Title:
BOARD GAME USING HOMOGRAPHS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a word game in which a game surface, a plurality of game pieces, and a plurality of word cards are provided for use in games involving homographs. In the preferred embodiment, the game surface comprises a plurality of ladders having starts, finishes and various spaces. The word cards have homographs printed on one side and pronunciations and usages on the other, with a particular pronunciation and word usage selected as being correct for purposes of an individual word card. Game pieces advance one space along a ladder if a team is able to announce a sentence that uses the correct pronunciation and usage of the selected homograph; game pieces retreat one space for an incorrect answer. Play may be passed between teams. Bonus spaces permit game pieces to advance two spaces if the word card is answered correctly.



Inventors:
Kilbane, Patrick (Indianapolis, IN, US)
Application Number:
11/534826
Publication Date:
03/29/2007
Filing Date:
09/25/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATRICK J KILBANE (INDIANAPOLIS, IN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of playing a word game between a first player and a second player, the method comprising the steps of: a) providing a kit comprising: a game playing surface having a plurality of ladders, wherein an individual ladder is comprised of spaces and has a start and a finish; a plurality of game pieces; and a plurality of word cards, wherein the word cards are comprised of homographs and pronunciations and usages, wherein each word card has a single homograph and a correct pronunciation and usage consistent with one use of the single homograph; b) positioning a first player game piece at a first space on a first ladder; c) positioning a second player game piece at a second space on a second ladder; d) drawing a first word card having a first homograph; e) announcing a sentence that contains the first homograph, the sentence having a context consistent with one use of the first homograph; f) determining when the context of the sentence matches the correct pronunciation and usage of the first homograph.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein providing a kit further comprises a die useful for determining which of a first player and a second player goes first in a game.

3. The method of claim 1 further comprising making a movement selected from the group consisting of: (1) moving the first player game piece to a third space on the first ladder; and (2) moving the second player game piece to a fourth space on the second ladder.

4. The method of claim 3 wherein making a movement is selected from the group consisting of: (1) moving the first player game piece forward one space when the context of the sentence matches the correct pronunciations and usages of the first homograph and play is with the first player; (2) moving the second player game piece forward one space when the context of the sentence matches the correct pronunciations and usages of the first homograph and play is with the second player; (3) moving the first player game piece backward one space when the context of the sentence does not match the correct pronunciations and usages of the first homograph and play is with the first player; (4) moving the second player game piece backward one space when the context of the sentence does not match the correct pronunciations and usages of the first homograph and play is with the second player.

5. The method of claim 3 further comprising passing the first word card to the second player when play is with the first player.

6. The method of claim 5 further comprising: second player performing steps (e), and (f).

7. The method of claim 6 wherein making a movement is selected from the group consisting of: (1) moving the second player game piece forward two spaces, moving the first player game piece backward one space, and turning play over to the second player when the context of the sentence matches the correct pronunciations and usages of the first homograph; and (2) moving the second player game piece backward one space and resuming play with the first player when the context of the sentence does not match the correct pronunciations and usages of the first homograph.

8. The method of claim 3 wherein providing a kit further comprises a bonus space.

9. The method of claim 8 wherein making a movement is selected from the group consisting of: (1) moving the first player game piece forward two spaces when the context of the sentence matches the correct pronunciations and usages of the first homograph, when the first player game piece is on the bonus space, and when play is with the first player; (2) moving the second player game piece forward two spaces when the context of the sentence matches the correct pronunciations and usages of the first homograph, when the second player game piece is on the bonus space, and when play is with the second player; (3) moving the first player game piece backward one space when the context of the sentence does not match the correct pronunciations and usages of the first homograph and play is with the first player; and (4) moving the second player game piece backward one space when the context of the sentence does not match the correct pronunciations and usages of the first homograph and play is with the second player.

10. The method of claim 1 wherein the single homograph is on a first side of the each word card and the correct pronunciation is on a second side of the each word card.

11. The method of claim 1 wherein the single homograph is on a first side of the word card and the correct usage is on a second side of the each word card.

12. A word game comprising: a game playing surface having a plurality of ladders, wherein an individual ladder is comprised of spaces and has a start and a finish; a plurality of game pieces; and a plurality of word cards, wherein the word cards are comprised of homographs and pronunciations and usages, wherein each word card has only one homograph and a correct pronunciation and usage consistent with the only one homograph.

13. The method of claim 12 wherein the only one homograph is on a first side of the each word card and the correct pronunciation is on a second side of the each word card.

14. The method of claim 12 wherein the only one homograph is on a first side of the each word card and the correct usage is on a second side of the each word card.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/719,914, filed Sep. 23, 2005 and entitled Board Game Using Homographs, the text and drawings of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entireties.

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to games and, more particularly, to board games.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Many board games are known in the prior art and individual games require various skill sets in order to play them effectively. There remains room in the art for additional games that require skills not required in other games in order to be successful at the game. The present invention is directed toward a novel board game that encourages users to utilize skills in recognizing the different meanings and pronunciations of homographs.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a first embodiment game playing surface with word cards placed thereon.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the front and back sides of seven word cards from the first embodiment game.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

For the purposes of promoting an understanding of the principles of the invention, reference will now be made to the embodiment illustrated in the drawings and specific language will be used to describe the same. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the invention is thereby intended, and alterations and modifications in the illustrated device, and further applications of the principles of the invention as illustrated therein are herein contemplated as would normally occur to one skilled in the art to which the invention relates.

Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a first embodiment game playing surface of the present invention, indicated generally at 10. The game playing surface 10 includes a plurality of ladders 12 that are each divided into a plurality of spaces 14. A player will start play on one of the spaces 14 and will progress to other spaces 14 during the game, as described in greater detail hereinbelow. A plurality of game pieces 16 are provided for marking which space 14 is currently occupied by a player. The game pieces 16 are preferably color coded for ease in distinguishing the positions of various players. The first embodiment game 10 includes six differently colored game pieces 16, although those skilled in the art will recognize that the game 10 could be played with fewer or more game pieces. Additionally, the game pieces 16 can represent the positions of teams of players, wherein each team comprises multiple players who are competing together collectively. A die 18 is provided in order to determine which player starts game play, as described in greater detail hereinbelow. Shown positioned on the game board 10 is a box 20 of word cards 22. Each card 22 contains a word that is a homograph, as described in greater detail hereinbelow.

Play of the first embodiment game is as follows. The object of the game 10 is to correctly guess the meaning and pronunciation of the homographs on the cards 22. A homograph is a word that has the same spelling as another word, but the two words have different meanings and often have different pronunciations. In the game 10, one of the words in the homograph pair constitutes the correct answer, while the other word in the homograph pair constitutes and incorrect answer. Each card 22 has a homograph on the front side, while the back side gives the correct pronunciation of the winning word from the pair, and also gives a sentence showing the correct usage of the winning word from the pair. With each correct answer, the player may advance his game piece 16 one space 14 up the ladder 12. Each player (or team of players) selects a game piece 16 and places it on the first space 14 of one of the ladders 12 (i.e. the space 14 farthest from the central area 24). Each ladder 12 includes 10 spaces, all leading to the central area 24, or winner's circle.

Each player takes a turn throwing the die 18. The player who throws the highest number on the die 18 starts first, with play continuing with other players in a clockwise manner once the first player completes his turn. Ties of the die 18 throwing will be broken by having the tying players throw the die 18 again until the tie is broken. The first player so selected draws a word card 22 from the box 20 to begin play.

Word cards 22 are double-sided, having a homograph word on the front side and the identity of the correct word from the homograph pair on the back side. The identity of the correct word is given by a pronunciation guide and by a sample sentence using the correct word in context. Seven examples of the word cards 22 are illustrated in FIG. 2, showing both the front and back of the card. The identity of the correct answer may be given in other ways in other embodiments.

After drawing a word card 22, the player briefly studies the word and then places the card 22 word side up on the board 10 so that the other players may see the word. After no more than a maximum reasonable time period (to be determined by agreement among the other players), the player must create and announce a sentence using the word on the card 22 with the meaning he or she believes is the correct answer. To check the answer, one of the other players turns over the word card 22 and reads the answer aloud to determine if the player guessed correctly.

If the player identifies the homograph on the word card 22 correctly, then the player's game piece 16 is advanced one step on the ladder 12 toward the winner's circle 24. If the player identifies the homograph incorrectly, then the player's game piece 16 is moved one step backwards on the ladder 12. At no point can the player's game piece 16 move below the first space 14 on the ladder 12. The player continues to draw word cards 22 and advance up the ladder 12 as long as he or she identifies the words correctly. Once a player incorrectly guesses the word on the word card 22, the player's turn ends and play rotates clockwise to the next player.

Before answering a game card 22, the player can choose to say “Pass” and then give the card 22 to any other player (or team of players). The receiving player must then guess the correct homograph word. If the receiving player guesses correctly, then that player's game piece is advanced two spaces 14 up the ladder 12 toward the winner's circle. If, on the other hand, the receiving player guesses incorrectly, then that player's game piece 16 is moved one space 14 backward on the ladder 12. The player who chooses to pass the card 22 moves his or her game piece 16 backward one space 14 on the ladder 12 if the receiving player correctly guesses the homograph word. There is no penalty for the original player if the receiving player answers incorrectly.

Every ladder contains one bonus space 26 in the first embodiment. When a player lands on a bonus space 26 and guesses the homograph word correctly, he or she advances two spaces 14 on the ladder 12. If the player guesses the homograph word incorrectly, the player moves his or her game piece 16 one space 14 backward on the ladder 12 (i.e. away from the winner's circle 24). Play then moves to the next player in the rotation. A player wins by correctly guessing the homograph word on the top space 14 on his or her ladder 12 and advancing to the winner's circle 24.

While the invention has been illustrated and described in detail in the drawings and foregoing description, the same is to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive in character, it being understood that only the preferred embodiment has been shown and described and that all changes and modifications that come within the spirit of the invention are desired to be protected.