Title:
Miracle five game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a board game in which two or more players attempt to set three or more playing elements in a row on grid based playing surface either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Players take turns either setting or moving a playing element. A playing element may be moved to an adjacent square, over a series of one or more opponent's playing elements, or along a designated path on the playing surface.



Inventors:
Hasegawa, Goro (Chiba-Ken, JP)
Application Number:
12/214277
Publication Date:
12/24/2009
Filing Date:
06/18/2008
Assignee:
MegaHouse Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ZUBER LAWLER LLP (LOS ANGELES, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A game comprising: a grid based playing surface comprising a number of columns and rows each having a number of cells and thereby forming a grid; at least two sets of playing elements, each set having a plurality of playing elements with each playing element having two sides, one of which is always upward facing and visible during game play depending upon the state of the playing element, and further wherein each side has a different appearance from the other. the object of the game is to be the first player to arrange at least three playing elements consecutively, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, on the grid based playing surface, wherein each player takes a turn in an orderly fashion, and further wherein a player may during his turn either set an unused playing element into play by placing the playing element on the grid based playing surface or may move a playing element which is already in play on the playing surface.

2. The game of claim 1 wherein a playing elements may be in either one of two different states, such state governing how a playing element may or may not be moved.

3. The game of claim 2 wherein a playing element may be in either a “Regular” state or a “Promoted” state.

4. The game of claim 3 wherein a playing element in a “Regular” may be moved over from a first cell to any adjacent and unoccupied cell either horizontally or vertically, but not diagonally.

5. The game of claim 3 wherein a playing element in the “Promoted” state may be moved from a first cell to any adjacent cell and unoccupied cell either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

6. The game of claim 1 wherein a playing element may be moved over any number of adjacent consecutive playing elements belonging to another player.

7. The game of claim 1, wherein the grid-based playing surface includes a designated path, which is indicated on the playing surface by a series of consecutive darker colored cells.

8. The game of claim 7 wherein playing elements may be moved any distance over any open and unoccupied cells along the designated path.

9. A method for playing a grid-based game for at least two players, said method comprising: placing a first element into play on an unoccupied space anywhere on a grid-based playing surface on a first turn; either placing a second element into play on an unoccupied space anywhere on the grid-based playing surface or moving the first element already placed into play to another adjacent unoccupied space on a subsequent turn; wherein the object of the game is to be the first player to arrange at least three playing elements consecutively on the grid based playing surface (either horizontally, vertically or diagonally).

10. The method of claim 9 wherein a playing element may be moved over any number of adjacent consecutive playing elements belonging to another player.

11. The method of claim 9 wherein a playing element may be moved any distance over any open and unoccupied cells along a designated path on the grid based playing surface.

12. A method for playing a grid-based playing game for at least two players comprising, each player taking a turn in an orderly fashion during which said player may either: set an unused playing element into play by placing the playing element on the grid based playing surface, or move a playing element which is already in play on the grid based playing surface. wherein the object of the game is to be the first player to arrange at least three playing elements consecutively on a grid based playing surface, either horizontally, vertically or diagonally.

13. The method of claim 12 wherein a playing element may be in any one of two possible states, such state governing how said playing element may or may not be moved.

14. The method of claim 13 wherein a playing element may be in either a “Regular” state or a “Promoted” state.

15. The method of claim 14 wherein a playing element in the “Regular” state may be moved over from a first cell to any adjacent and unoccupied cell either horizontally or vertically, but not diagonally.

16. The method of claim 14 wherein a playing element in the “Promoted” state may be moved from a first cell to any adjacent and unoccupied cell either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

17. The method of claim 12 wherein a playing element may be moved over any number of adjacent consecutive playing elements belonging to another player.

18. The method of claim 12 wherein a playing element may be moved any distance over any open and unoccupied cells along a designated path on the grid based playing surface.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to the field of board games to be played by one or more persons. More specifically, but not by way of limitation, the application relates to a grid-based board game and method of play wherein the goal is to be the first player to arrange at least three (3) playing elements in any one direction (horizontally, vertically or diagonally) on the grid.

BACKGROUND

Games involving strategic movement and/or positioning of playing elements along a grid-based board are well known in the art. These games include (but are not limited to) chess, checkers, backgammon, parchissi, etc. However, board game enthusiasts are continually looking for new challenges and modern games of strategy, and the features and advantages of the present invention are described in greater detail within this description.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a board game that includes a grid-based playing board/surface and at least two sets of playing elements. Each set of playing elements contains a plurality of playing elements for each potential player. Each player takes a turn by either setting an unused playing element into play on the playing surface or by moving one of his individual playing elements already in play on the playing board/surface. The goal is to be the first player to arrange at least (3) of your playing elements in any direction (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally) on the grid based board/surface.

In accordance with one embodiment, playing elements are considered to be in any one of two possible states and movement of the element is limited in accordance with which of the states the element is currently in at the time of movement.

Additionally, each of the playing elements has a first side and a second opposite, wherein one of such sides is always visible and indicates a state of a playing element. A playing element may be “promoted” during play of the game such that the element is then flipped over. Accordingly, while still on its first side, a playing element is considered to be in a first or “Regular” state and may be moved in a limited direction, in accordance with its first or “Regular” state. Once “Promoted”, a playing element is then flipped over such that the second side is visible and it may then be moved in additional directions, in accordance with its “Promoted” state.

Furthermore, as part of the instant invention, there is provided a method of playing a grid-based board game, wherein during each player's turn, that player may either set an unused playing element into play on the playing surface or may move one of its playing elements already in play on the board/surface. Movement may take place by moving a playing element to an adjacent space, by moving a playing element over a series of one or more of an opponent's playing elements, or by moving a playing element any distance over a designated path along the board/surface—provided that the movement does not require leaving the designated path.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates the component parts for the game of the present invention, including the grid based playing surface and at least two sets of playing elements for two players;

FIG. 2 illustrates the first and second sides of a playing element, each having a different appearance;

FIGS. 3a and 3b illustrates a preferred embodiment for the object of the game and how playing elements may be arranged in a horizontal or a diagonal row;

FIG. 4a illustrates how a playing element may be moved when the playing element is in a “Regular” state;

FIG. 4b illustrates how a playing element may be moved when the playing element is in a “Promoted” state;

FIG. 5 illustrates how a playing element may be moved over a series of one or more adjacent opponent's playing elements to the next available open position; and

FIGS. 6a and 6b illustrate how a playing element may be moved any distance along a designated path on the playing grid/surface.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention for a grid based playing game in which each player has a set of playing elements. The object of the game is to be the first player to arrange at least three (3) consecutive playing elements in a row (horizontally, vertically or diagonally) on the grid based playing board or playing surface.

The Game

FIG. 1 illustrates the component parts for a preferred embodiment of the game of the present invention. According to a preferred embodiment, and as shown in FIG. 1, the invention includes a grid-based playing surface 10, and at least two separate sets of playing elements 20. Although the game is hereinafter described in terms of a grid-based board game having actual physical pieces/playing elements, it is understood that the game may be implemented in the form of a video based/electronic game, in which case the board is then a virtual grid and the pieces are virtual playing elements which may be manipulated/moved as with any conventional video type game.

As shown in FIG. 1, the grid-based playing surface 10 is subdivided into a plurality of columns and rows, which are further subdivided into individual cells 30, thereby forming a grid pattern. Although the playing surface 10 is depicted in FIG. 1 has having nine rows and ten columns, the present invention is not limited thereby, and different numbers of columns and rows may be utilized in keeping with the objects of the present invention.

As further shown in FIG. 1, the grid-based playing surface includes a designated path 40, which is indicated on the playing surface by a series of consecutive darker colored cells. In a preferred embodiment, the designated path is comprised of four legs along the outside border of the playing surface 10 and one center leg which traverses the playing surface horizontally through the middle of the playing surface 10, thereby connecting two legs along the border. It is understood that the present invention is not intended to be limited in this regard and other positions/parts of the board may be used to constitute a designated path.

In a preferred embodiment, each set of playing elements is made up of a plurality of playing elements—in the illustration this number is twelve (12)—and each set is a different color (with all playing elements in any one set being of the same color). It is understood that other embodiments may contain a different numbers of sets of playing elements (there always being at least two) and/or a different number of playing elements within each set.

In a preferred embodiment, the playing elements are formed as chips or discs with each playing element having two sides, one of which is always upward facing and visible during game play. More specifically, FIG. 2 illustrates the first and second sides of a playing element, each having a different appearance. As shown in FIG. 2, each element has a first or top side and a second or bottom side, with the second side being different from the first by having an illustration, color, shape, image, or other means of distinguishing it from the appearance of the first side.

When a playing element 20 is first put into play, it is set on the playing surface with the first side 50 preferably facing upward and visible. Such playing element 20 is said to be in a “Regular” state 70. In a preferred embodiment, the “Regular” state 70 indicates that the playing element 20 may be moved horizontally and vertically, but not diagonally. During play, as will be discussed further hereinafter, a playing element may be upgraded to a “Promoted” state. The “Promoted” state 80 is demonstrated by a playing element 20 that has been flipped over, such that the second side 60 is then facing upward and visible. In a preferred embodiment, a “Promoted” state indicates that the playing element 20 may be moved horizontally, vertically, and diagonally, as discussed in greater detail further hereinafter.

Game Play

Typically, the game will be played between two players, but other embodiments may involve a different number of players. In a preferred embodiment, the players decide who will go first and alternate turns until the game is completed. In each player's turn, a player may set an unused playing element 20 into play by placing the playing element 20 on the playing surface. Alternatively, a player may move a playing element 20 which is already in play on the playing surface. When a playing element 20 is first placed on the playing surface 10, it is placed in the “Regular” state 70 with the first or top side 50 of the playing element 20 facing upward and visible.

The object of the game is to be the first player to arrange at least three (3) playing elements in a row (either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally) on the playing surface. Different embodiments within this penumbra are possible—such as three in a row, four in a row, five in row, etc. For example, as shown in FIGS. 3a and 3b, a preferred embodiment of the game may require arrangement of five playing elements in a row (either horizontally, vertically or diagonally). At a minimum the game requires arrangement of at least three consecutive playing elements and the game is completed once one of the players has arranged at least three of their playing elements 20 in a row (either horizontally, vertically or diagonally).

During play of the game, playing elements 20 may preferably be moved in different ways—dependent upon their state as “Regular” or “Promoted”. FIG. 4(a) illustrates how a playing element may be moved when the playing element is in a “Regular” state; while FIG. 4(b) illustrates how a playing element may be moved when the playing element is in a “Promoted” state. As shown in FIGS. 4(a) and 4(b) a playing element 20 may be moved vertically or horizontally to a lateral or adjacent unoccupied space regardless of the state. As further shown in FIG. 4(b), a playing element which is in the “Promoted” state may also move diagonally into any unoccupied adjacent space.

During play of the game, it is also possible to “jump” or move over one or more of an opponent's playing elements. FIG. 5 illustrates how a playing element may be moved over a series of one or more of an opponent's adjacent playing elements to the next available and unoccupied position on the grid playing surface. As shown in FIG. 5, a playing element 20 may also be moved over a continuous series of one or more adjacent opponent's playing elements 20 to the next available open space provided that there are not any intervening open spaces or playing elements 20 controlled by the player making the movement. Accordingly, the playing element 61 may be moved over the opposing player's playing elements to space 62a or 62b. However, the playing element 61 cannot be moved to space 62c because there is an intervening open space. Additionally, it cannot be moved to space 62d because there is an intervening playing element owned/controlled by the same player making the movement (i.e. a player cannot jump or move over his own playing element).

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention a playing element 20 may also be moved any distance along a designated path 40 on the playing surface 10 provided that the movement does not include jumping over any other playing elements 20 which may be positioned along the designated path. More specifically, as described earlier herein, the playing surface preferably has a group of consecutive cells which are darker in color and which form a designated path. As further described earlier herein, in a preferred embodiment there is one designated path having four legs which run along each of the outside borders of the playing surface 10 and one leg which traverses the playing surface horizontally through the middle of the playing surface 10. It is understood that the present invention is not intended to be limited in this regard and other positions/parts of the board may be used as a designated path.

FIG. 6a illustrates how a playing element may be moved any distance along a designated path on the playing grid/surface where there is only one other playing element in the path. As shown in FIG. 6a, the playing element 72 can be moved anywhere along the designated path in the directions shown by the arrows marked as 65a-d. However, the playing element cannot jump or move over the playing element 67 which is positioned on the path.

Similarly FIG. 6b illustrates how a playing element may be moved any distance along a designated path on the playing grid/surface where there are several other playing elements on the designated path. As shown in FIG. 6b, the playing element 72 can be moved anywhere along the designated path in the directions shown by the arrows marked as 65a-c.

Referring to both FIGS. 6a and 6b, one can easily see that as the number of playing elements which are positioned on the designated path increase, the distance and direction a player may move his playing element along the designated path decreases.

Finally, as explained earlier herein, in the preferred embodiment of the present invention a playing element 20 changes from a “Regular” state 70 to a “Promoted” state 80 once it is in play and has been moved at least one space on the playing surface. During play of the game, playing elements 20 may preferably be moved in different ways—dependent upon their state as “Regular” or “Promoted”. Referring again to FIGS. 4(a) and 4(b), they each illustrate how a playing element may be moved when the playing element is in a “Regular” or a “Promoted” state.

With respect to the above description, it is to be realized that variations such as the number players, the number of playing elements in a set, the size/dimensions of the playing surface, the designated paths, and the rules of movement of pieces may be employed and still fall within the scope of protection granted by this description. Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention and shall not serve to limit or restrict the scope of this application.