Title:
Board game apparatus and method of play
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A game apparatus providing toy blocks which are used for both building the game board and as game pieces for playing the game and a method of playing a chess- or checker type board game where building the game board is part of playing the game. Further more, when not used in game playing, the toy blocks of the game apparatus can be used as toys individually or in combination to build interesting 3-D toy structures.



Inventors:
Chung, Fai Shing Alex (Tung Chung, HK)
Application Number:
11/095143
Publication Date:
10/05/2006
Filing Date:
03/31/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F3/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080265511SHOOTING TARGET APPARATUSOctober, 2008Shum
20090280457CARD GAME FOR LEARNING AND PRACTICING FOREIGN LANGUAGESNovember, 2009Elazari-volcani
20050116409Magnetically floating hockey playing tableJune, 2005Wu
20060043673Baseball team play organizerMarch, 2006Brown
20080061505Craps pass betMarch, 2008Snow
20080099993System and Method for Playing a Progressive Jackpot Game, and Player Input DeviceMay, 2008Araico Cao J. C.
20030222400Split pairs blackjack side betDecember, 2003Collins et al.
20040007814Integral folding game board and boxJanuary, 2004Senart
20040104531Method and apparatus for wagering or entertainment based on outcomes of indiciaJune, 2004Dreaper et al.
20030052455Deck of cardsMarch, 2003Chida
20080258396Aqua Shooting RangeOctober, 2008Polovnev et al.



Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
COOPER & DUNHAM LLP (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method for playing a board game, comprising the steps of: (a) building a game board from board blocks which are 2-D objects, 3-D objects, or a mix of 2-D objects and 3-D objects; and (b) playing a board game where two or more players place or move game pieces on said game board.

2. A method of claim 1, wherein said game pieces are 2-D objects, 3-D objects, or a mix of 2-D objects and 3-D objects.

3. A method of claim 2, wherein said board blocks are 3-D objects and said game pieces are 3-D objects.

4. A method of claim 1, wherein said board blocks are of two or more sets, members of one set assuming a shape suitable for defining a point or a place of said game board and members of another set assuming a shape suitable for defining a line or a border of said game board.

5. A method of claim 1, wherein said game pieces are of two or more visually distinguishable groups, each of said groups belonging to a player.

6. A method of claim 5, wherein said game pieces in each of said groups adapt various shapes suitable for being placed on various playing positions on said game board, for providing visual appeals, or for functioning as toys when not being used in playing game.

7. A game apparatus comprising a plurality of 3-D shaped blocks, a first subset of said 3-D shaped blocks being adapted for interconnecting with each other to form a 3-D game board, a second subset of said 3-D shaped blocks being adapted for functioning as game pieces for playing a game on said 3-D game board.

8. A game apparatus of claim 7, wherein said 3-D shaped blocks assume one or more shapes which appeal to children as toys.

9. A game apparatus of claim 7, wherein said shapes are shapes or profiles of animals, human beings, or natural or man-made structures.

10. A game apparatus of claim 7, wherein there are two or more types of 3-D shaped blocks in said first set, with one type assuming a shape suitable for defining a point or a place on a game board, with another type assuming a shape suitable for defining a line or a border on a 3-D game board.

11. A game apparatus of claim 10, wherein there are two or more types of 3-D shaped blocks in said second set, each assuming a shape suitable for being placed on a different playing position on a 3-D game board.

12. A game apparatus of claim 11, wherein there are two types of 3-D shaped blocks in said first set, one type assuming the shape of a castle and the other assuming the shape of a wall; and there are two types of 3-D shaped blocks in said second set, one type assuming the shape of a panda and the other assuming the shape of a tower.

13. A game apparatus of claim 7, wherein said 3-D shaped blocks are of one or more shapes that appeal to children or young people as toys.

14. A commercial package, comprising (a) a container; (b) a plurality of 3-D shaped blocks of a game apparatus of claim 7 contained in said container and unaccompanied by a ready-made game board inside said container; and (c) a label or sign indicating that said container contains an apparatus for playing a board game.

15. A commercial package of claim 14, further comprising (d) a manual or information on how to build a game board and how play game thereon with said game apparatus.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a board game apparatus. In particular, the present invention relates to a board game apparatus comprising a plurality of variously-shaped three-dimensional toy blocks, some of the toy blocks being interconnectable with one another to form a game board for a checker- or chess-type board game while other toy blocks being used as playing pieces (or game pieces). Furthermore, the toy blocks may assume such interesting shapes that appeal to children to function as toys. The present invention further relates to a method of playing board games using the above board game apparatus wherein building the game board is an integral part of playing the game.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Block toys are well known in the art. Such toys usually include a plurality of blocks with interconnecting means for selectively connecting the blocks together to form toy structures of various configurations. Board games, such as chess and checker, are also well known in the art. These well known block toys and board games are played separately, i.e., either as a block toy alone, or a board game alone.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,021,045 granted to Mermelstein on 3 May 1977 discloses a chess or checker board having individual blocks for each square enclosed by a raisable but normally recessed lattice or egg-crate structure. These individual blocks are not conventional toy blocks and are not interconnectable with one another to form a three-dimensional toy structure. In fact, these individual blocks are all fastened to a base of the board.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,348,027 granted to Escamilla-Kelly on 7 Sep. 1982 discloses a multi-level board game consisting of a chess or checker board divided into a plurality of levels. The board is separated into a central portion at one level and a plurality of surrounding portions of square configuration separately supported at least at one other level. The separate square portions supported at another level are separately supported on support members permitting rotation of each square portion about its center. This is merely a board game and not a block toy.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,660,388 granted to Benn on 26 Aug. 1997 discloses a three-dimensional board game. This three-dimensional board game comprises a three-dimensional game board and a set of movable pieces for each player. The three-dimensional game board is marked into a matrix of spaces forming a plurality of concentric perimeters, the innermost perimeter surrounding a single central space. Each perimeter comprises a separate level, the outermost perimeter being the lowermost level, and the central space forming the uppermost level. This three-dimensional game board is a one-piece solid game board and is not formed by interconnecting toy blocks.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,695,191 granted to Frost on 9 Dec. 1997 discloses a variation of an ancient Hawaiian konane game with a pouch that opens into a playable flat surface. The game pieces are in the form of black beach pebbles and white coral pebbles. Again, this is purely a board game and does not consist of any toy blocks.

U.S. Patent Application No. 2004/0108655 published on 10 Jun. 2004 in the name of Liu discloses a strategy game with geometrical structure. This game has a geometrical structure or game device which can be any structure of geometrical shapes with a plurality of nodes formed by edges. The game device can be designed as two-dimensional or three-dimensional, single-plane or multi-plane, latticed or non-latticed geometrical structure. The nodes of the game device are categorized by the degree of freedom defined by the number of edges connected to the node. The game is played with grooved spherical game pieces mountable on the nodes of the game device. The geometrical structure discloses in Liu's application is not in the form of a block-type structure. The geometrical structure is not formed by directly interconnecting toy blocks with one another. In fact, Liu's geometrical structure is formed of interfitting wires and tubes. “Cathedral” is a board game disclosed in the website http://www.cathedral-game.co.nz/frame.htm. This board game comprises a game board having a plurality of square playing areas and a plurality of game pieces. The game board denotes a “city”. The game pieces are in the form of “buildings” of various shapes. The object of the game is to place all “buildings” in the “city”, while trying to prevent the opponent from doing so. Again, this is purely a board game and is not a block toy. The building-shaped game pieces serve only as game pieces for the board game and are not designed as interconnectable toy building blocks to form the game board.

Hence, this is a novel idea to have a game apparatus that can provide the fun of both building a variable three-dimensional game board and playing check-or chess-like game thereon.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a game apparatus comprising a plurality of toy blocks. The toy blocks are of two types. The first type is “board block” which refers to those toy blocks fabricated or configured to provide an ability to reversibly interconnectable with one another and, when interconnected together, to form a two- or three-dimensional game board for playing the board game. The second type is “game block” which refers to those toy blocks which serve as game pieces marked for each player and adapted to be movable on the two- or three-dimensional game board structure. All toy blocks may assume one or more shapes that appeal to children or young people so that they double as toys.

The term “toy block” means any two-dimensional or three-dimensional object or structure of any materials such as, for example, plastic, wood, bamboo, metal, glass, etc. Preferably, a toy block may adopt a particular shape to appeal to a particular group of players, such as the shape of animals and buildings. A simple geometrical shape, such as cube, pyramid or sphere, may also provide satisfactory results. As an illustration, a piece of playing card or a piece of jigsaw puzzle, although seemingly a two-dimensional object, all comes within the scope of the term “toy block.”

The term “interconnectable” means the capability of reversibly attaching to each other among “board blocks” through an interlocking mechanism provided by complementary structural shapes, magnetic attraction or any other ways known to people skilled in the art.

According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a game apparatus comprising a plurality of toy blocks, which function either as “board block” or “game block” as described above. This apparatus employs, however, a particular type of toy block, referred to as “3-D shaped block” thereinafter. “3-D shaped block” means a toy block which is shaped in all 3-dimemsions to form a 3-D figure interesting to children or young people. Such toy blocks therefore double as toys. By way of example, not limitation, such interesting 3-D shape includes the shape of an animal, human, plant, building or any other natural or man-made structure. On the other hand, a jigsaw puzzle piece is not a 3-D shaped block because it is shaped only in two dimensions.

In a particular embodiment of the game apparatus of the present invention, there may be two sets of board blocks, a first set and a second set. Each board block of the first set is connectable to a plurality of board blocks of the second set. When those two sets of board blocks are connected, they form a structure generally in the form of a lattice structure suitable for being used as a game board. For example, the board block of the first set may be shaped in a way that they can define a point or a place while the board block of the second set may be shaped in a way that they can define a line or a border on a game board. When the points and lines are connected, they define the positions that the game piece movies to and from, and the areas that each player owns. Of course, one does not have to use exact two sets of board blocks to practice the present invention. Based on the above disclosure, one may use just one set, or three or more sets to obtain satisfactory results.

Furthermore, there may be two sets of game blocks used as game pieces, one for marking or occupying a point or a place on the game board, the other for marking or occurring an area enclosed by the lines or borders. The game block bears indicia indicating the player it belongs to. For example, each player's game blocks may be of a particular color or a particular shape. Of course, one does not have to use exact two sets of game blocks to practice the present invention. Based on the above disclosure, one may use just one set, or three or more sets to obtain satisfactory results.

According to another aspect of invention, there is provided a novel way of playing a board game in that the game board is variably built according to the wish of participating players and may be built just prior to the start of game. The game board is built from a plurality of board blocks, preferably, 3-D shaped blocks. In other words, building the game board is part of playing the game.

In a particular embodiment of the way of playing the game of the present invention, the players are provides with two sets of board blocks: a first set and a second set. When building the game board, the players use the board block of the first set to define a place of the game board and the board block of the second set to define a border of the game board. The players are also provided with two sets of game blocks: a first game piece set and a second game piece set. Each of the two board block sets are further divided into groups which are visually distinguishable by color, shape or other indicia that comes to the mind of a person with ordinary skill in the art. Each player is to choose one group of game blocks with particular indicia to identify him or herself. The players use the game piece of the first set to mark the ownership of a place defined by a board block of the first set on the game board, and use the game piece of the second set to mark the ownership of an area defined by three or more board blocks of the second set. The player who owns a game piece, owns the place or the area marked by the game piece. At the end of the game, the player who owns most areas on the game board wins the game. Two or more players may participate in the game. To start the game, the players must first build a game board with provided board blocks according to a pattern or a plan that is agreed upon by all participating players. After building the game board, each player then choose one his or her game blocks (i.e., game pieces) which can identify this particular player. Then, the players take turn to place a game piece on, or move a game piece to or from, a point or place defined by a board block of the first set (for example, a fortress-shaped block), indicating they own the “fortress”. When a player owns all the adjacent points or “fortresses,” the player can place another game piece in the area enclosed by the adjacent castles, indicating the player now owns the area. The object of game is to own as many possessions as possible to win the game. However, there are rules to challenge the players to fight for a place and an area. For example, when it is Player A's turn and he realizes that only one of the adjacent points encircling an area is owned by an opponent and the point beyond this opponent's point is not owned by any player, Player A can place a game piece of his own on this unowned point whereby he seizes the possession of the point ahead of this unowned point from his opponent. This rule is provided as an example, not a limitation. Other rules can be readily adopted by people skilled in the art.

According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a game apparatus kit suitable for transportation and transaction in commercial activities. The kit include a packaging box, a plurality of 3-D shaped blocks as defined above, a label or sign indicating that the box contains a game apparatus. The kit does not include any ready-made game board.

The various features of novelty which characterize the invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this disclosure. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages, and specific objects attained by its use, reference should be made to the drawings and the following description in which there are illustrated and described preferred embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Specific embodiments of the invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a three-dimensional board block in the form of a castle tower in accordance with a particular embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of another three-dimensional board block in the form of a castle wall in accordance with a particular embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a basic unit of a three-dimensional game board structure formed by a number of board blocks of FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an expanded version of the three-dimensional game board structure of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a panda-shaped game block or game piece;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a tower-shaped game block or game piece;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the triangular game board structure of FIG. 3 with game pieces provided thereon for illustration purposes; and

FIGS. 8 and 9 are illustrative top-view diagrams of a portion of a game board for illustrating the rules of the board game in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In this particular embodiment, the game apparatus has two sets of board blocks, one with a castle shape and the other with wall like shape, two sets of game blocks, one shaped like a panda and the other shaped like a tower. Each castle block is connectable to six wall blocks. The six wall blocks are disposed equidistantly radially and circumferentially about the castle block. Each castle block is provided with slot means for snugly receiving the complimentary structural extension of the wall blocks. The methods of fabricating those blocks are well known in the art and it is unnecessary to describe them in this disclosure.

The method of playing the chess- or checker-type board game comprising the steps of (a) agreeing by the players to the specifics about building a game board to play the game on; (b) building a two- or three-dimensional game board structure by connecting the plurality of board blocks provided; and (c) agreeing by the players to the rule by which the game will be played; and (d) using a plurality of game blocks provided to play the game on the game board according to the agreed rule. The playing rule can be readily designed by the players or provided by people skilled in the art. The following rules of building the game board and playing the board game are provided as an example.

A. Rules of Building the Game Board:

(A-1) Each cylindrical block possesses six slots and each of them can connect to a quadrilateral board.

(A-2) Both ends of any board must be fitted in any slots of the cylindrical blocks.

(A-3) Both ends of every board must be slid into the slots of 2 cylindrical blocks during the construction.

(A-4) The slot(s) of a cylindrical block can be empty and there is no requirement to fill up all the slots of a cylindrical block.

(A-5) There is no limit of the size of the game board to be built. It depends on how many connectable blocks the players got. The bigger the game board, the more fun the game will be.

(A-6) During the game, the game board cannot be re-constructed by any players except all players agree on it.

(A-7) The game activities are suspended when the reconstruction of the game board is being done. The turn of play should be given to the player who got a turn just before the reconstruction.

(A-8) There is no limit to the size of the game board to be re-constructed as well.

After building the game board, the player can start to play the game on the constructed game board. Each player must need a set of distinguishable playing figures and a set of distinguishable blocks to play the game. During the game, the players take turn to place a figure at the top of a cylindrical block.

B. Playing the Board Game:

(B-1) Two or more players can play the game. It depends on how many distinguishable sets of playing figures (game blocks) the game provided. It must require at least two distinguishable sets.

(B-2) The players can take turn to place the playing figures on the top of any un-possessed cylindrical block to claim the possession of that cylindrical block. The un-possessed cylindrical block is defined as the cylindrical block with no playing figure on top of it.

(B-3) If there are three connecting cylindrical blocks at the playing positions P2, P4, P7 respectively as shown in FIG. 8, a player possessed cylindrical block at P2, the opponent possessed cylindrical block at P4, and the cylindrical block at P7 is empty, then the player can place one more figure on the top of the empty cylindrical block at P7 and take out the opponent's figure from the top of the cylindrical block at P4 to “seize” the opponent's possession of cylindrical block at P4. However the opponent cannot seize the possession of cylindrical block at P7 during the next turn of play.

(B-4) If the opponent possessed a cylindrical block at P9 as shown in FIG. 8, the opponent can put a figure at the top of cylindrical block at P4 to gain back the possession of cylindrical block at P4. However, the opponent cannot do so immediately after the next turn of player's “seize” move. The opponent can take the “seize” move during the other turn of play after the next turn.

(B-5) Beside the “seize” move described in (B-3), the player can also take a “jump” move to remove the opponent's player figure. As such, the player's figure at the P2 position will be moved to the position P7 and the opponent's figure at position P4 will be removed.

(B-6) If the area bounded by the connecting cylinders is possessed by a player, the player must put a distinguishable block in there to claim (mark) the player's possession of the bounded area. As shown in the FIG. 9, the bounded area BA3 and BA5 are possessed by the player while the bounded area BA1 is possessed by the opponent. If the bounded area is not surrounded by the same player as shown at BA2 and BA4, it will be left empty. The bounded area can be in the shape of a triangle, parallelogram, or hexagon, etc.

(B-7) If the possession of any one of the surrounding cylinders is seized, the player's block at the bounded area must be taken away.

(B-8) If a player tried to violate the playing rules described as the above in (A) or (B), that player's violated operation must be corrected and his/her next turn will be suspended.

(B-9) The winner is the one who possessed the most bounded areas.

Referring now to the drawings, in which like reference numerals represent like parts throughout the drawings, FIG. 1 shows a three-dimensional toy block 10 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention to be used as a board block of a first set. The block 10 is substantially in the shape of a castle having a cylindrical body 16, a base 18, and a top 20.

The base 18 of the toy block 10 is generally frusto-conical in shape and has six elongated slots 22 provided thereon. The six elongated slots 22 are disposed equidistantly radially and circumferentially about the base 18. Slot 22 has an elongated enlarged groove or channel 32 and provides a mechanism for interconnecting with other toy blocks. It is understood that a board block of the first set, i.e., toy block 10, can be of any shape provided that it is suitable for defining a point or a place on a game board 50. The castle-like shape is exemplary only.

FIG. 2 shows a three-dimensional toy block 12 used a board block of a second set. The block 12 is substantially in the shape of a rectangular parapet or a wall, having vertical side edges 26, 28. Each of the vertical side edges 26, 28 has an elongated enlarged portion 30 adapted to snugly fit into a complementary elongated enlarged groove or channel 32 of the elongated slot 22 of a toy block 10. It is understood that a board block of the second set, i.e., toy block 12, can be of any shape provided that it is suitable for defining a line or a border on a game board 50. The wall-like shape is exemplary only.

Thus, in this embodiment of the game apparatus of the present invention,.there are a first set of board blocks, the “castle” set and a second set of board blocks, the “wall” set. The players may build a variety of three-dimensional game-board structures by connecting board blocks of the first set (toy blocks 10) with board blocks of the second set (toy blocks 12). FIG. 3 shows an example of such connection between the first set board blocks and the second set board blocks, whereby they form a basic triangular toy structure: the basic unit of the game board. It is contemplated that to practice the present invention, one may need just one set of board blocks or one may use two or more sets of board blocks. The two sets of board blocks are used in this particular embodiment as an example and not as a limitation. When only one set of board blocks is used, the blocks may be shaped in a way to make them suitable for defining both a point (or a place) and a line (or a border) on the game board. One the other hand, when more than two sets are used, the players are offered opportunities to build more complex and interesting game boards.

FIG. 4 shows an example of an expanded three-dimensional structure, or a larger portion of a game board, generally represented by reference numeral 50. This expanded three-dimensional structure 50 is formed by continuously connecting three-dimensional toy blocks 10, 12 to the basic three-dimensional toy structure 40 depicted in FIG. 3. The three-dimensional structure 50 is generally in the form of a lattice structure or an array of interconnecting triangular structures, and can be further expanded as needed or desired.

It is understood that the toy blocks 10, 12 can be selectively interconnected with one another to form toy structures of various sizes and configurations. Although it has been shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 that the basic toy structure 40 is triangular in shape, it is appreciated that toy blocks 10, 12 can be selectively interconnected with one another to form a basic toy structure of other shapes including but not limited to parallelogram, trapezoid, hexagon, and polygon. Of course, the toy structure may contain a combination of toy structures of different shapes, to construct various game boards appealing to different players.

Furthermore, although it has been shown in the present embodiment that each toy block 10 has six elongated slots 22 adapted for interconnection with up to six toy blocks 12, it is contemplated that the toy block 10 may have more or less than six elongated slots 22. For example, the block 10 may have only four elongated slots for interconnection with four toy blocks 12 which may then be arranged perpendicularly to one another forming a rectangular or square toy structure.

Structure 50 functions as a three-dimensional game board for a chess- or checker-type board game. The interconnected toy blocks 10, 12 define a game path for the board game. The toy blocks 10 define thereon a plurality of playing surfaces or positions 34. The encompassed triangular courtyard areas 42 define a plurality of additional playing surfaces or positions.

In this particular embodiment, there are also two sets of game blocks, a first set and a second set. FIG. 5 shows an example of game block 60 of the first set, to be used to mark the ownership of a place, such as a “castle.” Game block 60 is preferably in the form of a toy figure, such as, for example, a human being or an animal. Here, game block 60 is shown in the shape of a panda. In practice, it can be of any shape.

Game block 60 is adapted to be able to stay steadily in playing positions 34 and be movable from one playing position 34 to another playing position 34 on game board 50.

FIG. 6 shows a game block 70 of the second set, to be used as a game piece to mark the ownership of an area encircled or enclosed by adjacent “castles.” Game block 70 is also in the form of a toy figure, such as, a tower, as depicted. Game block 70 is adapted to be able to stay steadily within a playing position 42 and be movable from one playing position 42 to another playing position 42 on game board 50. In practice, game block 70 can be of another shape.

Toy blocks 10, 12 and Game blocks 60, 70 are in the form of toy figures. Therefore, it is contemplated that are used as toys individually or played together in combination by children or young people, when the game apparatus is not used for the purpose of game playing.

Although it has been described in the present embodiment that each player is given a first set of panda-shaped game pieces 60 movable on the three-dimensional game board structure 50, 80 and a second set of tower-shaped game pieces 70 movable between the three-dimensional game board structure 50, 80, it is appreciated that the first and second sets of game pieces 60, 70 may be identical in shape.

Toy blocks 10, 12 and game pieces 60, 70 may be made of any suitable material, such as plastic, metal, glass, wood, bamboo, etc, by any conventional methods such as injection molding. Preferably, they are made of plastic.

FIG. 7 is the basic game board structure of FIG. 3 with game blocks 60, 70 provided thereon for illustration purposes. Game blocks 60 are adapted to be placed on the castle tops 20 of castle 14. Game block 70 is adapted to be placed within the courtyard area or playing position 42 between the castle towers 14 and the castle walls 24.

FIG. 8 is an illustrative top-view diagram of a portion of the board game according to an embodiment of the present invention. As shown here, structure 80 is formed by interconnecting ten toy castle blocks 10 with nineteen toy castle wall blocks 12. The ten toy castle blocks 10 define thereon ten playing positions P1-P10 respectively.

Also shown in FIG. 8 are two participants in the board game, namely a “player” and an “opponent”. Game pieces 60a of the player are represented by solid circles whereas game pieces 60b of the opponent are represented by solid triangles. The two participants take turns to place their game pieces 60a, 60b on playing positions P1-P10. Game pieces 60a of the player occupy playing positions P1 and P2, and the game pieces 60b of the opponent occupy playing positions P3, P4, P5, P6, P8 and P9.

The game piece of the player at the playing position P2 may “jump” or “seize” the opponent's game piece at the playing position P4 if playing position P7 is empty and the playing positions P2, P4 and P7 are on a straight line. To make the “jump” move, the player moves his game piece from the playing position P2 to the playing position P7. The game piece of the opponent at the playing position P4 should then be removed from the game board 80. To make the “seize” move, the player places one more game piece at the playing position P7 and the opponent's game piece at the playing position P4 should be removed as well.

However, the player's game piece at the playing position P1 cannot make the “jump” move and capture the opponent's game piece at the playing position P3 because the playing position P6 is not empty. Moreover, the player's game piece at the playing position P2 cannot make the “jump” move and capture the opponent's game piece at the playing position P5 because there is no playing position on the same line behind the playing position P5.

It can be seen in FIG. 8 that the three playing positions P4, P5 and P8 in a triangle are all occupied the opponent. In this circumstance, the opponent can place one of his game pieces 70b in the playing position 42 enclosed by three playing positions P4, P5 and P8 to indicate the possession of that part of the game board 80.

The method of playing the combined block toy and checker-type board game of the present invention is described in details hereinbelow.

Two or more players may participate in the combined block toy and checker-type board game of the present invention. The combined block toy and board game of the present invention is divided into two stages. The first stage involves the building of a toy structure 40, 50, 80 by connecting the toy blocks 10, 12 together. The second stage involves the playing of a checker-type board game using the toy structure 50, 80 built in the first stage as the game board.

In the first stage, the players may selectively build three-dimensional toy structures of different sizes and configurations using the three-dimensional toy blocks 10, 12. The toy FIGS. 60, 70 may be added as toy pieces during this stage to provide more fin. The players directly connect castle towers 10 to castle walls 12 by sliding side edges 26, 28 of the castle walls 12 into the slots 22 of the castle towers 10. The players continue to connect more castle towers 10 and castle walls 12 together until a final toy structure is reached and agreed by the players. This final toy structure becomes a three-dimensional game board structure of the board game for use in the second stage.

In the second stage, each of two players is given a first set of panda-shaped game pieces 60 and a second set of tower-shaped game pieces 70. It is understood that these game pieces 60, 70 are the same as the toy pieces 60, 70 in the first stage. As in any conventional board game, game pieces 60, 70 of different colors are assigned to different players.

According to the present embodiment, the board game is a strategy checker-type game. The players take turns to place the game pieces 60 on top of the castle tower 14. If the three castle towers 14 at the corners of a courtyard area 42 are all occupied by the same player, that player places one of his game pieces 70 in the courtyard area 42 to denote possession of that area by that player.

Although it has been disclosed hereinbefore that the game board 50, 80 are to played with game pieces 60, 70, it is contemplated that the game board 50, 80 may be played with a set of game pieces of a conventional chess, checker, go, or like game. To this end, the players build the game board 50, 80 from a game board construction kit only consisting of toy blocks 10 and 12 without the game pieces 60, 70. The players build the game board 50, 80 by interconnecting the toy blocks 10, 12 with one another as described hereinbefore. The players then play the board game using game pieces of a conventional chess, checker, go, or like game. It should be appreciated that two or more players may participate in the game.

The players may disassemble the game board into a plurality of individual toy blocks which then function as toys.

For the purpose of describing the present invention, the terms “game piece,” “playing piece,” and “game block” are interchangeable, and the term “board block” refers to a subset of “toy block” and the two terms may be used interchangeably.

While there have been described and pointed out fundamental novel features of the invention as applied to a preferred embodiment thereof, it will be understood that various omissions and substitutions and changes, in the form and details of the apparatus and methods illustrated, may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention. For example, it is expressly intended that all combinations of those elements and/or method steps which perform substantially the same function in substantially the same way to achieve the same results are within the scope of the invention.

The invention is not limited by the embodiments described above which are presented as examples only but can be modified in various ways within the scope of protection defined by the appended patent claims.





 
Previous Patent: AUTOMATIC CARD SHUFFLER

Next Patent: Family vacation game