Title:
Global equity acquisition board game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method of playing a game. In accordance with the invention, the method includes the steps of identifying a plurality of geographic regions, such as continents, on a game board; identifying an industry located within each of the geographic regions; associating a unique icon with each industry; defining a path of player travel having plural stopping points therealong, some of the stopping points corresponding to the unique icons; providing a plurality of event cards in response to player travel along the path; providing currency for distribution to each player; providing a chance device, such as a die, for generating player advancement values; and advancing a player along the path in response to activation of the chance device. The cards affect the industries positively or negatively and rent is payed by a player that lands on an industry icon. A bank provides banking services to a player.



Inventors:
Ceceña-roma, Jorge (Rochester Hills, MI, US)
Application Number:
12/590560
Publication Date:
06/10/2010
Filing Date:
11/09/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/146
International Classes:
A63F3/00; A63F9/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Rohm & Monsanto, PLC (St. Clair Shores, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of playing a game, the method comprising the steps of: identifying a plurality of geographic regions on a game board; identifying at least one industry located within each of the plurality of geographic regions; associating a unique icon with each of the industries; defining a path of player travel on the game board throughout the plurality of geographic regions, the path of player travel having a plurality of player stopping points therealong, at least some of the stopping points corresponding to the unique icons; providing at least one “!” card draw icon on the path of player travel; providing a plurality of “!” cards, each corresponding to an event or condition that affects at least some of the industries; providing currency for distribution to each player; providing a chance device for generating player advancement values; and advancing a player along the path of player travel in response to activation of a chance device and the player advancement values.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the geographic regions correspond to continents of the world.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the industries correspond to selectable ones of water, agriculture, farming, mining, energy, commerce, telecommunication, construction, transportation, automotive, and defense.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein at least one of the industries corresponds to a corporation in an industry.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein there is provided the further step of identifying a special industry corresponding to a selectable one of tobacco, gems, textiles, plastic, and wood.

6. The method of claim 5, wherein the special industry is affected by a condition or event specified on a “!” card.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the event or condition identified in a “!” card affects some of the industries positively or negatively.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein the extent of the positive or negative effect on an industry of an event or condition identified in a “!” card is responsive to the region in which the industry is located.

9. The method of claim 7, wherein the extent of the positive or negative effect on an industry of an event or condition identified in a “!” card is correlated to the currency.

10. The method of claim 7, wherein rent is payed by a player that lands on an industry icon, the amount of the rent being responsive to event or condition identified in a played “!” card.

11. The method of claim 1, wherein the chance device is a die.

12. The method of claim 1, wherein there is provided the further step of using the currency to enable a player to purchase at least a portion of an industry within a geographic region.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein there is further provided the step of providing a bank of the currency.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein there is further provided the step of providing banking services to a player.

Description:

RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of the filing date of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/198,698, filed on Nov. 7, 2008. The disclosure in that provisional patent application is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND IF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to board games, and more particularly, to a board game and method wherein players are advanced in response to a chance device through countries, each country having predetermined industries and resources, the players being given an opportunity to acquire such resources and/or industries in whole or in part.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The foregoing and other objects are achieved by this invention which provides, a method of playing a game. In accordance with the invention, the method includes the steps of:

identifying a plurality of geographic regions on a game board;

identifying at least one industry located within each of the plurality of geographic regions;

associating a unique icon with each of the industries;

defining a path of player travel on the game board throughout the plurality of geographic regions, the path of player travel having a plurality of player stopping points therealong, at least some of the stopping points corresponding to the unique icons;

providing at least one “!” card draw icon on the path of player travel;

providing a plurality of “!” cards, each corresponding to an event or condition that affects at least some of the industries;

providing currency for distribution to each player;

providing a chance device for generating player advancement values; and

advancing a player along the path of player travel in response to activation of a chance device and the player advancement values.

In one embodiment of the invention, the geographic regions correspond to continents of the world.

In a further embodiment, the industries correspond to selectable ones of water, agriculture, farming, mining, energy, commerce, telecommunication, construction, transportation, automotive, and defense. In some embodiments that are particularly useful to enhance corporate marketing, at least one of the industries corresponds to a corporation in an industry.

In further a embodiment of the invention there is provided the further step of identifying a special industry corresponding to a selectable one of tobacco, gems, textiles, plastic, and wood. Each such special industry is affected by a condition or event specified on a “!” card.

In the practice of the invention, the event or condition identified in a “!” card affects some of the industries positively or negatively. The extent of the positive or negative effect on an industry of an event or condition identified in a “!” card is responsive to the region in which the industry is located. Moreover, the extent of the positive or negative effect on an industry of an event or condition identified in a “!” card is correlated to the currency. Rent is payed by a player that lands on an industry icon, the amount of the rent being responsive to event or condition identified in a played “!” card.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention the chance device is a die. The currency enables a player to purchase at least a portion of an industry within a geographic region. Additionally, in some embodiments of the invention there is further provided a bank of the currency. The bank is useful to provide banking services to a player.

In accordance with a specific illustrative embodiment of the invention, an educational and entertainment game. In the practice of the invention, players compete to dominate the resources available in each of a plurality of Regions of the World. In one embodiment of the invention, a goal of a player is to acquire a majority of common shares of each industry. When players concentrate either oligopolistic or monopolistic control of a given industry, competitors are required to pay higher rates for services.

In the specific illustrative embodiment of the invention, industrial dominance in the international environment permits skilled players to become wealthy. Less skillful players are bankrupted and are eliminated from play. More specifically, when a player runs out of money, and is without equity interest in any of the predetermined resources of the various Regions, the player is eliminated from play.

In accordance with an advantageous feature of this embodiment of the invention, beneficial and unfavorable events, including catastrophic events, arise and impose Economic, Social, Political, and Natural consequences. Such events could benefit, or diminish the player's wealth, according to the nature of the event and the particular industry or resource controlled by the various players. In the practice of the invention, the events in this embodiment are determined by cards that are drawn by chance.

In one embodiment, players are able to trade their stocks between each other, and thereby utilize such trades opportunities to improve their strategic position in a specific industry. Thus, the players enhance and exercise their abilities to negotiate and correspondingly improve their wealth.

It is an advantageous aspect of the invention that players that engage in the practice of this embodiment of the invention are not only entertained, but also are educated in Geography, History, Politics, Economy, Finance, and International Affairs.

In other embodiments of the invention (not shown), similar skills are developed by players in other environments, such as corporate environments, national and international governmental environments, political environments, etc.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

Comprehension of the invention is facilitated by reading the following detailed description, in conjunction with the annexed drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 is a representation of a board for playing a specific illustrative embodiment of the invention wherein the jurisdictions are international regions;

FIG. 2 is a representation of currency used in the playing of the embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a representation of a plurality of “!” Cards that specify events that affect the markets and resources of the jurisdictions set forth on the board of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an expanded representation of a circle as shown on the stock board on the lower half of the game board of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 5 is an expanded representation of a circle as shown on the stock board on the lower half of the game board of FIG. 1 and further showing the progression of percentage of ownership.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 is a representation of a game board 100 for playing a game in accordance with a specific illustrative embodiment of the invention wherein the jurisdictions are international regions.

FIG. 2 is a representation of currency used in the playing of the embodiment of FIG. 1.

FIGS. 3a-3j are representations of respective ones of a plurality of playing cards (“!” Cards) that specify events that affect the markets and resources of the jurisdictions set forth on game board 100 of FIG. 1. FIG. 3k is a representation of the back side of an illustrative playing card in this specific illustrative embodiment of the invention. The “!” card also identify the effect that the associated event or condition will have on the industries. As shown, the effects on the industries can, in this specific illustrative embodiment of the invention, be positive or negative, or both for a given event or condition.

In one embodiment of the invention where players advance through regions of the world and accumulate ownership interests in predetermined industries and resources, play proceeds as follows:

In a practicable embodiment of the present game invention, two to five players or teams of players (not shown), are accommodated. In this embodiment, the players are of ages twelve to adult. In a commercial embodiment of the present invention, the game is packaged in a box that contains:

1 Game Board (see, FIG. 1);

Currency notes in various denominations (see, FIG. 2);

45 ! Cards (see, FIG. 3);

2 Dice;

5 Special Industries cards;

5 sets of 168 colored pieces each (stocks); and

5 colored tokens.

The object of the present game is to control the strategic industries of the world, and gain dominant power to bankrupt the other players.

Play is initiated by the following preparation;

    • a) Place the ! Cards facing down on the respective space in the board.
    • b) Each Player, or team, chooses a color and gets the respective token and stocks.
    • c) Depending on the number of players, each one receives the following amount of the currency depicted in FIG. 2:

Bill Denomination2 Players3 Players4 Players5 Players
m 512121010
m 1012121010
m 2012121010
m 5010775
m 10010775
m 50010755
m 1,0007543

About the Game Board

Game board 100 shown in FIG. 1 is divided in upper and lower halves. Specifically, the upper half of the board is a world map that is shown to be divided into five regions that are identified in the figure with Roman numerals I to V. The respective regions are further distinguished in a specific illustrative embodiment of the invention by a predetermined color. Each region in this embodiment has some, or all of the principal industries identified by a respective icon.

As shown in this figure, the respective icons designate the following industries:

Icon 101 designates water;

Icon 102 designates agriculture;

Icon 103 designates farming;

Icon 104 designates mining;

Icon 105 designates energy;

Icon 106 designates commerce;

Icon 107 designates telecommunication;

Icon 108 designates construction;

Icon 109 designates transportation;

Icon 110 designates automotive; and

Icon 111 designates defense.

In this specific illustrative embodiment of the invention, some regions may have associated therewith one of five Special Industry icons, specifically:

Icon 120 designates tobacco;

Icon 121 designates gems;

Icon 122 designates textiles;

Icon 123 designates plastic; and

Icon 124 designates wood.

It is to be understood that in this specific illustrative embodiment of the invention the industry icons refer to generic industries. However, in other embodiments of the invention, the icons can be denominated with specific other industries or corporations within an industry. For example, industry icon 107 can, in certain embodiments, refer to specific telecommunications companies, such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc. As a further example, industry icon 110 can be applied to a specific automotive manufacturer, such as General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, etc. Such substitution of specific corporations for generic industries can be used to enhance the marketing effort of such corporations.

The lower half (not specifically designated) of game board 100 is a stock board that shows all the main industries icons, and further shows five rows, each of which represents one of the world regions in correspondence with the associated Roman numeral. Each row has therein a plurality of circles, the overall arrangement of the circles being a matrix correlated to the industries represented by icons 101-111.

FIG. 4 is an expanded representation of a circle as shown on the stock board on the lower half of the game board of FIG. 1. As shown in this figure, each circle has associated therewith certain numbers that, in this specific illustrative embodiment of the invention, correspond to a predetermined value of the associated property. In this illustrative stock board circle, the values are 200, 400, 600, and 800. As will be described in greater detail below, the key to winning the game of this specific illustrative embodiment of the invention corresponds to the premium prices that a visitor will have to pay depending on the owner's oligopolistic or monopolistic control of a given industry.

Getting Started

    • a) The players (not shown) of this specific illustrative embodiment of the invention first decide who will manage the International Bank funds (i.e., the box with all the remaining money (not shown)). If that person chooses to play, his/her money will be kept independent of the Bank's money.
    • b) All playing tokens are placed on the START space (not specifically designated).
    • c) Each player throws the dice (not shown), the highest number starts the game, and the turn passes to the person on the right, and so on.
    • d) The token (not shown) will always advance the number of spaces resulting from the dice throw, following the dotted line. When the player has gone throughout the entire map of the upper half of game board 100 by following the dotted line, that player will continue the cycle at the beginning of the map.
    • e) More than one token can be on the same space at the same time.

The Game

1. Buying Stocks

    • a) If a player throws a 1 or a 6 on any of the dice, or a pair of any number, the player will be allowed to purchase up to 100% of the property where he or she lands.
    • b) If the dice show any other combination of numbers, the player will only be permitted to buy up to 50% of the property.

Whenever a player throws doubles, that player gets an extra turn (unlimited). The player may elect not to use such extra turns.

    • c) The circles are divided into 4 parts, each equivalent to 25% of the value of the property (see, FIG. 4). According to the percentage of stocks that such is allowed (and elects to) buy, the player will pay the International Bank the proportionate cost marked on the respective circle on the stock board, and will place his/her color stocks in that circle as follows:

Example:

If player “A” (not shown) lands on an available property and decides or is limited to buy fractions of a property 25%, 50%, or 75% , that player will cover the first parts of the circle as shown in FIG. 5. FIG. 5 is an expanded representation of an illustrative circle as shown on the stock board on the lower half of the game board 100 of FIG. 1 and further showing the progression of percentage of ownership.

    • d) Should the player elect not to buy any stocks of the visited property, he/she will pass the turn to the next player on the right.
    • e) If the property is already partially owned by any other player, he/she may buy what is free according to the aforementioned rules 1.a and 1.b, specifically that if a player throws a 1 or a 6 on any of the dice, or a pair of any number, the player will be allowed to purchase up to 100% of the property where he or she lands; and if the dice show any other combination of numbers, the player will only be permitted to buy up to 50% of the property. If the player decides not to buy the available stocks, the visitor will have to pay the proportionate rent to the player who partially owns the property.

By way of example, if player “A” (not shown) owns 50% of a property (stocks shown in blue), and player “D” (not shown) visits the same space and decides not to buy the remaining 50%, the payable rent would be due. If player “D” decides to buy the remaining 50%, the proportionate value would be m200 (In this illustrative case each quarter portion costs m100, as shown in FIG. 5).

    • f) players can exchange their money at the International Bank for higher or lower denominations at any time.

2. Special Industries

    • a) If the player lands on any of the 5 Special Industries (Wood, Tobacco, Gems, Textile, and Plastic), he/she may decide to buy the property.
    • b) These industries cannot be bought partially.
    • c) When a buyer gets a property he/she receives the Property Card from the Bank, which must be left up side down in front of the owner.
    • d) No premium fees will be charged to a visitor if more than one of these cards is owned.

3. Rent

    • a) When a player lands on a property that is owned by another player(s) he/she must pay rent, which will be equivalent to 10% of the property value.

Example:

If the visited space has a value of m600, and it is owned 100% by another player, then the rent to be paid is m60 (10% of the total property value).

    • b) The player will be exempted to pay rent if he/she owns at least 50% of the stocks of that property.
    • c) Rent fees will only be paid to other owners. The Bank does not receive any fees for the available properties.
    • d) If the property is owned by two or more players, the fee will be paid in proportionate parts to the owners. Following the example shown in 3.a, above:
      • If the property is owned 50% by player “A” and 50% by player “B”, the visiting player, will pay m30 to each one of players “A” and “B”.
      • If the property is owned 25% by player “A”, 25% by player “B”, 25% by player “C”, and the visiting player owns the remaining 25%, he/she will pay only the equivalent rent for the 75% he/she does not own: m15 to player “A”, m15 to player “B”, and m15 to player “C”.
    • e) On the Special Industries the rent is printed on the Special Industry Property cards.

4. Premiums for Dominant Ownership

    • a) If a player owns 100% of a visited property, and also owns 100% of other properties of the same industry, the player is considered to have gained dominant control, and visitors will have to pay him/her a premium.

For Example:

      • player “A” owns 100% of the stocks of the Transportation industry of Region II where a visitor lands. Besides, player “A” owns 100% of Transportation of Region III and only 50% of Transportation in Region I, then player “A” has absolute control in two Regions, and is considered to have oligopolistic power over the global industry. The resulting fee is obtained by looking at the premium rows. Control in Regions II and III give player “A” absolute control in 2 Regions, therefore the payable fee will be m300.
      • Assuming player “A” acquires the missing 50% of Transportation in Region I, then all future visitors to his/her fully owned Transportation properties will pay a Monopoly fee of m1400 to the owner.
    • If player “A” owns 50% of Transportation in Region I, and 100% in Regions II and III, and a visitor lands on Region I, no dominant fees will be paid, since the owner did not complete 100% of the stocks of the visited property. The regular 10% rent (m80) will be paid. In this case the proportionate rent due to player “A” is m40, and m40 to whoever owns the remaining 50% of the property.

5. Stock Exchange

    • a) When a player lands on the space identified by icon 130 (see, FIG. 1), he/she (denominated as the “Elector player”) has the option to exchange his/her stocks with any other player he/she chooses (denominated as the “Selected player”). If the Elector player decides not to exchange stocks, the turn to throw the dice will pass to the next player.
    • b) If the Elector player decides to exchange stocks he/she will be limited to trade with only one player. Once the Elector selects a player to trade stocks with, he/she will not have the option to select another player.
    • c) The trade must be for an equal number of stocks, regardless of their price, and/or the properties involved. The traded stocks may be fractions or the full ownership of the properties, but players will not be allowed to trade the sum of separate fractions of different properties for the full ownership of a property.
    • d) The maximum number of stocks allowed to be exchanged on each event is 4 per player (It may be a combination of several fractions traded from each side, or the exchange of the full ownership of two properties).

Example:

player “A” (not shown) is the Elector player (blue), and chooses to trade with player “C” (not shown). The Elector player wants to gain more control over the Commerce properties, and would like to own 100% of the stocks of Region II where player “C” owns 50%. player A′s proposal is to exchange his/her 50% on Telecommunications of Region I for the 50% ownership that player “C” has on Commerce of Region II.

    • e) The selected trader may suggest which stocks he/she would prefer to exchange, but the final decision is up to the Elector. Accordingly, the Selected player may decide to:

Accept the Trade:

If the players agree to the trade, they will proceed to remove their respective stocks from their properties, and place them onto the agreed new properties. If there is a difference in the value of the stocks traded, it will be paid in cash by the player who received the most expensive stocks.

In accordance with example 5.c, player “C” would pay m100 to player “A” (Elector) for the difference on the value of the stocks acquired. As part of the deal player “A” may offer to waive the difference of value between the stocks traded only when it is to the Elector's advantage.

Reject the Trade

If the players do not agree on the trade, the Elector player may decide to respect the Selected player's decision, and pass the turn. Alternatively, he/she may ask for a third party to decide.

The Dice

      • If the higher number on the dice favors the Elector player, the trade will take place (If there is a difference in the value of the stocks traded, the difference will be payable by either player without concessions).
      • If the higher number on the dice favors the Selected player, the Elector will pay a penalty of m200.

6. Breaking News !

    • a) When a player lands on the space designated with icon 132 on game board 100, the player will take the first “!” Card (see, FIG. 3). Each such “!” Card contains a relevant event that could change the economic, political, and social events of the world, and have a direct impact on some industries.
    • b) The player will read the card out loud as it could impact other players as well.

Example:

“North America doubles subsidies to its Agricultural sector”

Such an “!” Card will show how the event impacts the industry, or even other related industries. In this case the Agricultural sector of North America (Region I) is benefitted by the measure, but negatively impacts other Regions that trade with the protected area.

Following the Example:

      • The owner(s) of Agriculture in Region I receive (From the Bank) m250. If more than one player owns stocks in that property, the proportionate part of m250 will be given to each player. Assuming player “B” has 50% of the stocks, and player “E” has the other 50% of the property's stocks, then each one will receive m125 from the Bank.
      • The owner(s) of Agriculture in Regions II, III and W, who are supposedly the most active traders with Region I are negatively impacted equivalent to m150. Each of the owners of these properties must pay to the Bank their proportionate part of this amount. Assuming player “B” had 100% on Region II, and players “A” and “C” shared 50% each of Regions III and IV; player “B” will pay m150 for his/her fully owned property and players “A” and “C” will have to pay m75 for each of their partially owned properties, which in total equals m150 from each one.
      • The owner(s) of Agriculture in Region V will have a lower negative impact, due to its less dependence on trade with Region I. The owner(s) will also pay the proportionate amount of their ownership shown on the “!” Card to the Bank (Out of the m100), following the same logic as above.
    • c) Even if the player who pulled out the “!” Card does not have any property in any of the industries referred, he/she will ALWAYS receive or pay as a consequence of the event. On the bottom of the “!” Card there is a phrase that indicates “If player does not have any stocks in any related industries he/she (loses or collects depending on the event)”. The money comes from or goes to the Bank.
    • d) A player could have both positive and negative impacts related to the same event when he/she has several properties impacted as indicated on the “!” Card

7. Running Out of Cash!

    • a) When a player runs out of cash, he/she keeps playing. The player will fund his/her financial commitments by selling back whichever stocks he/she decides (or Special Industry Property Certificates) to the International Bank, which in return will provide cash to the player at the marked property value. Once the player loses all money and properties, he/she is eliminated from the game.
    • b) The properties that are given back to the Bank will be available to be purchased by the rest of the players.
    • c) When a player goes bankrupt due to his/her incapacity to cover a high fee, only the total sum of his remaining cash and the value of his/her properties will be given to the player who broke him/her, even if the total sum does not reach the amount owed.

Extended Version

For very passionate players there is provided an extended version wherein rules 1.a) and 1.b) are amended as follows:

1.a) If a player throws doubles he/she will be allowed to purchase up to 100% of the property. If the player throws a 1 or a 6 on any of the dice, the player will be allowed to buy up to 50% of the property stocks.

1.b) If the dice show any other combination of numbers, the player will only be permitted to buy 25% of the property.

Although the invention has been described in terms of specific embodiments and applications, persons skilled in the art can, in light of this teaching, generate additional embodiments without exceeding the scope or departing from the spirit of the invention claimed herein. Accordingly, it is to be understood that the drawing and description in this disclosure are proffered to facilitate comprehension of the invention, and should not be construed to limit the scope thereof.