Title:
Sudoku playing board, system and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is concerned with a game board and system for playing multiple Sudoku type problem-solving games. The system comprises a three-dimensional board having a first array of n2 identical cavities arranged in a square matrix and at least one second array totaling at least n2 identical cavities arranged in at least n series of n cavities, at least n identical series of n pegs adapted to fit in said cavities in a plurality of definite angular positions, each peg defining a body having opposite first and second end faces, each peg in a series having its first face bearing one of a series of n different indicia. The body preferably has a polygonal cross-section and the system may further comprise a plurality of rings adapted to slide about the perimeter of said body. A method of playing Sudoku type problem-solving games using the system is further provided.



Inventors:
Ouellet, Denis (Montreal-Nord, CA)
Application Number:
11/783915
Publication Date:
07/24/2008
Filing Date:
04/13/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PIERCE, WILLIAM M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Denis, Ouellet (Appt. 310, 4455, D'Amines st., Montreal-Nord, QC, H1H 2H1, omitted)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A game board system for playing multiple Sudoku type problem-solving games, said system comprising i) a three-dimensional board having a first array of n2 identical cavities arranged in a square matrix and at least one second array totaling at least n2 identical cavities arranged in at least n series of n cavities, ii) at least n identical series of n pegs adapted to fit in said cavities in a plurality of definite angular positions, each peg defining a body having opposite first and second end faces, each peg in a series having its first face bearing one of a series of n different indicia.

2. A system according to claim 1, further comprising a plurality of rings adapted to slide about a periphery of said body of said pegs.

3. A system according to claim 1, wherein said at least one second array comprises a total n2+n cavities arranged in n+1 series of n cavities.

4. A system according to claim 1, wherein said at least one second array comprises two arrays of at least n2/2 cavities.

5. A system according to claim 1, wherein said at least one second array comprises two arrays of 45 cavities arranged in 5 series of 9 cavities

6. A system according to claim 1, wherein said body and said cavities have mating polygonal cross-sections.

7. A system according to claim 1, wherein said at least n series of n pegs comprise n+1 identical series of n pegs.

8. A system according to claim 1, wherein said at least n series of n pegs comprise n identical series of n pegs and one series of n pegs bearing numerals 1 to n.

9. A system according to claim 6, wherein said body and said cavities have mating hexagonal cross-sections

10. A system according to claim 2, wherein said rings define a hexagonal center opening mating with the periphery of said body.

11. A system according to claim 1, wherein each peg in a series has its second end face bearing one of a second series of n different indicia.

12. A system according to claim 1, wherein said board further comprises a posting area adapted for attaching at least one problem chart or a writing pad.

13. A board game system according to claim 1, further comprising a plurality of caps, each cap being adapted to removably attach to an end portion of said body.

14. A board game system according to claim 13, wherein said caps are color coded.

15. A board game system according to claim 1, wherein said caps are adapted to receive a replaceable indicia.

16. A board game system according to claim 1, further comprising a secondary board provided with at least three feet adapted to fit in cavities of said first array, said secondary board comprising a third array of cavities adapted to receive said pegs and wherein cavities having a different arrangement of cavities than said first array.

17. A method for playing a problem-solving game comprising: i) providing a game board having a first array of n2 identical cavities arranged as a square matrix and at least one second array totaling at least n2 identical cavities arranged in at least n series of n cavities, at least n identical series of n pegs adapted to fit in said cavities in a plurality of definite angular positions, each peg defining a body having opposite first and second end faces, each peg in a series having its first face bearing one of a series of n different indicia, and a plurality of peg identifiers; ii) filling the cavities of the at least second array with pegs to form at least n identical series of n different visible indicia; iii) moving a number of pegs bearing specific indicia from the at least one second array into specific cavities of the first array to match given data (position-indicia coordinates) of a problem to be solved, and associating one of said peg identifiers to each of said moved pegs to indicate that said pegs represent given data; iv) moving pegs from the at least one second array into cavities of the first array or from a cavity of the first array to another so to gradually fill said first array of cavities and thereby form the solution of the problem, said pegs being placed into a first angular position to indicate a sure play, or into a second angular position to indicate a trial play.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to puzzle games for self-amusement and more specifically, the present invention is concerned with a game board, system and method for playing multiple Sudoku type problem-solving games.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A rapidly growing problem solving self-amusement game involves filling a square matrix (grid) of n by n cells (squares or spaces) with n symbols, the matrix being divided into n independent groups of √n by √n cells. Each symbol must be placed only once in a given row, a given column and a given group. A problem is submitted by providing a partly filled grid to be completed by a player. Such a game often called SUDOKU, is most of the time played in a matrix of nine by nine cells with nine different symbols, such as numerals 1 to 9 or letters or any other symbols. For example it could also be played using nine different color dots or any series of nine different indicia. Larger or smaller problems may be provided using a different number n of cells per row and column, such as 4×4 or 16×16.

Until now, the game has been played by printing partly filled grids on paper or cardboard support and using writing tools (pencils or pens) to fill the blank spaces (cells) as in crosswords, and take notes therein or on another portion of the writing support. This traditional playing means requires many cycles of writing and erasing throughout the successive iterations and does not provide the user with a clear representation and view of the current status of the game. More recently, electronic devices have been introduced, generating and displaying problem grids on a display screen and enabling the player to use a set of keys to move across the grid and set values in cells. However, due to the small display size, a player does not have a good view of the game status and has no means to code symbols in cells according to their status, such as “given”, “sure” or “trial”.

It would therefore be a significant advance in the art of Sudoku type problem solving game playing devices to provide a reusable playing board and system providing clear representation of game status at a given time, and enabling a player to play different variations of the game and to code played symbols according to their current status.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is therefore to provide a Sudoku type problem-solving game playing board, system and method obviating the limitations and drawbacks of the prior art devices and methods and providing other advantageous features.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

More specifically, in accordance with the present invention, as broadly claimed, there is provided a game board and system for playing multiple Sudoku type problem-solving games. The system comprises a three-dimensional board having a first array of n2 identical cavities arranged in a square matrix and at least one second array totaling at least n2 identical cavities arranged in at least n series of n cavities, at least n identical series of n pegs adapted to fit in said cavities in a plurality of definite angular positions, each peg defining a body having opposite first and second end faces, each peg in a series having its first face bearing one of a series of n different indicia.

There is further provided a game system further comprising a plurality of rings adapted to slide about a periphery of said body of said pegs.

There is further provided a game system wherein said at least one second array comprises a total n2+n cavities arranged in n+1 series of n cavities.

There is further provided a game system wherein said at least one second array comprises two arrays of at least n2/2 cavities.

There is further provided a game system wherein said at least one second array comprises two arrays of 45 cavities arranged in 5 series of 9 cavities

There is further provided a game system, wherein said body and said cavities have mating polygonal cross-sections.

There is further provided a game system, wherein said at least n series of n pegs comprises n+1 identical series of n pegs.

There is further provided a game system, wherein said at least n series of n pegs comprises n identical series of n pegs and one series of n pegs bearing numerals 1 to n.

There is further provided a game system, wherein said body and said cavities have mating hexagonal cross-sections

There is further provided a game system, wherein said rings define a hexagonal center opening mating with the periphery of said body.

There is further provided a game system, wherein each peg in a series has its second end face bearing one of a second series of n different indicia.

There is further provided a game system, wherein said board further comprises a posting area adapted for attaching at least one problem chart and/or a writing pad.

There is further provided a game system further comprising a plurality of caps, each cap being adapted to removably attach to an end portion of said body. Said caps may be color coded or adapted to receive a replaceable indicia.

There is further provided a game system further comprising a secondary board provided with at least three feet adapted to fit in cavities of said first array, said secondary board comprising a third array of cavities adapted to receive said pegs and having a different arrangement of cavities than said first array.

There is further provided a method for playing a problem-solving game comprising:

  • i) providing a game board having a first array of n2 identical cavities arranged as a square matrix and at least one second array totaling at least n2 identical cavities arranged in at least n series of n cavities, at least n identical series of n pegs adapted to fit in said cavities in a plurality of definite angular positions, each peg defining a body having opposite first and second end faces, each peg in a series having its first face bearing one of a series of n different indicia, and a plurality of peg identifiers;
  • ii) filling the cavities of the at least second array with pegs to form at least n identical series of n different visible indicia;
  • iii) moving a number of pegs bearing specific indicia from the at least one second array into specific cavities of the first array to match given data (position-indicia coordinates) of a problem to be solved, and attaching one of said peg identifiers to each of said moved pegs to indicate that said pegs represent given data;
  • iv) moving pegs from the at least one second array into cavities of the first array or from a cavities of the first array to another so to gradually fill said first array of cavities and thereby form the solution of the problem, said pegs being placed into a first angular position to indicate a sure play, or into a second angular position to indicate a trial play.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the appended drawings:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a Sudoku playing system according to a first embodiment of the present invention, whereby game is played using numeral coded pegs;

FIG. 2 is plan view of the system of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an isometric view of a Sudoku playing system according to a second embodiment of the present invention, whereby game is played using letter coding instead of numerals;

FIG. 4 is plan view of the system of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is an isometric view of a Sudoku playing system according to a further embodiment of the present invention, whereby a game can be played using color coded pegs;

FIG. 6a is a plan view of a Sudoku playing board according to the present invention;

FIG. 6b is a cross sectional view of the board of FIG. 5a, as viewed from line B-B;

FIG. 7a is an isometric view of a series of indicia bearing pegs of a Sudoku playing system according to the present invention, showing a first indicia bearing end thereof;

FIG. 7b is an isometric view of a series of indicia bearing pegs of a Sudoku playing system according the present invention, showing a second indicia bearing end thereof;

FIG. 8 shows a peg identifying ring according to an aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 9a shows a top isometric view of a cap adapted to snugly fit and attach at an end portion of a peg, and adapted to receive a replaceable indicia bearing material;

FIG. 9b is a bottom isometric view of the cap of FIG. 9a.

Identical numerals throughout the figures represent similar parts of the Sudoku playing board and system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 shows a general representation of a system 1 according to the present invention for playing Sudoku type of problem-solving games. The system 1 comprises a preferably square game board 2 provided with a first array 3 of cavities 4 arranged as a square matrix of n by n cavities, n being equal to 9 in the illustrated embodiment. The array 3 is divided into n adjacent groups of √n by √n cavities and constitutes the playing zone. As best seen from FIGS. 6a and 6b, the cavities have a polygonal, preferably hexagonal, cross-section. Board 2 can be made from injection molded or thermoformed thermoplastic material, such as ABS, polyethylene, acrylic, polycarbonate, etc.

The board 2 further comprises a second array 5 of cavities 4 split into two separate zones 5′ and 5″ totaling n2 (81) cavities, arranged into n (9) rows of n (9) cavities. Zone 5′ comprises 45 cavities and zone 5″ comprises 36 cavities. An additional reference row 6 of n (9) cavities is preferably provided adjacent to zone 5″. A posting area 7 is further provided on board 2 to enable posting of a grid 15 of a problem to be solved or a note pad, which can be in the form of blank grid sheets on which a user may take written notes while solving the problem. A fastening device, such as a spring clip, can be provided to secure the game grid 15 or writing pad on the board 2. An identification line 8 comprising numerals 1 to n (9) 9 is printed next and parallel to reference row 6.

The system 1 further comprises at least n series of n elongated pegs 10 having a polygonal cross-section matching that of cavities 4, so that pegs 10 can be easily inserted therein and removed therefrom with close mating. As best seen from FIGS. 7a and 7b, pegs 10 comprise a hexagonal body portion 11 and two opposite end faces 12′ and 12″. It should be noted that faces 12′ and 12″ are provided with a beveled periphery 17 to facilitate insertion into closely mating cavities 4.

In one embodiment of the invention, only face 12′ bears an indicia 13′ and FIGS. 7a and 7b respectively represent two possible series of 9 different indicia bearing pegs: numerals and letters. In an alternate embodiment, FIGS. 6a and 6b respectively represent end faces 12′ of pegs 10, bearing a first series of indicia 13′, and second end faces 13″ of the same pegs bearing a second series of indicia 13″. Thereby, the embodiment featuring marking at both ends of the pegs enables playing a game with a first set of symbols such as numerals or with a second set of symbols such as letters, or a combination thereof. Pegs 10 can be made from thermoplastic material and be injection molded with integral indicia or cut from an extruded hexagonal bar and thereafter have indicia hot stamped or otherwise printed at one or both ends thereof.

Further, indicia holding caps (not shown) adapted for insertion at an extremity of pegs 10 can be provided to enable the player to change the indicia in the caps on top of the pegs 10 to create different series of playing symbols. For example, sheets of printed indicia showing series of flags, animals, geometric shapes, color dot, or any symbols can be provided to enable a player to change the symbols by replacing those previously mounted in the caps to play the game (solve the problem) using a wide range of possible series of n symbols. Resilient color caps 18 insertable onto pegs 10 can also be provided as shown in FIG. 5 to play games with colors instead of symbols. Alternatively, molded caps 18′, as shown in FIGS. 9a and 9b, may be adapted to attach at an end portion of a peg 10 (using mating hexagonal cavity 19), and adapted to receive a replaceable indicia bearing material, such as a sticker or a piece of paper or cardboard, in a recessed top portion 20.

The system finally comprises a number of peg identifying rings 14 as represented in FIG. 8. Rings 14 preferably have a polygonal shape, here hexagonal, enabling them to be easily sledding about the body of pegs 10, as represented in FIGS. 1 to 5. Alternatively, circular resilient rings (“O” rings) can be used. The purpose of these rings 14 is to identify pegs representing the given data of a problem to be solved.

In use, the system 1 is set-up by parking the n2 (81) pegs 10 to form n (9) series of n (9) identical pegs or n (9) identical series of n (9) different pegs into cavities 4 of zones 5′ and 5″ of array 5. An additional series of the n (9) different pegs is placed into cavities 4 of reference row 6 to serve as a reference of the n (9) symbols or colors to be placed in each row, each column and each group of play array 3. The parallel identification line 8 comprising numerals 1 to n (9) 9 next to each peg 10 of reference line 6 is used to convert numerals to equivalent symbol or color or vice versa. Thereby, a problem given with numerals can be transposed on the play array 3 to be played with colors or any symbol by associating a different playing peg in row 6 to each numeral of line 8. Reciprocally, the final layout of pegs in array 3 can be checked with a solution given with numerals by converting each symbol to its equivalent number using the associated reference row 6 and identification line 8. This provision enables the player to easily play the game using different symbols, such as letters for example as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, by associating a letter, a color (FIG. 5) or another symbol, to each numeral of the adjacent identification line 8.

A reference problem chart can be posted in area 7 and pegs 10 are moved into cavities 4 of play array 3 according to the given data (cell position—symbol coordinates) of the problem grid. Each peg 10 is so positioned in the appropriate polygonal cavity 4 to display the symbol or peg (providing color indicia bearing pegs are orientation coded) with a normal (first) viewing orientation. Rings 14 are sled about the body 11 of those pegs to indicate that they have a “given” data status, meaning that they represent reference data to solve the problem. After that problem transposition is completed, the posted problem grid in posting area 7 can be replaced by a note pad, such as a blank grid pad, on which the player can take notes during the game.

The game can then be played by finding by logical deductions the symbols or colors that should be placed into the remaining cavities (cells) to solve the problem. While playing the game according to an inventive method of the present invention using the above described system, the player is able to define a “sure” or trial” status for any of the played pegs 10. Indeed, given the hexagonal shape of the pegs 10 and mating cavities 4, played pegs that are to be identified with a “trial” status can be positioned with a different (second) definite angular orientation (ex 45 degrees sidewise orientation) while those with a “sure” status are positioned with a normal (first) definite angular orientation. Using a hexagonal shape, up to six different status can be defined, if found helpful by the player, in addition to the “given” status defined by association of identifying rings 14. Thereby, the player is able to easily identify cells with an “uncertain” status and track or revert a sequence of trials.

Different games, especially those requiring a smaller number or different arrangement of cavities than provided in first array 3, can be played by providing a second board (not illustrated) provided with at least three feet adapted to fit in cavities 4 of array 3, to form a piggy-back assembly, hiding array 3 and presenting a different set of cavities still complying with pegs 10.

To conveniently store the board while preventing displacement of the pegs 10, a cover can be provided. For example, a groove can be provided on opposite side walls of the board 2 and a cover (not shown) provided with rails on two opposite sides can be inserted thereon.

One can thus easily appreciate that the above described embodiment of the Sudoku playing board and system according to the present invention obviates the limitations and drawbacks of the prior art devices, namely by providing versatile infinitely reusable material enabling multiple Sudoku type problem-solving game playing, and providing convenient improved visualization of the game status through angular orientation coding of the pegs positioning into the cavities.

Although the present invention has been described hereinabove by way of preferred embodiments thereof, it can be modified, without departing from the spirit and nature of the subject invention as defined in the appended claims.





 
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