Title:
Game pieces and game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed herein are two aspects of the present invention, firstly, a game piece and secondly, a game that may be played using such a game piece. Game pieces of the present invention are configured from material that is stable in two states that have different shapes so as to snap when transforming form one state to the other, and therefore may be referred to as “snaps”. A graphic image may be depicted on the game piece, such that game pieces may be collected and traded to acquire a variety of different graphic images. An object of the game is to throw a game piece onto a stack of a plurality of such game pieces in a attempt of cause a change in the stable state of as many game pieces as possible.



Inventors:
Ben-yaakov, Eran (Herzliya, IL)
Application Number:
10/305970
Publication Date:
06/03/2004
Filing Date:
11/29/2002
Assignee:
BEN-YAAKOV ERAN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F3/02; A63F9/02; C02F11/00; (IPC1-7): A63F9/00
View Patent Images:
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20070057468MULTI-DECK PLAYING CARD SET AND METHOD OF PLAYING CARD GAMES USING SAMEMarch, 2007Bruner Jr.



Primary Examiner:
HUNTER, ALVIN A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DR. MARK FRIEDMAN LTD. (Upper Marlboro, MD, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A game piece comprising a substantially rectangular shaped piece of material having a length and a width, said material configured so as to be stable in a first state in which a cross-section taken along said length is straight, said material also being stable in a second state in which a cross-section taken along said length is arched, said material being elastically deformable such that said material may be elastically deformed so as to transform between said first and said second states.

2. The game piece of claim 1, wherein a ratio of width to length of said substantially rectangular piece of material is in a range from 1:1.5 to 1:6.

3. The game piece of claim 2, wherein a thickness of said substantially rectangular piece of material is in a range of between 0.1 mm-1.0 mm.

4. The game piece of claim 1, wherein said second state has a cross-section taken along said length that is arched such that said arch turns through an angle of no more than 180 degrees.

5. The game piece of claim 1, wherein said first state has a cross-section taken along said width that is arched.

6. The game piece of claim 5, wherein said second state has a cross-section taken along said width that is straight.

7. The game piece of claim 6, wherein said substantially rectangular shaped piece of material is configured such that said transformation between said first and second states is accomplished by deforming an arched cross-section to a straight cross-section.

8. The game piece of claim 7, wherein said substantially rectangular shaped piece of material is configured such that said transformation from said first state to said second state is initiated by said deforming of said material at substantially any point along said length of the game piece.

9. The game piece of claim 1, wherein at least one surface of the game piece includes a visual image.

10. The game piece of claim 9, wherein said visual image is applied directly to the game piece.

11. The game piece of claim 9, wherein said visual image is applied to a material which is then affixed to the game piece.

12. The game piece of claim 1, wherein said material is chosen from the group including steel and plastic.

13. The game piece of claim 1, wherein said substantially rectangular shape further comprises at least one curved end section.

14. A method of playing a game comprising; (a) providing at least one game piece configured as a substantially rectangular shaped piece of material having a length and a width, said material configured so as to be stable in a first state in which a cross-section taken along said length is straight, said material also being stable in a second state in which a cross-section taken along said length is arched, said material being elastically deformable such that said material may be elastically deformed so as to transform between said first and said second states; and (b) throwing said game piece while said game piece is in said first state, so as to impact a surface thereby causing said transformation from said first state to said second state.

15. The method of claim 14, further including catching said game piece upon rebound.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein said at least one game piece is implemented as at least two game pieces for each of a plurality of game players.

17. The method of claim 16, further comprising each of said game players contributing at least a first said game pieces so as to form a stack of said game pieces configured on a playing surface, all of said game piece deployed in said stack being deployed in said first state with a convex side facing upwards.

18. The method of claim 17, further comprising each of the players taking a turn throwing a second game piece at said stack of game pieces.

19. The method of claim 18, further comprising responding to said throw by one of a group of responses including: (a) said second game piece striking at least a portion of said stack of game pieces, thereby causing a number of said game pieces in said stack to transform from said first state to said second state, said second game piece rebounding off said stack, said game player catching said second game piece, whereupon said game player claims said transformed game pieces; (b) said second game piece striking at least a portion of said stack of game pieces, thereby causing a number of said game pieces in said stack to transform from said first state to said second state, said second game piece rebounding off said stack, said game player failing to catch said second game piece, thereupon returning transformed game pieces to said stack and adding said second game piece to said stack; (c) said second game piece failing to cause said transformation of any said game pieces in said stack, said game player catching said second game piece upon rebound thereby keeping said second game piece; and (d) said second game piece failing to cause said transformation of any said game pieces in said stack, said game player failing to catch said second game piece upon rebound, thereupon said second game piece being added to said stack.

20. The method of claim 19, further comprising continuing play, each player using one of a list including: said second game piece, a third game piece, a forth game, and any number on new game pieces as is necessary to continue play.

21. The method of claim 20, further comprising determining a winner by one of a group including: (a) all said game pieces on said playing surface being claimed, the player having claimed the most said game pieces during play being declared the winner; and (b) a number of said game pieces remaining in said stack, yet all the players agree to end play, thereupon each said game players retrieving any of said game player's own said games pieces contributed to said stack during play that still remain in said stack, the player having claimed the most said game pieces during play being declared the winner.

Description:

FIELD AND BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a child's game wherein an object is to collect as many game pieces as possible especially through feats of manual dexterity, and, in particular, it concerns game pieces for such a game and game rules for use thereof.

[0002] In recent years, games concerning the so-called “pog” have become popular. This child's game consists of a large number of stiff cardboard discs each bearing on one surface thereof a pattern or picture. A very large number of different patterns or pictures is available so that, on average, a child would have to collect quite a large number of pogs before collecting two pogs bearing the same pattern or picture thereon. Thus, an object of the game is to collect as many different patterns or pictures as possible.

[0003] Pogs also form part of children's games that extend beyond the mere collection of different patterns or pictures. These game generally center on some form of manual dexterity such as: dropping pogs from different heights, each child taking a turn and each successive child attempting to aim his pog so as to fall on the pog of his predecessor; pogs can be thrown, the playing partner who manages to throw his pog the furthest claiming all of the other players' pogs as well; and most commonly, each player contributing pogs to a stack, and each play taking turns striking the top of the stack, usually by throwing, with an implement, usually another pog, in an attempt to up turn as many pogs from the stack as possible, and claiming those for himself.

[0004] Pogs, as they are currently known, suffer from several drawbacks. Of most concern herein is the cross-section, which is substantially rectangular so that each pog, when laid on top of another, rests thereon with its lower surface in planar contact therewith. Consequently, there is no natural tendency for an individual pog to up-turn consequent to a blow being applied to an edge thereof. Moreover, they are apt to slide one on top of the other when stacked together. Thus, pogs are not particularly well suited for games of the kind where playing pieces are stacked one on top of the other, since doing so would nevertheless allow each pog to slide relative to its neighbor.

[0005] Such a drawback would be overcome by applying some kind of recess or internal depression to each pog as suggested in U.S. Pat. No. 5,624,121 to Stern. Stern discloses a child's game that includes a plurality of substantially rigid playing discs each having an upper and lower surface bound by a circumferential ridge which is up-raised with respect to the lower and the upper surface so as to provide a recess in the upper surface for accommodating therein a corresponding protrusion in the lower surface of an adjacent playing disc placed thereon. While Stern's pog may facilitate stacking and over turning during play, the shape of the pog remains unchanged and does not augment the over turning process.

[0006] There is therefore a need for a game piece that, when acted upon by a player, changes shape, and any such game piece may used as an instrument to affect the change of shape. Such change of shape may further serve to augment an over turning or change of position of the game piece. It would be desirable for the game piece to include a graphic on at least one side. It would be further desirable to include rules for at least one game that may be played with the game piece or a plurality of game pieces.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] The present invention is game pieces for a child's game and game rules for use thereof.

[0008] According to the teachings of the present invention there is provided, a game piece comprising a substantially rectangular shaped piece of material having a length and a width, the material configured so as to be stable in a first state in which a cross-section taken along the length is straight, the material also being stable in a second state in which a cross-section taken along the length is arched, the material being elastically deformable such that the material may be elastically deformed so as to transform between the first and the second states.

[0009] According to a further teaching of the present invention, a ratio of width to length of the substantially rectangular piece of material is in a range form 1:1.5 to 1:6.

[0010] According to a further teaching of the present invention, a thickness of the substantially rectangular piece of material is in a range of between 0.1 mm-1.0 mm.

[0011] According to a further teaching of the present invention, the second state has a cross-section taken along the length that is arched such that the arch turns through an angle of no more than 180 degrees.

[0012] According to a further teaching of the present invention, the first state has a cross-section taken along the width that is arched.

[0013] According to a further teaching of the present invention, the second state has a cross-section taken along the width that is straight.

[0014] According to a further teaching of the present invention, the substantially rectangular shaped piece of material is configured such that the transformation between the first and second states is accomplished by deforming an arched cross-section to a straight cross-section.

[0015] According to a further teaching of the present invention, the substantially rectangular shaped piece of material is configured such that the transformation from the first state to the second state is initiated by the deforming of the material at substantially any point along the length of the game piece.

[0016] According to a further teaching of the present invention, at least one surface of the game piece includes a visual image.

[0017] According to a further teaching of the present invention, the visual image applied directly to the game piece

[0018] According to a further teaching of the present invention, the visual image is applied to a material which is then affixed to the game piece.

[0019] According to a further teaching of the present invention, the material is chosen from the group including steel and plastic.

[0020] According to a further teaching of the present invention, the substantially rectangular shape further comprises at least one curved end section.

[0021] There is also provided according to the teachings of the present invention, a method of playing a game comprising; (a) providing at least one game piece configured as a substantially rectangular shaped piece of material having a length and a width, the material configured so as to be stable in a first state in which a cross-section taken along the length is straight, the material also being stable in a second state in which a cross-section taken along the length is arched, the material being elastically deformable such that the material may be elastically deformed so as to transform between the first and the second states; and (b) throwing the game piece while the game piece is in the first state, so as to impact a surface thereby causing the transformation from the first state to the second state.

[0022] According to a further teaching of the present invention, there is also provided, catching the game piece upon rebound

[0023] According to a further teaching of the present invention, the at least one game piece is implemented as at least two game pieces for each of a plurality of game players.

[0024] According to a further teaching of the present invention, there is also provided, each of the game players contributing at least a first the game pieces so as to form a stack of the game pieces configured on a playing surface, all of the game piece deployed in the stack being deployed in the first state with a convex side facing upwards.

[0025] According to a further teaching of the present invention, there is also provided each of the players taking a turn throwing a second game piece at the stack of game pieces.

[0026] According to a further teaching of the present invention, there is also provided, responding to the throw by one of a group of responses including: (a) the second game piece striking at least a portion of the stack of game pieces, thereby causing a number of the game pieces in the stack to transform from the first state to the second state, the second game piece rebounding off the stack, the game player catching the second game piece, whereupon the game player claims the transformed game pieces; (b) the second game piece striking at least a portion of the stack of game pieces, thereby causing a number of the game pieces in the stack to transform from the first state to the second state, the second game piece rebounding off the stack, the game player failing to catch the second game piece, thereupon returning transformed game pieces to the stack and adding the second game piece to the stack; (c) the second game piece failing to cause the transformation of any the game pieces in the stack, the game player catching the second game piece upon rebound thereby keeping the second game piece; and (d) the second game piece failing to cause the transformation of any the game pieces in the stack, the game player failing to catch the second game piece upon rebound, thereupon the second game piece being added to the stack.

[0027] According to a further teaching of the present invention, there is also provided, continuing play, each player using one of a list including: the second game piece, a third game piece, a forth game, and any number on new game pieces as is necessary to continue play.

[0028] According to a further teaching of the present invention, there is also provided, determining a winner by one of a group including: (a) all the game pieces on the playing surface being claimed, the player having claimed the most the game pieces during play being declared the winner; and (b) a number of the game pieces remaining in the stack, yet all the players agree to end play, thereupon each the game players retrieving any of the game player's own the games pieces contributed to the stack during play that still remain in the stack, the player having claimed the most the game pieces during play being declared the winner.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0029] The invention is herein described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

[0030] FIG. 1 is a top elevation of a preferred embodiment of a snap game piece constructed and operative according to the teachings of the present invention;

[0031] FIG. 1a is a side elevation of the embodiment of FIG. 1;

[0032] FIG. 2 is an illustration of the embodiment of FIG. 1 showing the snap in the first stable state with the convex side up and the corresponding shape of the snap in the second stable state, according to the teachings of the present invention;

[0033] FIG. 2a is a schematic showing corresponding cross-sectional views of the snap in each of the stable states of FIG. 2;

[0034] FIG. 3 is an illustration of the embodiment of FIG. 1 showing the snap in the first stable state with the concave side up and the corresponding shape of the snap in the second stable state;

[0035] FIG. 3a is a schematic showing corresponding cross-sectional views of the snap in each of the stable states of FIG. 3

[0036] FIGS. 4-7 are a series of illustrations showing a preferred manner of throwing the snap embodiment of FIG. 1;

[0037] FIG. 8 is a schematic of a thrown snap impacting a stationary snap;

[0038] FIG. 9 is an illustration showing the transformation of the thrown snap of FIG. 8 to the second stable state;

[0039] FIG. 10 is an illustration showing the transformation the stationary snap of FIG. 8 to the second stable state;

[0040] FIGS. 11 and 12 are non-limiting illustrations of a graphic images on, according to the teachings of the present invention; and

[0041] FIGS. 13 and 14 are schematic illustrations of alternative stack arrangements.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0042] The present invention is game pieces for a child's game and game rules for use thereof.

[0043] The principles and operation of game pieces for a child's game and games rules for use thereof according to the present invention may be better understood with reference to the drawings and the accompanying description.

[0044] By way of introduction, the discussion herein includes two aspects of the present invention, firstly a game piece constructed and operative according to the present invention, which will be discussed with regard to FIGS. 1-3a. Secondly, a game that may be played using such a game piece will be discussed with regard to FIGS. 4-14.

[0045] A game piece of the present invention (generally referred to in the Figures as 2) is configured from material that is stable in two states that have different shapes. That is to say, the material is bi-stable in two states, each of which assumes a different shape such that the game piece “snaps” when transforming from one state to the other, therefore game pieces of the present invention may be referred to as “snaps,” and are thusly referred to herein for brevity.

[0046] FIG. 1 illustrates the dimensions of a snaps game piece of the present invention, which preferably has a width 20 to length 22 ration of about 1:2.2, although any ratio of width to length within the range of 1:1.5-6, for example, that renders the necessary gaming attributes, as discussed below, is with in the scope of the present invention. That is, by non-limiting example, a snap that is 2.5 cm wide will be substantially 5.5 cm long and a 3 cm wide snap will be substantially 6.6 cm long. The end sections 24 and 24′ of the snap may be curved as illustrated in the non-limiting example discussed herein, however this need not always be the case. The thickness 26 of a snap may range, by non-limiting example, between 0.1-1.0 mm, preferably between 0.1-0.4 mm. It should be noted that the term “thickness” as used herein refers to the thickness of the game piece element non-inclusive of any addition material used to add a graphic image to the snap. Further, the thickness of the snap may be the result of a single piece of material or a plurality of pieces of material used together to form a single game piece.

[0047] As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, snaps game pieces constructed and operative according to the teachings of the present invention, are configured from a material that is elastically deformable. This deformation is such that the material may be elastically deformed so as to transform between the first and second stable states. When in a first stable state 4 the snap 2 has a cross-section 10 taken along the length 22 of the snap that is straight and a cross-section 6 taken along the width 20 of the snap that is arched. In a second stable state 8, the snap 2 has a cross-section 10 taken along the length 22 of the snap that is arched and a cross-section 6 taken along the width 20 of the snap that is straight. That is to say, each side of the snap is convex in one state and concave in the other state. A transformation of state from one stable state to the other stable state is initiated by forcing the arched cross-section of the current stable state to become substantially straight, whereupon the heretofore straight cross-section “snaps” into the ached shape of the new stable state. That is, in order to affect the transformation of the snap from the first stable state 4 to the second stable state 8, the arched cross-sectional contour 6 of the snap may be brought to a straight alignment 10 at substantially any point along the length of the snap. An example of a suitable material is resilient coiling spring steel such as is used for the toy known as a “slap bracelet.” The game pieces of the present invention, however, may be configured from any suitable metal, plastic, or other springy substantially rigid material.

[0048] Snaps may further include a graphic image, FIGS. 11 and 12, affixed to the game piece. The graphic image may be a design, drawing, company logo, or photo, such that snaps may be collected and traded so as to acquire a variety of graphic images. The graphic image may be printed or painted directly to the material of the game piece, or the graphic image may by first printed or painted on a cover that is affixed to the game piece. The cover material may be, by non-limiting example, of paper, plastic, or metal foil. The non-limiting example of a graphic image illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 12, shows the name snaps on the concave side, FIG. 12, and a depiction of a fantasy character on the convex side, FIG. 11.

[0049] Turning now to a game that may be play using snaps game pieces, as shown in FIGS. 4-10. This game may be played by any number of players, preferably between 2-8. Each player begins with at least two snaps, preferably more. Each player contributes one, for example, of his snaps 2 to a stack 30 that is formed on a playing surface, usually, by non-limiting example, a floor or tabletop. The snaps in the stack 30 are deployed in the first stable state. A starting player is determined by any method known and play continues in a circular pattern, usually clockwise. It should be noted that the term “stack” as it is used herein, refers to any arrangement of snaps in a group within an area of play, and is intended to include snaps being placed one on top of another (FIG. 13); snaps being placed on the same surface (FIG. 14) so as to not touch, abut one anther, overlap one another and any combination thereof; and snaps being arranged in an combination of the above.

[0050] In turn, each player takes one of his other snaps 32, also deployed in the first stable state, and throws it at the stack 30 of snaps on the playing surface. An object of this game is to throw the snap 32 in such a fashion that impact on the stack 30 or the playing surface (FIG. 8) will cause the snap 32 to abruptly change from the first stable state to the second stable state (FIG. 9). That is, to “snap” from a substantially flat configuration to an arched configuration, so as to augment the rebound of the snap.

[0051] A suggested preferred manner of throwing the snap is to hold the snap in the palm 34 of the hand 36, convex side proximal to the hand (FIG. 4). The snap should be resting against the fingers 38 so as to be substantially parallel to the fingers with the thumb 40 pressing against the snap 32 so as to hold it firmly in place (FIG. 5). While bring the hand down toward the playing surface (FIG. 6), rotate the hand such that the palm is facing toward the playing surface (FIG. 7), and release the snap so as to so as to impact, preferably, the stack 30 or, alternatively, the playing at an angle to the plane of the playing surface, as illustrated in FIG. 8. An object of this game is to affect a change in state of the snap being thrown so as to cause the game piece to “snap” from the first stable state, in which the snap 32 is thrown, to the second stable state, which augments the rebound of the snap 32, thus aiding the player's attempt to catch the rebounding snap 32. It is a further object of this game is to affect a change is state of as many snaps 2 in the stack 30 as possible. The force of impact of the thrown snap 32 onto the snaps 2 in the stack, when applied substantially at an angle, as illustrated by non-limiting example in FIG. 8, tends to have a greater effect on the snaps 2 in the stack 30.

[0052] Following are possible outcomes of the throw.

[0053] 1—The thrown snap strikes the stack of snaps, thereby causing a number of the snaps in the stack to change from the first state to the second state, the thrown snap rebounds off the stack, whereupon the player catches the thrown snap. The player then claims the snaps from the stack that have changed to the second state.

[0054] 2—The thrown snap strikes the stack of snaps, thereby causing a number of the snaps in the stack to change from the first state to the second state, the thrown snap rebounds off the stack, whereupon the player fails to catch the second snap. Any snaps that have changed to the second state are returned to the first state and placed on the stack, including the thrown snap.

[0055] 3—The thrown snap fails to cause any the snaps in the stack to change state, whether the thrown snap hit the stack or not, yet rebounds, whereupon the player catches the thrown snap thereby keeping the thrown snap.

[0056] 4—The thrown snap fails to cause any the snaps in the stack to change state, and the player fails to catch the thrown snap upon rebound, whereupon the thrown snap is added to the stack.

[0057] Play continues with each player using one of his available snaps. A winner is declared when all the snaps on the playing surface having been claimed, the player having claimed the most snaps being declared the winner. Alternatively, a number of the snaps may remain in the stack, yet all the players agree to end play, whereupon each the players retrieves any the snaps that he contributed to the stack which still remain in the stack. The player having claimed the most the snaps during play is declared the winner. If during the course of play a player runs out of snaps, he is “out” of the game.

[0058] It should be understood that any number of games may be devised using the game piece of the present invention, and the game of the present invention described herein is not intended to limit the game piece of the present invention.

[0059] It will be appreciated that the above descriptions are intended only to serve as examples, and that many other embodiments are possible within the spirit and the scope of the present invention.