Title:
SCENT-BASED BOARD GAME AND METHOD OF PLAYING
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides a board game and a method of play thereof to challenge the olfactory sense of the player. The game includes a game playing surface, a location generator, a position marker and a plurality of scent generating media. The game playing surface has at least two different venues and each scent generating media has a scent associated with one of the venues. The location generator has an indicator for each venue. The position maker indicates a location of each player on the game playing surface. Each of the plurality of scent generating media has a scent associated with one of the venues.



Inventors:
Pinto, Russell (Columbus, OH, US)
Mcclure, George W. (Dublin, OH, US)
Harris, Dale Ian (Columbus, OH, US)
Application Number:
12/406723
Publication Date:
08/13/2009
Filing Date:
03/18/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/292
International Classes:
A63F3/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BakerHostetler (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A scent game for at least one player, comprising: a game playing surface having at least two different venues; a location generator having an indicator for each venue; a position marker to indicate the location of each player on the game playing surface; and a plurality of scent generating media, each scent generating medium having a scent associated with one of the venues.

2. The game according to claim 1, wherein the game playing surface includes non-progressive paths between the venues.

3. The game according to claim 1, wherein the game playing surface has a theme.

4. The game according to claim 3, wherein the theme includes a city, a playground, a zoo, a park, a farm, a grocery store, and combinations thereof.

5. The game according to claim 1, wherein the location generator is at least one die having a venue indication on each side.

6. The game according to claim 1, wherein the location generator has a base and a spinnable pointer, the base having a representation of the different venues.

7. The game according to claim 1, further comprising a plurality of texture media, each texture medium having a texture associated with one of the venues.

8. The game according to claim 1, further comprising a plurality of audio media, each audio medium having a sound associated with one of the venues.

9. The game according to claim 1, further comprising a plurality of visual media, each visual medium having a visual representation associated with one of the venues.

10. The game according to claim 1, further comprising a plurality of texture media, each texture medium having a texture associated with one of the venues, a plurality of audio media, each audio medium having a sound associated with one of the venues, and a plurality of visual media, each visual medium having a visual representation associated with one of the venues.

11. A method of playing a scent game for at least one player, comprising: providing a playing surface having at least two different venues; placing at least one scent generating medium at each of the venues, each scent generating medium having a scent associated with the respective venue; identifying a venue for the player using a location generator; marking the identified venue using a position marker; selecting the scent generating medium located at the identified venue; identifying the scent generated by the scent generating medium; claiming the venue when a predetermined number of scents are correctly identified; and declaring a winner when a predetermined number of venues are correctly claimed.

12. The method of playing the game according to claim 11, wherein the game playing surface includes non-progressive paths between the venues.

13. The method of playing the game according to claim 11, wherein the game playing surface is at least two dimensional.

14. The method of playing the game according to claim 11, wherein the player travels from one venue to the next in no particular order.

15. The method of playing the game according to claim 11, further comprising: placing at least one texture medium at each of the venues, each texture medium having a texture associated with the respective venue; selecting the texture medium at one of the venues; identifying the texture of the texture medium; claiming the venue when a predetermined number of textures are correctly identified; and declaring as winner when a predetermined number of venues are claimed.

16. The method of playing the game according to claim 11, further comprising: placing at least one audio medium at each of the venues, each audio medium having a sound associated with the respective venue; selecting the audio medium at one of the venues; identifying the sound of the audio medium; claiming the venue when a predetermined number of sounds are correctly identified; and declaring as winner when a predetermined number of venues are claimed.

17. The method of playing the game according to claim 11, further comprising: placing at least one visual medium at each of the venues, each visual medium having a visual representation associated with the respective venue; selecting the visual medium at one of the venues; identifying the visual representation of the visual medium; claiming the venue when a predetermined number of visual representations are correctly identified; and declaring as winner when a predetermined number of venues are claimed.

18. A method of playing a scent game for at least one player, comprising: providing a playing surface having at least two different venues; placing at least one scent generating medium at each of the venues, each scent generating medium having a scent associated with the respective venue; placing at least one texture medium at each of the venues, each texture medium having a texture associated with the respective venue; placing at least one audio medium at each of the venues, each audio medium having a sound associated with the respective venue; placing at least one visual medium at each of the venues, each visual medium having a visual representation associated with the respective venue; identifying a venue for the player using a location generator; marking the identified venue using a position marker; selecting the scent generating medium, the texture medium, the audio medium, or the visual medium located at the identified venue; identifying the scent, the texture, the sound, or the visual representation generated by the selected medium; claiming the venue when a predetermined number of media are correctly identified; and declaring a winner when a predetermined number of venues are correctly claimed.

19. The method of playing the game according to claim 18, wherein the game playing surface includes non-progressive paths between the venues.

20. The method of playing the game according to claim 11, wherein the game playing surface is at least two dimensional.

21. The method of playing the game according to claim 11, wherein the player travels from one venue to the next in no particular order.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a Continuation-In-Part application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, entitled “SCENT-BASED BOARD GAME,” filed on Oct. 6, 2008, having a Ser. No. 12/246,271, which is a divisional application of U.S. patent application entitled, “SCENT-BASED BOARD GAME,” filed Nov. 3, 2005, having a Ser. No. 11/265,128, now issued as U.S. Pat. No. 7,490,833, which claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application entitled, “SCENT-BASED BOARD GAME,” filed Nov. 5, 2004, having a Ser. No. 60/625,213, the disclosures of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to the art of games for at least one player. More particularly, the present invention relates to the art of board games which utilize the senses, including smell, touch, sight, hearing, and tasting.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Games are widely utilized to provide intellectual stimulation for players of all ages. Some games stimulate the players by providing visual challenges, such as, requesting the players to match colors, figures or numbers together. Other games provide intellectual challenge by testing the players game path, and the players move along the path as the player successfully meets the challenges.

Although these games provides intellectual challenges for players by asking questions or matching objects, these games fail to directly challenge the senses of the players. Therefore, the players will benefit from a game that can provide direct sensory challenge that involves a little chance and luck.

Accordingly, it is desirable to provide a fun and challenging game where the players progress through the playing surface without following any progressive path and the players use their senses directly to identify the identity of the clues.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The foregoing needs are met, to a great extent, by the present invention, wherein one aspect of this game provides an opportunity for the players to progress through the playing surface without following any path and to use their senses, including seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and feeling to correctly identifying the identity of the clues as part of playing a game.

An embodiment of the present invention provides a game for at least one player. The game includes a game playing surface, a location generator, a position marker, and a plurality of scent generating media. The game playing surface has at least two different venues. The location generator has an indicator for each venue. The position marker is used to indicate the location of each player on the game playing surface.

Another embodiment of the present invention provides a method of playing a game for at least one player. The method includes providing a playing surface having at least two different venues, placing at least one clue generating medium at each of the venues, each clue generating medium having a property associated with the respective venue, identifying a venue for the player using a location generator, marking the identified venue using a position maker, selecting the scent generating medium located at the identified venue, identifying the scent generated by the scent generating medium, claiming the venue when a predetermined number of scents are correctly identified, and declaring as winner when a predetermined number of venues are claimed. The clue generating medium can have smells, object, texture, taste or sound as their property. The venues are not connected by any paths.

Yet another embodiment of the present invention provides a method of playing a scent game for at least one player. The method includes providing a playing surface having at least two different venues, placing at least one scent generating medium at each of the venues, each scent generating medium having a scent associated with the respective venue, placing at least one texture medium at each of the venues, each texture medium having a texture associated with the respective venue, placing at least one audio medium at each of the venues, each audio medium having a sound associated with the respective venue, placing at least one visual medium at each of the venues, each visual medium having a visual representation associated with the respective venue, identifying a venue for the player using a location generator, marking the identified venue using a position marker, selecting the scent generating medium, the texture medium, the audio medium, or the visual medium located at the identified venue, identifying the scent, the texture, the sound, or the visual representation generated by the selected medium, claiming the venue when a predetermined number of media are correctly identified, and declaring a winner when a predetermined number of venues are correctly claimed.

There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, certain embodiments of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof herein may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are, of course, additional embodiments of the invention that will be described below and which will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto.

In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of embodiments in addition to those described and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein, as well as the abstract, are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception upon which this disclosure is based may readily be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an illustration of the various items for playing a board game according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2a is an illustration of a game board according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2b is another illustration of a game board according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 3E, and 3F are illustrations of a scent generating device suitable for use with the embodiment of FIG. 1.

FIGS. 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E, and 4F are illustrations of position markers suitable for use with the embodiment of FIG. 1.

FIGS. 5A, 5B, and 5C are illustrations of devices for generating movement instruction suitable for use with the embodiment of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6a is a flow diagram of the progress of the game according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 7a is an illustration of an example of a game board according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 7b is an illustration of an example of a game board according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 8 is a system architecture for the computing device suitable for use with an electronic game according to an embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The invention will now be described with reference to the drawing figures, in which like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout. An embodiment in accordance with the present invention provides an interactive scent-based board game that directly challenges the different senses of the player and requires the player to correctly identify the identity of an object using the clue.

The Game

FIG. 1 is block diagram of a game 10 according to an embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 1, the game 10 includes: a game surface 100, scent generating device 200, position marker 300, and a movement determinative device 400.

According to various embodiments, the game surface 100 may include any suitable surfaces. Examples of suitable game surface 100 generally include a card board surface, a plastic surface, a cloth surface, a monitor surface, a combinations thereof, or the like.

According to various embodiments, the scent generating device 200 may include any suitable devices. Examples of suitable scent generating devices 200 generally include paper cards, plastic cards, electronic scent generators, and other forms of clue generating devices.

According to various embodiments, the position marker 300 may include any suitable position marker. Examples of suitable position marker 300 generally include pegs, cardboard cutouts, plastic figures, metal or alloy figures and the like.

According to various embodiments, the movement determinative device 400 may include any suitable movement determinative devices. Example of suitable movement determinative device generally include a die, a custom die, a spinner or a bag with icons and/or a series of numbers, and the like.

In addition, a timing device (not shown), such as a sand clock, clock, watch, or small hourglass, may, optionally, be used in the game so that the player guessing the scent has a fixed amount of time in which to do so.

According to an embodiment, the game of the present invention may be played in various suitable forms. Examples of suitable forms may include a board game, an on-line game via the Internet or bulletin board, or an electronic game and the like. In addition, electronic versions of the game may be stored in a variety of suitable formats. Examples of suitable formats include DVD, CD ROM, diskette, flash drive, hard drive, and the like. Furthermore, electronic version of the game may be played on various suitable devices. Examples of suitable devices include handheld computer, desktop computer, laptop computer, cellular telephone, personal digital assistant, handheld gaming device, television, gaming device (PLAYSTATION®, NINTENDO®, X-BOX®) and the like.

The Game Board

FIG. 2a shows an exemplary embodiment of the game surface 1000 according to an embodiment of the present invention. The game surface 1000 has a top surface 1010 having at least two venues 1012a, 1012b. For example, the venues 1012a, 1012b can be a farm, meadow, beach, garbage dump, swamp, home, restaurant, mall, outdoors, garage, and carnival. Venue 1012a and venue 1012b are not connected by any roads or paths. Therefore, the player can travel between them freely or remain at their location depending on the location determining device. For example, if the game surface has ten different venues, the player is not limited from traveling in any particular orders.

A set of scent generating devices 1014a, 1014b are associated with each venue 1012a, 1012b. These scent generating devices have scent that is related to the theme of the venue. In addition, optionally, additional senses testing devices can be included in the game to provide visual clues, texture clues, tasting clues or sound clues. For example, if the venue is a fruit stand, then smelling cards (scent generating device) with fruit smell can be used on the card. The player would need to identify the scent of the fruit. If the venue is a zoo, different artificial animal skins can be place on the texture cards to test a player's touch sense. The player would need to identify the identity of the animal by sensing the texture of the texture card. If the venue is a kitchen, the visual clue can be a small part of a kitchen appliance or an item in the kitchen. The player would need to identify the identity of the kitchen appliance using the visual clues. If the venue is a pet store, different animal sounds can be used as audio clues. The player would identify the identity of the pet. These sensory clues can be in the form of a card, which is further described below. The clues can also be stored on magnetic strips of a card, where the card can be inserted in an electronic console.

In addition, disposable edible articles can also be used with this game to challenge the player's sense of taste. Edible articles can include but not limited to jelly beans, gums, and hard or soft candy.

Furthermore, the game board can be two dimensional or three dimensional. Thus, three dimensional structures can be created and interlinked with each other or can be made to stand adjacent to each other to form a play area. The three dimensional structure can be made of standard materials like wood, reinforced cardboard or plastic. The three dimensional structures can have slots in them to insert graphics about the venue. For example, if the venue is a coffee shop, then the logo of a coffee shop can be used.

In addition, the game can use a combination of two dimensional and three dimensional structures. For example, the three dimensional structures can be placed on the two dimensional structure. For example, different three dimensional shops can be placed on the game board to create a village or a city.

FIG. 2b shows an exemplary embodiment of the game surface 100. The game surface 100 has a top surface 110 having a playing path 112. The playing path 112 has a start space 114, an end space 116 and a plurality of playing spaces 118a-118u disposed in between the start 114 and end space 116. The game surface 100 is also divided into two sections 120a and 120b, each of the sections 120a and 120b includes a set of corresponding actions 122a and 122b. For example, the action 122a corresponding to the spaces 118a-118c and 118L-118s. The playing spaces 118a-118u may further be subdivided into a variety of types of spaces such as, for example, instruction spaces 118b, penalty spaces 118a, reward spaces 118e, smell spaces 118c, 118d, 118f, and the like. The playing path 112 may further include one or more short cuts 124, where the player can skip a number of spaces, obstacles, or penalties by using the shortcut.

When a player lands on a penalty space 118a or reward space 118e, the player will follow the actions 122a, 122b that are indicated in the corresponding sections 120a, 120b. For example, some penalties include: miss a turn, go back to start, move 2, 5 or 10 backwards, draw a bad smell card, draw a mystery smell card, and the like. Some rewards may include: move 2, 5 or 10 steps forward, throw the dice again, draw a good smell card, skip some spaces, move immediately to another space, and the like. These examples are illustrative and not limiting in nature.

The instruction space 118b has instructions written on the space. For example, some instructions include: move 2, 5, or 10 steps forward, throw the dice again, miss a turn, go back to start, move 2, 5 or 10, draw a good smell card, draw a bad smell card, draw a mystery smell card, and the like. These examples are illustrative and not limiting in nature.

The game 110 has three types of smell spaces—good smell space 118c, bad smell space 118f, and mystery smell space 118h. Each type of smell space 118c, 118f, 118h corresponds to a specific type of card 210, 220, 230. (See FIG. 3.) For example, good smell spaces 118c correspond to good smell cards 210, bad smell spaces 118f correspond to bad smell cards 220, and mystery spaces 118h correspond to bad smell cards 230. The spaces 118c, 118f, 118h are set apart from each other by their color and design. For example, the good smell space 118c has a sun symbol, the bad smell space 118f has a skunk symbol, and the mystery space 118h has a question mark. The designs, shapes, colors and symbols are illustrative and not limiting in nature.

The game surface 110 also provides areas 126a, 126b, 126c for the placement of the scented generating devices 200. The players may separate the three sets of cards 210, 220, 230 and place them in the respective areas 126a, 126b, 126c of the game surface 110.

The game surface 100 may further include a suitable background setting for the game 10. Examples of suitable backgrounds generally include: a jungle, a chemistry lab, a city scene, a garbage dump, and the like. These examples are illustrative and not limiting in nature.

The playing path 112 may include any suitable form or shape. Examples of suitable forms or shapes generally include: squares, circles, ovals, rectangles, triangles, polygons, serpentine, or irregular shapes. These examples are illustrative and not limiting in nature.

In addition, a surface may be placed over the existing game board. For example, a surface with having different designs or themes may be places over the game board. The surface can be a piece of paper, plastic or other materials with the same or different graphics as the original game board. Examples for suitable themes generally include: Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Summer, and the like. These examples are illustrative and not limiting in nature.

As discussed above, according to an embodiment of the invention, this board game can be played in conjunction with three dimensional structures. The first step in playing the game is to set up the playing area. The players decide to use the game board alone, using the three dimensional structures alone, or combining the two. The play area contains different venues and these venues can be color coded or has a name. Examples of venue names includes but not limited to coffee shop, zoo, farm, mall, carnival, candy store, restaurant, clothing store, stationary store, etc. Each venue has a certain value and can be purchased by the player using either points or game money.

The Scent Genera Ting Device

FIG. 3 illustrates a variety of suitable scent generating devices 200 according to various embodiment. In an embodiment, the first side 240 contains an area with the scent 242. Optionally, the area can be replaced by fabrics or pictures to challenge a player's touch sense and visual sense. For example, if it is a clue for testing the player's smell sense, the clue contains a scent; if it is a clue for testing a player's touch sense, the clue contains a piece of fabric; if it is a clue for testing a player's visual sense, the clue contains an object; if it is clued for testing a player's taste sense, the clue contains an editable item.

According to an embodiment of the invention, as shown in FIG. 3, three types of scent generating devices—good smell card 210, bad smell card 220, and mystery smell card 230. Each smell card 210, 220, 230 includes, a first side 240, 244, 250 with at least one scented area. For example, smell card 210 having one scented area 242, smell card 220 having two scented areas 246a and 246b, and smell card 230 having six scented areas 252a-252f are also possible. Each smell card has a second side 212, 222, 232 with the identity of the scents 216, 226, 236 and an order 214, 224, 234. These examples are illustrative and not limiting in nature.

In an embodiment, the first side 240 contains one scented area 242. This area may be in any suitable shapes. Examples of suitable shape include: square, ellipse, triangular, circular, strip, or irregular. This scented area 242 may contain any suitable scents—good smell or bad smell. Examples of good smell include: chocolate, apple, cherry, grape, strawberry, and the like. Examples of bad smell include: garlic, dirt, smoke, sulfur, trash, and the like. These examples are illustrative and not limiting in nature. Mystery cards 230 may contain either good smell, bad smell, or both. The scented cards 210, 220, 230 are set apart from each other by any suitable color and design. For example, the good smell card 210 has a sun symbol 218, the bad smell card 220 has a skunk symbol 228, and the mystery card 230 has a question mark 238. These examples are illustrative and not limiting in nature.

In an embodiment, the second side 212, 222, 232 contains the identity of the scent 216, 226, 236 and an order 214, 224, 234. The identity of the scent 216, 226, 236 is printed on the card 210, 220, 230 and is visible to the players. Alternatively, the identity of the scent 216, 226, 236 may be printed on the card using any suitable means and is invisible from the player. Examples of a suitable mean include: an invisible ink and the identity may be made visible by placing a clear decoding card over the second side of the card. The order 214, 224, 234 is an instruction for the player, indicating their action upon the correct or incorrect identifying of the scent. For example: move 2, 5, or 10 steps forward, throw the dice again, miss a turn, go back to start, move 2, 5 or 10, draw a good smell card, draw a bad smell card, draw a mystery smell card, and the like. These examples are illustrative and not limiting in nature.

In one embodiment, the scented areas 242, 246a, 246b, 252a-252f on the cards 210, 220, 230 are micro-encapsulated using known techniques that allow the scent or smell to be released by scratching the scented area and breaking the beads or capsules containing the scented material. In addition, the scented areas 242, 246a, 246b, 252a-252f can be made using the following techniques: scratch & sniff, snap & burst, peel & reveal, micro varnish, micro emulsions, fragrances, and any technique that can be used to deliver smell on a card. These examples are illustrative and not limiting in nature.

Furthermore, the cards 210, 220, 230 may contain more than one scented areas 242, 246a, 246b, 252a-252f. For example, a scented card 230 having six or more scented areas 252a-252f on the card is shown. In addition, the scented areas 252a-252f may contain more than one scent. For example, there can be two different scented areas and each contains a different scent. These examples are illustrative and not limiting in nature.

Alternatively, the good 210, bad 220 and mystery 230 cards can be substituted with other unique smells. Players can purchase additional cards having specific themes. For example: a set of cards with flower scent, herb scent, perfume scent, coffee scent, beer scent, wine scent, fruit scent, and the like. These examples are illustrative and not limiting in nature.

Furthermore, players may also purchase additional theme backgrounds with the special scented cards having specific themes. For example, a Christmas theme may include theme scents such as pumpkin pie, evergreen tree, fruit cake, ginger bread, and the like; and a Thanksgiving theme may include theme scents such as roasted turkey, sweet potato, cranberries, and the like. These examples are illustrative and not limiting in nature.

When a player picks up the card 210, 220, 230, the player will have to scratch the scented areas 242, 246a, 246b, 252a-252f and guess the scent. If they guess the smell correctly they get to play again. If they guess the smell incorrectly, they incur a penalty, for example, remain in their space.

In the electronic format, a scent generating device (not shown) is used with the gaming apparatus. The player presses a button to release the smell of the card or presses a button to scratch the card shown on the screen. In the online format, the player uses an input device such as a mouse or arrow keys on the keyboard, or LCD touch screen to scratch the card shown on the screen. In either version, when the card is scratched, the smell is released by an odor generation apparatus attached to the computer through a USB port or other attachment or interface means.

The Position Marker

FIG. 4 shows various types of position markers 310, 312, 314, 316, 318, 320 that a player may use to mark the location of the player during the game. The position marker can be any suitable game pieces. Examples of suitable game pieces include: pegs, cardboard cutout, plastic figures, and the like. These pieces may be characters in the game or are objects used to prevent or create smells such as, for example, gas mask, clothesline pins, bowls of chili, or bean burritos. These examples are illustrative and not limiting in nature.

In addition, player may also choose to use other types of position markers, such as: dry erase pen, color pencils, or other markers to mark their position on the game path. These examples are illustrative and not limiting in nature.

The Movement Determining Device

FIG. 5 shows various devices 410, 420, 430 for generating movement instruction. The movement generating device may be any suitable chance devices. Example of suitable chance devices include: a single die 420, a custom die 410, a spinner 430, a bag with a series of numbers (not shown), and the like. Any other suitable chance determining element may be provided for the operation of the game. These examples are illustrative and not limiting in nature.

According to an embodiment of the invention, spinner 400 can contain the name of the venues. In the alternative, the spinner can contain color that associate with the different venues. Therefore, the player does not follow any specific path to travel around the game board. It is also possible that the player could stay at the same venue and not move to another venue. In addition, an electronic console can also be used to randomly generate a venue for the player.

As an example, the custom die 410 is made so that two faces of each individual die has a picture of a skunk 416 on it, two faces of the die has a question mark 412 on it, and two face of the dice has a sun symbol 414 on it. The spinner 430 is designed the same way, with numbers 1 through 6 (446, 448, 450, 452, 454, 456) or the graphics of a skunk 458, a sun symbol 460, and a question mark 462. When using the custom die 410 or spinner 430 with graphics, the player advances to the next space of the path indicated by the graphics. For example, if a player receives a sun symbol 414, 460, the player will move to the next space with a sun symbol on it. Similarly, if a player receives a skunk 416, 458 or question mark symbol 412, 462, the player will move to the space with a skunk or question mark symbol on it, respectively. If the player uses a regular dice of a spinner with numbers, the player advances the number of spaces indicated by the dice of the spinner. For example, if the player receives a four using a dice or a spinner, the player advances four spaces on the playing path. In the alternative, the playing path 112 can also be represented by different colors in place of the characters or symbols.

In the electronic embodiment, the player presses a button or an input device to spin the spinner or roll the dice. In the online version, the player will have to use the mouse, the arrow keys on the keyboard, or other suitable input device, such as CD touch screen to spin the spinner or roll the dice. These examples are illustrative and not limiting in nature.

Method for Playing the Game

The game according to the present invention can be played with or without an electronic console. To play the game without an electronic console, the player can use the position determining device 400 as discussed above. Next, the players will set up the clues for the game at the corresponding venues. These clues can include clues for challenging a player's sense of smell, touch, sight, and hearing.

Each player is then given game money and a notepad to start. The money lets the players purchase the different venues and the notepad is used to record the identity of the clues at the different venue. Each player start with a predetermined amount of money and the rest of the money are kept at a reserve, i.e. bank. A player can be elected to be the master of the game to ask trivia questions if trivia is included in the game.

Players begin by deciding the order of play and selecting a positional marker for each player. Players advance around the board exploring the various venues by using the position determining device. Since there is no defined path, players can move randomly to any venue. Once a player enters a venue, they can pick up a clue and use their senses to determine the identity of the clue. For example, if the clue is a smell card, the player will need to determine the identity of the smell. The player writes down the identity of the clue and show it to the master. The master verifies the identity of the clue and return the clue to the stack. If the player guesses the clue wrong, he loses a turn. Every correct guess earns the player a pre-set sum of money or point. Similarly, every incorrect guess cost the player a pre-set sum of money or point. After correctly identifying the clue, the player can purchase the venue. The main goal is to identify the clues correctly and accumulate point or money to purchase the venue.

After a venue has been purchased, other players needs to pay a fee to the venue owner when they land on the venue. The game ends when all the venues are purchased by the players. The player with the most venues and the most points or money wins the game.

In addition, an opposing player can challenge the identification of the clue. The master is the judge on the challenge. If the challenger is correct, the player who was challenged loses a turn. If the challenger is wrong, the challenger loses a turn.

This game can be played using the scent clues, or in combination with visual clues, audio clues, and/or texture clues.

FIG. 6. is a flow diagram of a method 600 according to an other embodiment of the invention. At step 610, to start the game, players may gather parts of the game: the playing surface 110, scented cards, 210, 220, 230, position markers 310, 312, 314, 316, 318, 320, and movement determining device 410, 420, 430. The players may place the scented cards 210, 220, 230 in the corresponding areas 126a, 126b, 126c on the playing surface 110. Each player may select a positional marker. Players determine their play order by using any, all, or any combination of the movement determining device 410, 420, 430. The player with the highest number goes first, the second highest goes next and so forth. Alternatively, if an adult is playing with a child, the child can be allowed to go first, or the lowest number can go first.

At step 612, once the player order is decided, beginning at the start space 114, the first player use the movement determining device to decide where the player will move on the playing path 112. The player can land on a penalty space 118a, an instruction space 118b, a smell space 118c, 118f, 118h, reward space 118e, or other special spaces. Examples for special spaces include: jail, toilet bowl, or the like. These examples are illustrative and not limiting in nature.

At step 614, it is determined whether the positional marker 310 is disposed upon the smell space 118c, 118f, 118h. In the event that the positional marker 310 is disposed upon a smell space 118c, 118f, 118h, a corresponding smell card 210, 220, 230 may be selected and the identity of the smell may be guessed at step 616.

At step 616, the player will scratch the scented area 242, 246a, 246b, 252a-252f, sniff the area and try to identify the scent at step 618.

At step 620, if the player answers correctly, the player can: (a) follow the order 214, 224, 234 on the card, (b) stay at the space and request the next player to follow the order (this will happen if the player will land on a penalty space by moving forward), or (c) throw the dice again, move forward to the indicating space and follow the instruction. The player will continues back at step 612 until a player reaches step 632 and declares as the winner at step 634.

At step 622, if the player answers incorrectly, then the player receives a penalty. The player will remain on the space and wait until other players have a chance to move along the path before continuing with step 612. The player will continues until a player reaches step 632 and declares as the winner at step 634.

At step 624, when a player lands on an instruction space 118, the player will follow the instructions at step 626 indicated on the space 118. Examples of instructions are: move 2, 5, or 10 steps forward, throw the dice again, miss a turn, go back to start, move 2, 5 or 10, draw a good smell card, draw a bad smell card, draw a mystery smell card, and the like. Upon completing the instructions, the player continue with step 612 until a player reaches step 632 and declares as the winner at step 634.

At step 628, when a player lands on a penalty space 118a or reward space 118e, the player may follow the actions 122a, 122b that are indicated in the corresponding sections 120a, 120b at step 630. Examples of penalties space and reward spaces are: miss a turn, go back to start, move 2, 5 or 10, draw a bad smell card, and draw a mystery smell card. Some reward can be move 2, 5 or 10 steps forward, throw the dice again, draw a good smell card, skip some spaces, move immediately to another space, and the like.

When a player lands on the other spaces, the player will follow instruction accordingly. For example: if the player lands on a jail or toilet bowl spot, the player can only resume the game by throwing a six with the dice or other movement determinative device. These examples are illustrative and not limiting in nature.

Each player will take turns on moving along the path at steps 612, 614, 624, 628 (as discussed above) using the dice until the first player arrives at the end space 116 and declares as the winner of the game at step 634.

In one embodiment, after identifying the scent, the player returns the game card to the bottom of the card pile before proceeding with the move to the next space. In the alternative, the players can also elect to keep the scented cards upon correct identifying of the scent.

In another embodiment, the path is neither color coded nor placed with character or symbols. Players will mix all the scented cards in one pile and the player will identify the scent on the card during their turn. In this embodiment, the scent card can either be a good smell card or a bad smell card. The player can move forward if the player correctly identify the scent. However, the player incurs penalty if the player incorrectly identify the scent.

FIG. 7a is yet another example of the possible layout of a game board. In this example, the game board the venues are illustrated on the game board and there is no progressive path between the different venues.

FIG. 7b is yet another example of the possible layout of a game board. In this example, the path 710 having a start space 712, an end space 714, and a set of spaces that resemble grass 716, stone 718, leave 720 and wood 722 in between the start space 712 and the end space 714. There are short-cuts 724, 726 (as many as desired) between the spaces, where the players can use the short-cuts 724, 726 to bypass obstacles or penalties. On the left side, right side, and bottom of the game show three spaces 728, 730, 732 for the scented cards (FIG. 3). The flower symbol space 728 is the location for the good smell cards 210, the nose clip symbol space 730 is the location for bad smell cards 220, and the question mark space 732 is for mystery smell cards 230. The path also contains reward space 732 and penalty space 734. These examples are illustrative and not limiting in nature.

As discussed above, this game can be played with an electronic consol. The electronic consol can replace position markers for the players. For example, prior to the start of the game, the number of the players can be entered into the electronic consol. Then, the players can take turn pushing the consol to find out their venue location.

With an electronic console, the method of playing is the same except there is no positional markers, paper money, and position determining device. The players can be identified using player numbers. In the alternative, the name of the players can be inputted in the console. Each player is issued an electronic card with a pre-set value or money. Money can be loaded on the card by inserting it into the console at the start of the game. The electronic console identifies whose turn it is and then tells the player a random area to go.

FIG. 8 is a system architecture for the computing device 800 suitable for use with an electronic game 10 according to FIG. 1. As shown in FIG. 8, the computing device 800 includes a processor 810. This processor 810 is operably connected to a power supply 812, a memory 814, a clock 816, an analog to digital converter (A/D) 818, and an input/output (I/O) port 820. The memory 814 is configured to store data received from the processor 810. The I/O port 820 is configured to receive signals from any suitably attached electronic device and forward these signals to the A/D 818 and/or the processor 810. For example, the I/O port 820 may receive signals associated with an input device 822 and forward the signals to the processor 810. Furthermore, the I/O port 820 is configured to forward the signals from the processor 810 to a scent generating device 826. If the signals are in analog format, the signals may proceed via the A/D 818. In this regard, the A/D 818 is configured to receive analog format signals and convert these signals into corresponding digital format signals. Conversely, the A/D 818 is configured to receive digital format signals from the processor 810, convert these signals to analog format, and forward the analog signals to the I/O port 820. In this manner, electronic devices configured to receive analog signals may intercommunicate with the processor 810.

The display 824 is configured to provide visual information to a player. In another form, the display 824 may include a touch screen configured to provide a data entry capacity to the user. In this regard, the display 824 and/or the input device 822 is configured to provide the player with the capability to communicate with the processor 810.

The processor 810 is configured to receive and transmit signals to and from the A/D 818 and/or the I/O port 820. The processor 810 is further configured to receive time signals from the clock 816. In addition, the processor 810 is configured to store and retrieve electronic data to and from the memory 814. Furthermore, the processor 810 is configured communicate with I/O port 820 to direct the scent generating device 826 to emit a scent. In addition, other external device 828 such as a CD, DVD, hard drive and the like can also be in communication with I/O port 820.

This system for playing a game can exist in a variety of forms both active and inactive. For example, they can exist as software program(s) comprised of program instructions in source code, object code, executable code or other formats. Any of the above can be embodied on a computer readable medium, which include storage devices and signals, in compressed or uncompressed form. Exemplary computer readable storage devices include conventional computer system RAM (random access memory), ROM (read only memory), EPROM (erasable, programmable ROM), EEPROM (electrically erasable, programmable ROM), flash memory, and magnetic or optical disks or tapes. Exemplary computer readable signals, whether modulated using a carrier or not, are signals that a computer system hosting or running the computer program can be configured to access, including signals downloaded through the Internet or other networks. Concrete examples of the foregoing include distribution of the HTML builder classes, their extensions or document-producing programs on a CD ROM or via Internet download. In a sense, the Internet itself, as an abstract entity, is a computer readable medium. The same is true of computer networks in general.

Furthermore, a variation of the online game would be used to create a web community where players can purchase clue generators (i.e. cards). These clue generators contain codes. The players can play games on the online site after registering as a player with the site. When the players purchase refills of clue generators, the players will receive a code that will enable them to unlock a portion of the site and move to a next higher level. Different codes will unlock different parts of the online game. As players progresses, more challenging clues would present as the difficulty level of the game increases.

The many features and advantages of the invention are apparent from the detailed specification, and thus, it is intended by the appended claims to cover all such features and advantages of the invention which fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and variations will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation illustrated and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.