Title:
VEHICLE RACING CARD GAME AND METHOD OF PLAY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A vehicle racing card game according to embodiments of the invention includes a number of track cards that can be arranged by the players to form a race course. A vehicle racing card game also includes a number of vehicle cards to be played by the players. In some embodiments, players advance along the race course by playing their vehicle cards one at a time, and by scoring points depending, for example, on how closely certain graphical elements of a players vehicle card matches corresponding graphical elements of the track card corresponding to their position along the race course.



Inventors:
Grant, Travis Allan (Minneapolis, MN, US)
Grant, Corbin Edward (Minneapolis, MN, US)
Application Number:
11/767843
Publication Date:
12/25/2008
Filing Date:
06/25/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F1/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KLAYMAN, AMIR ARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FREDRIKSON & BYRON, P.A. (INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY GROUP 200 SOUTH SIXTH STREET, SUITE 4000, MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 55402, US)
Claims:
1. A method of playing a vehicle racing card game, the method comprising: (a) providing a number of track cards, each track card having a number of graphical elements on a face side thereof; (b) arranging the track cards face side up to form a race course, the race course having a starting track card to indicate a starting line and a finishing track card to indicate a finish line; (c) providing a garage of vehicle cards associated with each of two or more players, the garage comprising a predetermined number of vehicle cards, each vehicle card having a number of graphical elements on a face side thereof; (d) beginning a race by each player revealing a vehicle card from their garage, each player placing the vehicle card face side up near the starting track card indicating the starting line; (e) scoring a first turn of the race by each player determining a number of points earned on the first turn, the number of points being based on matching between the graphical elements on the face side of the player's vehicle card and the graphical elements on the face side of the starting track card; (f) advancing a player's vehicle position to the next track card along the race course if the points earned by that player on the first turn exceed a predetermined criterion; (g) beginning a new turn by each player revealing a next vehicle card from their garage, each player placing the next vehicle card near the track card corresponding to the player's vehicle position; (h) scoring the new turn by each player determining a number of points earned, the number of points earned being based on matching between the graphical elements on the face side of the player's next vehicle card and the graphical elements on the face side of the track card corresponding to the player's vehicle position; (i) advancing the vehicle position of one of the players to the next track card along the course if the points earned by that player on that turn exceed a predetermined criterion; and (j) repeating steps (g), (h), and (i) until the vehicle position of at least one of the players reaches the finish line.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein the garage of vehicle cards for each of the two or more players is shuffled before beginning the race.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein two or more of the players arrange the track cards to form the race course in a cooperative manner.

4. The method of claim 3 wherein the players take turns laying out track cards to form the race course and agree to the length of the race course.

5. The method of claim 1 wherein at least one of the track cards forming the race course further includes one or more track modifier symbols, and wherein the one or more track modifier symbols imposes an additional criterion that must be met before a given player's vehicle position is allowed to advance past the track card with the track modifier symbols.

6. The method of claim 5 wherein the criterion imposed by each of the one or more track modifier symbols is specified by one or more track modifier cards.

7. The method of claim 6 wherein the track modifier card is a road modifier card, and the criterion imposed by the road modifier card can be met by certain elements of the given player's vehicle card.

8. The method of claim 6 wherein the track modifier card is a weather modifier card, and the criterion imposed by the weather modifier card can be met by certain elements of the given player's vehicle card.

9. The method of claim 6 wherein the track modifier card is a traffic modifier card, and the criterion imposed by the traffic modifier card can be met by certain elements of the given player's vehicle card.

10. The method of claim 5 wherein the additional criterion imposed by the one or more track modifier symbols can be met by a vehicle performance number on the given player's vehicle card.

11. The method of claim 10 wherein the vehicle performance number on the given player's vehicle card is further modified by a driver modifier card.

12. The method of claim 11 wherein each of the player's is allowed to play a driver modifier card a limited number of times during a given race.

13. The method of claim 10 wherein the vehicle performance number on the given player's vehicle card is further modified by a vehicle modifier card.

14. The method of claim 5 wherein the additional criterion imposed by the track modifier symbols affects the ability of the given player to advance their vehicle position for only a certain number of turns.

15. The method of claim 1 wherein a given player that matches more than a predetermined number of graphical elements between the vehicle card and the track card on a given turn advances their vehicle position by more than one track card on that turn.

16. The method of claim 1 wherein a given player scoring less than a predetermined number of points in a given turn causes a loss of one turn for all players at the same vehicle position as the given player.

17. The method of claim 1 wherein matching between the graphical elements on the vehicle cards and the graphical elements on the track cards is based on the color of the graphical elements.

18. The method of claim 1 wherein matching between the graphical elements on the vehicle cards and the graphical elements on the track cards is based on the shape of the graphical elements.

19. A vehicle racing game comprising: a number of track cards, the number of track cards adapted to be arranged in a pattern to form a race course, each of the track cards having one or more graphical elements disposed on a face side thereof; and two or more garages of vehicle cards, each garage associated with one of at least two players, each garage comprising a number of vehicle cards, each vehicle card having one or more graphical elements disposed on a face side thereof, wherein the vehicle cards are adapted to be played by each of the at least two players by placing a next vehicle card near the track card corresponding to the players vehicle position along the race course, and determining whether the players vehicle position advances along the race course by comparing graphical elements of the vehicle card to graphical elements of the track card corresponding to the player's vehicle position.

20. The game of claim 19 wherein the graphical elements on the track cards and the vehicle cards form a pattern of shapes around the track cards and vehicle cards.

21. The game of claim 20 wherein each of the shapes in the pattern is a circle having a color selected from red, yellow, and green.

22. The game of claim 20 wherein the pattern of shapes includes eight shapes disposed in a generally rectangular pattern on the vehicle cards and track cards.

Description:

A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material which is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure, as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.

FIELD

Embodiments of the invention relate generally to racing games, and more particularly to card-based vehicle racing games and methods of play.

BACKGROUND

Vehicle racing games that simulate automotive racing are popular forms of entertainment. Many existing racing games incorporate game pieces that move around a playing board, for example. In most “board” style racing games, the race course is predetermined by the layout of the board or playing surface, and cannot be changed by the players.

Trading cards, such as baseball cards, have developed value among some collectors. A similar phenomenon has occurred with certain game cards and/or game pieces, such that the game pieces have become collectible items, for example.

SUMMARY

Embodiments of the invention include a vehicle racing card game and a method of playing a vehicle racing card game. A vehicle racing card game according to embodiments of the invention includes a number of track cards that can be arranged by the players to form a race course. A vehicle racing card game also includes a number of vehicle cards to be played by the players. In some embodiments, the players advance to a new vehicle position along the race course (e.g., to the next track card along the race course) by playing their vehicle cards one at a time, and by scoring points. The number of points scored may depend, for example, on how closely certain graphical elements of a particular vehicle card “match” corresponding graphical elements of a track card. A race is won when a player advances a vehicle from the start to the finish of the race course before the other players are able to do so.

In some embodiments of the invention, a method of playing a vehicle racing card game may include having the players form a stretch of track cards by laying track cards face up in a pattern to form a race course (e.g., a straight length of track, or an oval loop, as possible examples). The method may next involve having the players lay their respective vehicle cards one at a time face up next to the track card that marks the start of the race course; this may be done simultaneously by the players, for example, after stating, “Ready, Set, Go!” or by using some other starting command or indication. On each turn, the players determine whether or not their vehicle can advance to the next track card along the race course by determining how many points they have earned that turn. The number of points earned may be based on a matching of graphical elements between their current vehicle card and the track card corresponding to their vehicle position along the race course. A race may be consider “won” when the first player reaches the finish line (although play may continue to determine the place of finish for the remaining players, for example).

In some embodiments, the complexity of scoring of points may be increased by modifying various aspects of the race course with track modifier cards (e.g., to modify road, weather, and/or traffic conditions at certain track cards along the race course). In such embodiments, scoring of points to advance a player's vehicle position may require not only matching of graphical elements between a player's vehicle card and the current track card (e.g., the track card corresponding to the player's current vehicle position), but may further require that the player's vehicle overcome the difficulties presented by the various track modifier cards. In some embodiments, players may also be able to play modifier cards that modify the vehicle and/or driver characteristics, thereby enhancing the player's ability to overcome the difficulties presented by the track modifier cards.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an illustration of an exemplary vehicle racing card game according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 2 is an illustration of instruction cards that provide an overview of the rules of playing a vehicle racing card game according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 3 is an illustration of exemplary components of a deck of track cards according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 4 is an illustration of exemplary track modifier cards that may be included as part of a track deck according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 5 illustrates one possible example of a track deck according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 6 is an illustration of exemplary components of a deck of vehicle cards according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 7 is an illustration of exemplary modifier cards that may be included in a vehicle deck according to certain embodiments of the invention;

FIGS. 8 through 17 are illustrations of a number of exemplary vehicle decks according to various embodiments of the invention; and

FIG. 18 is an illustration provided for describing how points may be scored and/or vehicle positions advanced along a race course according to certain embodiments of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Embodiments of the invention are described below with reference to the accompanying drawing figures in which like numbers describe like elements.

A vehicle racing card game according to embodiments of the invention includes a number of track cards that can be arranged by the players to form a race course. Each track card includes a playing side having graphical elements displayed thereon. Graphical elements on a track card may include a road path and a pattern of symbols. The track cards are adapted to be arranged by the players to form a race course. A race course may be a series of track cards arranged in a start to finish path, or may form a circuitous path in which the race course is agreed to be a specified number of laps around the circuitous path. A vehicle racing card game also includes a number of vehicle cards to be played by the players. Each vehicle card includes a playing side having graphical elements displayed thereon. Graphical elements on a vehicle card may include an image of the vehicle and a pattern of symbols. During play, the pattern of symbols on the vehicle cards is compared to the pattern of symbols on the track cards to determine the number of points “earned” on that turn, and whether the players' vehicle is allowed to advance to the next track card along the race course.

Certain embodiments of the invention include a method of playing a card-based vehicle racing game such as that described above. For example, a method of playing a vehicle racing card game according to some embodiments of the invention may include the following steps:

(a) providing a number of track cards, each track card having a number of graphical elements on a face side thereof;

(b) arranging the track cards to form a race course, the race course having a starting track card to indicate a starting line and a finishing track card to indicate a finish line;

(c) providing a garage of vehicle cards associated with each of two or more players, the garage comprising a predetermined number of vehicle cards, each vehicle card having a number of graphical elements on a face side thereof;

(d) beginning a race by having each player reveal a vehicle card from their garage, each player placing the vehicle card near the track card indicating the starting line;

(e) scoring a first turn by having each player determine a number of points earned, the number of points being based on matching between the graphical elements on the face side of the players vehicle card and the graphical elements on the face side of the track card indicating the starting line;

(f) advancing a vehicle position of one of the players to the next track card along the course if the points earned by that player on the first turn exceed a predetermined criterion;

(g) beginning a next turn by having each player reveal a next vehicle card from their garage, each player placing the next vehicle card near the track card corresponding to their vehicle position;

(h) scoring a next turn by having each player determine a number of points earned, the number of points being based on matching between the graphical elements on the face side of the players next vehicle card and the graphical elements on the face side of the track card corresponding to their vehicle position;

(i) advancing the vehicle position of one of the players to the next track card along the course if the points earned by that player on that turn exceed a predetermined criterion; and

(j) repeating steps (g), (h), and (i) until at least one of the players reaches the finish line.

Examples of the various types of cards that may be used in various embodiments of the invention are described next with reference to the accompanying drawing figures.

FIG. 1 illustrates an example of a vehicle racing card game according to certain embodiments of the invention. As shown in FIG. 1, a race course 10 may be formed by arranging a number of track cards 20 in a desired pattern, such as that shown in FIG. 1. Many other race course 10 patterns are possible, and may include straight stretches of track such as that shown in FIG. 1, or may be arranged to form a circuitous pattern (e.g., an oval pattern) as but two possible examples. In the particular example illustrated, race course 10 comprises four track cards 20, having a starting track card designated as the starting line 22, and having a finishing track card designated as the finish line 24 (only a portion of the track card corresponding to the finish line 24 is shown in FIG. 1). In embodiments in which the race course 10 is a circuitous pattern (such as an oval shape, or a figure “8” shape, or some other closed loop type pattern), the track card designated as the finish line 24 could be the same as the track card designated as the starting line 22, or it could be a different track card. Certain embodiments may require that a certain number of laps around such a circuitous pattern race course be completed to finish a race, such that the finish line 24 would be crossed a certain number of times during the conduct of the race, for example.

In some embodiments of the invention, the race course may be formed by the players in a cooperative manner to suit the desires or needs of the players. For example, the players may agree that they wish the race to be very short (e.g., due to time constraints), and may agree to form a race course from a limited number of track cards, such as ten or fewer. Another example of a cooperative manner of forming the race course may be to have the players take turns laying out the track cards (e.g., alternating between the various players), so that the resulting race course is determined by the combined effort of two or more players.

FIG. 1 also shows vehicle cards 30 as they might be played by two players, for example. As illustrated, vehicle cards 30 may be played by laying them next to the track card 20 corresponding to a given player's current vehicle position along the race course 10. For example, at the beginning of a race, both players have a vehicle position at the starting line 22, as shown in FIG. 1.

During play, a player determines whether they can advance their respective vehicle position to the next track card 20 along the race course 10 by making a comparison of graphical elements on their current vehicle card 30 with the graphical elements on the track card 20 corresponding to their vehicle position. For example, the track cards 20 shown in FIG. 1 each have a number of track card graphical elements 26 disposed thereon. The track card graphical elements 26 could take any number of forms, such as different shapes and/or colors. In the particular example illustrated in FIG. 1, the track card graphical elements happen to form a pattern of colored circles disposed about the outer edge of each track card 20, each track card graphical element 26 having a particular color associated with it. In one particularly preferred embodiment of the invention, the track card graphical elements 26 associated with each track card 20 form a pattern of eight circles disposed about the edges of each track card 20, and each track card graphical element 26 is one of three possible colors: red, green or yellow. Of course, the number, size, shape, and/or color of the graphical elements may be varied in an almost endless number of combinations to allow for the matching of graphical elements between vehicle cards and track cards; such minor variations would become apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art with the benefit of these teachings, and are deemed to fall within the scope of the invention as claimed below.

The vehicle card 30, as shown in FIG. 1, has a number of vehicle card graphical elements 36 disposed in a pattern thereon. In the example illustrated in FIG. 1, the vehicle card 30 has vehicle card graphical elements 36 that correspond to the pattern of track card graphical elements 26 on the track cards 20. In other words, the particular example of FIG. 1 includes vehicle cards with eight graphical elements 36 arranged in a pattern similar to that on the corresponding track card 20. Similarly, the vehicle card graphical elements 36 may each be one of three colors, namely red, yellow or green. Again, the particular number, size, shape, and/or color of the graphical elements may be varied by one of ordinary skill in the art with the benefit of these teachings.

As shown in FIG. 1, each of two players has placed their first vehicle card 30 near the track card 20 corresponding to the starting line 22. As shown, each players vehicle card 30 is oriented so that it is facing the player that owns that vehicle card (that is, the text on the vehicle card is readable or facing up to the card's owner). For example, the vehicle card 30 positioned on side A of the race course 10 is readable to a player positioned on side A of the race course 10, whereas the vehicle card 30 located on side B of race course 10 would appear readable (e.g., right side up) to a player situated on side B and facing the race course 10. The orientation of the vehicle cards relative to the track cards 20 making up the race course 10 may become relevant during game play, as the point scoring and advancement of a player's vehicle position along the race course 10 is determined based on a matching between the vehicle card graphical elements 36 and the track card graphical elements 26. For example, a red circle in the bottom left corner of the track card (as viewed by a particular player) that matches a red circle in the bottom left corner on the player's corresponding vehicle card 30 may count as a match, or scored as a certain number of positive points, for example; this may be a positive contributing factor in determining whether the player advances to the next track card 20 along the race course 10.

In some embodiments, the points scored on a given turn may be the combined score of all matching or non-matching graphical elements between the track cards 20 and the vehicle cards 30. In a particularly preferred embodiment, for example, two corresponding matching red circular graphical elements, or two corresponding matching green circular graphical elements, may each contribute a positive point towards a player's point score total for that turn, whereas unmatched graphical elements (e.g., a green circular graphical element on the track card corresponding to a red circular graphical element on the vehicle card) may contribute a negative point to the point score total for that turn. The presence of a yellow graphical element on either the track card or on the vehicle card may yield zero points towards a player's total point score for a given turn, regardless of the color of the graphical element on the corresponding card, according to a preferred embodiment of the invention.

A detailed example of how the points may be scored for each of two players is provided in a later section below with reference to FIG. 18.

FIG. 1 also includes a number of variations to a basic version of the game. For example, FIG. 1 shows items such as vehicle modifier cards 50, shown next to each player's vehicle card 30 in FIG. 1. Also shown in FIG. 1 are a number of modifier cards that change the conditions of the race. For example, at the left side of FIG. 1, a road modifier card 60, a traffic modifier card 70, and a weather modifier card 80 are all shown. The use of such modifier cards during game-play can affect the determination of points scored in a given turn when these modifiers are used. For example, certain track cards may include track modifiers 28, as shown in the second track card 20 of race course 10 in FIG. 1. In this particular example, the track modifiers 28 indicate a road modifier and a weather modifier that may be applied when a player attempts to move past this particular track card. Thus, the road modifier card 60 and weather modifier card 70 in use for that game would be applied for a player attempting to move past that particular track card during a given turn. In some embodiments of the invention, a player may be delayed from advancing past a track card with such track modifiers 28 if the players vehicle card and any associated vehicle modifier cards 50 (and/or driver modifier cards 90) do not possess a sufficient vehicle performance number (or numbers) to overcome the modifier action numbers presented on the track modifier cards that are in effect on that turn. More detailed information on the use of modifier cards and point scoring based thereon is provided in a later section below.

FIG. 2 illustrates two instruction cards 40 that may be included as part of either a deck of vehicle cards, or as part of a deck of track cards, for example. The instruction cards 40 may provide a convenient reference for players to resolve questions that may arise during game-play about rules and how to proceed.

FIG. 3 illustrates the suggested components of a track deck 18 in accordance with some embodiments of the invention. For example, track deck 18 may include a number of track cards 20, a track title card 21, a track modifier card 70, a road modifier card 60, and a weather modifier card 80, as shown in FIG. 3. A track deck 18 may contain a specified number of track cards 20, for example, ten track cards 20 may be used in a typical track deck 18, however, a larger or smaller number of track cards is certainly contemplated and deemed to be within the scope of the invention as claimed. Similarly, a typical track deck 18 may contain one each of the track modifier card 70, the road modifier card 60, and the weather modifier card 80; again, the exact number of each of these could vary or could be zero according to various embodiments of a vehicle card racing game in accordance with embodiments of the invention. FIG. 3 also provides an illustration of the modifier action numbers 100 that may be associated with each of these different types of track modifier cards. For example, the traffic modifier card 70 shown in FIG. 3 includes modifier action numbers 100 corresponding to the engine and the chassis of a vehicle. Thus, on a particular turn where a player must overcome a traffic modifier card 70, the player's vehicle card 30 currently in play must satisfy the criteria specified by the modifier action numbers 100. In certain cases, the vehicle card 30 may have vehicle performance numbers 38 which roughly correspond to the modifier action numbers 100. For example, the vehicle cards 30 may have vehicle performance numbers 38 that correspond to tires, engine, chassis, tuning, and style. In yet further embodiments of the invention, the vehicle performance numbers 38 may be enhanced and/or hindered by the presence of vehicle modifier cards 50 and/or driver modifier cards 90, either of which may add to or subtract from the corresponding vehicle performance numbers 38.

FIG. 4 provides an illustration of exemplary track modifier cards that may be included in track deck 18, for example. As shown in FIG. 4, weather modifier cards 80 may include modifications that pertain to such factors as the sun, snow, rain, and fog; other types of weather modifier cards 80 are possible as well. Similarly, the road modifier card 60 may include modifications to the road that address such factors as road work, gravel, the presence of a tunnel, and speed bumps; other possible modifications to the road are possible as well. Similarly, the traffic modifier cards 70 may include modifications to such factors as a hazard zone, traffic lights, the presence of an accident, or a one-way road; other possible traffic modifications are possible as well.

FIG. 5 shows one possible example of a track deck 18 as it might be packaged according to certain commercial embodiments, for example. FIG. 5 illustrates a track deck 18 that includes 14 track cards 20 and a track title card 21. In certain embodiments, one each of a traffic modifier 70, a road modifier card 60, and a weather modifier card 80, may also be included in the track deck 18 illustrated in FIG. 5, according to certain preferred embodiments, for example.

FIG. 6 illustrates a number of components of a suggested vehicle deck 32 according to certain embodiments of the invention. For example, the exemplary vehicle deck 32 of FIG. 6 includes 10 vehicle cards 30, a vehicle title card with pink slip 34, one or more instruction cards 40, a driver modifier card 90, and a vehicle modifier card 50. Of course, the exact number and types of cards included in a particular vehicle deck 32 may vary from this particular exemplary arrangement; such minor modifications are deemed to be within the scope of the invention as claimed.

FIG. 6 also provides details on certain aspects of the vehicle cards 30. For example, vehicle card 30 includes vehicle card graphical elements 36 and vehicle performance numbers 38 as shown in FIG. 6. As noted above, the vehicle performance numbers 38 relate to various aspects of a particular type of vehicle, and address such qualities of the vehicle as the tires, the engine, the chassis, tuning of the vehicle, and style. These vehicle “qualities” may be assigned a numerical value as shown in FIG. 6, such as a value of “25” for the engine, for example. It should be noted that vehicle cards 30 may also include an image of the vehicle disposed on the face of the vehicle card 30; the design and presentation of such vehicle images may add to the novelty and/or collectability of such cards, for example, as trading items in addition to their function as game playing pieces, or as “prizes” to be won by the winner of a given race, for example.

FIG. 7 illustrates a number of examples of types of modifier cards that may be included in a vehicle deck 32. For example, FIG. 7 shows vehicle modifier cards 50 that affect various performance aspects of the vehicle as indicated on the respective vehicle modifier cards 50. For example, one type of vehicle modifier card 50 could affect the engine performance, whereas other vehicle modifier cards could affect such aspects as the tuning, tires, chassis, and/or style of the players' vehicle. Some vehicle modifier cards 50 may, for example, affect more than one aspect of the vehicle, as shown by the “Rally Kit” vehicle modifier card 50 shown in FIG. 7, which affects the chassis, engine, and tires, for example. Similarly, a vehicle deck 32 may include one or more driver modifier cards 90, such as those illustrated in FIG. 7. The driver modifier cards 90 may have an effect on the number of points earned during a particular turn, or they may have an effect that extends for a number of turns. For example, an exemplary driver modifier card 90 labeled “Evasive Move” has the effect labeled on the card “avoids all crashes,” and the effect lasts for two turns, as also indicated on that particular driver modifier card 90. In certain embodiments of the invention, the driver modifier cards 90 may be limited to a certain extent in their use by a player. For example, in one preferred embodiment of the invention, each player is only allowed to use a driver modifier card 90 once per race (or, in some embodiments, once per lap in a race course design that requires multiple laps around a circuitous race course 10, for example).

FIGS. 8-17 provide a number of different exemplary vehicle decks according to various embodiments of the invention. A player may, for example, acquire a number of vehicle decks 32 (for example, by purchasing them, trading with other players, or by winning them as the prize for winning a race), but would typically only play one selected vehicle (e.g., one selected “garage” comprising a certain number of vehicle cards of a given type of vehicle) for a given race. As shown in FIGS. 8-17, the vehicle deck 32 of vehicle cards 30 may also have a vehicle title card/pink slip 34, which may be used to describe the vehicle, as well as to handle or control ownership transactions between players outside the context of a race, for example. Note, players could agree to exchange a vehicle deck 32 based on the outcome of a particular race, for example; such transfers could also be indicated on the vehicle title card/pink slip 34. Also shown in the examples of FIGS. 8-17 are the vehicle modifier cards 50 and driver modifier cards 90 which may be included with a particular vehicle deck 32, according to certain embodiments of the invention.

In some embodiments of the invention, it may be desirable to assign vehicle modifier cards 50 and driver modifier cards 90 at least somewhat randomly to a selected vehicle for a given race. For example, this may allow certain advantages or disadvantages to be distributed amongst various garages of vehicle cards, tending to level the playing field, or adding an element of randomness or perceived fairness, according to certain embodiments of the invention.

Referring now to FIG. 18, an example is hereby provided of one method of scoring points for two players in a given turn according to a preferred embodiment of the invention. In FIG. 18, player A (the player situated on side A of race course 10 and facing the vehicle card 30 near the bottom of FIG. 18) determines a number of points as follows: Starting at the bottom left corner, the red graphical element 36 on the vehicle card 30 matches the red graphical element 26 at the bottom left corner of the current track card 20, contributing to a +1 point score in this example. Moving clockwise around the vehicle card 30, the next graphical element 36 at the center left portion of vehicle card 30 is green, whereas the corresponding graphical element 26 at the center left portion of the track card 20 is red, contributing to a −1 point score for player A. Continuing in a clockwise manner, the green graphical element 36 at the top left of the vehicle card 30 matches the corresponding graphical element 26 at the top left of the track card 20, contributing a +1 to the point score. The next graphical element on the track card 20 is yellow, which contributes ZERO to the player's point score regardless of the color of the corresponding graphical element on the vehicle card 30. (Conversely, it should be noted that a yellow graphical element on the vehicle card 30 would also have a ZERO effect on the point score regardless of the color of the corresponding graphical element on the track card 20.) Continuing all the way around until all eight graphical elements have been scored results in a point total for player A of +1 point (e.g., the numerical sum of +1, −1, +1, 0, −1, −1, +1, +1).

In certain embodiments of the invention, all that is required to advance to the next vehicle position along the race course 10 is to achieve a positive point score total for that turn. Thus, player A would advance to the next vehicle position corresponding to the next track card 20 along race course 10 based on the score of +1 for that turn. In some embodiments, it may be desirable to specify a certain point total that must be achieved in a given turn in order to advance to the next vehicle position. In some embodiments, the point total for a given turn has no significance beyond that particular turn. In other possible embodiments, it may be desirable to accumulate point totals, for example, to add or incorporate additional features or aspects of the game.

Performing a similar point scoring analysis for player B in FIG. 18 results in a point score total for that turn of −1. Thus, player B would not be able to advance to a next vehicle position in versions of the game which require having a positive point score total each turn. It should be noted that players may agree ahead of time that a particular point score (e.g., not simply a positive score) must be achieved in order to move to the next vehicle position. For example, players may agree or specify that at least three points must be obtained in a given turn before allowing a player to move to the next vehicle position. The exact criteria chosen may be varied without departing from the scope of the invention as claimed.

Certain variations on scoring may also be implemented according to some embodiments of the invention. Such variations may, for example, comprise bonus or penalty features based on the matching of graphical elements during scoring. For example, a player may earn a “Boost” if he/she matches more than a specified number of graphical elements in a given turn, allowing the player to advance their vehicle position by more than one track card, according to a preferred embodiment of the invention. In some embodiments, all graphical elements on the vehicle card must match the corresponding graphical elements on the track card in order to achieve a Boost. In a slight variation of this embodiment, a Boost may be earned if a player earns more than a certain number of points on a given turn (e.g., more than 5 points) based on the matching of graphical elements as described above. A “Crash” feature may also be implemented in certain embodiments of the invention, whereby players are penalized (e.g., by losing a turn or by moving back one or more vehicle positions along the race course). In one preferred embodiment of the invention, a Crash occurs when a certain number of graphical elements do not match (e.g., 5 or more), or when a certain minimum point score is not achieved (e.g., a player scores below a negative 5 points).

In some further embodiments, a Boost may allow a player's vehicle position to skip past some track cards along the race course, with the exception that track cards where Crashes have occurred and/or track cards with track modifier symbols may not be skipped despite having a Boost. Similarly, Crashes may be deemed to affect all players when they reach the affected track card (e.g., the crash site), and may result in a loss of one turn when they reach the crash, according to a preferred embodiment of the invention.

In different versions of the game (e.g., corresponding to varying player ability levels), modifier cards (e.g., track modifier cards, vehicle modifier cards, and/or driver modifier cards) may be employed to affect the point scoring and/or the ability of a player's vehicle to advance beyond certain track cards 20 along the race course 10. For example, in embodiments where track modifiers 28 are used, the modifier action numbers 100 associated with each track modifier 28 present criteria which must be overcome by the corresponding vehicle performance numbers 38 that are presented on the current vehicle card 30. In some embodiments, the vehicle performance numbers 38 on a vehicle card 30 may be enhanced or hindered by the use of vehicle modifier cards 50 and/or driver modifier cards 90, further affecting a player's ability to overcome the modifier action numbers 100 associated with the track modifiers 28. In certain embodiments of the invention, the existence of track modifiers 28 may pose a hindrance to the player advancing beyond that track card only for one turn (or perhaps for some other pre-determined number of turns), according to certain embodiments of the invention.

Certain other aspects of the game may facilitate fairness of the outcome, or at least different results. For example, it may be desired to have both players shuffle their respective vehicle decks prior to starting a race, and having them play their vehicle cards (e.g., reveal them) sequentially (e.g., one at a time) from a stack of vehicle cards 30 (e.g., their garage) that are placed face down initially. In some embodiments, when a player reaches the last vehicle card in their garage (e.g., all vehicle cards have been played), it may be desirable to have that player (or all players, if they all run out of cards together) reshuffle and again stack their garage of vehicle cards 20 for continued play.

The number of players that can play is theoretically unlimited. For example, if more than two players are playing, at least two of the players would have to place their vehicle cards on the same side of the race course, so that there would effectively be “lanes” extending outwardly from the race course 10 in which a given player would place his/her vehicle cards 30.

As used herein, the term “garage” refers to a number of vehicle cards of a given vehicle type. A player selects a type of vehicle to be raced in a particular game, and the vehicle cards of the vehicle type form the player's garage. In certain embodiments of the invention, it may be desirable to agree that a garage includes a specified number of vehicle cards, for example, ten vehicle cards. The number of vehicle cards in a garage may be agreed upon, or may be determined by other factors, such as commercial packaging of vehicle decks, for example. In some embodiments, vehicle decks may be obtained or purchased having a specified number (e.g, ten) of vehicle cards (in addition to any instruction cards, vehicle modifier cards, driver modifier cards, etc.), and it may be this number of vehicle cards that determines the number of vehicle cards in a garage used during game play.





 
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