Title:
Rescue board game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cooperative board game is provided including two or more primary movers and at least one secondary movers which may be joined together to form a composite mover. In some embodiments, the players may set a timer for one of a plurality of possible game times, and may work cooperatively to form the composite mover and move the composite mover to an end space prior to an expiration of game time.



Inventors:
Sargent, Mark (Louisville, KY, US)
Application Number:
11/231649
Publication Date:
05/04/2006
Filing Date:
09/20/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/243
International Classes:
A63F3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KOLISCH HARTWELL, P.C. (PORTLAND, OR, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A cooperative game comprising: a first play surface and a second play surface, each including a plurality of spaces; a plurality of primary movers; one or more secondary movers configured to combine with at least two primary movers to form a composite mover; one or more chaser movers; a plurality of capturable units including action units and adversity units, wherein at least one action unit is linked to a unique feature of at least one of the primary movers; a timer; one or more random indicia generators; and an end space.

2. The game of claim 1, wherein the first play surface is a game board and the second play surface is a tower elevated above the first play surface game board.

3. The game of claim 2, wherein at least one continuous pathway of spaces links the first and second play surfaces, and connects a primary mover start space and the end space.

4. The game of claim 2, wherein the end space is located on or near a top of the second play surface tower.

5. The game of claim 1, wherein the timer may be set to one of a number of possible game times.

6. The game of claim 1, wherein time may be added onto the timer by rotating the timer 180 degrees.

7. The game of claim 1, wherein the secondary mover includes opening configured to releasably retain one or more primary movers.

8. A method of playing a cooperative game comprising: each of a plurality of players choosing one of a plurality of primary movers; arranging the chosen primary movers, one or more secondary movers, one or more chaser movers, and a plurality of capturable units on spaces; setting a timer; activating one or more random indicia generators for producing random indicia; moving the primary movers and chasers according to the produced random indicia; collecting capturable units by moving one or more primary movers onto a space including a capturable unit; joining the primary movers with one or more secondary movers to form one or more composite movers; and moving the composite mover to an end space.

9. The method of claim 8 wherein primary movers are joined together with a secondary mover form a composite mover prior to moving from a first play surface to a second play surface and reaching the end space.

10. The method of claim 9, wherein players work cooperatively to collect a sequence of capturable units prior to joining the primary movers with a secondary mover to form a composite mover, and moving the composite mover from the first play surface to the second play surface.

11. The method of claim 10, wherein at least two of the capturable units must be collected in an ordered storyline sequence.

12. The method of claim 9, wherein the second play surface extends above the first play surface.

13. The method of claim 8, wherein the capturable units include action units and adversity units and one or more action units are placed on spaces located in the first play surface, and one or more adversity units are placed on spaces located on the second play surface.

14. The method of claim 8, wherein a primary mover may be frozen in position due to an interaction with a chaser mover.

15. The method of claim 12, wherein a player may play a collected collectable unit to counteract a freezing of one or more primary movers.

16. The method of claim 8, wherein players determine the difficulty of the game by setting the timer to one of a number of possible game times.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein players set the game time by depressing a button located on the timer for at least one of a number of possible durations.

18. The method of claim 16, wherein time may be added to the game time during game play by rotating the timer 180 degrees.

19. The method of claim 13, wherein when the composite mover lands on a space containing an adversity unit one or more primary movers may be separated from the secondary mover.

20. A method of playing a cooperative game comprising: each of a plurality of players choosing one of a plurality of primary movers; arranging the primary movers, one or more secondary movers, one or more chaser movers, and a plurality of capturable units on spaces included on a first play surface and on a second play surface; setting a timer to one of a number of possible game times; activating one or more random indicia generators for producing random indicia; moving the primary movers and chasers according to the produced random indicia; collecting capturable units located on the first play surface by moving a primary mover onto a space including a capturable unit wherein the capturable unit may be associated with the moved primary mover, or may be a storyline unit collected in story sequence; playing the capturable units to move a primary mover stopped by an interaction between a primary mover and a chaser; joining the primary movers with one or more secondary movers to form one or more composite movers when all storyline units are collected in story sequence; moving each composite mover from the first play surface to the second play surface, and maintaining the composite mover until the composite mover reaches an end space on the second playing surface.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/611,579 entitled “RESCUE BOARD GAME,” filed Sep. 20, 2004, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

The present disclosure relates generally to board games, and more specifically, to board games where players work cooperatively against a clock to accomplish a particular task. The present disclosure further relates to board games having a game board with multiple play surfaces. Examples of board games where players race against a clock to accomplish a particular task include Buffy the Vampire Slayer©, 2000, Hasbro, Inc., Perfection© 1975, Milton Bradley, and such games shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,120,503, 4,205,850, 4,441,718, 4,534,565, 5,118,113, 5,295,834, 5,350,179, 5,445,389, 5,871,211, 6,120,029, 6,210,272, 6,237,915, and 6,565,090, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference, in their entirety and for all purposes.

SUMMARY

The disclosed board game includes primary and secondary movers which may be joined together to form a composite mover. Players may work cooperatively to form the composite mover and move the composite mover to an end space prior to an expiration of game time. The advantages of the present invention will be understood more readily after a consideration of the drawings and the Detailed Description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an environmental view of an exemplary game including a game board, a tower, movers, capturable units, random indicia generators, and a timer.

FIG. 2 is an environmental view of the game of FIG. 1 set up for the beginning of game play according to one method of playing the game.

FIG. 3 is a schematic view of a tower portion of the game shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

FIG. 4 is a schematic view of the tower portion of FIG. 3 fitted to the game board of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a schematic view of tower ledges attached to the tower of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is an environmental view of an exemplary single movable unit formed by combining three of the movers of FIG. 1 according to the present disclosure.

FIG. 7 is a top view of exemplary embodiments of capturable units of FIG. 1 shown in the form of tiles according to the present disclosure.

FIG. 8 is an environmental view of an exemplary embodiment of the timer suitable for use with the game of FIG. 1.

FIG. 9 is a top view of a partial section of the game board of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE BEST MODE

The present disclosure relates to a game 10 in which one or more player(s) play cooperatively to accomplish a task over two or more play surfaces prior to the expiration of game time. Game 10 may include different game times, thereby allowing players to adjust the difficulty of the game to their own desire and skill level. Game 10 may incorporate elements from a particular theme, story, book, and/or other cultural element. Accordingly, game 10 may include depictions, shapes, colors, or markings which may reflect a desired theme, and game play may further be based on a particular scene, event, or location described in such a movie, or story.

FIG. 1 shows an exemplary embodiment of the game of the present disclosure. In this embodiment, game 10 may be based upon an event, scene, or location described in the Harry Potter books by author J. K. Rowling. Game 10 may include a first play surface, or level, in the form of game board 12, and a second play surface, or level, in the form of tower 18. Game 10 may further include a plurality of movers 24, 26, 22, game units 28, inventory cards 30, random indicia generators 32, and/or timing device 34.

The game board 12 and/or tower 18 may include a plurality of spaces 14. Spaces 14 may guide the play movement of game 10. Spaces 14 may include one or more indicia which may serve to direct the placement of various playing pieces. Such space indicia may guide a player in setting up the game prior to beginning play and/or in directing the movement of movers, and/or other game components during the game play.

Spaces 14 may be arranged to form one or more pathways. Spaces included on game board 12 may be organized into a game board pathway 16, and/or spaces included on tower 20 may be organized into a tower pathway 19. Game board pathway 16 may be contiguous with tower pathway 19. Pathways 16 and/or 19 may be indicated by markings, or spaced gaps, so as to indicate the direction(s) a player may move from one space to the next. Barriers 17 may be included on either the game board or the tower so as to indicate areas into which, or across which, players cannot move the game pieces.

Game board 12 may be formed in any suitable shape or size, including but not limited to substantially flat shape. The shape and/or size of game board 12 may, in part, direct the arrangement of spaces 14 in game board pathway 16. While the game board of FIG. 1 is circular in shape, upon which spaces 14 follow a generally circular pathway arrangement, it may be appreciated that game board 12 may be of any desirable shape and that the spaces 14 may be arranged in any desired pathway arrangement. Pathway 16 may include an outer circular portion 16a and an inner spiral shaped portion 16b. The outer portion 16a and inner portion 16b may be connected at specific points via linking spaces 16c.

Tower 18 may be any suitable size, shape or configuration which is distinguishable from game board 12. The tower and the game board may be connected at one or more points. Tower 18 may provide additional spaces for game play, enhanced playing features, and serve as a clear demarcation between different play surfaces, or phases of the game.

In some embodiment(s), tower 18 may extend upwards from the center of game board 12. Tower 18 may include a plurality of spaces 14 that spiral upwards from the base of tower portion 18 along a tower pathway 19. The spaces that form the tower pathway may be provided on a series of steps that spiral upwards from the base of the tower, similar to a spiral staircase. Alternatively, or additionally, the spaces may be formed from a plurality of platforms, or ledges, 15 that extend outwards. Each ledge 15 may include one or more spaces 14, so as to allow tower pathway 19 to travel up the tower. Tower pathway 19 may terminate in an end space 20, which may be located on the very top of tower 18.

In addition to end space 20, a structure 90 may be included at the top of tower 18. Structure 90 may include a roof 92, a door 94 and one or more walls 96. The structure may contribute to the overall theme of game 10.

Game 10 may include one or more types, or classes of movers. Mover types may include primary mover(s) 24, secondary mover(s) 26, and/or chaser mover(s) 22. Each of these types of movers may have different sub-types, such that one or more of the individual movers may have separate and distinct characteristics and associated game play abilities.

Primary movers 24 may include a first primary mover 24′ and a second primary mover 24″. These primary movers 24 may be typically distinguishable from each other, and from the other types of movers. FIG. 1 shows exemplary primary movers 24′ and 24″ in non-identical human forms. Regardless of shape, primary movers are may be sized to be placed on the various spaces 14 of pathways 16 and 19. Pathways 16 and/or 19 may include one or more spaces 14b that include indicia 25 indicating spaces which may be start spaces for the first and/or second primary movers 24.

Game 10 may further include one or more secondary mover(s) 26. Secondary mover(s) 26 may be distinguishable from the primary mover(s) and the chaser mover(s). A secondary mover may be sized to be placed on spaces 14 of pathways 16 and 19. Moreover, a secondary mover 26 may be configured to receive and removably retain one or more of the primary movers 24 such that the primary and secondary movers may be joined together to form a single movable unit, or composite mover 51, as shown in FIG. 6.

A secondary mover 26 may be placed in an isolated space 14c. Isolated space 14c may not be contiguous with other spaces and thus may not be part of a pathway. Isolated space 14c may include indicia which may be associated with secondary mover 26, and thus may contribute to a theme or story of game 10. In an embodiment of game 10 based on the Harry Potter books, isolated space 10 may be referred to as “Hagrid's Hut,” and may include indicia indicating that this is such a dwelling.

Chaser movers(s), or chasers, 22 may be identical to one another or distinguishable in characteristic. Similar to the primary and secondary movers, chaser pieces may be sized to be placed on the various spaces 14 on pathways 16 and 19. Pathways 16 and 19 may include one or more spaces 14a that include indicia 23 indicating the spaces which may be start spaces for one or more chaser(s) 22. One chaser start space may be located on an outer circular portion 16a of game board pathway 16, one may be located on an inner spiral shaped portion 16b of game board pathway 16, and a third chaser piece start space may be located on or near the end of tower pathway 19. In some embodiments, one or more casher start spaces may not include start indicia 23.

In some embodiments the one or more mover(s) may be shaped to depict characters of a theme or story emulated, in part, by game 10. Accordingly, in one embodiment based on the Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling, the movers may represent and/or resemble characters of these books. Primary playing piece 24′ may be referred to as the Harry or Harry Potter mover and may resemble a human male wizard form, primary playing piece 24″ may be referred to as the Hermione or Hermione Granger mover and may resemble a human female wizard form, secondary mover 26 may be referred to as Buckbeak and may resemble an animal such as a hippogryph having two wings extending from its body, and/or the chasers 22 maybe referred to as Dementors and may resemble a cloaked human form.

Game 10 may further include a plurality of capturable units 28. The capturable units may take the form of tiles, cards, chits, miniature pieces, or any other suitable form. The capturable units may be divided into two distinct sets based on indicia included on one or more sides, or aspects. A first set of capturable units may be action units, and a second set of capturable units may be adversity units. Each capturable unit may include indicia indicating the effect on the game of a player obtaining a particular capturable unit. The capturable units may be sized so as to be placed on spaces 14 of pathways 16 and 19.

A plurality of spaces 14 may include indicia 29 indicating that one or more capturable unit(s) may be placed on the indicated space at the beginning of the game. Indicia 29 may further indicate what type, or set of capturable unit may be started at a particular space 14. As depicted in the embodiment of FIG. 1, capturable unit indicia 29 are only located on spaces on game board 12. However, if desired, some or all of the flight platform spaces may include capturable unit indicia.

Inventory card(s) 30 may be used to inventory and/or organize one or more capturable units 28 during game play. Game 10 may include one inventory card 30 for each primary mover 24, or player, such that in an embodiment including primary mover 24′ and primary mover 24″ there may be two inventory cards. Each inventory card may include indicia 30a associating the card with a particular primary mover. Further, each inventory card may include a predetermined number of spaces 30b, each of which may be sized to receive a capturable unit 28.

Game 10 may further include one or more random indicia generator(s) 32. A first random indicia generator 32a may be used to randomly dictate the movement of one or more of chaser(s) 22, and a second random indicia generator 32b may be used to randomly dictate the movement of one or more primary mover(s) 24. While FIG. 1 shows both 32a and 32b to be random number generators, in the form of 6-sided dice including numerals or counting pip arrangements, it will be appreciated that any suitable method of generating random numbers or other indicia, including spinners, electronic generators, and the like, may be employed and are contemplated as being within the scope of the present disclosure.

The first and second random indicia generators may include non-identical indicia so that they may be distinguished for each other. For example, the first die 32a may be associated with the chasers, or Dementors, and be dark in color, i.e., purple with gold pips, while the second die 32b may be associated with the primary movers, or Harry and Hermione, movers and be light in color, i.e., clear with black numbers or black pips.

Timer 34 may be any suitable timing device capable of indicating the passing of time. The timer of game 10 may include an indicator 36, which provides some type of indication to the players of the amount of time that is left in the game. The indication may be visual and/or audio. For example, the indication may be in the form of displayed numbers, sounds, or other perceivable indicia such as colors. Moreover, timer 34 may be adapted to allow one or more player(s) to add time back to the countdown during the course of play.

FIG. 2 depicts game 10 set up for the beginning of play. To begin playing game 10, the movers and/or capturable units may be positioned on game board 12. The first and second primary movers 24′ and 24″ may be placed on their primary mover start space 14b, the secondary mover 26 may be placed on isolated space 14c, and each chaser 22 may be placed on a chaser start space 14a. As described above, game board 12 may include two chaser start spaces, and a third chaser start space may be located on the top-most space of tower pathway 19, or end-space 20. Accordingly, the two chasers placed on the game board start spaces may be referred to as the game board chasers, and the chaser placed on the tower start space may be referred to as the tower chaser.

The capturable units may be placed on one or more spaces 14 according to the type, or set, of capturable unit to which they belong. Prior to disbursement onto the spaces, the capturable units may be divided into two sets, such as an adversity unit set 52, and an action unit set 54. The capturable units may be divided into sets 52 and 54 based on their indicia. In some embodiments each unit in set 52 may bear common back indicium, and each unit in set 54 may include common back indicium which is distinguishable from the back of set 52. A single adversity unit may be placed facedown on a central space of each tower ledge 15.

Prior to beginning game play, the capturable units may be placed on one or more spaces. In some exemplary embodiments, a single action unit of type 54 may be placed facedown on each space indicated with indicia 29, and a single action unit of type 52 may be placed facedown on a space 14 of each tower ledge 15. Alternative embodiments of game 10 may include alternative disbursements of one or more types of capturable units.

FIGS. 3-5 depict an exemplary tower 18 and game board 12 construction suitable for use with game 10. Turning initially to FIG. 3, it can be seen that in the depicted embodiment of game 10, the game may include a cylindrical tower piece 36 that may be formed from two identical semi-cylindrical portions 36a and 36b. Semi-cylindrical portions, or pieces, 36a and 36b may be joined together by any suitable fastening mechanism, including a multi-point pin and hole mating system 36c. A locking ring 36d may fit atop the formed cylindrical tower piece 36, and may aid in locking semi-cylindrical pieces 36a and 36b together.

As best seen in FIG. 4, the joined cylindrical tower 36 may be inserted into an opening 38 in game board 12, and fitted into retainer, or base retainer, 40. Cylindrical tower piece 36 may include a base indentation 37 configured to interact with a raised portion 42 of retainer 40. Due, at least in part, to such a complimentary joining between indentation 37 and raised portion 42, tower piece 36 may only be received by retainer 40 in a particular orientation.

The orientation of tower piece 36 in game board 12 may be further guided by the configuration of retainer 40. Retainer 40 may include a nipple 44, which may be configured to be received by a notched portion 46 of opening 38 in game board 12. When nipple 44 is placed within notch 46, game board 12 and tower piece 36 may be aligned with one another in a particular orientation.

FIG. 5 shows the external surface of tower piece 36. The external surface of tower piece 36 may include a plurality of slots 48 arranged in a spiraling fashion. A plurality of semi-circular ledges, or platforms, 15 may each include a tab 50. Tabs 50 may be configured to be inserted into the slots 48 so as to allow the platforms to extend away from tower piece 36. As further seen in FIG. 5, structure 90 may be removably placed on top of tower piece 36 according to the present embodiment. Structure 90 may add to the game play and overall theme of game 10. In some embodiments, a figure or other 2 or 3-dimensional image may appear in door 94 of structure 90. Such a figure may be fixed in location or removable.

FIG. 6 shows an exemplary secondary mover 26. Secondary mover 26 may be any mover sized and shaped to releasably retain one or more primary movers 24 to form a composite mover 51. Composite mover 51 may be moved as a single unit on one or more play surfaces, or phases of play in game 10. The exemplary secondary mover 26 of FIG. 6 may be configured to resemble a bird-like hippogryph having two wings extending from its body formed to provide two space, or openings, into which the primary movers 24′ and 24″ may be inserted, so that the three playing pieces may be moved as one single unit.

Exemplary capturable units 28 suitable for use with the presently described embodiment of game 10 are shown in detail in FIG. 7. It may be appreciated that many variations, changes, and/or additions to the described capturable units are possible and that the descriptions below should be considered to be exemplary and non-limiting.

In the depicted embodiment, the capturable units may take the form of small rectangular cards or tiles. The tiles may be divided into two different sets 52 and 54, with each tile in set 52 bearing a common back and each tile in set 54 bearing a common back that is distinguishable from the back of set 52. Set 52 may be referred to as adversity units, or adversity tiles, and set 54 may be referred to as action units, or action tiles.

As shown, one or both of these two set of capturable units may be further divided into numerous sub-sets, or categories. Adversity units 52 may be divided into two different categories: units 56 that include indicia 57 indicating primary mover 24′, or the Harry mover, and tiles 58 that include indicia 59 indicating primary mover 24″, or the Hermione mover. Action units 54 may be divided into five different categories representing various actions, such as Chocolate Frogs 60, Patronus Spell 62, Time-Turner 64, Catch 66, and Storyline 68. Further, the Storyline units, or tiles, 68 may be sub-divided into three separate subcategories shown as tiles 68a, 68b, and 68c.

Each category and subcategory of capturable units may include indicia indicating the effect of playing that unit, or tile, during game play. For example, Chocolate Frog tiles 60 may be captured and used by either Harry or Hermione. Once captured and placed on the collecting player's inventory card, a player may play the captured unit. Typically, a player may play a tile by indicating, verbally or otherwise, that he or she would like to use a tile in his or her possession. Typically, the Chocolate Frog tile is discarded (i.e. removed from the player's inventory card and game play) after it is played. A player who plays the Chocolate Frog tile may protect his or her primary mover, or player mover, from the effects of interacting with a chaser, such as a space freezing Dementor's kiss. Typically, only one Chocolate Frog may be played per player mover per turn.

Other types, or categories, of action units may only be played by one of the primary movers. For example, the Patronus Spell tiles 62 may only be captured and used by Harry. When the player controlling the Harry primary mover plays the Patronus Spell tile, all chasers, or Dementors, are repelled three spaces. Multiple Patronus Spell tiles may be played during the same turn. The chaser(s) may be moved backwards three spaces for each Patronus Spell tile that is played.

The Time-Turner tiles 64 may only be captured and used by the Hermione primary mover. When the player controlling the Hermione mover 24″ plays the Time-Turner tile, extra time is added to the clock. Therefore, in an embodiment employing a Time-Turner clock, described in greater detail below and shown in FIG. 8, once the Time-Turner tile is played, a player may flip the Time-Turner clock upside down, thereby adding a predetermined amount of time to the clock. Moreover, when the Time Turner tile is played, all chaser Dementors may be returned to their start spaces. The Time-Turner tiles may be played at any time during a turn.

Catch tiles 66 may be captured and used by either Hermione or Harry player movers. When either Hermione or Harry falls off of Buckbeak due to an adversity unit, as described in greater detail below, a Catch tile may be played by a non-falling player to return the falling player to Buckbeak.

Storyline tiles 68 may also be captured by either Hermione or Harry. Unlike the other action units described above, the Storyline tiles may be required to be captured in a particular order, or story sequence. As stated above, the game may include three different subcategories of Storyline tiles—68a, 68b and 68c. Each subcategory of Storyline tiles may bear differentiating indicia. For example, as shown, Storyline tile 68a may include an image indicating someone or something entering into a building, Storyline tile 68b may include an image indicating that someone or something is inside the building and Storyline tile 68c may include an image indicating that someone or something has left the building.

According to the presently described embodiment, Storyline tiles must be collected by Harry and Hermione in the correct sequence, that is, Storyline tile 68a must be collected before Storyline tile 68b and Storyline tile 68b must be collected before Storyline tile 68c. If a player lands on a space and turns over an out-of-sequence Storyline tile, the tile may be turned back face down and remain on the space until it can be picked up later in the game.

Once Harry and Hermione have collected all three Storyline tiles in the correct story sequence, they may be allowed to proceed to isolated space 14c where the secondary mover 26 may be positioned. In some embodiments of game 10, once the primary movers reach isolated space 14c, secondary mover 26 may be mobilized, or “freed.” Once free, the secondary mover may be combined with the primary movers and move away from isolated space 14c.

Referring now to FIG. 8, an exemplary timer 34 may include a round portion 70. Round portion 70 may be configured to be placed in a stand 72, and may include two outwardly extending knobs 74, sized and shaped to be received by arms 76 of stand 72. Once place in the arms of stand 72, round portion 70 may be freely rotatable about axis 78. Rotation of the round portion about axis 78 may effect the time remaining on timer 34, as discussed further below.

Timer 34 may further include an hourglass shaped display 80 capable of emitting colored light. The colored light may act as a visual display, indicating the amount of time left before the time of timer 34 expires. Timer 34 may further include a user input 82. User input 82 may be in the form of a button, which, when depressed, sets an initial amount of time on the timer. The button may be depressed for a longer or shorter amount of time in order to select the initial amount of time, or initial game time. For example, depressing the button for a given amount of time may display a blue light and set the initial time period to 15 minutes. Depressing the button for a longer (or shorter) amount of time may display a purple light and set the initial time period to 12 minutes. Depressing the button for a still longer (or shorter) amount of time may display a red light and set the initial time period to 9 minutes.

According to the present embodiment, time may be added back to the timer during game play. Timer 34 may include a gravity switch 84, or other gravity sensitive mechanism, such that when the timer is rotated 180 degrees about axis 78, the remaining time of the initial time period may be extended by a given amount of time. The amount of time added may be dependent upon the length of the initial time period. For example, when the initial time limit for the game is 15 minutes, each rotation of the clock may add an additional 5 minutes to the game's time limit. When the initial time limit is 12 minutes, each rotation of the clock may add an additional 4 minutes to the time limit. When the initial time limit is 9 minutes, each rotation of the clock may add an additional 3 minutes to the time limit. Thus, game 10 provides different levels of difficulty by providing different time allotments for the game.

FIG. 9 depicts a partial view of game board 12. As shown in FIG. 9, space 14f may be adjacent to space 14g and space 14d may be adjacent to space 14e. However, because they are separated by a barrier 17, space 14f may not be adjacent to space 14d. In many embodiments of game 10, movers in adjacent spaces may be subject to one, or more, game play effects such as a position freezing effect. Under such an effect a primary mover may be frozen due to an interaction with a chaser positioned on an adjacent space. Accordingly if a barrier separates two spaces, the spaces may not be adjacent spaces and there is no affect on a primary mover positioned on a non-adjacent space to that of a chaser.

An exemplary method for playing the above-described game will now be described in detail. It should be appreciated that such a description is intended to be non-limiting and that many variations may be made, and should be considered within the scope of the present disclosure. According to this particular embodiment of game 10, players work in concert to move their primary movers 24 around game board 12, avoid the chaser pieces 22, and collect various capturable units 28, including three particular capturable units which must be collected in a specific sequence. Once the three particular capturable units are collected in the correct order, the players are able to free the secondary mover 26 and move onto tower pathway 19. Once on the tower pathway, the players may work in concert to climb the pathway while avoiding the chaser pieces 22 in order to reach end space 20 before the time of timer 34 runs out.

Prior to beginning play, game 10 is set up in a beginning configuration such as that shown in FIG. 2 and discussed above. The chasers 22, the primary movers 24′ and 24,″ the secondary mover 26 and the capturable units 52 and 54 are placed in their indicated start spaces. Just before play begins, timer 34 is activated. As described above, timer 34 may provide a variety of different settings to allow players to alter the difficulty of the game. For example, the players may be able to select from a 15 minute, 12 minute, and 9 minute initial starting time. It will be appreciated that these start times are non-limiting examples and that more or fewer start times of greater or lesser length may be provided with the game without departing from the scope of this disclosure.

Once timer 34 is set, one of the players may begin the game by rolling both the random indicia generators, or dice, 32. As described above, a first die 32a may be associated with the chasers, and the second die 32b maybe associated with the primary movers. After rolling both dice 32, the player rolling the dice first moves the chasers prior to moving either of the primary movers. The number shown, or indicated, on the first die after the dice are thrown indicates the number of spaces that each chaser is to be moved. However, until the players reach the tower pathway, or staircase, it is not necessary to move the tower chaser.

The game board chasers may be moved around the game board 12 in a circular pattern and always in the same direction (i.e. they cannot double back on themselves.) The chaser that is placed on the outer circle 16a of pathway 16 may travel that pathway in a first direction (i.e. clockwise) and the chaser that is placed on the inner spiral 16b of pathway 16 may travel that pathway in a second direction (i.e. counterclockwise). Of course, it should be appreciated that the game board chasers may alternatively travel in the same or different directions, i.e., they may both travel clockwise or both travel counterclockwise, etc. When the chaser on the inner circle pathway reaches the end of the circle, the chaser may simply move from the inner portion of the pathway 16 to the outer portion of the pathway 16, and continues to travel in the same direction. Each chaser must stay on its respective path, or portion, of pathway 16, (i.e. the inner or outer pathways) and cannot travel the connecting spaces 16c, or travel on another chaser's path.

Once the primary and secondary movers reach the tower 18 and begin to climb the tower pathway 19, the tower chaser may be moved as well. Once it begins moving, the tower chaser may continue to move for the rest of the game. Once it reaches the final space of the lowest platform, the tower chaser may jump back to its start space, end space 20 on the top of the tower 18, and again descend tower pathway, or staircase, 19. Thus, according to an embodiment, the tower chaser may never travel on the game board pathway 16, and the game board chasers may never travel on the tower pathway 19. Of course, it should be appreciated that many modifications to this may be made and that such modifications are contemplated as being within the scope of this disclosure.

After the chasers are moved, the primary movers 24′ (Harry), and/or 24″ (Hermione) may be moved. Primary movers may move in any direction the players wish so long as the movers remain on the pathway of spaces 14. According to one embodiment of the game 10 rules, Harry, Hermione, and chasers (Dementor) can share the same space and can move through each other. During a player's turn, the player can choose to move either the Harry or Hermione mover the full number rolled on the clear die 32b, or to split the roll between the two primary movers. For example, if a player rolls a three on the die 32b, the player may move the Harry mover three spaces, the Hermione mover three spaces, or one of the primary mover one space and the other primary mover two spaces. According to one embodiment of the rules, the full movement rolled must be used. As the game must be played cooperatively, players may discuss the best move to make, but the rolling player makes the final decision.

Any time the Harry or Hermione primary movers land on a space containing an action unit, or tile, the tile may be turned over. The tile may or may not be picked up by the player controlling the primary mover that landed on the action tile, depending on the type of the tile involved, which primary mover landed on the tile, and whether the player wants to collect the capturable unit tile at that time.

If the action unit tile is picked up, it may be placed on an empty space 30b of the player's inventory card. If a player does not have any room left on her inventory card (i.e., she has already collected enough tiles to fill up the inventory card), she may not be allowed to pick up the tile. Alternatively, she may be allowed (or forced) to discard one of her previously collected cards in order to collect the new tile.

The players may move the primary movers to isolated space 14c (Hagrid's Hut) any time after they collect all three Storyline tiles in the correct story sequence, but they are not compelled to do so at any particular stage. Therefore, the players may continue to move around the game board squares collecting action tiles until such time as they feel they have collected enough action tiles to successfully climb the tower pathway.

Anytime a primary mover and a chaser share the same space, or stand in adjacent spaces, the player mover is in danger of receiving a position freezing, or Dementor's kiss. A successful Dementor's kiss may freeze a character where it stands for the remainder of that turn and the duration of the next turn. In order to escape, or counteract a Dementor's kiss, the threatened player may play a Chocolate Frog tile (any player) or a Patronus tile (only the player controlling the Harry mover) from his or her Inventory card. Alternatively, the player controlling the Hermione primary mover can play a Time-Turner tile. Time-Turner tiles act to send Dementor chasers back to their start spaces, and thus may move a Dementor back far enough for the player mover to avoid its kiss, depending on where the threatened player mover is located. A frozen primary mover is immune to any further Dementor's kisses until unfrozen. A player may not play any tiles while his or her primary mover is frozen. If one primary mover is frozen, the other primary mover must take the full move rolled on the random indicia generator 32b.

As stated above, the players have successfulyl freed the secondary Buckbeak 26 mover when they both reach isolated space 14c (Hagrid's Hut) and have collected the three Storyline tiles 68 in correct sequential order. The players do not need to land on the Hagrid's Hut space 14c by an exact roll of the die. Moreover, the players can be effected by a Dementor's kiss while on Hagrid's Hut space 14c.

Once Buckbeak mover 26 is free, the trio (i.e., movers 24′, 24″, and 26) can be assembled as a single moving unit 51 as shown in FIG. 6. Unit 51 may then attempt to ascend the tower staircase, or ledges 15. On the turn after unit 51 is formed and starts ascending the tower, the tower chaser, or tower Dementor begins movement. Accordingly, on the turn after the Harry, Hermione and Buckbeak player movers move onto the first ledge 15a, the tower Dementor begins to descend the number of spaces rolled on random indicia generator 32a. The two game board Dementors continue moving in their respective directions for every roll of the die 32a.

Although secondary mover Buckbeak is not effected by a Dementor's kiss, the primary movers riding on, or retained by, Buckbeak are effected. If the single moving unit 51 encounters the tower Dementor on the tower pathway 19, primary mover Harry must play a Patronus tile 62, primary mover Hermione must play a Time-Turner tile 64, or both players must play a Chocolate Frog tile 60 to protect themselves from the Dementor's kiss. If none of these options is possible, both primary movers, and by default, secondary Buckbeak mover becomes frozen.

If single movable unit 51 lands on an adversity unit, or so called “Gust of Wind tile,” 52 while on a ledge 15, the tile may be flipped over and the player pictured on the tile immediately falls back three spaces from Buckbeak. The turned over Gust of Wind tile may then be removed from the game. The primary mover still riding Buckbeak must have a Catch tile 66 on his or her Inventory Card in order to return the falling character to secondary mover 26, Buckbeak. If not, the falling primary mover may continue to move back 3 spaces each turn. However, a falling player mover does not flip over additional adversity Gust of Wind tiles.

On turns after a primary mover falls, the Dementor movers are moved first, the falling primary mover(s) is moved second, and the Buckbeak (and/or Buckbeak primary mover combination piece) is moved last. If the Buckbeak mover can move back and land on a falling primary mover by exact count, the falling primary mover may be caught and returned to the Buckbeak mover.

Whenever a falling primary mover and the Buckbeak mover share the same space, the falling primary mover is caught. If the primary mover falls off the last Flight Platform before being caught, that primary mover returns to start space 14b. The riding primary mover may then have to move onto the Hagrid's Hut space and wait for the fallen primary mover to reach the Hagrid's Hut space 14c, as the Buckbeak mover cannot move on the game board. If both primary movers fall, because of two different Gust of Wind tiles, Buckbeak immediately returns to Hagrid's Hut space 14c.

Falling primary movers can receive a Dementor's kiss. If this happens, for example, because the player can't play a capturable unit tile to block the Dementor, the primary mover receiving the Dementor's kiss is frozen in place until the end of the next turn.

If Buckbeak moves onto a Gust of Wind tile 52 that is next to or in the same space as a Dementor, the tile is not flipped over. The Dementor's kiss takes effect before a Gust of Wind. If the Dementor's kiss freezes the primary mover, the player must flip the Gust of Wind tile 52 over at the beginning of the turn in which they become unfrozen and resolve its effect at that time. If the Dementor's kiss does not freeze the primary mover, the Gust of Wind tile is flipped over immediately and its effects are resolved during that turn.

In order to successfully complete, or win, the game, composite mover 51 including Harry mover 24′, Hermione mover 24″, and Buckbeak mover 26 must reach end space 20 before Time-Turner 34 runs out of time. If the players are not able to reach end space 20 before time runs out, the players lose. Players must play cooperatively to keep both the primary movers joined with secondary mover Buckbeak, and to move the resulting composite mover 51 to the top of tower 18. Either all players of game 10 win by moving composite mover 51 to end-space 20 before the time expires, or all players lose by failing to reach this destination. According to one method of playing, the last space does not have to be reached by exact count. Alternatively, the rules may specify that the last space may only be reached by exact count.

Thus, in one embodiment, the present disclosure provides a game 10 whereby players work cooperatively to avoid chaser movers and simultaneously reach an end space in a given time limit. Moreover, the time limit can be extended by playing specific cards. Furthermore, the present disclosure also provides a game whereby in a first phase, or play surface of the game, players work cooperatively to collect specific tiles in a specific sequence in order to move onto a second phase, or play surface, of the game.

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

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





 
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