Title:
WORD SPELLING AND WORD CROSSING BOARD GAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus and method for a board game that includes a game board and game pieces for placement on the game board during game play. The game pieces have letters, phonic symbols, wild card symbols, or other language symbols or indicia on both sides of the pieces that are in different colors corresponding to the two players but which show the same letter or symbol on both sides. The game board of the preferred embodiment includes a grid arrangement of spaces of a size and shape to permit the game pieces to be laid on the grid spaces. Words or phrases are spelled out by the arrangement of game pieces on the game board, the words or phrases being formed by game pieces in straight lines. The game pieces are placed on the game board by the players during turns and if one or more words or phrases are formed by the just-placed letters or language symbols in conjunction with other game pieces on the board, the player placing the most recently played game piece owns all the game pieces in the new words or phrases. Ownership of the game pieces is indicated by flipping any opponent game pieces over to display the color of the player who's turn it is. The game is won by determining which player has the most pieces on the board at the end of the game.



Inventors:
Lu, Ling (Short Hills, NJ, US)
Liu, Hengzhong (Short Hills, NJ, US)
Application Number:
12/104847
Publication Date:
10/23/2008
Filing Date:
04/17/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F3/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SCHIFF HARDIN, LLP;PATENT DEPARTMENT (6600 SEARS TOWER, CHICAGO, IL, 60606-6473, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. An apparatus for playing a game by two players or teams, comprising: a playing surface marked with a grid of spaces arranged in rows and columns, said spaces being of a size and shape to receive a game piece; a plurality of game pieces each of a size and shape to be received at ones of the spaces of the playing surface, said game pieces having first and second opposite faces and being shaped to permit placement at a space of the playing surface with either said first or said second opposite face directed upward; indicia on both said first and second opposite faces of said game pieces, said indicia indicating a predetermined letter on each game piece, said indicia indicating a same letter on both the first and second opposite faces of each respective game piece, said indicia being of different colors on respective ones of said first and second opposite faces of each game piece, said indicia indicating a set of letters on said plurality of game pieces such as to permit selected ones of said game pieces to be received at said spaces on said playing surface to form words by adjacent arrangements of the letters.

2. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein said indicia indicates letters in a first color on said first faces of said plurality of game pieces, said first color corresponding to a first of said two players or teams, and said indicia indicating letters in a second color on said second faces of said plurality of game pieces, said second color corresponding to a second of said two players or teams.

3. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein said indicia includes background colors on which the letters are indicated, said background colors being mutually different as between said first and second faces.

4. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein said indicia being of different colors on respective ones of said first and second opposite faces of each game piece include mutually different colors of the letters on the first and second opposite faces.

5. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein said indicia being of different colors on respective ones of said first and second opposite faces of each game piece include mutually different colors of backgrounds on the first and second opposite faces.

6. An apparatus as claimed in claim 5, wherein said letters on the first and second opposite faces of each game piece are of a same color.

7. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein said game pieces are disk shaped.

8. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein said indicia of said plurality of game pieces indicate a set of letters having a frequency of occurrence approximately corresponding to a frequency of occurrence of the corresponding letters in a language.

9. A method for playing a game between two players or teams, comprising the steps of: providing a playing surface marked with a grid pattern of spaces each having a size and shape to accommodate a game piece; a first of the players or teams placing a first game piece on a first space of the playing surface with a first face of the game piece directed upwardly, said first face having an indicia of a letter and being of a first color corresponding to the first player, said game piece having a second face opposite said first face, said second face having an indicia with a same letter as said first face and being of a second color corresponding to the second of the players or teams, said first and second colors being different from one another; a second of the players or teams placing a second game piece on a second space of the playing surface with a second face of the second game piece directed upwardly, said second face having a letter and being of a second color corresponding to the second player, said second game piece having a first face having a same letter as said second face and being of the first color corresponding to the first player; if a word is formed by the letter of the newly added game piece of the second player in combination with at least one letter of-at least one game piece on the playing surface, turning over any letters of the word having said first color directed upwardly so that all letters of the word are displayed with said second color directly upwardly; the first player placing a third game piece on a third space of the playing surface with the first face of the third game piece directed upwardly, said first face of the third game piece having a letter and being of said first color; if a word is formed by the newly added game piece of the first player in combination with at least one letter of at least one game piece on the playing surface, turning over any letters of the word having the second color directed upwardly so that all letters of the word are displayed with the first color directed upwardly; and continuing alternating turns of the first and second players by adding game pieces and turning over letters to corresponding colors of the players if words are formed by the letter pieces.

10. A method as claimed in claim 9, further comprising the steps of: providing each of said first and second players with a predetermined number of game pieces; ending the game when the players have placed all of their game pieces on the playing surface; counting the game pieces having each color directed upwardly; and declaring a winner of the player having more game piece showing the player's color.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/923,752, filed Apr. 17, 2007.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to a game and more specifically to a board game played using a plurality of letter pieces placed on a game board to spell words.

2. Description of the Related Art

U.S. Pat. No. 7,044,467 discloses a sentence forming game and its associated method of play.

U.S. Pat. No. 7,008,316 discloses an electronic game board assembly.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,921,074 discloses a board game.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,279,909 discloses a game having multiple game activities.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,857,675 discloses an educational dinosaur board game.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,657,989 discloses a family chore board game.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,607,159 discloses a board game having a random indicator for determining direction, amount and axis of reference of movement of tokens.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,564,710 discloses a word forming card game having a top.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,520,394 discloses a word forming board game.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,439,232 discloses an educational card game.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,269,530 discloses a word spelling game and method of playing such a game.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,682,777 discloses a board game.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides an apparatus and method for playing a game that includes a game board and game pieces for placement on the game board during game play. The game pieces have letters, phonic symbols, or other language symbols or indicia on both sides of the pieces so that words or phrases are spelled out by the arrangement of game pieces on the game board. The same letter or symbol is marked on both sides of each respective game piece, but in different colors or otherwise marked to distinguish one face of the game piece from the other face, the distinguishing colors or markings being assigned to the respective players. Some game pieces may be blank or have a symbol indicating that piece as “wild”, capable of representing any letter designated by the player. The game board of the preferred embodiment provides a playing surface that includes a grid arrangement of spaces in rows and columns of a size and shape to permit the game pieces to be placed in the spaces. The game pieces with letters or language symbols on both sides are placed on the game board during play by the players to spell words. If one or more words are spelled by placement of a game piece during a player's turn, the game pieces that form the word or words are owned by that player and any that show ownership by the other player are flipped over to indicated ownership of all the letters or language symbols of the word by the player who spelled the word. If the opposing player spells a word by placement of a letter piece on the game board in a subsequent turn, all letter pieces of the word are owned by the opposing player and any game pieces showing ownership by the first player are flipped over to show the new ownership status of the respective pieces.

The present board game uses word spelling and word crossing in straight lines of any direction on the grid-marked game board. In one embodiment, the present game is a word spelling and crossing game played by two parties using given sets of alphabetic or phonetic letter game pieces that have two faces, each face corresponding to one of the playing parties. More playing parties can be included in the game by providing game pieces having more faces, so a cube-shaped game piece may permit up to size players or teams to compete. Even more players can be added by more complex shapes, such as dodecahedron-shaped game pieces. The present game can be played with alphabetic letters of any language of a phonetic type as well as phonetic letters or symbols of any language of a non-phonetic type.

Using the SCRABBLE word game by Hasbro, Inc. as a comparative example, the present game does not need the specially designed board as provided in SCRABBLE and does not need score calculation at each turn. Instead, during play of the game the players claim ownership of game pieces by flipping the pieces to display that player's face of the game piece at each turn. Winning is determined by counting owned game pieces. The present game is simple and easy to learn and play. Because it is simple and easy with very few rules, it leaves almost unlimited options for players and suppliers to set up new rules suitable for different needs, desire and occasions.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a game board according to the present invention;

FIG. 2A is a top plan view of a game piece, on the face of which is a letter “A” in a first color, in this instance in dark blue, on a background of a second color, in this instance white;

FIG. 2B is a bottom plan view of the game piece of FIG. 1 to show the opposing face of the game piece, on the bottom face of which is also a letter “A” but in a third color, here in red outline with a white body, on a background of a fourth color, here a yellow background;

FIG. 3A is a top plan view of a game piece of a second embodiment, on the face of which is a letter “A” in a color, in this instance red, on a background of another color, in this instance yellow;

FIG. 3B is a bottom plan view of the game piece of FIG. 3A to show the opposing face of the game piece, on the face of which is a letter “A” in the same color as the top face, in this instance red, on a background of a different color, in this instance gray;

FIG. 3C is a top plan view of a further game piece of the second embodiment, on the face of which is a letter “A” a different color, in this instance blue, on a background of a color, in this instance yellow;

FIG. 3D is a bottom plan view of the game piece of FIG. 3C to show the opposing face of the game piece, on the face of which is a letter “A” in the same color as the top face, in this instance blue, on a background of a color, in this instance gray;

FIG. 4 is a table showing a distribution of 100 English alphabetic letter pieces in a preferred embodiment of the present game;

FIG. 5A is a plan view of a five-by-five section of a game board of one embodiment showing a first game piece placed on the game board by a first player, here the “blue” player has placed a blue M game piece on the board;

FIG. 5B is a plan view of the game board of FIG. 5A showing a second game piece that has been placed onto the game board by a second player, here the “red” player has placed a red E game piece on the board in a space diagon;

FIG. 5C is a plan view of the game board of FIG. 5B showing that the second player, here the “red” player, has turned over the first game piece, the blue M placed in FIG. 5A, to reveal on the second side of the game piece a letter of a different color, here a red M;

FIG. 5D is a plan view of the game board of FIG. 5C showing that the first player, here the “blue” player, has placed a third game piece, here a blue N, on the board;

FIG. 5E is a plan view of the game board of FIG. 5D showing that the first player, here the “blue” player, has turned over the first and second game pieces, here the red M and red E, to reveal the colored letters on the flip side of the pieces, here the blue M and blue E; and

FIG. 6 is a plan view of the game board showing an arrangement of the game pieces that have been placed onto the board by two players over the course of a game, the game piece arrangement being the final results of a game.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

A method and apparatus for playing a game is provided according to the principles of the present invention. Various embodiment and configurations are possible. The following are but examples of those embodiments.

The present game is a word spelling and crossing game played by two parties using sets of game pieces with alphabetic or phonetic letters, wild card symbols or other language symbols which are arranged on a grid board and distinguished by the following features. The two parties playing the game can be two individuals or two teams each with several individuals. It is also possible that one of the teams may consist of a single individual who plays against a team of several people. The two parties take turns, each turn following the turn of the other party. Each turn may include placing preferably one, but possibly more, game piece on the game board.

Each game piece has two faces, both faces of which are provided with the same alphabetic or phonetic letter or symbol. One face of a game piece is associated with one playing party while the other face of the same game piece is associated with the opposing player or players. In some embodiments, the two opposing faces of the game pieces are distinguished by color and the two players or teams are associated with respective colors. For example, one face of the playing piece may be red and the other face blue, so that the two parties are the red player or team and the blue player or team, respectively. The color association between the faces of the playing pieces and the players can be by color of the letter or symbol on the playing piece or by the background color, or both. In other embodiments, the distinction between the faces of the playing piece may be by different patterns, designs, shapes or configurations on the respective faces of the playing pieces, either alone or in conjunction with the color difference. For example, the faces may be marked with circles and squares, respectively, or by blue circles and red squares, for example. Tactile differences between the two faces may be provided as an aid to distinguishing between the two faces, particularly for players with limited sight.

The game pieces are placed on the game board by the players to form words. The players take turns placing the game pieces on the game board during their respective turns. The player or team who during their turn places the last letter piece needed to complete a new word, or to form multiple words in different directions, or to turn one or more existing words into a new word or words, owns all the letter pieces in the new word or words that are formed during that turn. To claim ownership of all the letter pieces in the newly formed word or words by the player or team, the player or team turns over all the letter pieces of the opponent's color in the new word or words so that the letter pieces of the word or words are all of that player's color. Alternately, the player can replace the opponent's letter pieces in the new word or words with the player's own letter pieces.

One or more wild game pieces may be provided as, for example, blank pieces, pieces that have only have a background color without a letter marked thereon, or pieces that include a non-letter symbol to indicate that the piece is wild. Such wild game pieces are given the letter designated by the player that plays that wild game piece. Wild game pieces can represent any letter chosen by the player.

Play continues turn-by-turn until the end of the game. The player or team who has won more pieces from the opponent or the player or team who has more pieces than the opponent on the game board at the end of the game wins the game.

The present game is described as being played using physical game pieces placed on a physical game board. It is within the scope of the present invention to model the game pieces and game board using software and thereby provide a computer game or video game that uses the same rules and play. The opponent can be another individual or team using the same computer or video system as the first player or team, another individual or team using another computer or video system connected for example by a network or via the Internet or other communication channel, or the opponent can be a virtual opponent modeled by software in the computer or video game system. The game may be played over a broadcast medium, such as television, or by exchange of correspondence between players.

Referring to the drawings, as shown in FIG. 1, the game board 10 is similar to a chessboard, which is a flat surface made of any material with girds of N rows 12 by M columns 14, where N and M could be as small as 3 and as large as designed and/or needed. In the illustrated example of FIG. 1, the 12 by 12 grid 10 is used as a typical example. The game board may be a simple grid of spaces 16 for receiving the playing pieces, much like a chess or checkers board, or may be formed with recesses into which the playing pieces are received to reduce shifting of the pieces, such as during travel. The game board may be a separate board carried by the players or may be marked on a playing surface, such as a table top. The game board may have different numbers of spaces for receiving the playing pieces, so that grids with more spaces or fewer spaces may be used. Examples of alternate game boards include a 6 by 6 grid, a 3 by 12 grid, a 10 by 10 grid, a 15 by 15 grid, and even a 20 by 20 grid. The 12 by 12 grid is recommended for most play. The number of spaces in each row and column may be equal or may be unequal, as desired.

Each alphabetic or phonetic letter piece has a front face and a back face that are different in color and/or shape of the piece body and/or different in color and/or shape of the letter on the piece. Of each letter piece, the front face is associated with a player while the back face is associated with his/her opponent, and vice verse. Letter pieces could have variety of appearances as long as the front face and back face of a letter piece are clearly different. Here are provided two typical examples.

In FIGS. 2A and 2B is shown an example of a game piece 18 that has a letter, in this case the letter “A”, on the two faces of the piece: one face for the first player or team and the other face for the opposing player or team. FIG. 2A shows the face 20 with the letter 22 in dark blue. The background of the face 20 is white. FIG. 2B shows the opposite face 24 of the same game piece 18 with the letter in red outline 26 and a white body 28 on a white background. During a game, one player or team is the dark blue team and the other is the red team. For respective turns, the “dark blue” player or team places letter pieces with the side showing the dark blue letter up, while the “red white” player or team places letter pieces with the side showing the red white letter up.

The game pieces primarily include alphabetic or phonetic letter pieces. Letters could be alphabetic letters of the languages of the phonetic type such as English, Spanish, French, German, Russia and so on. Letters could also be the phonetic letters or symbols of the languages of the non-phonetic type such as Chinese, Japanese or Korean.

The playing pieces may be formed of plastic, wood, metal or other materials as desired. The playing pieces may include alphabetic letters of any language of a phonetic type as well as phonetic letters or symbols of any language of non-phonetic type. For purposes of the present invention, the term letter includes letters, phonic and non-phonic language symbols, and other language elements. The letters, symbols or other indicators may be provided on the game pieces by being marked thereon, printed, painted, or otherwise applied to the pieces. The letters may be formed by raised letters, formed by grooves or channels in the body of the game pieces, by additional pieces affixed to the game pieces. The letters may be provided on the game piece by molding, engraving, etching, embossing, or any known forming, marking or applying method.

FIGS. 3A-3D shows examples that of two game pieces 30 and 32 with a letter “A” as provided to the two players or teams. The two pieces have different color combinations on their respective faces so that there are four different faces for the letter “A” game piece. In particular, the front face and back face of one of the two game pieces 30 for a given letter is for the first player or team, and a different front face and different back face of the other game piece 32 for the same letter “A” is for the opposing second player or team. FIG. 3A shows a front face 34 of the game piece 30 having a letter “A” with a yellow background color and red colored letter while FIG. 3B shows the back face 38 of the same game piece 30 on which is provided a gray background and red colored letter “A” 40. FIG. 3C shows a front face 42 of the game piece 32 for the other player or team on which is provided a letter “A” 44 on a gray background and with a blue colored letter, while FIG. 3D shows a back face 46 of the same game piece 32 with a yellow background color and a blue colored letter “A” 48.

The four different faces of the letter “A” game piece permits the players to distinguish a letter piece that was originally laid down by the player from a game piece that has been take over from the other player. For example, the red player places his or her red letter pieces on board with the yellow background up while the blue player places his or her blue letter pieces on board with gray background up. When the blue player takes a red letter piece, the blue player removes the red letter piece with the yellow background up and replaces it with blue letter piece showing the same letter, the blue piece being placed with the yellow background up. This indicates that the blue player now owns this piece but that it was initially placed by the red player. A blue piece with the gray background up is taken by the red player by replacing the blue piece with the same letter piece placed to show the red letter and gray background.

The game pieces with two different background colors permits a variation in game play. For example, the game pieces with the gray background and red colored letter may be placed on the game board with the gray background up to mean that these pieces were originally placed on board by the red-on-yellow player but won over by the blue-on-gray player; the pieces with yellow background and blue colored letter may be placed on the board with the yellow background up to mean that these pieces were originally placed on board by the blue-on-gray player but won over by the red-on-yellow player.

A further alternative is that four players or teams may play the game using the game piece set with the four different color combinations of letters and backgrounds shown in FIGS. 3A-3D. It is also foreseen that three or more different colors of letters or patterns or other indicia may be provided for play by more players. The game pieces may be of different shapes, such as square rather than circular, or shapes having more faces, such as pyramids, cubes, dodecahedrons, and the like maybe used as game pieces. With more faces on the game pieces, more options for marking the faces with different colors permits additional players or teams to participate, or permits each player or team to have further faces that can be placed directed upwardly to accommodate additional rules or play strategy. For example, a cube with the same letter on each face but in different colors, patterns or the like, can permit up to six players or teams to participate. Each player or team places the cube-shaped game piece on the game board with that player's color up, and other players claiming ownership of the piece simply turns the cube to show the color of the new owner.

Number of pieces for each player in the game could vary depending on the embodiment of the game, or by an agreement of the players. According to one embodiment, 50 game pieces for each player are used as a typical example. A suggested number of pieces for English alphabetic letters adjusted from the usage frequency of English letters is provided by a number of known sources. One such distribution is disclosed in the table set forth in FIG. 4. The listed 100 letter pieces for two players include two blank pieces to be used as wild pieces, in other words pieces taking any letter assigned to it by the player who plays that piece. For game piece sets in other languages, a different assortment of letters may be provided. It is also foreseeable to provide more or fewer letter pieces for different versions of the game, such as a shorter set for small children or a larger set for more advanced players. It is also possible to limit the word size to shorter words, such as those having six or fewer letters, for children.

Distribution of the game pieces may take place in any of several different manners. The players may be provided with a predetermined set of the game pieces, for example, one half of the letter distribution listed in FIG. 4, with equal numbers of each letter, are provided to each player according to the preferred embodiment. An alternative is that the game pieces are distributed randomly to the two players with each player having the same number at the start of the game but of a random letter distribution. A further alternative is to provide each player with a predetermined number of pieces, for example eight pieces, that are replenished when each piece is laid on the game board. The set of pieces available to the player may be drawn randomly, such as from a bag. The bag may be opaque and of a size and shape to prevent the player from seeing which game piece is being selected.

The rules: Because game play is simple and easy with very few rules, it leaves almost unlimited options for players and suppliers to set up new rules suitable for different needs, desires and occasions. The rules relate to the conditions to play each turn, the criteria to win game pieces at teach turn, and the criteria to win the game. There are two types of rules governing play of the present game: the rules dictated by the present apparatus, and the rules designed by provider or negotiated by players. The rules may also be divided into three rule sets, the core rules (which remain unchanged), the standard rules (which can be replaced by optional rules) and the optional rules (which replace the standard rules, either entirely or one-by-one). The rules according to a preferred embodiment are as follows.

a) Each of the two players or teams is provided with the same set of alphabetic or phonetic letter pieces. The game pieces can be provided to the players in several ways, such as by being laid out on a table or in a box or placed in a bag. The game pieces are not set on racks and no letter racks are provided. The game pieces are not assigned different point values for different letters, all pieces are valued at a single point.

b) The two players or teams take turns to place one piece from the player or teams letter pieces on the board in each of their respective turns. The placement location of the piece on the board does not impact the scoring as all spaces on the board are scored alike and no different points are marked on the board. No scores are taken at each turn, scoring is at the end of the game. The player who takes the first turn may be chosen by each player drawing random pieces from the stock of game pieces and the player with the earliest letter in the alphabet getting to play first. Other methods may also be used, such as the youngest player, etc.

c) The players or teams may place their letter pieces anywhere on the board they wish regardless of whether the placement results in a word being formed or not. Once a space has been assigned a letter as indicated on the placed game piece, it remains that letter, only the color changes depending on the ownership of the piece.

d) Words may be formed by using any letter piece or pieces that are already on the game board, no matter if the letter piece or pieces are in another word or not and no matter which player the letter piece or pieces currently belong to. The words have to be in an acceptable set of the words or in a dictionary agreed by both parties. Game pieces may be placed by a player without forming words, with the possibility that the game pieces may be incorporated into a word in a later turn. Such letter pieces are referred to as “seed” pieces and their placement as a “place seed” turn, given that they are expected to grow into a word later.

e) The player who places the last letter piece needed to complete a new word or words or to turn an existing word or words into a new word or words, owns all the game pieces in the new word or words. To claim the player's ownership of all the game pieces in the new word or words, the player turns the opponent's game pieces in the new word or words over or replace the opponent's game pieces in the new word or words by its own pieces. If game pieces are used that have more than two faces marked with letters, such as a cube, the game piece can be turned to display another face.

f) The game is completed and therefore ends after all given letter pieces or all letter pieces of agreed number are placed on the board or when one party surrenders by declaring loss or when other conditions agreed by two parties for ending the game has been met, such as that all cells on the game board are filled.

g) The player who won more pieces from its opponent or the player who gets more pieces than its opponent does on the board at the end of the game wins the game. The game ends in a tie if both players or teams own the same number of letter pieces on the board at the end of the game.

The rules that can be changed as desired by the game provider or as negotiated by both player parties are described below.

Language: The players may choose to play words in different languages. Different sets of alphabetic or phonetic letter pieces may be needed for playing the game in different languages.

Acceptable words and dictionary: To avoid ambiguity in the forthcoming play, at the beginning of the game players should have an agreement on the words or the set of words that are acceptable in the game, for example, all the words contained in a certain dictionary, allowing a certain set of words only or excluding a certain set of words, and so on. One alternative is to limit the possible words to formal names, or to titles of movies, books, songs, animal names, or any other pre-agreed word set.

An alternative is to permit play against random chance by game piece selection. To play against a certain degree of random chance, in each turn, each player randomly takes one piece out of the 50 pieces provided to the player from an opaque bag or container to play. Moreover, to further increase the degree of random chance, in each turn, each player may randomly take one piece out of all pieces available for the game from an opaque bag or container to play.

As a further alternative form of play, each player can use any piece of the 50 provided pieces at each turn at will. The game pieces may be mixed up and each player chooses eight game pieces, or four game pieces, or some other number as the beginning set. Piles of game pieces may be formed and each player gets one pile, the piles having as many as 50 pieces or as few as four pieces.

Each turn of the preferred embodiment includes placing one new piece on the game board and then turning over any pieces that form one or more words with the new letter. If agreed between the players, each player may place more than one piece on the board at each turn. The number of pieces may be limited to a particular number, for example, no more than three pieces per turn, or may be limited by the number pieces that the player has on hand. In one example, each player may place up to eight game pieces on the board at each turn. The capture of pieces may be by turning over the game piece to the other color on the reverse face, or to another face if cube game pieces are used, or by replacing the piece with another piece having the same letter. Once a space has been assigned a letter, it remains that letter, only the color changes depending on the ownership of the piece.

Another option in play has to do with word formation. Words may be formed by letter pieces lying in a straight line on the game board in any direction, namely, horizontally (in rows) in both directions, vertically (in columns) in both directions, diagonally from top-left to bottom-right in both directions, and diagonally from top-right to bottom-left in both directions. As an alternative, the players may agree to limit word directions to one some of these directions or may expand the options to include letters not in a straight line. However, letters in a straight line of any direction is recommended.

Several possibilities are available for endowments of letter pieces. How many and what combination of letter pieces are allowed in a game often depends upon the design of the provider, on the media on which the game plays and the agreements between two playing parties. As a typical example, 50 pieces are assumed for each player in this description. If the game is played on a computer, via the Internet, on a website, on a television show or the like, each player can use any letter at will while the number of letter pieces might be limited or given.

Other terms might be agreed and added or modified by the players. Examples are to agree to a method to determine who moves first, to decide how to use the blank pieces, to settle on how the game ends, and so on.

A brief illustration of a game follows. Two players, called the blue player who will play with the letters in blue and the red player who will use the letters in red, are each provided with 50 pieces shown in FIG. 4. Both players come to agree to play a game of a simple set of English words and determine that the blue player moves first. The game will not be played against random chance of letter piece selection.

In FIG. 5A, the blue player moves first, placing a blue M game piece 50 on the game board 52, only a portion of which is shown. In FIG. 5B, following the blue player's first move, the red player makes his or her first move by placing a red E game piece 54 on the board to form the word “ME” with the letter pieces 50 and 54. By rule e, the formation of a word by the red player has won over the blue letter M piece 50 that was originally placed on board by the blue player. The red player thus turn the blue letter M piece 50 over, so that it becomes the red letter M piece 50a. FIG. 5C displays the result.

Now the blue player takes his or her second turn, shown in FIG. 5D, by placing a blue N piece 56 next to the red E piece 54 in a diagonal line for form the word “MEN”. By rule e, the formation of a word by the blue player has won over the whole word “ME” in red that did belong to the red player in the prior turn and changed it to “MEN”. The blue player thus turn the red letter M and E pieces 50a and 54 over, so that they become the blue letters M and E pieces 50 and 54a. FIG. 5E exhibits the resulting word “MEN” in blue. Play continues in this manner. Game pieces are only turned over if a word is spelled. A player who places a piece during his or her turn without spelling a word gets to place their color piece on the board but since no word is formed does not get to turn over pieces already on the board.

If a player places a piece on the board during their turn and it forms words in several directions, that player can turn over pieces for all the letters in all the words formed. The words formed, and thus the pieces being turned over, extend in a straight line in any direction from and through the game piece just placed on the game board.

An optional beginning to play is to place one or more randomly chosen game pieces onto the board prior to the first player's turn. This can speed up the beginning of play.

FIG. 6 shows the final results of the game after all 100 pieces 58 are placed on spaces on the game board 60. The lines 62 with arrows show the directions that words are formed of letters. The following words are formed: HIS, YES, REAL, FUN, RUN, QUIT, QUEST, VEX, HE, KEEP, TASK, MUST, NO, WE, HIS, HEAT, HAVE, TO, EXAM, HE, WET, LITTLE, IS, HISTORY, IS, ITS, CAN, GUST, BEAST, DO, LED, READ, WE, POLE, JET, BOY, FOG, ZONE, HE, PIN, HAD, ZERO, ROCK, DO, NO, OR, RENT and JOB. A blank piece or wild piece has been used in the game, the wild or blank piece is used for the U in FUN and for the U in RUN. All words are formed in straight lines in any direction. The words are leveraged using the same letters. The end result of the game is that the red player has 52 pieces on the board while the blue player only has 48 pieces on the board, so the red player wins the game by 4 pieces.

Thus, there is provided a word crossing game that includes the strategies of spelling and position capture in one game. It is simple to play, easy to learn, educational, challenging, entertaining and fun. No score keeping is required during the course of the game, no special board marked with scoring is used, and no points are marked on the letter pieces. Players need not complete a word on each turn.

The letters on both sides of the game pieces permit a player to win over an opponents pieces by forming words that include those letters. Players in a subsequent turn can turn those pieces back over from lost pieces to won pieces. In other words, pieces are only temporarily lost and can be recaptured at any time until the end of the game. The score is not determined until the end of the game.

Thus, there is provided a word spelling and crossing game played by two parties using given sets of alphabetic or phonetic letter pieces on a grid board and having the following features in the preferred embodiment. (1) Each game piece of alphabetic or phonetic letters has two faces: one face is associated with one playing party while the other is associated with the opposing player. (2) The player who places the last letter piece needed to complete a new word(s) or to turn the existing word(s) into a new word(s), owns all the letter pieces in the new word(s). To claim ownership of all the letter pieces in the new word(s), the player turns over the opposing player's game pieces that appear in the new word(s) or replace the opponent's game pieces in the new word(s) by the player's own pieces. (3) The player who owns more pieces on the board at the end of the game wins the game. The word game can be played and applied to any media ranging from flat surface or board of any materials, television show, computer, internet and so on. It can be played with alphabetic letters of any language of phonetic type as well as phonetic letters or symbols of any language of non-phonetic type.

Although other modifications and changes may be suggested by those skilled in the art, it is the intention of the inventors to embody within the patent warranted hereon all changes and modifications as reasonably and properly come within the scope of their contribution to the art.