Title:
Board Games
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A board game comprising a playing board having a surface marked with an array of vertical and horizontal rows of abutting squares, each square having a number marked within it and a pack of cards having on one side a plurality of questions and on the other side the answers to those questions, the questions and answers on each individual card of the pack being different from those on each other card but relating to the same subject. The cards may have an axis of symmetry about which they can be folded such that both the questions and the answers on a card can be viewed by the player holding that card but that one or the other of the questions and the answers is concealed from the other players during play. The game may also include a word insertion guide.



Inventors:
Soh, Wee Hock (Kuala Lumpur, MY)
Soh, Diane Lesley (Kuala Lumpur, MY)
Application Number:
11/597262
Publication Date:
05/01/2008
Filing Date:
04/18/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/293
International Classes:
A63F3/00; A63F3/04; A63F3/02
View Patent Images:
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20070290446RENEWABLE PROJECTILE TRAP-TARGET BASED ON THERMALLY REVERSIBLE, VISCOELASTIC MATERIALSDecember, 2007Amick
20050023755Game for two or more playersFebruary, 2005Leshem et al.
20060043673Baseball team play organizerMarch, 2006Brown
20030155710ScrunchAugust, 2003Starr
20060012122Simultaneous play word-forming gameJanuary, 2006Botzen



Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Workman Nydegger (Salt Lake City, UT, US)
Claims:
1. A board game comprising a playing board having a surface marked with an array of vertical and horizontal rows of abutting squares, each square having a number marked within it and a pack of cards having on one side a plurality of questions and on the other side the answers to those questions, the questions and answers on each individual card of the pack being different from those on each other card but relating to the same subject.

2. A board game according to claim 1, wherein the array of squares on the board is rectangular.

3. A board game according to claim 2, wherein the array of squares on the board is square.

4. A board game according to claim 1, wherein the board has a wipe-clean surface.

5. A board game according to claim 1, wherein the board is disposable and made of paper.

6. A board game according to claim 1, wherein the cards having an axis of symmetry about which they can be folded such that both the questions and the answers on card can be viewed by the player holding that card but that one or the other of the questions and the answers are concealed from the other players during play,

7. A board game according to claim 1, including a word insertion guide comprising a strip of material having a length at least the width of the playing area of the playing board and having along one edge portion a plurality of divisions corresponding to the squares on the playing board, said edge portion being of transparent material at least in a strip extending the length of the guide and at least as wide as the squares on the board and either encompassing or abutting the divisions and having a surface that is capable of being written on and subsequently wiped clean.

8. (canceled)

9. (canceled)

10. A pack of cards for use in aboard game according to claim 1 having on one side a plurality of questions and on the other side the answers to those questions, the cards having an axis of symmetry about which they can be folded such that both the questions and the answers on a card can be viewed by the player holding that card but that one or the other of the questions and the answers is concealed from the other players during play, the questions and answers on each individual card of the pack being different from those on each other card but relating to the same subject.

Description:

This invention relates to board games and more particularly to crossword board games in which players place letters on a playing board to spell out a grid of intersecting words. It provides particularly an educational board game that can be played by players of any age to increase their knowledge of a variety of subjects.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

Many crossword games are known in which the players form words from cards or tiles that have letters depicted on one surface by placing them on a surface such as that of a playing board or a table using one or more letters of words already formed and displayed on the surface to form a crossword grid. The cards or tiles generally also bear numbers the magnitude of which depends on the frequency of use of the letter in the language in which the game is designed to be played, which determines the difficulty of playing a card or tile of high value. The game is scored by adding together the values of the cards or tiles forming the new word or words added to the grid in a player's turn. Two such games are “Lexicon”, which uses playing cards and which can be played on any surface and “Scrabble” which uses tiles and is played on a board marked with squares in which the tiles are placed and some of which are marked to increase the value of a tile placed on such a square or the total value of a word, one or more tiles of which are placed on such a square or squares.

These games are fun to play and very good for teaching the spelling of words but unless a word is challenged and has to be looked up in a dictionary the meaning of a word that is not part of the vocabulary of one or more of the players will not necessarily be learnt. Moreover the educational part of the games is limited and cannot be extended to subjects other than spelling.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This invention provides a board game that not only teaches spelling and the meaning of words but can also be used to teach many other subjects, for example, mathematics, history, languages, general knowledge and geography and many other subjects that can be taught by a question-and-answer method.

According to the invention a board game comprises a playing board having a surface marked with an array of vertical and horizontal rows of abutting squares, each square having a number marked within it and a pack of cards, each card having on one side a plurality of questions and on the other side the answers to those questions, the questions and answers on each individual card of the pack being different from those on each other card but relating to the same subject.

The cards may have an axis of symmetry about which they can be folded such that both the questions and the answers on a card can be viewed by the player holding that card but that one or the other of the questions and the answers is concealed from the other players during play,

As mentioned the subject dealt with on the playing cards will normally be spelling and understanding of the meaning of words or phrases and the questions normally of the form “What is the meaning of . . . ?” or “What word or phrase means . . . ?”. Questions of the first type will normally be given on the outside surface of the folded card with the answer given on the inside surface but the cards can preferably be folded so that either surface can be outside. The questions of the second type can be framed from the given answers to the questions of the first type.

Other subjects can dealt with in the game and, for example, history questions may be, for example, “In what year did . . . occur?”, in which case the game will be a cross-number game, or “What event occurred in the year . . . ?”. Similar types of question may be formulated for many other subjects.

The array of squares on the board is preferably rectangular and, more preferably square and the numbering of the squares is preferably symmetrical about the central square. The squares are preferably of various colours with the squares of each particular number all being the same colour since this makes it easier to distinguish between the higher and lower numbered squares.

Preferably the playing surface of the board is divided into zones.

Unlike other crossword types of word game, the answers to the questions are written directly on the board.

The board preferably has an erasable surface so that it can be written on using a suitable writing instrument and wiped clean for re-use. The board may, for example, be made wholly of a plastics material or made of cardboard or other base material with a coating of plastics material on one or both sides. Alternatively, the board may be disposable, for example, a sheet of paper, so that it can be written on by pen or pencil.

The game preferably also includes a word insertion guide for use with the board game described and claimed in Patent Application MY 20041148 comprises a strip of material having a length at least the width of the playing area of the playing board and having along one edge portion of one side a plurality of divisions corresponding to the squares on the playing board, said edge portion being of transparent material at least in a strip extending the length of the guide and at least as wide as the squares on the board and either encompassing or abutting the divisions and having, at least in said edge portion, a surface that is capable of being written on and subsequently wiped clean.

The game may be played by any number of players singly or in teams. Basically the game consists in a player asking another player or group of other players a question from a card and if the questioned player or one of the group of players gets the answer correct that player writes the answer on the board. If no one gets the correct answer the questioning player writes the answer on the board. In a simplified form of the game, clues such as the initial letter of the required answer and/or the number of letters and words in the required answer may be given, in addition to the question itself.

Scoring is based on the total of the numbers in the squares used when the answer is written on the board. If the board is divided into zones the square score may be multiplied by the number of zones occupied by letters of the word.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The invention will now be described in greater detail, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a view of the playing surface of the game board;

FIGS. 2 and 3 are views of the front and rear surfaces, respectively, of a playing card; and

FIG. 4 is a view of one form of word insertion guide for use in playing the game.

As shown in FIG. 1, the game board comprises a square of cardboard having a plastics playing surface 1 that can be written on using a suitable ink and later wiped clean.

Playing surface 1 is printed with an array of squares 2 in a square grid 3 having 29 squares 2 on each side. Grid 3 is divided into nine zones by bold lines 4, the zones comprising a centre zone 5 consisting of the centre square 2 only, a first intermediate cruciform zone 6 symmetrically surrounding zone 5 and the arms 7 of which are one square long and three squares wide, a second intermediate cruciform zone 8 symmetrically surrounding zone 6 and the arms 9 of which are two squares long and seven squares wide, a third intermediate cruciform zone 10 symmetrically surrounding zone 8 and the arms 11 of which are three squares long and thirteen squares wide, and four corner zones 12, 13, 14 and 15 that have sides of five squares. A numerical value 16 is allotted to each individual square, the values 16 in each row and column being arranged symmetrically. The values allotted are 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 15 and 25 and the squares allotted each different value are differently coloured.

As shown in FIG. 2, the front of each card has a fold line 21, a printed indication 22 of the nature of the game to be played on one side of fold line 21 and a list of words or phrases 23 on the other side of fold line 21.

As shown in FIG. 3 the back of each card has a list 24 of definitions of the words in list 23 on the front of the card in the same order as the words in list 23.

As shown FIG. 4, the word insertion guide comprises a printed strip 1 of paper laminated between two thin sheets of clear plastics material 2, which overlap its edges on all four sides. The paper strip 1 is of marginally greater length than the width of the largest playing board (not shown) with which it is to be used and is printed along one edge with divisions 3 the spacing of which correspond to the boundaries of the squares on the playing board. The surface of the laminating plastics material 2 is susceptible to being written on using a pen with a suitable ink and to being wiped clean once the writing is no longer required, that is, after a player has had his turn. The surface is also smudge resistant to any writing on the board. On its other edge paper strip 1 is printed with a second set of divisions 4 for use with a smaller playing board. The guide is used by writing a word or phrase that is intended to be entered in the crossword grid developing on the playing board on the plastics material 2 with one letter or space between each pair of divisions and then moving the guide about the board to establish where, if at all, the word or phrase can legally be fitted into the grid.

The game is preferably marketed in a box containing, in addition to the board and the pack of question cards, score cards at least some of which are marked for players 1 to 4 and suitable marker pens.

The following are suggested rules for playing the game.

Section 1-Selecting Player 1

The score cards are shuffled and each player then randomly picks a score card. The player who picks the score card for “Player 1” becomes player 1. Player 2 is the player sitting next to Player 1 in a clockwise direction, and so on.

If none of the players picks the score card for “Player 1”, the cards picked are replaced and the process repeated until one of the players successfully picks the score card for “Player 1”.

Section 2-Phase 1A of the Game

Phase 1A is not played if there are only two players. Where there are more than 2 players, phase 1A is played for a total of three (3) rounds.

Player 1 starts as the questioning player (QP). QP takes the topmost card from the question pack and selects one of the words or phrases printed on the back of the card.

QP states aloud 3 clues, that is:

    • the first letter of the word or phrase;
    • the number of letters in the word or the number of letters in each word of the phrase; and
    • the meaning of the word or phrase as found on the inside of the playing card

To make a call to request the opportunity to answer, a player must state aloud a suitable word or phrase such as “Me!” or “I'll answer, please!” and raise his hand at the same time.

The first player to call shall be the first to answer, the second player to call shall be the second to answer, and so on. A player may also raise his hand to request an opportunity to answer at any time before the time period for the other answering players (APs) to complete their attempt has expired.

Each AP has 30 seconds_to identify the selected word or phrase. An AP may give as many answers as possible within the time limit allowed. An AP who has already had his turn to answer is not allowed to request another attempt.

The first AP to give an answer accepted by the QP is required to write the word or phrase onto the game board.

If none of the APs is able to give an answer acceptable to the QP, the QP himself is required to write the word or phrase onto the game board.

Players must not state aloud an answer:

    • without first having made a call to request the opportunity to answer within the permitted time period, and
    • without being instructed to do so by the QP.

Any player doing so will be penalized. If the QP deems that an improperly stated answer is in fact the correct answer, all the other APs awaiting their turn to answer will also lose their respective turn and the QP will be required to write the word or phrase onto the game board himself.

The player required to write the word or phrase onto the game board has 90 seconds to do so, failing which, that player will be penalized.

The card just used is then returned to the bottom of the pack.

The player to the left of the incumbent QP then becomes the new QP. When all the players have had their turn to be the QP, the round is completed and a new round may begin.

Section 3-Phase 1B of the Game

Phase 1B is played for a total of five (5) rounds in a 2-player game. Where there are more than 2 players, phase 1B is played for a total of three (3) rounds.

Phase 1B is similar to phase 1A in almost every respect except that, unlike the first-to-call basis for answering players in Phase 1A, the APs now answer in rotation (clockwise), with the player to the immediate left of the QP being the first AP.

Section 4-Phase 2A of the Game

Phase 2A is not played if there are only two players. Where there are more than 2 players, Phase 2A is played for a total of three (3) rounds.

Phase 2A is played in a very similar manner to Phase 1A where the APs answer on a first-to-call basis except that the QP, instead of giving clues to the word or phrase selected, states aloud the word or phrase itself. The APs then have to attempt to give the definition of the word or phrase.

The definition given may be accepted by the QP if he deems that it is sufficiently similar to the definition given in the playing card.

Although some words may have several meanings, for the purpose of the game, the only acceptable meaning is the one which is given in the playing card in use.

Section 5-Phase 2B of the Game

Phase 2B is played for a total of five (5) rounds in a 2-player game. Where there are more than 2 players, Phase 2B is played for a total of three (3) rounds.

Phase 2B is similar to Phase 2A in almost every respect. The main difference is that, unlike the first-to-call basis for answering players in Phase 2A, the APs now answer in rotation (clockwise), with the player to the immediate left of the QP being the first AP.

Phase 3 of the Game

Phase 3 is played for a total of five (5) rounds in a 2-player game. Where there are more than 2 players, Phase 3 is played for a total of three (3) rounds.

Each player takes turns to write legitimate words or phrases in the available squares, with the objective being to score as many points as possible.

Only words and idiomatic phrases which can be found a dictionary may be used. Numbers, dates, proper nouns, mathematical or scientific equations or formulae may not be used.

At each turn, a player is allowed 60 seconds to write the word or phrase onto the game board.

Placement of Words or Phrases on the Game Board

Words or phrases must be written wholly within the playing area of the game board.

Words or phrases must be oriented either horizontally from left to right or, vertically from top to bottom to form valid words or phrases when written on the game board.

Words or phrases may not be written diagonally across the board in any direction.

Each letter or punctuation mark for a word or phrase as well as the space or spaces between words in a phrase must occupy an individual square.

Words and phrases can be written across the various zones on the game board. At the start of a game, the first valid word or phrase to be written on the board must utilize Zone 1, the centre square on the board.

Subsequent words or phrases must intersect with, or append to, one or more words and/or phrases previously written on the board.

At each turn, a player is only permitted to write a word or phrase that will read in one direction. In other words, a player is not allowed to write part of a word or phrase horizontally and continue writing the remaining part of that character string vertically or vice versa.

However, it is permissible for the newly written word to intersect or append to an existing word(s) or phrase(s) perpendicular to it, thereby modifying such existing word(s) or phrase(s), provided that all such modified word(s) or phrase(s) are valid word(s) or phrase(s) which can be found in a dictionary.

It is also permissible to append letters or words written to an existing word or phrase to form the actual word or phrase selected by the QP provided that the respective words or phrases are in the same orientation and line.

It is furthermore permissible to append the complete word or phrase selected by the QP to an existing word or phrase to form a new modified word or phrase, provided that that modified word or phrase can be found in a dictionary and is in a single orientation and line.

Letters or punctuation marks in existing words or phrases cannot be altered or deleted to accommodate the new word or phrase to be written on the board.

Blank spaces within a new phrase can intersect with blank spaces within other existing phrases.

Section 8-Scorinq

As mentioned above, each square on the board has an individual square value (SV) of 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 15 or 25 points and the board is divided into 9 zones bounded by bold lines.

When a word or phrase is written onto the board, its value or word-phrase Value (PV) is computed as follows:

    • sum of the SV of the individual squares occupied by the word or phrase (excluding the value of squares occupied by punctuation marks or spaces) is multiplied by the number of zones the word or phrase occupies in part or in whole (if a word or phrase starts in Zone 3, then continues into Zone 2, then further continues into Zone 1, back into Zone 2, and finally ends in Zone 3, the total number of zones that word or phrase occupies is deemed to be 3 zones and not 5 zones).

Section 9-Infringement of the Rules

Notwithstanding the official rules of the game, prior to the start of a “friendly” game, players may agree not to impose penalties and give rewards and compensations for infringements of the rules. In addition players may agree not to impose the normal time-limits applicable.

For official and competitive games, there are nine possible types of infringements which players should avoid during the course of the game.

Five of these types of infringements, which carry automatic penalties are as follows:

    • Failure to write the correct word or phrase onto the game board within the permitted time limit;
    • Player answering out of turn;
    • QP passing his turn during Phase 1A, 1B, 2A or 2B of the game;
    • Player passing during Phase 3 of the game;
    • Player withdrawing a challenge.

The remaining four types of infringement, which require a successful challenge to be mounted before the application of penalties are as follows:

    • Words or phrases not written in accordance with the rules of placement on the board;
    • QP accepting an incorrect answer (subject to the presence of an independent referee);
    • QP rejecting a correct answer (subject to the presence of an independent referee);
    • Incorrect computation of scores.

Section 10-Challenges

A player may challenge another player over a suspected infringement of the rules of the game. The types of infringements are as listed in the Section above.

Only one player may mount a challenge at any one time. Should that challenge fail, no further challenge is allowed for a particular instance of a suspected infringement. The outcome of any challenge is that either there will be a Successful Challenger and an Unsuccessful Defender, or an Unsuccessful Challenger and a Successful Defender.

Penalties may be imposed on the unsuccessful party and rewards or compensations may be granted to the successful party. Refer to Table 2.1 in Part IV of this Rule Book for the applicable penalties, rewards or compensations.

There are specific time periods for the mounting of challenges and the imposition of penalties, as well as the adjustment of scores due to such penalties or rewards or compensations.

In the case of the QP accepting an incorrect answer or rejecting a correct answer, a challenge may only be mounted if an independent referee is available.

However, the AP or the other players may alert the QP to his possible erroneous acceptance or rejection at the time it happens and, if the error is confirmed, it is to be corrected without any penalty to the QP.

Where the QP has erroneously rejected a correct answer but this is not pointed out, and another AP in the queue or rotation subsequently gives the same correct answer which is now accepted, the most current AP is required to write the word or phrase on the board and win any points due. The previous AP does not win any points, and the QP is not penalized.

Any such error must be pointed out for possible correction before any player has started to write the word or phrase on the board during that turn.

Section 11-Penalties, Rewards and Compensations

Rewards are given to successful challengers, and compensations are normally given to successful defenders.

Rewards and compensations are usually a grant of 50 points to be added to the overall score of the relevant player.

Penalties are in most cases imposed upon infringers, unsuccessful challengers and unsuccessful defenders.

Penalties may be any one or a combination of the following:

    • Loss of a turn;
    • Deduction of points;
    • An “indictment”.

“Loss of a turn” means the loss of the turn that the player has just taken or is supposed to have taken. It does not mean the loss of his next legitimate turn. When a player loses a turn, he does not score any points for that turn.

The deduction of points is normally a deduction of fifty (50) points from an infringing player's score. However, when a deduction has to be made because of a wrongful computation of the score, the deduction is equal to the number of points which exceeds the correct score for that turn. In other words, the adjusted score is the correct score less the number of points which exceeds the correct score. No deduction of points is made if the wrongfully computed score is less than the correct score for that turn. In other words, the wrongfully computed score is maintained as the infringing player's score for that turn.

Apart from the loss of a turn or the deduction of points, an infringing player may also be served with an “Indictment” which must be recorded on his Score Card. Once a player has been served with a total of 3 Indictments during the course of a game, he is automatically expelled or “extradited” from the game.

Section 12-Consequences of Extraditions

When a player is extradited he ceases to play any further active part in it. Nevertheless, his total score up to the time of his extradition is maintained and is used to determine his position at the end of the game.

In the event that one or more players is extradited during a game such that the number of active players remaining is less than three, the game reverts to a 2-player game.

In the event that this happens during:

    • Phase 1A of the game, that phase immediately ceases and the game proceeds to Phase 1B which is to be played for a total of 5 rounds. Phase 2A is not played and Phases 2B and 3 are played for a total of 5 rounds each;
    • Phase 1B of the game, that phase continues up to a total of 5 rounds. Phase 2A is not played and Phases 2B and 3 are played for a total of 5 rounds each;
    • Phase 2A of the game, that phase immediately ceases and the game proceeds to Phase 2B which is now to be played for a total of 5 rounds. Phase 3 is also played for a total of 5 rounds;
    • Phase 2B of the game, that phase continues up to a total of 5 rounds. Phase 3 is also played for a total of 5 round;
    • Phase 3 of the game, that phase continues for a total of 5 rounds.

Should all but one of the players be extradited during the course of a game, that game comes to an end and the winner of the game is determined

Section 13-Suspension of Game

The game can be repeatedly suspended and resumed. It is recommended that games be only suspended at the end of a round.

Section 14-End of Game

The end of the game occurs when:

    • all the rounds of the relevant phases have been played, or
    • all but one of the players have been extradited.

The player with the highest total number of points, regardless of whether he has been extradited during the course of the game or not, is the winner of the game.

Section 15-Team Game

The game may be played by teams of players or a mix of individual players and teams of players.

Where players form a team or teams, the Rules apply to each team as if it was an individual player.

Team members may confer with each other. However, the action of any individual member of a team is deemed to be the collective action of the team.

Section 16-Classification of Player Level

Players may be classified as beginner, intermediate or advanced depending upon their respective level of competency.

It is strongly recommended that first-time players of the game start at the beginner's level of competency before classifying themselves at any of the higher levels of competency.

Whilst players with different levels of competency may play against each other in friendly games, competitive games should preferably be confined to players of the same level of competency.

Rules for Intermediate Level Players

During Phases 1A, 1B, 2A and 2B of the game, an intermediate player, when it is his turn to be the QP, is allowed to view only the inside of the playing card. Thus, he is only able to see the meanings of words or phrases and not the respective words or phrases which are printed on the back of the card.

The intermediate level QP faces the challenge of selecting a word or phrase given his restriction to the sight of the meanings of various words or phrases on the inside of the playing cards only.

It is possible that the QP may assume the wrong word or phrase for a particular meaning and, as a result, wrongly reject or accept the answer given by an AP. The AP or other players may then challenge the decision of the QP.

The QP may refer to the words or phrases at the back of the card only after he has accepted or rejected the answer given by an AP.

Rules for Advanced Level Players

During phases 1A, 1B, 2A and 2B of the game, an advanced level player, when it is his turn to be QP, is allowed to view only the back of the playing card. Thus, he does not have sight of the respective meanings of such words or phrases which are to be found on the inside of the card.

During phases 1A and 1B, the advanced level QP faces the challenge of being able to adequately articulate the meaning of a selected word or phrase without having the benefit of referring to the meaning given on the inside of the playing card or to a dictionary.

During these phases, the advanced level QP faces the additional challenge of stating the 3 clues required for those phases, including the articulation of the meaning of the selected word or phrase, within 90 seconds of the start of his turn to be QP.

During phases 2A and 2B, the advanced level QP faces the challenge of accepting or rejecting the definition given by an AP for the selected word or phrase without the benefit of referring to the meaning given on the inside of the playing cards or a dictionary.

The QP may refer to the inside of the card or to a dictionary only after he has accepted or rejected the answer given by an AP.

Advanced players may opt not to use the playing cards to select their preferred word or phrase but to select a word or phrase from their own vocabulary without reference to a dictionary.

It will be appreciated that it is not strictly necessary to use the playing board and that the pack of cards alone may be used simply for a question and answer game. The invention therefore also includes a pack of cards having on one side a plurality of questions and on the other side the answers to those questions, the cards having an axis of symmetry about which they can be folded such that both the questions and the answers on a card can be viewed by the player holding that card but that one or the other of the questions and the answers is concealed from the other players during play, the questions and answers on each individual card of the pack being different from those on each other card but relating to the same subject.