Title:
Game including poseable characters on multi-panel game board
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A game (10) includes a game board (16), a plurality of cards (14), a first figure (12A) and a second figure (12B). The game board (16) is formed from a plurality of separate panels (18) that are movable relative to one another. The first and second figures (12A, 12B) are movably positioned on the game board (16). The first figure (12A) includes two first figure components (220A, 220B) that move relative to one another to form a plurality of different poses. The first figure (12A) can initiate a confrontation with the second figure (12B) when the first figure (12A) is in one of the poses. In addition, the first figure (12A) can initiate the confrontation when the first figure (12A) has a predetermined position on the game board (16) relative to the second figure (12B). Alternatively, the pose that the first figure (12A) must be in to initiate the confrontation depends upon the relative positioning between the figures (12A, 12B) on the game board (16). In one embodiment, the outcome of the confrontation can be based at least partially on a panel parameter (454, 456A-C), a figure parameter (232, 234), a card parameter (344-348) and/or on a random parameter.



Inventors:
Hyra, Matt (Vista, CA, US)
Hummel, Michael (Carlsbad, CA, US)
Donais, Jeff (San Marcos, CA, US)
Gary, Justin (Carlsbad, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/192904
Publication Date:
11/23/2006
Filing Date:
07/29/2005
Assignee:
The Upper Deck Company, LLC
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F3/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20040160001Go board game with generalized topology and rulesAugust, 2004Hwang
20050017455Method for playing a toss gameJanuary, 2005Long et al.
20050225031Movie trivia board gameOctober, 2005Brown
20020171199Tennis gameNovember, 2002Archer
20040007818Rebound-action sports board gameJanuary, 2004Newman
20080111300CASINO CARD SHOES, SYSTEMS, AND METHODS FOR A NO PEEK FEATUREMay, 2008Czyzewski et al.
20080211183Computer Controlled PawnSeptember, 2008Cortenraad et al.
20090026700Card Shooter ApparatusJanuary, 2009Shigeta
20030062683Playing cards inscribed with jokesApril, 2003Abrams
20060027963Golf game assembly and a method of playing a golf game on a boardFebruary, 2006Christensen et al.
20060151947Jigsaw puzzle game systemJuly, 2006Fredrickson



Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Roeder & Broder LLP (San Diego, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A game comprising: a game board formed from a plurality of panels; and a first figure that is movably positioned on the game board, the first figure including two first figure components that move relative to one another so that the first figure forms a first pose and a second pose that is different than the first pose; and a second figure that is movably positioned on the game board; wherein the first figure is adapted to initiate a confrontation with the second figure when the first figure is in the first pose.

2. The game of claim 1 wherein the first figure is adapted to initiate the confrontation with the second figure when the first figure has a predetermined position on the game board relative to a position of the second figure on the game board.

3. The game of claim 2 wherein the predetermined position on the game board relative to the second figure that allows the first figure to initiate the confrontation with the second figure depends upon the pose of the first figure.

4. The game of claim 2 wherein the first figure is positioned on a first panel and the second figure is positioned on a second panel, and wherein the first figure is adapted to initiate the confrontation with the second figure when the first figure is in the first pose and the first panel and second panel are in a first position relative to one another.

5. The game of claim 4 wherein the first position includes the first panel and the second panel being side-by-side.

6. The game of claim 4 wherein the first figure is adapted to initiate the confrontation with the second figure when the first figure is in the second pose and the first panel and the second panel are in a second position relative to one another that is different than the first position.

7. The game of claim 6 wherein the second position includes the first panel being positioned immediately diagonally relative to the second panel.

8. The game of claim 6 wherein the first figure is adapted to initiate the confrontation with the second figure when the first figure is in a third pose that is different than the first and second poses, and wherein the first panel and the second panel are in a third position relative to one another that is different than the first position and the second position.

9. The game of claim 8 wherein the third position includes a third panel being at least partially positioned directly between the first panel and the second panel.

10. The game of claim 9 further comprising a projectile, wherein during the confrontation when the first figure is in the third pose, the projectile is projected from the first figure toward the second figure.

11. The game of claim 2 wherein the pose of the first figure that allows the first figure to initiate a confrontation with the second figure depends upon the relative position between the first figure and the second figure on the game board.

12. The game of claim 1 wherein the game board is formed from a plurality of separate panels that are movable relative to one another.

13. The game of claim 12 wherein each of the panels is used to form the game board prior to commencement of play of the game.

14. The game of claim 13 wherein each of the panels has front side and a back side, the front side including an indicia that impacts play of the game, the back side being devoid of indicia that impacts play of the game, and wherein one of the panels is initially placed in a face down position that shows the back side of the panel.

15. The game of claim 13 wherein each of the panels has front side and a back side, the front side including an indicia that impacts play of the game, the back side being devoid of indicia that impacts play of the game, and wherein one of the panels is initially placed in a face up position that shows the front side of the panel.

16. The game of claim 13 wherein each of the panels has front side and a back side, the front side including an indicia that impacts play of the game, the back side being devoid of indicia that impacts play of the game, and wherein each of the panels is initially placed in a face up position that shows the front side of each of the panels.

17. The game of claim 1 further comprising a projectile that moves aerially between the first figure and the second figure during the confrontation.

18. The game of claim 1 wherein the panels are positioned so that the first figure moves along the game board via any immediately adjacent, unoccupied panel.

19. The game of claim 1 wherein one of the panels includes indicia that influences the outcome of the confrontation between the first figure and the second figure.

20. The game of claim 1 wherein the first figure components include an arm and a leg of the first figure.

21. The game of claim 1 wherein the first figure is unable to initiate a confrontation with the second figure when the first figure is in the second pose.

22. A game comprising: a game board formed from a plurality of separate panels that are movable relative to one another; and a first figure that is movably positioned on the game board, the first figure including two first figure components that move relative to one another to form a first pose and a second pose that is different than the first pose; and a second figure that is movably positioned on the game board relative to the first figure; wherein the first figure is adapted to initiate a confrontation with the second figure when the first figure is in only one of the first pose and the second pose, the pose being based upon the relative position of the first figure and the second figure on the game board.

23. The game of claim 22 wherein the first figure is positioned on a first panel and the second figure is positioned on a second panel, and wherein the first figure is adapted to initiate the confrontation with the second figure when the first figure is in the first pose and the first panel and second panel are in a first position relative to one another.

24. The game of claim 23 wherein the first position includes the first panel and the second panel being side-by-side.

25. The game of claim 23 wherein the first figure is adapted to initiate the confrontation with the second figure when the first figure is in the second pose and the first panel and the second panel are in a second position relative to one another that is different than the first position.

26. The game of claim 25 wherein the second position includes the first panel being positioned immediately diagonally relative to the second panel.

27. The game of claim 25 wherein the first figure is adapted to initiate the confrontation with the second figure when the first figure is in a third pose that is different than the first and second poses, and wherein the first panel and the second panel are in a third position relative to one another that is different than the first position and the second position.

28. The game of claim 27 wherein the third position includes a third panel being at least partially positioned directly between the first panel and the second panel.

29. The game of claim 28 further comprising a projectile, wherein during the confrontation when the first figure is in the third pose, the projectile is projected from the first figure toward the second figure.

30. The game of claim 22 wherein each of the panels is used to form the game board prior to commencement of play of the game.

31. The game of claim 30 wherein each of the panels has front side and a back side, the front side including an indicia that impacts play of the game, the back side being devoid of indicia that impacts play of the game, and wherein one of the panels is initially placed in a face down position that shows the back side of the panel.

32. The game of claim 30 wherein each of the panels has front side and a back side, the front side including an indicia that impacts play of the game, the back side being devoid of indicia that impacts play of the game, and wherein one of the panels is initially placed in a face up position that shows the front side of the panel.

33. The game of claim 30 wherein each of the panels has front side and a back side, the front side including an indicia that impacts play of the game, the back side being devoid of indicia that impacts play of the game, and wherein each of the panels is initially placed in a face up position that shows the front side of each of the panels.

34. The game of claim 22 further comprising a projectile that moves aerially between the first figure and the second figure during the confrontation.

35. The game of claim 22 wherein the panels are positioned so that the first figure moves along the game board via any immediately adjacent, unoccupied panel.

36. The game of claim 22 wherein one of the panels includes indicia that influences the outcome of the confrontation between the first figure and the second figure.

37. The game of claim 22 wherein the first figure components include an arm and a leg of the first figure.

38. A game comprising: a game board formed from a plurality of panels including a first panel and a second panel; and a first figure that is movably positioned relative to the panels, the first figure being positioned on the first panel; and a second figure that is movably positioned on the panels relative to the first figure; wherein the first figure is adapted to initiate a confrontation with the second figure, the outcome of the confrontation being based at least partially on a panel parameter that appears on the first panel.

39. The game of claim 38 wherein the outcome of the confrontation is based at least partially on a figure parameter that appears on the first figure.

40. The game of claim 38 further comprising a plurality of cards, and wherein the outcome of the confrontation is based at least partially on a card parameter that appears on one of the cards.

41. The game of claim 38 wherein the outcome of the confrontation is based at least partially on a random parameter.

42. The game of claim 38 further comprising a plurality of cards, wherein the outcome of the confrontation is based at least partially on a figure parameter that appears on the first figure, a card parameter that appears on one of the cards, and on a random parameter.

43. The game of claim 38 wherein the first figure includes two first figure components that move relative to one another so that the first figure forms a first pose and a second pose that is different than the first pose, and wherein the first figure initiates a confrontation with the second figure only when the first figure is in the first pose.

44. The game of claim 43 wherein the first figure is adapted to initiate the confrontation with the second figure when the first figure has a predetermined position on the game board relative to a position of the second figure on the game board.

45. The game of claim 38 wherein the first figure includes two first figure components that move relative to one another to form a first pose and a second pose that is different than the first pose, and wherein the first figure is adapted to initiate the confrontation with the second figure when the first figure is in only one of the first pose and the second pose, the pose being based upon a relative position of the first figure and the second figure on the game board.

46. The game of claim 38 wherein the game board is formed from a plurality of separate panels that are movable relative to one another.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

This Application claims the benefit on U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/683,329 filed on May 20, 2005. The contents of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/683,329 are incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

Playing card games have been popular for many years. However, with the advent of computer games, the relative simplicity of classic playing card games appears to have taken a backseat. Many of today's computer games do not require an opponent, allowing individuals to play alone with no personal interaction, and no one-on-one or group competition. Further, many of the old style playing card games are one-dimensional because they are necessarily restricted by the inherent limitations of the standard 52-card playing card deck which can lack sophistication, creativity, diversity and complexity. As a consequence, an increasing number of individuals appear to be gravitating toward more anti-social, less interactive computer games.

SUMMARY

The present invention is directed toward a game that includes a game board, a first figure and a second figure. The game board is formed from a plurality of separate panels that are movable relative to one another. The first and second figures are movably positioned on the game board. The first figure includes two first figure components that move relative to one another so that the first figure forms a first pose and a second pose that is different from one another. In one embodiment, the first figure is adapted to initiate a confrontation with the second figure when the first figure is in the first pose. In addition, the first figure can initiate the confrontation when the first figure has a predetermined position on the game board relative to a position of the second figure on the game board. In one embodiment, the predetermined position on the game board depends upon the pose of the first figure.

In an alternative embodiment, the pose that the first figure must be in to initiate the confrontation depends upon the relative positioning between the first figure and the second figure on the game board. In another embodiment, the game includes a projectile. When the first figure is in a specific pose, the first figure can launch the projectile toward the second figure during a confrontation between the first figure and the second figure.

In yet another embodiment of the game, each of the panels is used to form the game board prior to commencement of play. Further, at least one of the panels includes indicia that influence the outcome of the confrontation between the first figure and the second figure. In this embodiment, the outcome of the confrontation between the first and second figures can be based at least partially on a panel parameter that appears on the first panel. In addition, the game can include a plurality of cards. In this embodiment, the outcome of the confrontation is based at least partially on a figure parameter that appears on the first figure, a card parameter that appears on one of the cards, and on a random parameter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The novel features of this invention, as well as the invention itself, both as to its structure and its operation, will be best understood from the accompanying drawings, taken in conjunction with the accompanying description, in which similar reference characters refer to similar parts, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a top view of one embodiment of a layout of a game having features of the present invention, including a plurality of cards, representations of two animated figures, and a game board including a plurality of panels;

FIG. 2A is a perspective view of a character supporter and one of the animated characters illustrated in a first pose;

FIG. 2B is a perspective view of the character supporter and the animated character illustrated in FIG. 2A in a second pose;

FIG. 2C is a perspective view of the animated character illustrated in FIG. 2A in a third pose;

FIG. 2D is a perspective view of the animated character illustrated in FIG. 2A in a fourth pose;

FIG. 3A is a more detailed view of a plurality of the cards illustrated in a first layout;

FIG. 3B is a more detailed view of a plurality of the cards illustrated in a second layout;

FIG. 4A is a perspective view of a back side of one of the panels;

FIG. 4B is a detailed perspective view of a front side of one of the panels;

FIG. 5A is a top view of the game board with two of the animated figures in a first position on the game board;

FIG. 5B is a top view of the game board with two of the animated figures in a second position on the game board;

FIG. 5C is a top view of the game board with two of the animated figures in a third position on the game board;

FIG. 5D is a top view of the game board with two of the animated figures in a fourth position on the game board; and

FIG. 5E is a top perspective view of the game including another embodiment of the game board.

DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 illustrates one embodiment of a layout of a game 10 having features of the present invention. Although the game 10 is described herein as a two-player game, this is for convenience of discussion only, and it is recognized that any number of players can play the game 10. The game can be played upon a playing surface 11 such as a table, a floor, a chair, a tray, etc. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, the game 10 includes (i) a plurality of three-dimensional figures including a first character 12A and a second character 12B, (ii) a plurality of cards 14, and (iii) a game board 16. As used herein, the terms figures and characters are interchangeable.

In one embodiment, a first player (not shown) can use the first character 12A, and a second player (not shown) can use the second character 12B. The characters 12A, 12B are movable over the surface of the game board 16. The type of characters 12A, 12B included in the game 10 can vary. For example, the characters 12A, 12B can be action figures or other suitable fictitious characters. Alternatively, the characters 12A, 12B can be representations of real people, or the characters 12A, 12B can be inanimate objects, as non-exclusive examples.

Each character 12A, 12B can have one or more cards 14 that are specifically associated with the particular character 12A, 12B. For example, in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, each character 12A, 12B can use three cards 14 during the course of the game that are specific to the respective character 12A, 12B. It is recognized that any number of cards 14 can be associated with a particular character 12A, 12B, of which any number of cards 14 can actually be used during the game. As a representative illustration of this concept, the first character 12A may have six cards 14 that are specifically associated with that character 12A, while only three of the six cards 14 are used during any one game involving that character 12A.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, the game board 16 includes a plurality of separate, movable panels 18 that are placed side-by-side on the playing surface 11 to form the game board 16 upon which the characters 12A, 12B are positioned. For example, depending upon the number of panels 18 used, the panels 18 can form a square or rectangular grid. Alternatively, the shape of the grid can have a different configuration. In one embodiment, each panel 18 represents one position that can be occupied by one of the characters 12A, 12B. Further, each panel 18 can be different, i.e. can have distinct characteristic markings, topography, instructions, graphics or other indicia, as explained in greater detail herein. The panels 18 can have a front side (sometimes indicated by an “F”) and a back side (sometimes indicated by a “B”). In one embodiment, the front side of the panels 18 can be different from one another, while the back side of the panels 18 can be substantially similar or identical to one another. Alternatively, the panels 18 can have other similarities or differences in appearance.

Further, the panels 18 can be identical in shape and size, as illustrated in FIG. 1. Alternatively, the panels 18 can have different dimensions, shapes, sizes or configurations. The panels 18 illustrated in FIG. 1 can have a thickness and rigidity that is greater than that of a typical trading card or playing card. Additionally, the panels 18 can be interlocking to temporarily keep the game board 16 together during the course of a game. Alternatively, the panels 18 can simply abut one another without any interlocking features. In still an alternative embodiment, the panels 18 can be permanently secured together in a non-movable fashion, such as in an integrally formed game board that is not formed from separate panels 18.

In one embodiment, the panels 18 are placed in position by one or more players prior to commencement of the game, and the panels 18 do not change positions during the game. Alternatively, the panels 18 can be placed into position during the game, and/or can be repositioned within the game board 16 during the game. For example, the panels 18 can initially be placed face down so that the back side is visible and the front side is hidden, or vice versa. During the course of the game, one or more of the panels 18 can be flipped over. Alternatively, the panels 18 can be rearranged during the course of a game, or from game to game.

Referring to FIG. 2A, an embodiment of the first character 212A will now be described, although it is recognized that any character 12A, 12B (illustrated in FIG. 1) can be the first character 212A. Moreover, the first character 212A is also sometimes referred to simply as the “character”.

In this embodiment, the character 212A is poseable relative to itself. As used herein, a poseable character 212A is defined as a character 212A that has one component that moves relative to another component of the character 212A. As used herein, the term component can be a body part or a closely associated structure of the first character 212A. For example, the component can include body armor or other apparel worn by the character 212A, a weapon or other artillery carried by the character 212A, or any other structure that is held by the character 212A, as non-exclusive examples.

More specifically, in one embodiment, one body part of the character 212A moves relative another body part of the character 212A. For example, if the character 212A is an action figure, an arm 220 of the action figure can move relative to a leg 222, abdomen 224 or other closely associated structure of the character 212A. The foregoing examples of movements of the character 212A are merely representative movements, and it is recognized that any one of a variety of movements of the character 212A would be characterized as allowing poseability of the character 212A.

In one embodiment, the character 212A can be raised off the surface of the game board 16 (illustrated in FIG. 1) by a supporter 226 that can directly or indirectly support or suspend the character 212A adjacent to and/or above the supporter 226 for effect, e.g., to show the character 212A in a flying “kick” pose, a flight pose, a flip pose or another suitable pose, as provided in greater detail below. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2A, the supporter 226 can include a stand 228 and an extender 230.

The stand 228 can directly sit on the game board 16. Further, the stand 228 can include one or more indicia that relate to the specific character 212A supported by the supporter 226. For example, in one embodiment, the indicia can include an attack value 232 (also sometimes referred to herein as “ATK”) and/or a defense value 234 (also sometimes referred to herein as “DEF”). These indicia can be permanently affixed to the stand 228, or the indicia can be removable and interchangeable. Alternatively, the indicia can be included on a dial or roller to allow ease in changeability of the indicia from game to game, or during a single game.

The indicia 232, 234 on the supporter 226 (or elsewhere on the character 212A) can impact the outcome of any portion or all of the game, such as a confrontation between two characters, and are sometimes referred to herein as “figure parameters”. The indicia 232, 234 can remain constant from game to game for the specific character 212A, e.g., the indicia 232, 234 can be inherent to the character 212A. Alternatively, the indicia 232, 234 can be changeable from game to game, or changeable during a particular game. Still alternatively, the indicia can include other types of data or information pertaining to the specific character 212A being supported by the supporter 226. In yet another embodiment, the indicia can be positioned on the extender 230 or in another suitable location.

In one embodiment, the figure parameters 232, 234 can be used, at least in part, to determine the outcome of a confrontation (also sometimes referred to as an “attack”) with another character. For example, the figure parameters 232, 234 can have some definitive or strategic impact on the outcome of part or all of the game. The figure parameters 232, 234 can be used during a confrontation with another character during the course of playing the game 10, as explained in greater detail below.

The extender 230 can extend away from the stand 228 to directly support or suspend the character 212A above the stand 228 and/or the game board 16. The character 212A can be permanently fixed to the extender 230, or the character 212A can be removably attached to the extender 230 so that characters can be interchangeable relative to the extender 230 and/or the supporter 226.

In one embodiment, the character 212A is considered poseable if it can be moved as a whole relative to the stand 228. For example, if the character 212A can be raised off of the stand 228 using the extender 230, i.e. during a jump, a flying kick, or some other similar movement, the character 212A can be considered to be poseable. In an alternative embodiment, the character 212A can be free-standing without the use of a supporter 226. Still alternatively, the character 212A can be positioned on the stand 228 without the use of an extender 230.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2A, the character 212A is illustrated in a first pose. In this embodiment, the first pose is a “punch” pose, wherein the character 212A is in a position that mimics a punching motion. At specified times during the game, the players can change the pose of their respective character for strategic reasons, as described below.

FIG. 2B illustrates the character 212A in a second pose. In this embodiment, the second pose is a “kick” pose, wherein the character 212A is in a position that mimics a flying kick.

FIG. 2C illustrates the character 212A in a third pose. In this embodiment, the third pose is a “shooting” pose, wherein the character 212A is in a position that mimics one firing artillery or another type of weapon. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2C, the character 212A includes a projecting device 236 and a projectile 238 that can be projected from the projecting device. Because the shooting pose can result in the character 212A having greater range than the punch or kick poses upon projecting the projectile, this pose can also be referred to herein as a “ranged” pose.

The projecting device 236 can include any suitable means for projecting the projectile 238 a relatively short distance through the air. For example, the projecting device 236 can be spring-loaded, or can use another similar means to propel the projectile 238. The projectile 238 can be in any shape or size. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2C, the projectile 238 can be in the shape of a fist. However, it is recognized that the projectile 238 can be any suitable configuration. Further, the projectile 238 can be formed from materials such as plastic, metal, ceramic, rubber and/or any other suitable material.

FIG. 2D illustrates the character 212A in a fourth pose. In this embodiment, the fourth pose is a “power” pose, wherein the character 212A is in a position other than any of the first pose, the second pose or the third pose. The players can invent their own power poses that may change, or that may be specific to their particular character 212A.

As described in greater detail below, each pose can have a specific strategic purpose or can provide the character with a specific ability. Stated another way, in one embodiment, the pose of the first character 212A can allow the first character 212A to confront an opposing character, or it can preclude the first character 212A from confronting an opposing character. Other strategic ramifications can also result from the pose of the character.

Although the various poses described herein are indicated as the first pose, the second pose, etc., it is recognized that any distinct pose can be termed the first pose or the second pose, etc., and that these terms are for ease of discussion only. Further, the players are free to invent new poses that can have the same or different effects as those poses described herein.

The cards 14 can also allow the player to impose strategic consequences during the game. The types of cards 14 can vary, and can be specific to the character 12A, 12B (illustrated in FIG. 1) with which the cards 14 are used. Because of the specifics of the cards 14, in one embodiment, one set of cards 14 for one character 12A may not be used with any other character. Alternatively, the cards can be interchangeable from character to character.

FIG. 3A illustrates a first layout of a plurality of cards 314 that can be used during the game for one of the characters, such as the first character 12A. The specific layout of the cards 314 can change during the course of the game. In one embodiment, the cards 314 can be positioned face-up, as illustrated in FIG. 3A. One embodiment of the card 314 will now be described, although it is recognized that each card 314 can vary from the next to different degrees. In one embodiment, every card 314 used during the game has its own distinct characteristics and effect on the game. It is understood that in order for the cards 314 to effectuate this purpose, some cards 314 may include certain characteristics, while other cards 314 may exclude such characteristics. The description of one representative card 314 is not intended to limit the scope of the characteristics or their effect on the game 10 in any manner.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3A, each of the cards 314 can include one or more indicia or other characteristics, such as a character identifier 340, card graphics 342, a card quote 344, a card directive 346, and a card identifier 348, one or more of which can impact the outcome of a portion of the game, such as a confrontation, between the characters in the game. Any indicia that can impact the outcome of a portion of the game is also referred to herein as a “card parameter”. The character identifier 340 identifies the character 12A (illustrated in FIG. 1) to which the cards are associated. The character identifier allows the players to maintain organization and order between their respective cards 314 and their characters 12A.

The card graphics 342 can include any suitable artwork or other graphics, such as animated representations of the character 12A in different poses, or performing different tasks, as non-exclusive examples. The card graphics 342 may or may not have an impact on the outcome of any portion of the game, depending upon the design of the card graphics 342 and the desires of the players.

The card quote 344 can be a saying or common verbiage of the character which may or may not have any bearing on the outcome of any portion of the game. In one embodiment, the card quote 344 is provided so that the player using the card 314 can state the card quote 344 to the opposing player for entertainment purposes only.

The card directive 346 can provide a rule, or some other instruction or directive to one or more of the players that can have an impact on the outcome of a portion of the game. Alternatively or in addition, the card directive 346 can increase or otherwise affect the strength value(s) of the character 12A which may be utilized during a confrontation with the character 12B of the opposing player, allow certain poses of the character 12A, and/or allow certain movement of the character 12A on the game board 16 (illustrated in FIG. 1). For instance, the card directive 346 can provide, “Move character to any unoccupied panel, and character receives +1 ATK this round”, or “Character receives +4 DEF this round”, as non-exclusive examples. In this embodiment, the card directive 346 can have an influence on the outcome of a confrontation between the first character 12A and the second character 12A, or on any other portion of the game.

The card identifier 348 identifies the specific card 314 and can include an alpha-numeric identifier to keep track of the various different types of cards 314 that are available to the players.

The first layout illustrated in FIG. 3A shows each of the three cards 314 in an upright, face-up orientation. In one embodiment, a face-up card 314 indicates that the card 314 has not yet been used by the player. The players can commence the game with each of their three cards 314 in the face-up, upright orientation as illustrated in FIG. 3A.

During the course of the game, the cards 314 can be turned sideways, or flipped over so that the back side is showing. In one embodiment, when a first player's character loses a confrontation with the character of a second player, the first player receives a “hit”. Upon receiving a hit, in this embodiment, the player turns one of his cards 314S sideways, as illustrated in FIG. 3B. Although the card is sideways, the player can still use the card 314S at an appropriate time. Once the card 314 has been used, the card 314SB is flipped over so that the back side is visible. In this embodiment, card 314SB symbolizes a card that has been used and one hit against the character. It is recognized that other equally suitable means of representing a “hit” or a used card can be utilized during the game, and that the foregoing example should not be construed to be limiting in any manner.

FIG. 4A is an embodiment of a back side of one of the panels 418. In one embodiment, the back side of the panel 418 can be basically blank, or can have a graphic design, for example. Alternatively, the back side of the panel 418 can be somewhat similar, e.g., can have one or more of the same features, as the front side of the panel (illustrated in FIG. 4B).

The size and shape of the panels 418 can vary depending upon the design of the game 10. In one embodiment, each panel 418 is rectangular. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4A, the panel 418 is substantially square. Further, the panel 418 can have a thickness that is greater than the thickness of one of the cards 314 (illustrated in FIG. 3A), although having such a thickness is not a requirement of the panel 418. However, a thicker panel 418 allows the game board 16 (illustrated in FIG. 1) to remain relatively flat, even under the weight of the characters 12A, 12B. Moreover, the panels 418 can be formed from various relatively rigid materials, such as various types of cardboard, plastics, closed or open cell foam materials, metals, ceramics, woods, or any other suitable materials.

FIG. 4B is a front side of an embodiment of one of the panels 418. The specific features included on the front side of the panel 418 can vary. In one embodiment, the front side of the panel 418 can include one or more indicia or features that can influence the progression, outcome or strategy of the game. Any indicia included on the panel that can influence the outcome of a portion of the game, e.g., a confrontation between two of the characters, is also referred to herein as a panel parameter. Further, the front side of the panel 418 can have one or more indicia or features that do not influence the progression, outcome or strategy of the game.

For example, in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4B, the front side of the panel 418 includes a panel name 450, panel graphics 452, a panel directive 454, and one or more panel icons 456A, 456B, 456C. The panel name 450 can provide a name that describes the type of panel 418 or an effect the panel may have. For instance, the panel name 450 can indicate that the panel 418 is a plot twist or a location. Additionally or alternatively, the panel name 450 can provide the players with a way to characterize or refer to the specific panel, i.e., Leg Sweep, Mindless Attack, Rejuvenation, etc. The panel graphics 452 can be any artistic expression that helps to distinguish one panel from the next.

The panel directive 454 can provide instructions or strategic options to one or more of the players. For example, the panel directive 454 can increase the character's ATK or DEF for one or more confrontations with another character, provide an option to move the character to another panel 418, or offer or mandate any other suitable instruction or option.

One or more of the panel icons 456A, 456B, 456C may or may not appear on the panel 418. These panel icons can be more generally referred to as a first panel icon 456A, a second panel icon 456B and a third panel icon 456C. In one embodiment, the panel icons 456A, 456B, 456C can be termed a punch icon 456A, a kick icon 456B or a power icon 456C, although it is recognized that the actual names of the panel icons 456A, 456B, 456C can vary depending upon the design requirements of the game 10. As described in greater detail below, the panel icons 456A, 456B, 456C can each have an impact on the outcome of a portion of the game.

Playing the Game

Although it is recognized that the rules of the game can vary widely depending upon the desires of the players, the rules of one embodiment of the game will now be described. In one embodiment, the object of the game is to score a predetermined number of points or “hits” on the opponent. In this section of the disclosure, frequent reference will be made to the components of the game illustrated in FIG. 1.

The rules of the game can be varied. In one embodiment, the rules can vary depending upon the experience level of the players, and can include a plurality of different game levels. More specifically, a set of Level One rules can be intended for use during a player's first few battles, until that player is ready to move on to a set of Level Two rules. In the Level One rules, the text and other indicia on the 12 panels can be ignored, or the panels can simply be turned face down.

The rules and set up for a Level One game will now be described relative to one of the players (sometimes referred to herein as “the first player”, or simply “the player”). The set up can include laying out a predetermined number of panels, e.g., 12, face down in a 3×4 grid. The players can take turns placing the panels on the playing surface, the panels can be layed out at random, or the panels can be positioned by any other method suitable to the players. Further, each player chooses the character that such player wants to use. Once the playing order is determined by any suitable method, e.g., rolling the dice, the first player “gets the jump” on the opposing player (hereinafter referred to as the “second player” or the “opposing player”), and can move first during each round. The second player moves second during each round.

The first player gets to choose where the first player's character can start a battle. The first player can choose between the two corner panels on a side of the board nearest the first player. The second player can then place the second player's character on the opposite corner, for example. Each player can then place three power cards that are specific to their respective character face up, in front of the corresponding player. In one embodiment, each character can start the battle in the power pose, although the specific pose used at startup can vary.

Although the rules of movement of the characters can be varied, in one embodiment, each character may move zero, one or two panels and then make one confrontation each round. In one embodiment, a move is made by moving the character either forward, backward, left, or right onto an unoccupied panel. In this embodiment, the player may not move the character over an opposing character, diagonally, or off the board. Alternatively, other rules of movement can be used, such as allowing diagonal moves, jumping over opposing characters, etc. Once a character has been moved, and has landed on an unoccupied panel, the player can select the pose for that character.

Each pose can allow the character to confront an opposing character on another panel that is a predetermined number of panels away, or in a predetermined direction away from the posed character. Stated another way, the pose selected by the player can dictate whether the character can confront the opposing character positioned on another panel on the game board, as provided below. Conversely, in another embodiment, the panel on which an opposing character is positioned can dictate the specific pose required by the character of the first player to permit such character to confront the opposing character.

FIGS. 5A-5D illustrate various scenarios of one embodiment of the positions and the poses required in order for a first character 512A to confront a second character 512B on the game board 516. The following poses and their effects are merely one example of how the poses can be associated with the confrontation range of the first character 512A against the second character 512B. In FIG. 5A, the punch pose can allow the first character 512A positioned on a first panel 518A to confront the second character 512B positioned on an immediately adjacent panel 518AA (four panels shown with a solid line square), however not on an immediately diagonal panel 518AD (four panels shown with a dashed line square) nor on a ranged panel 518AR (three panels shown with a dot-dash square). In this embodiment, two panels are immediately adjacent to one another when they are positioned side-by-side. Further, two panels are positioned immediately diagonally to one another when a corner of one panel is approximately in contact with a corner of another panel, as illustrated in FIG. 5A.

The kick pose can allow the first character 512A to confront the second character 512B on an immediately diagonal panel 518AD, but not on an immediately adjacent panel 518AA nor on a ranged panel 518AR. The ranged pose can allow the first character 512A to confront the second character 512B from a distance, e.g., with at least one panel immediately between the first panel 518A and one of the ranged panels 518AR, but not on an immediately adjacent panel 518AA nor on an immediately diagonal panel 518AD. Thus, in FIG. 5A, in order for the first character 512A to confront the second character 512B, in one embodiment, the first character 512A must be in the first pose (or punch pose, in one embodiment) since the first character 512A and the second character 512B are on immediately adjacent panels.

FIG. 5B is another illustration of how the types of panels 518 change for purposes of confrontation between the characters 512A, 512B depending upon the position of the first character 512A shown on the first panel 518B. In this embodiment, the number of each type of panel has changed from those illustrated in FIG. 5A, based on the position of the first character 512A on the game board 516. For example, only two panels 518BA are immediately adjacent to the first panel 518B. Further, only one panel 518BD is immediately diagonal to the first panel 518B, and eight panels 518BR are in a ranged position relative to the first panel 518B. In this embodiment, in order for the first character 512A to confront the second character 512B, the first character 512A must be in the second pose (or kick pose, in one embodiment) since the first character 512A and the second character 512B are on immediately diagonal panels.

FIG. 5C is another illustration of how the types of panels 518 change for purposes of confrontation between the characters 512A, 512B depending upon the position of the first character 512A shown on the first panel 518C. In this embodiment, three panels 518CA are immediately adjacent to the first panel 518C. Further, two panels 518CD are immediately diagonal to the first panel 518C, and six panels 518CR are in a ranged position relative to the first panel 518C. In this embodiment, in order for the first character 512A to confront the second character 512B, the first character 512A must be in the third pose (or ranged pose, in one embodiment) since at least one panel separates the first panel 518C and the panel on which the second character 512B is positioned.

FIG. 5D is a further illustration of how the types of panels 518 can change for purposes of confrontation between the characters 512A, 512B depending upon the position of the first character 512A shown on the first panel 518D. In this embodiment, three panels 518DA are immediately adjacent to the first panel 518D. Further, two panels 518DD are immediately diagonal to the first panel 518D, and six panels 518DR are in a ranged position relative to the first panel 518D. In this embodiment, in order for the first character 512A to confront the second character 512B, the first character 512A must be in the third pose (or ranged pose, in one embodiment) since at least one panel is positioned immediately between the first panel 518D and the panel on which the second character 512B is positioned.

In one embodiment, the power pose can allow the first character to use one of that character's cards. In this embodiment, the power card may not be utilized when the first character is in any other pose. The power pose can also allow the first character to confront the second character on an immediately adjacent or immediately diagonal panel, for example. In accordance with one embodiment of the rules, the power pose can be any pose that is different than one of the other poses previously specified, or can be based on one of the cards for that character.

After the appropriate pose has been implemented for the first character, the first character can confront the second character. The first character becomes an attacker, and the second character becomes a defender. In one embodiment, the players each perform a random act, such as rolling two dice, and add their respective total to the appropriate ATK value or DEF value, depending upon whether the character is an attacker or a defender. The roll of the dice during a confrontation is also referred to herein as a “random parameter”. Alternatively, the random parameter can include other types of random acts such one or more coin flips, choosing numbered cards, or any other suitable random act. If the attacker's total result from the random parameter is higher than the defender's total result, the defender takes one “hit”.

The first character can use that character's projecting device to launch a projectile toward the second character during a ranged confrontation instead of a normal confrontation, provided the characters have the requisite relative position, as provided above. If the projectile contacts the second character, the second character takes one hit. Each character can get a predetermined number of ranged confrontations per battle, i.e., one, two, three ranged confrontation(s) per battle, unless otherwise specified on one of the player's cards.

In one embodiment of the game, hits are tracked by rotating the cards sideways, as shown in FIG. 3B. Thus, whenever all of one character's cards are rotated sideways, that character is knocked out (KO'd) immediately, and removed from the game board, even if that character may not have yet had a chance to move. Once one of the players has no more characters on the game board, the remaining player is the winner. In embodiments of the game that include greater than two players, the last remaining player is the winner.

A round is made up of all players taking one turn. After each character has had a chance to move and confront at least one other character, the round ends. If both players still have at least one character on the game board, the battle continues to the next round.

In one embodiment, each character is different, and can have different or special abilities that make the character unique, so that one character is unable to use another character's cards. To use a card, the character is placed into the power pose, and the opponent is told which one of that character's cards is going to be used. The instructions on the card are then followed. In one embodiment of the rules, as long as the card does not say “Instead of attacking,” that character can make a power pose confrontation as well, unless the card indicates to make a different kind of confrontation. Some cards may say, for example, “Make a ranged attack.” The character's weapon must be loaded in order to use it. This ranged confrontation replaces the normal power pose confrontation that would be used. However, the character remains in the power pose.

Once the card has been used, the card is flipped face down to show that it has been used. Some cards give the character a bonus that lasts during the current round. If the card that does this is used, the bonus can last for the remainder of the current round, and the card would not be flipped face down yet. Instead, a token or other marker can be placed on the card to remind both the players that the bonus lasts for the whole round, so the card will be flipped face down at the end of the round.

In a Level Two version of the rules, the rules are basically similar to Level One rules, with the following exceptions. In one embodiment of the Level Two rules game, the panels are placed on the playing surface face up, adding a whole new level of strategy and tactics to the game. In this embodiment, the game board (and players' strategy) can change with every new game played.

In this embodiment, the panels can be special plot twists or locations, just like those that may be found in the pages of a comic book, or in other trading card games, for example. The action will take place on these panels, and special things happen when the characters are moved onto the different panels. In one embodiment of the Level Two rules, when one character lands on a panel, the player then decides whether to use the panel's special ability or use one of that character's cards. For example, if the player chooses the punch, kick, or ranged pose, the player's character gets to use the special ability of the panel that was just landed on. Alternatively, if the player chooses the character's power pose, the player may choose which one of that character's cards to use.

However, to use a panel's special ability, the panel directive on that panel is followed. For instance, some panels can heal a hit. Some panels can give a bonus to one of the character's ATK value. It is recognized that the panel can include any instructions that may alter the course of the game, one aspect of the game, or the strategy of one or more of the players. As long as the panel does not use the phrase “Instead of attacking,” the player's character can confront an opposing character after doing what the panel directive indicates to do.

In one embodiment, the bonus does not occur until after a confrontation is made. Thus, the text on the panel should be read both before the character attacks, as well as after the character attacks, which may cause a change in result of the confrontation or may cause a special effect based on the results of the confrontation. For example, one of the panel directives can read, “If this character's punch pose attack hits the defender, move the defender up to two panels in any direction (even diagonally).” If the attacker hit the defender, the defender then moves two panels in any direction. If the player's character did not hit the defender, nothing would happen and that player's turn is over. Further, in this embodiment, if the character was placed in a pose other than the punch pose, the panel's special ability would not apply.

Some panels can provide a bonus for the entire round. In one embodiment, these can be a bonus to a character's DEF value. If a character is receiving a bonus from a panel, the character loses that bonus if the character is moved off of that panel. In the same way, if a special ability moves a character from one panel to another panel when it is not that character's turn to move, that character does not get to use the special ability of the panel that the character ends up on.

In another embodiment, additional factors to consider when moving and choosing the pose for a character are the panel icons (illustrated in FIG. 4B). If a pose is chosen that corresponds to one of the panel icons, the character receives a +1 ATK value bonus this round. Even if the power pose does not allow a character to use a panel's special ability, the character can still take advantage of the power pose panel icon (if there is one). For example, in one scenario, a first player moves his character to a panel immediately diagonal to an opposing character, and the panel includes a power panel icon and a punch panel icon. If the first player chooses to put his character into one of those two poses, his character gets +1 ATK value this round. However, the punch pose does not allow the character to confront the opposing character diagonally, so the first player decides to put his character into the power pose, which will allow a diagonal confrontation. In one embodiment, the character may not use the special abilities or panel icons of the panel where that player's turn began.

In a Level Three version of the rules of the game, each player can choose three cards (from a set of greater than three cards) to use during this battle. After choosing the character's three cards, the cards can be placed face down in front of the player. The cards are each turned face up when they are used. While using the Level Three Rules, if any panel or card indicates to flip one of the cards face up, the card should be flipped face down instead, and vice-versa.

In a Level Four version of the rules of the game, the more characters that are used during play, the more panels are likewise used, thereby providing a larger, more complex game board. For example, if each player uses two characters, the game board can include 16 panels (4×4). If each player uses three characters, the game board can include 25 panels (5×5). If each player uses four characters, the game board can include 36 panels (6×6). These are merely suggestive of different size game boards, and it is recognized that the game board may contain any number of panels in any suitable configuration.

When each player controls more than one character, each player can decide the order in which that player wants to move his or her characters. In one embodiment, each of a player's characters gets one chance to move and confront another player's character(s) during each round. Alternatively, only one character from each player may be moved during each round. In the Level Four version of the game, one character may move over other characters controlled by the same player. However, only one character may occupy a given panel position at a time. The player who acts first each round moves one character, and then the opponent moves one character. Play goes back and forth like this until each player has acted with each of that player's characters once. If there are multiple players in the battle, the play can proceed clockwise around the table from the player who acts first.

FIG. 5E illustrates the game board for one embodiment of a Level Five version of the rules of the game. In this embodiment, each player chooses one character and three cards. The game board is set up using 24 panels 518E placed in a 5×5 grid with no center panel. The center region 552 (with no panel) can have a special name as determined by the players, such as “the top of the hill”, for instance. In this embodiment, a character in the center region 552 is the King of the Hill. For example, this character can receive a +2 ATK value and +2 DEF value bonus and unlimited, immediate reloads of a ranged confrontation while the character remains at the top of the hill. However, in one embodiment, this character still only gets one confrontation per turn. Whenever the King of the Hill is hit, this character must move off the top of the hill.

For example, if a first character is the King and a second character hits the first character, the second character gets to move the first character to any panel 518E on the board. The second player also gets to move the second character into the center region 552 as a free bonus move and the second character becomes the new King of the Hill. In one embodiment, when only one character remains on the board, that character is the winner, although other equally suitable winning objectives can be predetermined by the players.

While the particular game 10 as herein shown and disclosed in detail is fully capable of obtaining the objects and providing the advantages herein before stated, it is to be understood that it is merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiments of the invention and that no limitations are intended to the details of construction or design herein shown other than as described in the appended claims.