not within the subset of spaces 28.

Upon conclusion of the first player's turn, play moves to the second player. The second player launches his/her projectile at the target and then moves his/her playing piece accordingly as discussed above with respect to the first player's turn. Play then continues to the third and fourth players, back to the first player, and so on, in the same manner until one of the players successfully moves his/her playing piece all the way around the pathway back to his/her combined start/finish space 40, 42. In order to make it back to his/her combined start/finish space, a player may must be instructed to move his/her playing piece to a space beyond his/her finish space (i.e., because the start/finish spaces 40, 42 do not include indicia corresponding to the plurality of spaces, a player cannot land directly on his/her finish space in response to instructions provided on a card).

Various aspects of this exemplary method of game play may be modified from that disclosed above, and may be reflected in the instructions accompanying board game 10. The instructions may thus be configured to provide a game with a desired degree of complexity or difficulty, for example to adapt the game to a predetermined number of players and/or to players of a predetermined age range.

Turning now to FIG. 4, a second embodiment of board game 10 is illustrated including variations of game board 12 and target 16 from that illustrated in FIG. 1. The embodiment of FIG. 4 also incorporates a movement indication device 72 as a mechanism for instructing players to move their respective playing pieces around pathway 24.

Game board 12 incorporates further indicia 30 in the form of an image of a spider web. As shown, indicia 30 is indicated on a first-colored space 74, a second-colored space 76, a third-colored space 78, two fourth-colored spaces 80, and two fifth-colored spaces 82. However, as discussed above in reference to the embodiment of FIG. 1, any suitable configuration of indicia 30 in relation to the plurality of spaces is within the scope of the present disclosure.

In contrast to the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1, the embodiment of FIG. 4 includes pathway 24 with a single start space 40 and a single finish space 42. Thus, the object of the game may be for a player to be the first to travel from start position 40 to finish position 42.

Target 16 may be a separate target 84 (i.e., not integral to the game board) in contrast to the embodiment of FIG. 1. The characteristics of a target 16 discussed above in relation to the embodiment of FIG. 1 (i.e., a plurality of subtargets, a subset of the plurality of subtargets, etc.) may (but are not required to) be incorporated into a separate target similar to the target depicted in FIG. 4. The depicted target in FIG. 4 does not incorporate subtargets and subsets of subtargets, and instead simply provides an overall target at which players may launch a projectile.

Target 84 may (but is not required to) be accompanied by a back-drop, or target support member, 86. Back-drop 86 may function as a support for target 84, such that the plane of target 84 is generally at an angle relative to a table top or other horizontal surface on which game 10 is played. For example, and as depicted in FIG. 4, back-drop 86 may have a tri-fold construction and be made of paper-board, card-board, or any other suitable material for providing a generally rigid support for target 16. In the depicted embodiment, target 84 is generally in the form of a hexagonal spider-web and includes four points 88 that are configured to be mated with corresponding holes in back-drop 86 when assembled for game-play. Back-drop 86 may also (but is not required to) include indicia corresponding to a theme of board game 10.

Other embodiments of targets separate from game board 12 may also be incorporated into board game 10. For example, a target similar to the one depicted in FIG. 4 may be used without a back-drop. That is, a separate target may simply be placed flat on a table top or other surface upon which board game 10 is to be played. Such targets may be constructed of molded plastic, paper-board, card-board, plastic matting, or any other material as may be appropriate.

As discussed, some embodiments of board game 10 may include a movement indication device 72 in addition to, or as an alternative to, the plurality of cards discussed above in reference to FIGS. 1-2. Similar to the plurality of cards discussed above, device 72 may provide a mechanism for instructing players to move their respective playing pieces around the pathway. For example, the movement indication device may be adapted to output a plurality of instructions instructing movement of a playing piece to a nearest space with a given designation.

Movement indication device 72 may take any suitable form, capable of providing random (or at least simulated random or arbitrary) instructions for moving playing pieces around the pathway of board game 10. For example, movement indication device 72 may take the form of a die or dice. Such die or dice may be standard six-sided dice with dots corresponding to one through six.

Alternatively, as shown in the embodiment of FIG. 4, movement indication device 72 may be a six-sided die with faces corresponding to subset of spaces 26 on pathway 24. For example, the movement indication device may include colored faces corresponding to like-colored spaces of the pathway. As such, when a specific color is rolled by a player (i.e., the color indicated on the top face of the die upon being rolled), the player is instructed to move his/her playing piece to the nearest like-colored space in the forward direction on the pathway. Additionally or alternatively, some of the faces of the die may further include minus signs, or other indicia, and thereby provide instructions for movement of playing pieces in the reverse direction, similar to the instructions on the plurality of cards discussed above. Furthermore, movement indication device 72 is not limited to a six-sided die. Device 72 may be any number of die or dice with any number of appropriate sides and with any number of appropriate instructions for movement of the playing pieces around the pathway. All such devices are within the scope of the present disclosure.

Other devices may similarly be used and incorporated into an embodiment of board game 10. For example a spinner, as is commonly used in children's board games, may be used for providing instructions for movement of the playing pieces. A non-exclusive example of a suitable spinner may include indicia similar to the faces of the various embodiments of dice discussed above. That is, the spinner may include radial sections corresponding to the various colors of the spaces of the pathway such that when a player spins the spinner, and the arrow stops in a colored section, the player is instructed to move his/her playing piece to the nearest like-colored space in the forward direction on the pathway. Such spinner may additionally or alternatively include a minus sign, or other appropriate indicia, in some of the radial sections, to provide instructions for movement of playing pieces in the reverse direction, similar to the plurality of cards and dice discussed above.

Also, the plurality of cards discussed above may similarly be described as a movement indication device for purposes of the present disclosure.

Now that the various components of the embodiment of FIG. 4 have generally been described, the following description of playing board game 10 should be easily understood and may also be described as a method of playing a board game.

A second method of playing board game 10 may be implemented with the embodiment depicted in FIG. 4. The game is played with one game board 12, four playing pieces 14, four projectiles 18, a movement indication device 72, a separate target 84 supported by a back-drop 86, and instructions. Games may be played by multiple players, each of which may choose or be assigned a projectile and a playing piece. The depicted embodiment is shown with four playing pieces corresponding to four players; however, any suitable number of players may play board game 10.

All the playing pieces are initially placed on start position 40. The object of the game is to be the first player to travel from the start position to the finish position 42. Play begins by the youngest player rolling movement indication device 72, and moving his/her playing piece according to the instructions; however, other methods of determining a first player may be used.

Movement of the first player's playing piece is determined by the instructions indicated on the top side of the movement indication device (in the form of a die in the depicted embodiment as discussed above) after being rolled. The first player moves his/her playing piece to the nearest space in a forward direction along the pathway corresponding to the color indicated on the movement indication device.

If the playing piece lands on a space of the subset of spaces 28 with further indicia 30 indicated thereon (indicated as spider webs in the depicted embodiment of FIG. 4), then the first player has the opportunity to launch his/her projectile at target 84. Launching of the projectile may be restricted to a designated distance from the target (i.e., in order to make the difficulty of successfully landing a projectile on the target uniform from player to player, each player should be required to launch his/her projectile from a given spot, a predetermined distance away from the target). In order to accomplish this, the target may be placed in a specific spot for the entirety of the game and players may be required to launch their respective projectiles from a specific spot for the entirety of the game. Alternatively, the target may be moved around the game board to a spot generally opposite the player whose turn it is, thereby making the distance from any given player (when it is his/her turn) to the target, always approximately equal to the width of the game board. Other configurations for setting up the target and launching the projectiles may also be used however.

If the first player successfully lands his/her projectile on the target, then he/she is permitted to take another turn by rolling the movement indication device and moving his/her playing piece accordingly. The first player may continue in this fashion until either his/her playing piece does not land on a subset of spaces 28 with further indicia 30 of a spider web or he/she fails to land his/her projectile on the target, at which point the first player's turn ends

Upon conclusion of the first player's turn, play moves to a second player positioned adjacent to the first player in the clockwise direction. The second player rolls the movement indication device, and moves his/her playing piece accordingly, as discussed above in regards to the first player. Likewise, if the second player lands on a space of the subset of spaces 28 including further indicia 30 of a spider web, then the second player has the opportunity to launch his/her projectile at the target, and roll again if successful in landing his/her projectile on the target. Play continues in this manner to the remaining players and then back to the first player and so on, until a player's playing piece successfully moves all the way along the pathway to the finish space 42 and is declared the winner.

In order to make it the finish space, a player must be instructed to move his/her playing piece to a space not present between the player's playing piece's present location and the finish space. In other words, because the finish space does not include indicia corresponding to the plurality of spaces, a player cannot land directly on the finish space in response to instructions provided by the movement indication device. Therefore, for example, if a player's playing piece is on a red space and only a blue space and white space exist between the red space and the finish space, any color indicated by device 72 other than blue and white, instructs the player to move his/her playing piece to the finish space for the win.

Various aspects of this exemplary method of game play may be modified from that disclosed above, and may be reflected in the instructions accompanying board game 10. The instructions may thus be configured to provide a game with a desired degree of complexity or difficulty, for example to adapt the game to a predetermined number of players and/pr to players of a predetermined age range.

It is believed that the disclosure set forth above encompasses multiple distinct inventions with independent utility. While each of these inventions has been disclosed in a preferred form or method, the specific embodiments and/or methods thereof as disclosed and illustrated herein are not to be considered in a limiting sense as numerous variations are possible. The subject matter of the inventions includes all novel and non-obvious combinations and subcombinations of the various elements, features, functions, properties, steps and/or methods disclosed herein. Similarly, where any claim recites “a” or “a first” element, step of a method, or the equivalent thereof, such claim should be understood to include incorporation of one or more such elements or steps, neither requiring nor excluding two or more such elements or steps.

Inventions embodied in various combinations and subcombinations of features, functions, elements, and/or properties may be claimed through presentation of new claims in a related application. Such new claims, whether they are directed to a different invention or directed to the same invention, whether different, broader, narrower or equal in scope to the original claims, are also regarded as included within the subject matter of the inventions of the present disclosure.