Title:
Luck of the Irish™ Board Game and Method of Play
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A themed-knowledge game and associated method of play, comprising: a plurality of game cards, each game card containing N questions thereon in a one-to-one correspondence with N predetermined categories of knowledge, and each of the N questions having an answer therefor; a game board comprising a plurality of game spaces between a start space and a finish space thereof; the plurality of game spaces subdivided into a plurality of game space clusters of N+1 game spaces per game space cluster; within each the game space cluster, N of the N+1 game spaces having a one-to-one correspondence with one of the N predetermined categories of knowledge, and the remaining 1 of the game spaces being a “lucky” game space; and rules for playing the game as disclosed herein.



Inventors:
Mirza, Helena A. (Niskayuna, NY, US)
Application Number:
12/323568
Publication Date:
04/02/2009
Filing Date:
11/26/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/430
International Classes:
A63F3/00; A63F9/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAW OFFICE OF JAY R. YABLON (SCHENECTADY, NY, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A themed-knowledge game, comprising: a plurality of game cards, each game card containing N questions thereon in a one-to-one correspondence with N predetermined categories of knowledge, and each of said N questions having an answer therefor; a game board comprising a plurality of game spaces between a start space and a finish space thereof; said plurality of game spaces subdivided into a plurality of game space clusters of N+1 game spaces per game space cluster; within each said game space cluster, N of said N+1 game spaces having a one-to-one correspondence with one of said N predetermined categories of knowledge, and the remaining 1 of said game spaces being a “lucky” game space; and rules for playing said game, wherein said rules provide that: all players begin with game pieces to mark their positions, collocated on said start space of said game board; with play moving in sequential turn from one player to the next, at least one standard, six-sided die or equivalent is used by a given player in a given turn to randomly determine the number of spaces to move said given player's game piece in said given turn, and said given player's game piece is moved accordingly; if said given player in said given turn, after using said at least one die in said given turn, lands on one of said N game spaces corresponding with one of said N predetermined categories of knowledge, said given player is required to try to answer a game card question for the predetermined category of knowledge corresponding with said game space, said question being in a required category; alternatively, if said given player in said given turn, after using said at least one die in said given turn, lands on one of the “lucky” game spaces, said given player is allowed to choose the one of said N predetermined categories of knowledge for which to try to answer a game card question, said question being in a chosen category; if said given player in said given turn answers the game card question incorrectly, in said required or chosen category, said given player's turn is ended and play immediately passes to the next player; and if said given player in said given turn answers the game card question correctly, in said required or chosen category, said given player receives exactly one bonus use of said at least one die, moves their piece forward the number of bonus spaces corresponding to said one bonus use of said at least one die, and then said given player's turn is ended and play immediately passes to the next player.

2. The game of claim 1, wherein a player wins by being the first player to have their game piece reach said finish space, by an exact or inexact roll of said at least one die.

3. The game of claim 1, wherein a player wins by being the first player to have their game piece reach said finish space, by an exact roll of said at least one die.

4. The game of claim 1, wherein said N=3.

5. The game of claim 1, wherein said N+1 game spaces within each said game space cluster appear in identical order among all of said game space clusters.

6. The game of claim 1, said plurality of game spaces between said start space and said finish space being an even multiple of N+1.

7. The game of claim 1, comprising no less than fifteen (15) of said game space clusters, and therefore no less than 15×(N+1) game spaces between said start space and said finish space.

8. The game of claim 1, wherein: the theme of said themed-knowledge game relates to a particular country in the world; said N=3; a path of said game spaces is configured into a two-tiered concentric loop surrounding a map of said particular country and shaped into a rough exterior outline of said particular country; a first of said N=3 predetermined categories of knowledge comprises geography related to said particular country; a second of said N=3 predetermined categories of knowledge comprises history related to said particular country; and a third of said N=3 predetermined categories of knowledge comprises any other knowledge related to said particular country.

9. The game of claim 8, wherein: said particular country in the world is Ireland; said “lucky” game space within each said game space cluster is symbolized by a shamrock.

10. A user computerized device comprising a user interface, computerized processing, and computerized storage for playing the game of claim 1, wherein said plurality of game cards, said game board, said game pieces and their movement upon said game board, the use of said at least one die, and the practice of said rules, are all coded into a plurality of computerized instructions for virtually representing the playing of said game on said user computerized device.

11. The user computerized device of claim 10, wherein the playing of said game on said user computerized device occurs over a telecommunications connection to a remote computerized device situated at a location remote from said user computerized device.

12. A computer-readable medium comprising a plurality of instructions executable by a computerized device for playing the game of claim 1, wherein said plurality of game cards, said game board, said game pieces and their movement upon said game board, the use of said at least one die, and the practice of said rules, are all encoded into said plurality of computerized instructions for virtually representing the playing of said game on the computerized device.

13. A method of playing a themed-knowledge game, comprising: providing a plurality of game cards, each game card containing N questions thereon in a one-to-one correspondence with N predetermined categories of knowledge, and each of said N questions having an answer therefor; providing a game board comprising a plurality of game spaces between a start space and a finish space thereof, said plurality of game spaces subdivided into a plurality of game space clusters of N+1 game spaces per game space cluster; within each said game space cluster, corresponding N of said N+1 game spaces on a one-to-one basis with one of said N predetermined categories of knowledge, and corresponding the remaining 1 of said game spaces with being a “lucky” game space; all players beginning with game pieces to mark their positions, collocated on said start space of said game board; with play moving in sequential turn from one player to the next, a given player in a given turn using at least one standard, six-sided die or equivalent for randomly determining the number of spaces to move said given player's game piece in said given turn, and moving said given player's game piece accordingly; if said given player in said given turn, after using said at least one die in said given turn, lands on one of said N game spaces corresponding with one of said N predetermined categories of knowledge, said given player trying to answer a game card question for the predetermined category of knowledge corresponding with said game space, said question being in a required category; alternatively, if said given player in said given turn, after using said at least one die in said given turn, lands on one of the “lucky” game spaces, said given player being allowed to choose the one of said N predetermined categories of knowledge for which to try to answer a game card question, said question being in a chosen category; if said given player in said given turn answers the game card question incorrectly, in said required or chosen category, ending said given player's turn and passing play immediately to the next player; and if said given player in said given turn answers the game card question correctly, in said required or chosen category, said given player receiving exactly one bonus use of said at least one die, moving their piece forward the number of bonus spaces corresponding to said one bonus use of said at least one die, and then ending said given player's turn and passing play immediately to the next player.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein a player wins by being the first player to have their game piece reach said finish space, by an exact or inexact roll of said at least one die.

15. The method of claim 13, wherein a player wins by being the first player to have their game piece reach said finish space, by an exact roll of said at least one die.

16. The method of claim 13, wherein said N=3.

17. The method of claim 13, further comprising said N+1 game spaces within each said game space cluster appearing in identical order among all of said game space clusters.

18. The method of claim 13, wherein said plurality of game spaces between said start space and said finish space is an even multiple of N+1.

19. The method of claim 13, further comprising providing no less than fifteen (15) of said game space clusters, and therefore no less than 15×(N+1) game spaces between said start space and said finish space.

20. The method of claim 13, further comprising: the theme of said themed-knowledge game relating to a particular country in the world; said N=3; configuring a path of said game spaces into a two-tiered concentric loop surrounding a map of said particular country and shaping said path into a rough exterior outline of said particular country; a first of said N=3 predetermined categories of knowledge comprising geography related to said particular country; a second of said N=3 predetermined categories of knowledge comprising history related to said particular country; and a third of said N=3 predetermined categories of knowledge comprising any other knowledge related to said particular country.

21. The method of claim 20, wherein: said particular country in the world is Ireland; symbolizing said “lucky” game space within each said game space cluster by a shamrock.

22. The method of claim 13, wherein said plurality of game cards, said game board, said game pieces and their movement upon said game board, the use of said at least one die, and the practice of said rules, are all coded into a plurality of computerized instructions for virtually representing the playing of said game on a user computerized device comprising a user interface, computerized processing, and computerized storage.

23. The user computerized device of claim 22, further comprising playing said game on said user computerized device over a telecommunications connection to a remote computerized device situated at a location remote from said user computerized device.

24. The method of claim 13, wherein said plurality of game cards, said game board, said game pieces and their movement upon said game board, the use of said at least one die, and the practice of said rules, are all encoded by a computer-readable medium comprising a plurality of computerized instructions executable by a computerized device for virtually representing the playing of said game on the computerized device.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Board games of various varieties have long been popular around the world. Often, a game will develop popularity because of its unique, distinctive theme, as well its own particular set of rules for moving around the board and winning the game.

Certain attributes appear in common, across many different board games. These common attributes include such things as: a game piece provided to each player to move about the board, a plurality of spaces on the board over which these game pieces are moved, a die or dice used to randomly determine the number of spaces over which a piece is to be moved, and cards which are to be drawn or used in relation to the space upon which a player lands.

Trivia games are also very popular throughout the world, wherein the players are required to provide answers to questions on general knowledge, or knowledge of a specific type (themed knowledge). Some trivia games do not make use of any associated game board, and in other instances, the answering of trivia questions is related directly to play that takes place upon an associated game board.

Trivial Pursuit® is perhaps the best-known game which combines moving around a board with answering specific trivia questions in areas of themed knowledge. Thus, for example, in the so-called “genus edition,” this game contains questions in six categories, namely: geography, entertainment, history, art & literature, science & nature, and sports & leisure. Players move around a board with a game piece and acquire “wedges” as they successfully answer questions in each category, and are eligible to “win” only after they have answered at least one question in each category.

As among the myriad of games in the crowded prior art combining movement about a game board with being required to answer themed trivia questions, each particular game is distinguished from other games, both objectively and in the subjective view of game consumers, by the overall combination of elements including the game board layout, the knowledge themes upon which they are based, and the rules by which movement is achieved in relation to the answering of questions and for ultimately “winning” the game.

It is particularly desirable to provide a combination board and trivia game which can be used to learn about the geography, history, and other facts pertaining to a particular country of the world, for example not limitation, Ireland. This helps to take learning about individual countries—which can sometimes be perceived by children or adults as an unpleasant chore—and render it fun and pleasant in the context of a friendly board game competition.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Disclosed herein is a themed-knowledge game and associated method of play, comprising: a plurality of game cards, each game card containing N questions thereon in a one-to-one correspondence with N predetermined categories of knowledge, and each of the N questions having an answer therefor; a game board comprising a plurality of game spaces between a start space and a finish space thereof; the plurality of game spaces subdivided into a plurality of game space clusters of N+1 game spaces per game space cluster; within each the game space cluster, N of the N+1 game spaces having a one-to-one correspondence with one of the N predetermined categories of knowledge, and the remaining 1 of the game spaces being a “lucky” game space; and rules for playing the game, wherein the rules provide that: all players begin with game pieces to mark their positions, collocated on the start space of the game board; with play moving in sequential turn from one player to the next, at least one standard, six-sided die or equivalent is used by a given player in a given turn to randomly determine the number of spaces to move the given player's game piece in the given turn, and the given player's game piece is moved accordingly; if the given player in the given turn, after using the at least one die in the given turn, lands on one of the N game spaces corresponding with one of the N predetermined categories of knowledge, the given player is required to try to answer a game card question for the predetermined category of knowledge corresponding with the game space, the question being in a required category; alternatively, if the given player in the given turn, after using the at least one die in the given turn, lands on one of the “lucky” game spaces, the given player is allowed to choose the one of the N predetermined categories of knowledge for which to try to answer a game card question, the question being in a chosen category; if the given player in the given turn answers the game card question incorrectly, in the required or chosen category, the given player's turn is ended and play immediately passes to the next player; and if the given player in the given turn answers the game card question correctly, in the required or chosen category, the given player receives exactly one bonus use of the at least one die, moves their piece forward the number of bonus spaces corresponding to the one bonus use of the at least one die, and then the given player's turn is ended and play immediately passes to the next player. This game can also be embodied for virtual play on a computerized device, and, of course, embodied by encoding into a suitable computer-readable medium. In the specific, non-limiting embodiment disclosed herein, the theme of this game relates to the country of Ireland.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The features of the invention believed to be novel are set forth in the appended claims. The invention, however, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing(s) in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan view illustrating a Luck of the Irish™ game board in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view illustrating a single, six-sided standard die, which is rolled by players as the basis for making moves in the preferred embodiment.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an illustrative game piece used by each player to move about the game board.

FIG. 4 is a plan view illustrating the front and back of a particular, exemplary trivia game card which players draw during the course of the game. The front (left illustration) contains questions, and the back (right illustration) contains answers to these questions.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an upright card box, holding a plurality of the game cards of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a plan view of an illustrative sheet of instructions, in accordance with the preferred embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Disclosed herein is a combination board game and trivia game used to learn about a particular country in a fun and pleasant manner. The particular country used for illustration, but not limitation, is the country of Ireland.

This Luck of the Irish™ game involves movement about a game board 1 illustrated in FIG. 1. This game board 1 comprises a plurality of game spaces 11 between a start space 12 and a finish space 13 thereof, as illustrated. A plurality of players compete, each with his or her own game piece 3 as illustrated for example not limitation in FIG. 3. Any type of marker may be used for these game pieces 3, so long as one player can be discerned from the next. These game pieces 3 move over the game board 1 according to game rules to be discussed below, based on using a six-sided standard die 2 as illustrated for example not limitation in FIG. 2. While more than one die 2 can be employed, it is preferred to use only a single die 2 and the discussion to follow will be based on this preference. The first player to have their game piece 3 reach or pass the finish space 13 is the “winner.” FIG. 4 illustrates a sample trivia card 4 which is also used to conduct the game according to game rules to be discussed below.

While the illustrations and discussion herein depict a “physical” game board 1, as well as physical trivia cards 4, physical game pieces 3, and a physical die 2, it is to be understood throughout, within the scope of this disclosure and its associated claims, that each of these elements can also be “virtually” represented, by encoding this game into a series of computerized instructions which enable the players to play this game on a user computerized device electronically, with the game coding either residing locally on the user computerized device, or remotely accessible from the user computerized device via a telecommunications connection (e.g., the Internet) to a remote computerized device, as can readily be achieved by someone of ordinary skill in the computer and communications arts. Thus, for example, the die roll 2, in a computerized game embodiment, may be virtually represented by generating a random number between 1 and 6. The game board 1 may be virtually represented on a user interface e.g., computer screen display with game pieces 3 marking the location of each player upon the screen display. And the cards 4 may be virtually represented simply by the posing of questions to the players via screen display with user replying via the user interface such as a keyboard and/or mouse.

As will be seen from FIG. 1, the path of the game 11 is configured into a two-tiered concentric loop surrounding a map of Ireland 14 (the particular country which is the chosen national theme) and shaped into a rough exterior outline of Ireland. While such a two-tier layout is preferred, this is exemplary, not limiting, and three of more tiers can also be employed within the scope of this disclosure and its associated claims. One tier could also be employed, but this is less-preferred simply because it would likely limit the total number of game spaces yielding shorter games. As illustrated, the country map may also designate cities within the chosen country, and could also feature other displays about the country which serve an educational purpose (for example, not limitation, products or natural resources associated with a region of the country, locations where historical events took place, etc.).

With N=3, this plurality of game spaces 11 is subdivided into a plurality of game space clusters of 4=N+1 game spaces per game space cluster (the game spaces connected to numeral 11 in FIG. 1 represent one such cluster). Within each game space cluster of 4=N+1 spaces 11, and referring to the game “key” at the lower right of FIG. 1, the first illustrated space is an “unshaded” space for which a corresponding predetermined category of knowledge is “geography.” The second illustrated space is an “diagonally shaded” space for which a corresponding predetermined category of knowledge is “history.” The third illustrated space is a “dot-shaded” space for which a corresponding predetermined category of knowledge is “everything else Irish.” The fourth and final illustrated space has a “shamrock” illustrated thereon, and is a “lucky” game space designated with “Luck of the Irish” for reasons to be shortly discussed below. While the aforementioned shading is used here for purposes of illustration only, it is fully understood that any other manner of distinguishing one type of space from another, including but not limited to alternative shading schemes, employment of different colors, etc., is also regarded to be within the scope of this disclosure and its associated claims. For example, not limitation, a N=3 game about the United States might utilize red, white and blue spaces, and games about other countries could similarly draw their shading/coloration scheme from the national flag, or from a similar inspiration of national significance.

FIG. 4 illustrates the front and back of a particular, exemplary Irish (or other national theme) trivia game card 4 which a player would draw during the course of the game. There are a substantial plurality (several dozen, at least) of such game cards 4. On the front of each game card 4 is a total of N questions, with N=3 for the illustrated embodiment. For N=3, with the aforementioned predetermined categories of knowledge, the “geography” spaces on the game board 1 correspond to geography questions on the game cards 4, the “history” spaces on the game board 1 correspond to history questions on the game cards 4, and the “everything else Irish” spaces on the game board 1 correspond to questions on the game cards 4 pertaining to any other knowledge related to Ireland. These are illustrated in FIG. 4, by shading which corresponds to the game spaces 11 on game board 1. The “lucky” spaces on game board 1 correspond to the choice of any of the “geography,” “history,” or “everything else Irish” topics from a game card 4. On the back of each card 4, as also illustrated, are answers to the corresponding questions on the front of the card 4.

In the illustration of FIG. 4, the exemplary geography question reads “Name the sea between Ireland and England?” to which the answer on the back of the exemplary card 4 is the “Irish Sea.” The exemplary history question reads “What year was the great famine? 1745 or 1845” to which the answer is “1845.” The exemplary “everything else Irish” question reads “What animal did the Normans bring to Ireland?” to which the answer is “Rabbit.” There are a substantial plurality of such game cards 4 as exemplified by FIG. 4, so that there are a sufficiently large number of questions available to make it interesting and instructive to play the game multiple times.

FIG. 6 illustrates an exemplary instruction sheet 6, which contains the rules for playing the game. Irrespective of the precise language used on the instruction sheet 6, the rules of play are effectively as follows: All players begin with their game pieces 3 collocated on the start space 12. The die 2 is used (rolled) to determine which player goes first (or this is determined by other fair means as decided by the players), and play thereafter proceeds to the left (or in some other alternative sequence desired by the players) thereafter.

In a given turn, a given player first rolls the die 2, then moves his or her piece 3 forward the number of spaces 11 indicted by the die 2 roll. That person then must answer a question, the category or categories of which is determined by the space upon which the player's piece 3 has landed. If the player lands on a “geography” game space, the player must answer a geography question. For landing on the “history” game space, the requirement is to answer a history question, and for landing on the “everything else Irish” game space, the person must answer a question pertaining to any other knowledge related to Ireland. In sum, if the given player in the given turn, lands on a game space 11 corresponding with one of the N predetermined categories of knowledge, that player must try to answer a game card question for the predetermined category of knowledge corresponding with the game space. This shall be referred to as a “required” category.

If, however, the player has landed on the “lucky” game space designated in the illustration of FIG. 1 with the Shamrock, then that player is allowed to choose one of the N predetermined categories of knowledge for which to try to answer a game card question. That is, with N=3 and the aforementioned categories, the player may choose to answer a “geography” question, or a “history” question, or an “everything else Irish” question. However, the player must announce this “chosen” category before he or she gets to see the actual question. So that players do not see the questions before having to make this choice, the cards 4 are kept out of sight, preferably in an upright card box 5 such as is illustrated in FIG. 5, which shows a substantial plurality of cards held within card box 5.

Once the given player in the given turn has landed on a game space and, if necessary based on landing on a “lucky” space, chosen a topic, the “next” (e.g. front) card 4 is drawn from among the plurality of game cards 4 residing in card box 5. The given player must then try to answer the game card question corresponding to the “required” or “chosen” category, from the card 4 that was drawn. If the given player answers the game card question incorrectly, the given player's turn is ended and play immediately passes to the next player. If, however, the given player answers the game card question correctly, the given player receives exactly one bonus roll of the die 2, and then moves his or her piece 3 forward the number of bonus spaces corresponding to this bonus roll. Then, play immediately passes to the next player. The game card 4 just used is in all cases returned to the “rear” of the card box 5. Of course, from time to time, and especially between games, periodic reshuffling of the game cards 4 will be warranted.

A player wins by being the first player to have his or her game piece 3 reach or pass the finish space 13. In a preferred embodiment of the game rules, the person who wins does not have to come up with an exact roll of the die to precisely land on finish space 13. In an alternative, less-preferred embodiment, the winner must achieve an exact roll onto the finish space 13. That is, a player wins by being the first player to have their game piece 3 reach the finish space 13, preferably by an exact or inexact roll of the at least one die 2, and alternatively by an exact roll of the at least one die 2.

As illustrated in FIG. 1, it is preferred, though not required, that the N+1 game spaces 11 within each game space cluster appear in identical order as among all of the game space clusters. Thus, as illustrated, the first space among the 4=N+1 spaces after the start space 12 is a “geography” space, the second space is a “history” space, the third space is an “everything else Irish” space, and the fourth and final space is a “Luck of the Irish” space. Thereafter, the pattern is repeated identically over the remainder of the path of game spaces 11, as illustrated. Given this pattern, also as illustrated, the plurality of game spaces 11 between start space 12 and finish space 13 will be an even multiple of N+1. In the FIG. 1 illustration, there are fifteen (15) iterations of this basic game space cluster and 4=N+1, and so there are a total of 15×(N+1)=60 game spaces 11 between the start space 12 and the finish space 13. It is understood, however, that there may be more than 15 such cluster iterations, and that a preferable number of clusters might run as high as 18, or 20, or more. For example, with 25 clusters, and N+1=4, there would be 100=25×(N+1) total game spaces 11 between the start space 12 and the finish space 13. With 30 clusters, and N+1=4, there would be 120 game spaces. And so on. These referenced numbers of spaces are for illustration only, and any integral number of clusters combined with any value for N is regarded to be within the scope of this disclosure and associated claims, with the preference that there be at least 60 total game spaces 11 between the start space 12 and the finish space 13. It is preferred, but not necessary, that the “lucky” space be the final space within each game space cluster, as illustrated.

It is also preferred, though not mandated, that the theme of this game be that of a particular country in the world, such as but not limited to Ireland as illustrated, and that the path of game spaces 11 be configured into two-tiered concentric loop surrounding a map 14 of the particular country and shaped into a rough exterior outline of the particular country, also as illustrated. Though categories can also be varied, for the preferred N=3 embodiment, it is also preferred that the first predetermined category of knowledge comprises geography related to the particular country; that the second predetermined category of knowledge comprises history related to the particular country; and that the third category of knowledge comprises any other knowledge related to the particular country. In all cases, there should also be one such “lucky” space within each game space cluster of N+1 game spaces 11, for which the player who lands there, as discussed, gets to choose from among the N categories on the next game card 4 to be drawn, to try to answer a question from a chosen category.

While only certain preferred features of the invention have been illustrated and described, many modifications, changes and substitutions will occur to those skilled in the art. It is, therefore, to be understood that the appended claims are intended to cover all such modifications and changes as fall within the true spirit of the invention.