Title:
Configurable board game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A configurable board game where playing pieces are played on a game board's playing surface and a circumstantial change is played on peripheral ledges. A position of one or more playing pieces on the peripheral ledges determines game play within the game board. Game boards can be attached together in a variety of ways to form updated playing surfaces of different shapes and sizes, thereby allowing for a variance in the play of the game. The playing pieces on the playing surface can move across multiple game boards. Thus, the rules of the game board in which the game piece moves dictates how the game piece thereon is played. Alternatively, each game piece retains its original functionality regardless of which game board it is currently positioned.



Inventors:
O'neill, John Edward (Palo Alto, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/827749
Publication Date:
01/17/2008
Filing Date:
07/13/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/280, 273/285, 273/287, 273/260
International Classes:
A63F3/00; A63F3/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAVERSTOCK & OWENS LLP (SUNNYVALE, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A configurable board game comprising: a plurality of playing pieces; a first board having a plurality of edges defining the perimeter of a first playing surface, the first playing surface comprising a plurality of distinguishable playing positions disposed within the perimeter, each playing position being configured to provide a boundary within which a playing piece can be disposed; a plurality of ledges, wherein each ledge comprises a plurality of distinguishable circumstantial positions, and each circumstantial position is configured to provide a boundary within which a playing piece can be disposed; a plurality of connectors, wherein each connector is configured to removably hold one of the plurality of ledges to one of the edges of the first board, thereby providing a plurality of distinguishable circumstantial positions on the periphery of the first board; and an additional board having a plurality of edges defining the perimeter of an additional playing surface, the additional playing surface comprising an additional plurality of distinguishable playing positions disposed within the perimeter of the additional playing surface, each playing position on the additional playing surface being configured to provide a boundary within which a playing piece can be disposed, wherein one of the plurality of connectors can be used to removably connect one edge of the first board directly to one edge of the additional board, thereby connecting the first playing surface to the additional playing surface to form a continuous playing surface, and wherein one of the plurality of connectors can be used to removably hold one of the plurality of ledges to one of the edges of the additional board at a position adjacent a ledge of the first board when the first board is connected to the additional board, thereby connecting the ledge of the additional board to the ledge of the first board to form a continuous peripheral ledge of distinguishable circumstantial positions for both the first board and the additional board.

2. The configurable board game of claim 1, wherein: any number of additional boards can be removably connected to the connected first and additional boards using a corresponding number of connectors from the plurality of connectors, adding another playing surface to the existing continuous playing surface to form a new continuous playing surface; and wherein one of the plurality of connectors can be used to removably hold one of the plurality of ledges to an exposed edge of the any number of additional boards at a position adjacent the existing continuous peripheral ledge when the any number of additional boards is connected to the connected first and additional boards, thereby connecting the ledge of the any number of additional boards to the existing continuous peripheral ledge to form a new continuous peripheral ledge.

3. The configurable board game of claim 1, wherein the plurality of edges consists of four edges arranged substantially in the shape of a rectangle.

4. The configurable board game of claim 3, wherein the rectangle is a square.

5. The configurable board game of claim 1, wherein the plurality of distinguishable playing positions is arranged substantially in the shape of a rectangle.

6. The configurable board game of claim 5, wherein the rectangle is a square.

7. The configurable board game of claim 1, wherein the surface of each playing position is disposed within substantially the same plane as the surface of every other playing position on the first playing surface.

8. The configurable board game of claim 1, wherein the surface of each circumstantial position is disposed within substantially the same plane as the surface of every other circumstantial position on the same ledge.

9. The configurable board game of claim 1, wherein each connector comprises two prongs that are connected at a base to form a groove, the groove being configured to receive and connect a sidewall of the first board and a sidewall of the additional board.

10. The configurable board game of claim 9, wherein the first board and the additional board each have a sidewall extending from each edge of their respective plurality of edges, each sidewall comprising a notch configured to receive the base of a connector, with one of the prongs extending along one side of the sidewall and the other prong extending along the other side of the sidewall.

11. The configurable board game of claim 1, wherein the plurality of ledges is configured to be removably attached to each exposed edge of the connected first and additional boards, thereby providing a new continuous peripheral ledge that runs along the entire perimeter of the connected first and additional boards, an exposed edge being an edge not directly connected to an edge of another board.

12. A configurable board game comprising: a plurality of playing pieces; a first board having a plurality of edges arranged substantially in the shape of a rectangle and defining the perimeter of a first playing surface, the first playing surface comprising a plurality of distinguishable playing positions arranged substantially in the shape of a rectangle within the perimeter, each playing position being configured to provide a boundary within which a playing piece can be disposed, and the surface of each playing position being disposed within substantially the same plane as the surface of every other playing position on the first playing surface; a plurality of ledges, wherein each ledge comprises a plurality of distinguishable circumstantial positions, and each circumstantial position is configured to provide a boundary within which a playing piece can be disposed; a plurality of connectors, wherein each connector is configured to removably hold one of the plurality of ledges to one of the edges of the first board, thereby providing a plurality of distinguishable circumstantial positions on the periphery of the first board; and an additional board having a plurality of edges arranged substantially in the shape of a rectangle and defining the perimeter of an additional playing surface, the additional playing surface comprising an additional plurality of distinguishable playing positions arranged substantially in the shape of a rectangle within the perimeter of the additional playing surface, each playing position on the additional playing surface being configured to provide a boundary within which a playing piece can be disposed, and the surface of each playing position being disposed within substantially the same plane as the surface of every other playing position on the additional playing surface, wherein one of the plurality of connectors can be used to removably connect one edge of the first board directly to one edge of the additional board, thereby connecting the first playing surface to the additional playing surface to form a continuous playing surface, and wherein one of the plurality of connectors can be used to removably hold one of the plurality of ledges to one of the edges of the additional board at a position adjacent a ledge of the first board when the first board is connected to the additional board, thereby connecting the ledge of the additional board to the ledge of the first board to form a continuous peripheral ledge of distinguishable circumstantial positions for both the first board and the additional board.

13. The configurable board game of claim 1, wherein: any number of additional boards can be removably connected to the connected first and additional boards using a corresponding number of connectors from the plurality of connectors, adding another playing surface to the existing continuous playing surface to form a new continuous playing surface; and wherein one of the plurality of connectors can be used to removably hold one of the plurality of ledges to an exposed edge of the any number of additional boards at a position adjacent the existing continuous peripheral ledge when the any number of additional boards is connected to the connected first and additional boards, thereby connecting the ledge of the any number of additional boards to the existing continuous peripheral ledge to form a new continuous peripheral ledge.

14. The configurable board game of claim 12, wherein the plurality of edges of the first board and the plurality of edges of the additional board are each arranged substantially in the shape of a square.

15. The configurable board game of claim 12, wherein the plurality of distinguishable playing positions of the first board and the plurality of distinguishable playing positions of the additional board are each arranged substantially in the shape of a square.

16. The configurable board game of claim 12, wherein the surface of each circumstantial position is disposed within substantially the same plane as the surface of every other circumstantial position on the same ledge.

17. The configurable board game of claim 12, wherein each connector comprises two prongs that are connected at a base to form a groove, the groove being configured to receive and connect a sidewall of the first board and a sidewall of the additional board.

18. The configurable board game of claim 17, wherein the first board and the additional board each have a sidewall extending from each edge of their respective plurality of edges, each sidewall comprising a notch configured to receive the base of a connector, with one of the prongs extending along one side of the sidewall and the other prong extending along the other side of the sidewall.

19. The configurable board game of claim 12, wherein the plurality of ledges is configured to be removably attached to each exposed edge of the connected first and additional boards, thereby providing a new continuous peripheral ledge that runs along the entire perimeter of the connected first and additional boards, an exposed edge being an edge not directly connected to an edge of another board.

20. A method of using a configurable board game, the method comprising: playing a first game using a plurality of playing pieces, a playing surface defined by a plurality of distinguishable playing positions each configured to provide a boundary within which a playing piece can be disposed, and at least one ledge removably disposed at the perimeter of the playing surface using a connector, the at least one ledge having a plurality of distinguishable circumstantial positions formed along the perimeter of the playing surface with each circumstantial position configured to provide a boundary within which a playing piece can be disposed, wherein the arrangement of the playing surface and the at least one ledge defines a first setup, a first set of rules is used for the play of the first game, one of the playing pieces is a circumstance changer that is repetitively repositioned along the at least one ledge during the first game, and the position of the circumstance changer dictates the play of the first game; reconfiguring the first setup into a second setup for a second game, wherein reconfiguring the first setup includes at least one of: changing the shape of the playing surface, changing the size of the playing surface, disposing an additional ledge at the perimeter of the playing surface using a connector, the additional ledge having a plurality of distinguishable circumstantial positions formed along the perimeter of the playing surface with each circumstantial position configured to provide a boundary within which a playing piece can be disposed, removing one of the at least one ledge from the perimeter of the playing surface, and repositioning one of the at least one ledge along the perimeter of the playing surface; and playing the second game using the plurality of playing pieces and the second setup, wherein a second set of rules is used for the play of the second game, the second set of rules differing from the first set of rules, one of the playing pieces is a circumstance changer that is repetitively repositioned along the at least one ledge during the second game, and the position of the circumstance changer dictates the play of the second game.

21. A game system comprising: a first game board having a first set of play pieces configured for playing a first game; and a second game board having a second set of play pieces configured for playing a second game, wherein the first game board and the second game board are adapted to adjoin each other such that each of the first set of play pieces and the second set of play pieces can by played on the first game board and the second game board.

22. The game system of claim 21 further comprising a third game board having a third set of play pieces configured for playing a third game, wherein the third game board is adapted to adjoin one of first game board and the second game board such that each of the first set of play pieces, the second set of play pieces and the third set of play pieces can by played on the first game board, the second game board and the third game board.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to co-pending U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/830,767, filed Jul. 13, 2006, entitled “Configurable Board Game.” This application also claims priority to co-pending U.S. Utility application Ser. No. 11/585,575, filed Oct. 23, 2006, entitled “Method and Apparatus for Game Play,” which in turn claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/729,843, filed Oct. 24, 2005, entitled “Method and Apparatus for Game Play,” and to co-pending U.S. Utility application Ser. No. 10/821,754, filed Apr. 9, 2004, entitled “Board Game And Method Of Playing Thereof,” which in turn claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/462,494, filed Apr. 11, 2003, entitled “Admcadiam Paradice.” All of these applications are hereby incorporated by reference as if set forth herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the field of board games. More particularly, the present invention relates to a configurable board game where the play of the game can be varied by adding, removing and adjusting board components.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Current board games are limited by a fixed configuration where the play of the game is restricted to the predetermined boundaries provided by the game designer(s). These games do not lend themselves to allowing the players to use their imagination to configure and re-configure the board game. What is needed in the art is a board game that enables the players to configure and re-configure the board game, wherein the players are limited only by their imagination.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a new, useful and non-obvious configurable board game where playing pieces are played on a game board's playing surface and a circumstantial change is played on peripheral ledges. A position of one or more playing pieces on the peripheral ledges determines game play within the game board. Game boards can be attached together in a variety of ways to form updated playing surfaces of different shapes and sizes, thereby allowing for a variance in the play of the game. These connected game boards can either be of the same game type, employing the same rules, or of different game types, employing different rules. The playing pieces on the playing surface can move across multiple game boards. Thus, the rules of the game board in which the game piece moves dictates how the game piece thereon is played. Alternatively, each game piece retains its original functionality regardless of which game board it is currently positioned.

In one aspect of the present invention, a configurable board game comprises a plurality of playing pieces and a first board having a plurality of edges defining the perimeter of a first playing surface. The plurality of edges is preferably arranged substantially in the shape of a rectangle. The first playing surface comprises a plurality of distinguishable playing positions arranged within the perimeter, with each playing position configured to provide a boundary within which a playing piece can be disposed. The playing positions are preferably arranged substantially in the shape of a rectangle. The surface of each playing position is preferably disposed within substantially the same plane as the surface of every other playing position on the first playing surface.

The configurable board game also comprises a plurality of ledges, wherein each ledge comprises a plurality of distinguishable circumstantial positions. Each circumstantial position is configured to provide a boundary within which a playing piece can be disposed.

The configurable board game further includes a plurality of connectors, wherein each connector is configured to removably hold one of the plurality of ledges to one of the edges of the first board, thereby providing a plurality of distinguishable circumstantial positions on the periphery of the first board.

The configurable board game also includes an additional board having a plurality of edges defining the perimeter of an additional playing surface. The plurality of edges is preferably arranged substantially in the shape of a rectangle. The additional playing surface comprises an additional plurality of distinguishable playing positions disposed within the perimeter of the additional playing surface. The additional playing positions are preferably arranged substantially in the shape of a rectangle. Each playing position on the additional playing surface is configured to provide a boundary within which a playing piece can be disposed, and the surface of each playing position is preferably disposed within substantially the same plane as the surface of every other playing position on the additional playing surface.

One of the plurality of connectors can be used to removably connect one edge of the first board directly to one edge of the additional board, thereby connecting the first playing surface to the additional playing surface to form a continuous playing surface. Furthermore, one of the plurality of connectors can be used to removably hold one of the plurality of ledges to one of the edges of the additional board at a position adjacent a ledge of the first board when the first board is connected to the additional board, thereby connecting the ledge of the additional board to the ledge of the first board to form a continuous peripheral ledge of distinguishable circumstantial positions for both the first board and the additional board.

In another aspect of the present invention, a method for using a configurable board game is provided. The method comprises playing a first game using a plurality of playing pieces, a playing surface defined by a plurality of distinguishable playing positions each configured to provide a boundary within which a playing piece can be disposed, and at least one ledge removably disposed at the perimeter of the playing surface using a connector. The at least one ledge has a plurality of distinguishable circumstantial positions formed along the perimeter of the playing surface, with each circumstantial position configured to provide a boundary within which a playing piece can be disposed. The arrangement of the playing surface and the at least one ledge defines a first setup. A first set of rules is used for the play of the first game. One of the playing pieces is a circumstance changer that is repetitively repositioned along the at least one ledge during the first game, and the position of the circumstance changer dictates the play of the first game.

The method also comprises reconfiguring the first setup into a second setup for a second game. Reconfiguring the first setup includes at least one of: (i) changing the shape of the playing surface; (ii) changing the size of the playing surface; (iii) disposing an additional ledge at the perimeter of the playing surface using a connector, the additional ledge having a plurality of distinguishable circumstantial positions formed along the perimeter of the playing surface with each circumstantial position configured to provide a boundary within which a playing piece can be disposed; (iv) removing one of the at least one ledge from the perimeter of the playing surface; and (v) repositioning one of the at least one ledge along the perimeter of the playing surface.

The method further includes playing the second game using the plurality of playing pieces and the second setup. A second set of rules is used for the play of the second game. The second set of rules is different from the first set of rules. One of the playing pieces is a circumstance changer that is repetitively repositioned along the at least one ledge during the second game. The position of the circumstance changer dictates the play of the game.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the top end of a game box according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the top end of a lid being slid onto a game box according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is an isometric view of a playing surface on the bottom end of a game box according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4A is an isometric view of peripheral ledges offset above the playing surface according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4B is an isometric view of peripheral ledges disposed on the same plane as the playing surface according to an embodiment of the present invention

FIG. 4C is an isometric view of peripheral ledges offset above the playing surface according to an embodiment of the present invention

FIG. 5 is an isometric view of a two-board game according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6A is an isometric view of a three-board game in an I-formation according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6B is an isometric view of a three-board game in an L-formation according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7A is an isometric view of a four-board game in an I-formation according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7B is an isometric view of a four-board game in an L-formation according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7C is an isometric view of a four-board game in an T-formation according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7D is an isometric view of a four-board game in an Z-formation according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7E is an isometric view of a four-board game in a square-formation according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8A is a side view of a connector according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8B is an isometric view of connectors received by the notches on a game box according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is an isometric view of a connector removably attaching two game boards according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 10 is an isometric view of connectors removably attaching two game boards and removably holding peripheral ledges to the game boards according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 11 is a flow chart illustrating a process for using a configurable board game according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following description is presented to enable one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention and is provided in the context of a patent application and its requirements. Various modifications to the described embodiments will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art and the generic principles herein can be applied to other embodiments. Thus, the present invention is not intended to be limited to the embodiment shown, but is to be accorded the widest scope consistent with the principles and features described herein.

The present invention provides modular and attachable game boxes and peripheral ledges in order to enable a user to vary the play of a game. FIGS. 1-10 illustrate embodiments of the game box(es) and the accompanying components that form configurable board games, such as board games 100, 500, 600A-B, and 700A-E, with like elements being numbered alike. In a preferred embodiment, each game box 102 is self-contained and comprises a top end 104 and a bottom end 106 opposite the top end 104. First sidewall 108, second sidewall 110, third sidewall 112, and fourth sidewall 114 can extend from the bottom end 106 to the top end 104, forming the perimeter wall of the game box 102. While the figures provide embodiments of the game box 102 being formed substantially in the shape of a square, it is contemplated that alternative embodiments having more, fewer, and differently configured sidewalls are within the scope of the present invention, thereby including game boxes of a variety of shapes.

In a preferred embodiment, the game box 102 can be configured to store all the necessary game components, such as playing pieces 116, peripheral ledges 118, and connectors 120, as seen in FIG. 1. Such a configuration can be achieved by providing a substantially closed bottom end 106 and a substantially open top end 104, thereby creating an easily accessible space within the game box 102 where the game components can be stored. As seen in FIG. 2, the game box 102 can include a lid 122 that is used to seal the game box 102 in order to securely hold all the game components within a substantially sealed structure. In this embodiment, three edges at the top end 104.of the game box 102 can be lipped by rails 124. These rails 124 provide grooves within which the lid 122 slides through, towards and away from the fourth edge. Once the lid 122 slides in, the opposite lipped edge secures the lid in place.

As seen in FIG. 2, a notch 126 can be cut out along one or more edge of the lid 122. Preferably, a notch 126 is disposed substantially in the middle of each edge of the lid 122. A notch 126 can also be cut out along one or more sides of the game box 102. Preferably, a notch 126 is disposed substantially in the middle of each side of the game box 102. The functionality of these notches 126 will be discussed in further detail below. As will also be discussed below, these notches 126 are not required.

As seen in FIG. 3, the bottom end 106 of the game box 102 comprises a playing surface 128. The game box 102 is positioned with the top end 104 facing down and the bottom end 106 facing up in order to expose the playing surface 128 for play. The playing surface 128 is defined by a plurality of distinguishable playing positions 130. Each playing position 130 is configured to provide a boundary within which a playing piece 116 can be disposed. The surface of each playing position 130 is preferably disposed within substantially the same plane as the surface of every other playing position 130 on the playing surface 128. Lines, seems, indentations, and ridges can be disposed on the playing surface 128 in order to clearly define the boundaries of each playing position 130. A variety of other means can be used as well in order to distinguish each position 130. In a preferred embodiment, the plurality of playing positions 130 is arranged substantially in the shape of a rectangle within the perimeter of the playing surface 128. However, it is contemplated that the plurality of playing positions 130 can be arranged in a variety of different patterns.

In the simplest form of the game, only one game box 102 is used. The lid 122 is inserted into the rails 124, thereby closing the box, and the bottom end 106 is placed face-up, thereby exposing the playing surface 128 to the players. A plurality of peripheral ledges 118, preferably four, are provided. The peripheral ledges 118 can be used to divide the playing pieces 116 inside the game box 102 during storage, as seen in FIG. 1.

In play mode, such as in FIG. 4A, playing pieces 116 of the game are set up on the playing surface 128 and the peripheral ledges 118 are attached around the perimeter of the game box 102 and playing surface 128, preferably using connectors 120. The peripheral ledges 118 can be disposed in a variety of different vertical positions. One, some, or all of the peripheral ledges 118 can be offset above the plane of the playing surface 128, such as in FIG. 4A, or offset below the plane of the playing surface 128, such as in FIG. 4B, in order to give the game visual dimensionality. Furthermore, one, some, or all of the peripheral ledges 118 can be positioned in the same plane as the playing surface 128, as seen in FIG. 4C. Similarly, the boards can be connected such that their playing surfaces are either vertically offset or disposed in the same plane. Each ledge comprises a plurality of distinguishable circumstantial positions 132. Each circumstantial position 132 is configured to provide a boundary within which a playing piece 116 can be disposed. Lines, seems, indentations, and ridges can be disposed on the ledges 118 in order to clearly define the boundaries of each circumstantial position 132. A variety of other means may be used as well in order to distinguish each position 132. In one embodiment, uniformly spaced apart markings, such as dots, may be disposed on the ledges 118, with each marking defining a position 132. Preferably, each circumstantial position 132 is disposed within substantially the same plane as the surface of every other circumstantial position 132 on the same ledge 118. Furthermore, in a preferred embodiment, the peripheral ledges 118 extend all the way around the entire perimeter of the playing surface 128, thereby providing a plurality of circumstantial positions 132 that extends all the way around the entire perimeter of the playing surface 128.

The peripheral ledges 118 are relatively narrow compared to the playing surface 128. In a preferred embodiment, each ledge 118 is a one-dimensional array of circumstantial positions 132, whereas the playing surface 128 preferably comprises a two-dimensional array of playing positions 130.

It is contemplated that a variety of different games can be played using the present invention. In a preferred embodiment, a game such as the one disclosed in co-pending U.S. Utility application Ser. No. 11/585,575, filed Oct. 23, 2006, entitled “Method and Apparatus for Game Play” is played using the present invention. Playing pieces 116 are played on the playing surface 128. One of the playing pieces 116 is used as a circumstance changer that is repetitively repositioned along the peripheral ledges during the game. As such, these peripheral ledges 118 extend the playing surface for one, some, or all of the playing pieces 116. In some embodiments, a position of one or more playing pieces 116 on the peripheral ledges 118 determines game play within the perimeter of the playing surface 128. In order to vary the play of the game, peripheral ledges 118 of different colors can be attached around the perimeter of the playing surface 128 in any order. These attached colored peripheral ledges can add new rules to the game and dictate how a playing piece 116 is played, with each color being associated with a unique set of rules.

In order to play an alternate game, two or more game boxes 102 can be attached together to form a larger playing surface. The attached game boxes 102 need not be of the same size or shape. Furthermore, the attached game boxes 102 need not be of the same game type. As such, the rules for the playing pieces 116 played follow the rules of the corresponding game box 102 on which the playing piece 116 is presently played. The playing pieces 116 on the playing surface 128 can move across connected game boxes 102. Thus, the rules of the game box's playing surface in which the game piece 116 moves dictates how the playing piece 116 thereon is played. Alternatively, each playing piece 116 can retain its original functionality regardless of on which game box's playing surface it is currently positioned. The movement of a playing piece 116 from one board onto a different board can be dictated by the rules of the board from which the playing piece 116 came. However, once the playing piece 116 has been moved onto the different board, it can be subject to the rules of both the original board and the different board. In this respect, the playing piece 116 can become subject to an increasing number of board game rules as it moves from one board to the next.

In order to set up a two-board game 500 as seen in FIG. 5, two game boxes 102 are placed next to each other and are attached using a connector 120. Peripheral ledges 118 are then attached around the perimeter of the new two-board configuration, preferably using connectors 120.

In order to set up a three-board game, a two-board game configuration without the peripheral ledges 118 is first set up. The third game box 102 is then attached to the two-board game configuration forming a three-board game 600A having an I-shape playing surface, as in FIG. 6A, or a three-board game 600B having an L-shape playing surface, as in FIG. 6B. The third game box 102 is also attached to the two-board game configuration, preferably using a connector 120. Peripheral ledges 118 are then attached around the perimeter of the new three-board configuration, preferably using connectors 120.

Four game boards can be set up to form a four-board game 700A having an I-shape playing surface, as in FIG. 7A, a four-board game 700B having an L-shape playing surface, as in FIG. 7B, a four-board game 700C having a T-shape playing surface, as in FIG. 7C, a four-board game 700D having a Z-shape playing surface, as in FIG. 7D, or a four-board game 700E having a square-shape playing surface, as in FIG. 7E. The game boxes 102 are preferably connected using connectors 120. Peripheral ledges 118 are attached around the perimeter of the new four-board configuration, preferably using connectors 120. In order to play five game boards, the fifth game board can be attached to any exposed side of the four-board configuration. As such, any number of game boards can be attached to an exposed side of an existing configuration in order to form a single playing surface in this manner. An exposed side is any side that is not already directly connected to the side of another game box.

As mentioned above, a connector 120 can be used to connect a peripheral ledge to a game box, or two game boxes together in order to increase or reshape the playing surface. A connector 120 can be of any embodiment that is used to prevent the ledge or the extended playing surface from shifting apart during a play so that the entire board game (i.e., the boards and ledges that are being used) can be picked up and moved to another location as one stable unit, minimizing the risk of a board or ledge being separated from the entire board game and the status of the game being disrupted. For instance, a connector can be a U-shaped mechanism 800, as seen in FIG. 8A. The two prongs 802 of the U-shaped connector 800 are connected at a base to form a groove 804 that is configured to receive the sidewalls of two adjacent game boxes. FIG. 8B shows U-shaped connectors 800 inserted in the notches 126 of the box. Two boxes are locked together when the base of the connector 800 is placed in the notches 126 of the two adjacent boxes, with the groove 804 of the connector 800 receiving the adjacent sidewalls of the adjacent boxes, and one of the prongs 802 extending along one side of a sidewall and the other prong 802 extending along the opposite side of the other sidewall, as seen in FIG. 9.

A box 102 and a peripheral ledge 118 are locked together when one prong 802 is inserted in a notch 126 of the box 102 and the other prong 802 supports the peripheral ledge 118, as seen in FIG. 10. The connector 800 can support the peripheral ledge 118 in a variety of different ways, including, but not limited to, one of the prongs gripping a vertical flange 134 of the ledge 118, the horizontal portion of the ledge resting on the top 806 of one of the prongs, or a combination of the two.

It is contemplated that notches are not required in order to use the connectors of the present invention. Instead of employing notches, the connectors can simply be disposed so that the groove 804 of the connector 800 receives the top end 104 of the adjacent sidewalls, with one of the prongs 802 extending along one side of a sidewall and the other prong 802 extending along the opposite side of the other sidewall. This received portion of the top end in this embodiment may be notch-free. Since the base of the connector would then extend vertically beyond the top end in the absence of a notch, it is preferable to use at least two substantially spaced-apart connectors for each desired connection, whether the connection is between two boards or between a board and a ledge. This use of at least two substantially spaced-apart connectors for each connection serves to promote stability and prevent any wobbling of the board(s). The connectors can additionally be used on the opposing non-connected sidewalls in order to provide even greater stability.

The connectors can be integrally combined with the peripheral ledges or provided as separate components.

To form a unique playing surface, a player can use their imagination to creatively lay out the game boxes and attach them together using connectors. Since there are many possibilities, each game is unique and challenging. Any number of boxes can be removably connected, preferably using a corresponding number of connectors, in order to increase and/or reshape the playing surface of the board game.

FIG. 11 is a flow chart illustrating a process 1100 for using a configurable board game according to an embodiment of the present invention.

At step 1102, a first game is played using a plurality of playing pieces, a playing surface defined by a plurality of distinguishable playing positions, and at least one ledge removably disposed at the perimeter of the playing surface using a connector. Each playing position is configured to provide a boundary within which a playing piece can be disposed. Each ledge has a plurality of distinguishable circumstantial positions formed along the perimeter of the playing surface, with each circumstantial position being configured to provide a boundary within which a playing piece can be disposed. The arrangement of the playing surface and the ledge(s) defines a first setup, and a first set of rules is used for the play of the first game. One of the playing pieces is a circumstance changer that is repetitively repositioned along the ledge(s) during the first game, and the position of the circumstance changer dictates the play of the first game.

At step 1104, the first setup is reconfigured into a second setup for a second game. Reconfiguring the first setup includes at least one of steps 1104a-e. Step 1104a comprises changing the shape of the playing surface. This change preferably involves repositioning one or more game boxes. Step 1104b comprises changing the size of the playing surface. This change preferably involves adding or removing one or more game boxes. Step 1104c comprises disposing one or more additional ledges at the perimeter of the existing playing surface, preferably using a connector. Step 1104d comprises removing one or more of the ledges from the perimeter of the playing surface. Step 1104e comprises repositioning one or more of the ledges along the perimeter of the existing playing surface, preferably using a connector. It is contemplated that any combination of steps 1104a-e can be performed in order to reconfigure the first setup into the second setup.

At step 1106, the second game is played using the plurality of playing pieces and the second setup (i.e., the reconfigured playing surface and/or ledges). A second set of rules is used for the play of the second game. This second set of rules is different from the first set of rules. One of the playing pieces is a circumstance changer that is repetitively repositioned along the ledge(s) during the second game. The position of the circumstance changer dictates the play of the game.

Once the second game has finished, the process can either come to an end or play the second game once again at step 1106. Alternatively, the process can repeat at step 1104, where the current setup (i.e., the second setup) is reconfigured into an updated setup. The updated setup would then be used in playing the new game at step 11106. The setups can be reconfigured and/or used in new games as many times as desired.

The present invention has been described in terms of specific embodiments incorporating details to facilitate the understanding of principles of construction and operation of the invention. Such reference herein to specific embodiments and details thereof is not intended to limit the scope of the claims appended hereto. It will be readily apparent to one skilled in the art that other various modifications can be made in the embodiment chosen for illustration without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the claims.