US20050093235A1 - Board game - Google Patents

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US20050093235A1
US20050093235A1 US10979550 US97955004A US2005093235A1 US 20050093235 A1 US20050093235 A1 US 20050093235A1 US 10979550 US10979550 US 10979550 US 97955004 A US97955004 A US 97955004A US 2005093235 A1 US2005093235 A1 US 2005093235A1
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Prior art keywords
game
item
plurality
team
mission
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Abandoned
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US10979550
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Brian Yu
Jeannie Hardie
Jim Keifer
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Mattel Inc
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Mattel Inc
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00003Types of board games
    • A63F3/00148Board games concerning westerns, detectives, espionage, pirates, murder, disasters, shipwreck rescue operations
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00895Accessories for board games
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F1/00Card games
    • A63F1/06Card games appurtenances
    • A63F1/18Score computers; Miscellaneous indicators
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F1/00Card games
    • A63F1/04Card games combined with other games
    • A63F2001/0475Card games combined with other games with pictures or figures
    • A63F2001/0483Card games combined with other games with pictures or figures having symbols or direction indicators for playing the game
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00173Characteristics of game boards, alone or in relation to supporting structures or playing piece
    • A63F3/00261Details of game boards, e.g. rotatable, slidable or replaceable parts, modular game boards, vertical game boards
    • A63F2003/00463Details of the playing field
    • A63F2003/00466Details of the playing field with indications, e.g. directions for playing
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00697Playing pieces
    • A63F2003/00832Playing pieces with groups of playing pieces, each group having its own characteristic
    • A63F2003/00839The characteristic being size or shape
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00697Playing pieces
    • A63F2003/00832Playing pieces with groups of playing pieces, each group having its own characteristic
    • A63F2003/00842The characteristic being a graphical marking

Abstract

Apparatus and rules for a game played with at least two teams of players are disclosed. A first team has a first objective and a second team has a second objective. In some embodiments, a first objective is to collect a predetermined set of items, and a second objective is to determine a piece of information, which may be based at least in part on the items the first team attempts to collect. The game may be played according to a predetermined theme, such as good vs. evil, “cops and robbers,” or the like, and may be based on characters, events, locations portrayed in a particular popular culture phenomenon, i.e. in a book, comic book, movie, TV show, or the like.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application is based upon and claims priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) to the following U.S. provisional patent application, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety for all purposes: Ser. No. 60/516,572, entitled “Board Game,” filed Oct. 30, 2003
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The present disclosure relates generally to board games, and more particularly to rules and apparatus for a game wherein a first team of one or more players has a first objective or must satisfy a first condition in order to win, and a second team of one or more players has a second objective or must satisfy a second condition in order to win. In some embodiments, a first objective is to collect a predetermined set of items, and a second objective is to determine a piece of information, which may be based at least in part on the items the first team attempts to collect. The game may be played according to a predetermined theme, such as good vs. evil, “cops and robbers,” or the like.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Examples of board games wherein different players or player teams have different objectives or must satisfy different conditions in order to win the game include “Illuminati” (Steve Jackson games) and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Game” (Hasbro, Inc.). Examples of board games wherein players role-play various aspects of “cops and robbers” scenarios are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,053,154, 4,185,832 and 5,033,752. Examples of board games wherein a decoder is used to read encoded data on game items are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 1,527,059, 1,642,424, 1,988,273, 2,159,563, 3,411,221, 4,671,515, and 4,941,668. All of the aforementioned disclosures are incorporated by reference in their entirety for all purposes.
  • SUMMARY
  • The present disclosure is directed to a game suitable for play by at least two player teams, each team including one or more players. Each team may attempt to accomplish a unique objective in order to win the game. In some embodiments, a first team may attempt to collect a predetermined set of items, and a second team may attempt to determine a piece of information, which may be based at least in part on the items the first team attempts to collect.
  • For example, the first team may select one of several possible missions, each of which may be associated with a unique set of items. The identity of the mission may be concealed from the second team. However, each item may include information related to the mission or missions with which the item is associated. Thus, as the first team collects items, the second team attempts to determine the identity of the mission the first team is attempting to complete.
  • Game components, rules for play, and other game attributes thus may embody this concept in a variety of ways. For example, some embodiments may include a plurality of mission cards, each of which include a unique mission identifier and a corresponding set of unique item identifiers representing items needed in order to complete the mission. One mission card may be selected and displayed to a first team but concealed from a second team. Teams may then move moveable game pieces, or team movers, on a game board, such that the first team moves movers to designated location spaces on the game board to collect item cards representing the items on the selected mission card, and a second team moves movers to intercept or capture first team movers that have collected item cards, and use the information on captured item cards to determine the mission identifier on the selected mission card.
  • Optionally, a game backstory or theme may provide a contextual framework or setting according to which the game is played, such as to aid player comprehension of the rules, to enhance entertainment value, and so forth. For example, some embodiments of the game may be played according to a good-vs.-evil or cops-and-robbers theme, in which a first team may represent the forces of evil, by stealing items needed in order to perpetrate a sinister plan, whereas a second team may represent the forces of good, by attempting to solve the thefts and thereby prevent the plan from coming to fruition. Such a theme may also be manifested in one or more game components or attributes. For example, the information on each item card collected by the first team may appear as encoded data, which may be decoded by the second team, such as with a decoder or other device, to reveal the information relating to the selected mission.
  • Further, such a theme may be based wholly or in part on characters, events, locations portrayed in a particular popular culture phenomenon, i.e. in a book, comic book, movie, TV show, or the like. For example, an exemplary embodiment is based on the world created around the popular DC Comics character Batman. In this embodiment, a first team secretly chooses one of several missions to complete, each of which is associated with a different villain, such as The Joker or other enemies of Batman. Assuming the role of the villain's henchmen or evil minions, the first team attempts to collect items desired by the villain from various locations in and around Gotham City. Assuming the role of Batman and other superheroes, the second team attempts to capture minions carrying items, decodes encoded data on the items using a “Bat-computer,” and tries to identify the villain before the first team succeeds in colleting all of the desired items.
  • Those skilled in the art will understand that the particular embodiments disclosed and illustrated herein are provided by way of example and thus should not be considered in a limiting sense, because numerous variations are possible and are within the scope of the disclosure.
  • The game of the present disclosure will be understood more readily after a consideration of the drawings and the Detailed Description.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 depicts exemplary game components suitable for use with one embodiment of a game according to the present disclosure, including a game board, team movers, several sets of cards including mission cards, item cards, and command cards, a decoder, and a die.
  • FIG. 2 depicts a more detailed view of the game board shown in FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 3 depicts a more detailed view of some of the movers shown in FIG. 1.
  • FIGS. 4 and 5 depict exemplary mission cards suitable for use with the game of FIG. 1.
  • FIGS. 6 and 7 depict exemplary item cards suitable for use with the game of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 8 depicts a more detailed view of the decoder shown in FIG. 1.
  • FIGS. 9 and 10 depict exemplary command cards suitable for use with the game of FIG. 1.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • An exemplary embodiment of the game is described herein with reference to the components illustrated in FIGS. 1-10. Referring first to FIG. 1, a game 10 includes a game board 12, a plurality of movable game pieces 14 including a set of first team movers 16 and a set of second team movers 18, a set of mission cards 20, a set of item cards 22, a decoder 24, a die 26, and a plurality of command cards 28 including a set of first team command cards 30 and a set of second team command cards 32. As will become evident from the following description, different numbers, forms, configurations, and uses of the components described herein, and/or other components, may be included in games according to the present disclosure.
  • Turning to FIG. 2, a more detailed version of game board 12 can be seen to include a plurality of location spaces 40, interconnected by a plurality of movement spaces 42. Location spaces 40 may be shaped, color-coded, and/or otherwise marked to be differentiable from each other. In some embodiments, location spaces 40 may represent buildings or structures, and movement spaces 42 may collectively resemble streets threading among the various buildings and locations. Thus, game board 12 may simulate an aerial view of a portion of an actual or fictional city, such as Gotham City, and the location spaces 40 may represent buildings and/or other geographical features consistent with such a city, such as museums, skyscrapers, airports, docks, refineries, and so forth. For purposes of clarity, each location space is represented in the drawings as having a different fill line style, to indicate that a different color is associated with each location space 40.
  • Some of movement spaces 42 may include indicia 44 to indicate that such movement spaces have one or more specific purposes, depending on the indicia each movement space includes. For example, in the exemplary embodiment, indicia 44 a, shown as a capital letter “S” within a circle, indicates that a movement space is a start space 42 a, upon which one or more movers may be placed at the beginning of game play. Indicia 44 b, shown as a triangle, indicates an entrance space 42 b, which may allow movement of a mover into and out of a location space. Indicia 44 c, shown as a circle, indicates a jump space 42 c, which may allow movement of a mover to another jump space. Indicia 44 d, shown as a movement space positioned adjacent an edge of the game board, indicates an exit space 42 d, which may allow movement of a mover off of the game board. Some movement spaces may include plural indicia, to indicate that such movement spaces have more than one specific purpose. For example, some jump spaces 42 c may also be designated as start spaces for certain movers. Also, some location spaces 40 may have more than one entrance spaces 42 b, while other location spaces may have no entrance space.
  • In FIG. 3, movable game pieces 14 are shown as three-dimensional figurines, formed of plastic or any other suitable material, and sized to be placed on location spaces 40 and the various movement spaces 42. Movable game pieces 14 include a set of first team movers 16 and a set of second team movers 18. First team movers 16 are distinguishable from second team movers 18, to designate different team alignments. Movers 16, 18 may be distinguished by team alignment indicia such as different colors, shapes, configurations, or any indicia wherein a first team alignment indicia is distinguishable from a second team alignment indicia. In the exemplary embodiment, movers 16, 18 resemble various characters, consistent with the Batman theme, that take part in the game. More particularly, first team movers 16 represent henchmen or evil minions, and second team movers represent heroes. However, although shown as miniature character figurines, moveable game pieces 14 may take other suitable forms including tokens, coins, and the like.
  • Further, each of movers 16, 18 may include secondary indicia so that movers including a given team alignment indicia are distinguishable from each other. For example, first team movers 16 are similar in shape, size, and color, but each includes a different numerical indicator 46. Second team movers 18 are similar in that each represents a hero, but each is configured to represent a different superhero character consistent with the Batman theme, such as Batman, Nightwing, Robin, and Batgirl. As described in greater detail below, such secondary indicia may be used to determine movement order during rounds, to allow individual players on a team to play or move a particular mover or movers, to indicate which mover is in possession of a particular item, and so forth. However, although the secondary indicia is shown in the exemplary embodiment as numerical indicator 46 or as individual character representations, any suitable form of differentiable secondary indicia may be used.
  • In addition to moveable game pieces 14, game 10 also includes a plurality of mission cards 20, examples of which are depicted in FIGS. 4 and 5. Each mission card 20 may have unique mission indicia marked thereon, such as a unique mission identifier 50 and a corresponding set of item identifiers 52. As mentioned above, a first team may attempt to win the game by collecting a predetermined set of items, and a second team may attempt to win by correctly determining a piece of information about the first team based at least in part on the items collected. Thus, item identifiers 52 may represent the set of items the first team may attempt to collect, and mission identifier 50 may be the piece of information that the second team attempts to determine. As such, mission indicia may be marked on only one side of each mission card 20, allowing the mission card to be held or placed to conceal the mission identifier from the team attempting to determine the mission identifier. Correspondingly, the opposite side of each mission card (not shown in the figures) may be left blank, or may contain a generic image or some other indicia not indicative of the mission indicia.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, the unique set of item identifiers 52 on a mission card function as a device by which the mission identifier on the mission card may be identified. Thus, no two mission identifiers correspond to the same set of items, even though two or more mission identifiers may have a number of corresponding items in common. Each mission identifier is associated with a unique item set. Conversely, each item set corresponds to a unique mission identifier. However, although item identifiers 52 and mission identifier 50 are shown and described with reference to the exemplary embodiment, any suitable system of identifiable mission indicia may be used.
  • Mission identifier 50 may be a numerical indicator, graphical information, text, any combination thereof, or any other indicia suitable to differentiate among several mission identifiers 50. The exemplary mission cards 20 shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 each include a mission identifier representing a graphical depiction of a villain character, continuing the Batman theme of the exemplary embodiment. More specifically, FIGS. 4 and 5 depict mission cards featuring two of Batman's enemies: mission card 20 a includes mission identifier 50 a representing The Joker, and mission card 20 b includes mission identifier 50 b representing The Riddler.
  • Item identifiers 52 represent the items that correspond to a mission identifier, and may similarly be presented in any suitable manner to indicate the items, such as graphical information, text, and so forth. The exemplary mission cards 20 a, 20 b each include an array of item identifiers 52 in the form of images, each of which depict an item to be collected. Also, as explained below, items may be associated with locations on the game board, such as location spaces 40. Thus, in the exemplary embodiment, each item identifier may include a location identifier 54, such as a color strip or other indicia, to indicate the location space 40 from which the item may be collected. As mentioned above and as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, each location space 40 may be identified by or otherwise affiliated with a particular color, and these colors may be reflected in location identifier 54, such as to serve as a visual aid for players attempting to collect the items on a particular mission card.
  • As shown in FIGS. 6-7, item cards 22 may each represent one of the items indicated on the mission cards, thus each item card may each include a single item identifier 52. Further, each item card 22 may include a location identifier 54 as described above, to indicate the location space 40 from which the item may be collected. Additionally, each item card may contain information in the form of encoded data 56. As discussed in more detail below, encoded data 56 may be read or decoded by using decoder 24. When thus decoded, encoded data 56 may relate information regarding the mission identifier or mission identifiers with which a particular item is associated.
  • FIGS. 6 and 7 more clearly illustrate exemplary configurations of these features. The item card shown in FIG. 6 includes a front side 60 and a back side 62. Front side 60 includes item identifier 52 in the form of an image. Continuing with the Batman theme, the images represent items desired by a villain character. Front side 60 also includes encoded data 56, depicted as a series of alternating light and dark regions. As explained more thoroughly below, in the exemplary embodiment, the data is encoded in terms of the position and size of the light regions. However, any suitable system of markings may be used to encode the information. Back side 62 of the item card includes location identifier 54. In addition to a color strip 64, the location identifier also includes a graphical image 66, which indicates the location space from which the item card may be collected. Graphical image 66 is shown as a portion of a building, but may represent any feature associated with a given location space.
  • In some embodiments, some game attributes may allow each team to thwart the other team's efforts to win. For example, in the exemplary embodiment, some item cards may include an item identifier indicating that the item card represents a “blank” or “red herring” item that is not indicated on any mission card. The encoded data on such a “red herring” item card may relate no information about a mission, or misleading information, when decoded. As explained more thoroughly below, the first team may use a mover to collect one or more “red herring” item cards and then allow the mover to be captured, surrendering the “red herring” item and thereby supplying the nonexistent or misleading information on the item card to the second team.
  • Also, in some embodiments, more than one item card may be collected from, or is otherwise associated with, each location space. In the exemplary embodiment, each location space is associated with three item cards, one of which represents a “red herring” item. Thus, with reference to FIG. 7, exemplary item cards 22 a, 22 b, and 22 c may include front sides 60 a, 60 b, and 60 c, respectively, and may each include back side 62 a. Item card 22 a represents a “red herring” item, as indicated by an item identifier 52 a containing the image of an empty box, and by encoded data 56 a containing no light regions.
  • The interrelation of item cards 22 and mission cards 20 as described in the exemplary embodiment may be modified, such as to increase or decrease the degree of complexity of game play, to adapt the game to a different theme than that manifested in the exemplary embodiment, and so forth. For example, the mission cards of the exemplary embodiment are shown to include a set of ten unique item identifiers, although a greater or lesser number of item identifiers may be used. Similarly, the item cards of the exemplary embodiment each include a single item identifier (or a “red herring” item identifier), but item cards in some embodiments may be configured to include more than one item identifier per item card, may include “wildcard” indicia to represent any desired item, and so forth. Moreover, although three item cards of the present embodiment are associated with each location space, different associations may be used, or the item cards may be randomly distributed among the various location spaces. All of these variations are considered to be within the scope of this disclosure.
  • As indicated above, decoder 24 may be configured to decode, decipher, or otherwise read the encoded data present on each item card 22. A more detailed depiction of a decoder 24 suitable for use in the exemplary embodiment is shown in FIG. 8. Decoder 24 is shown to resemble a “Bat-computer,” consistent with the aforementioned Batman theme. More specifically, decoder 24 takes the form of an elongate box 70 having a top surface 72 and a front surface 74. Top surface 72 includes a series of slots 76, each slot sized to accommodate insertion of at least a portion an item card 22. Front surface 74 includes an array of windows 78 arranged in a grid, through which the light and dark regions of encoded data 56 on an item card 24 may be viewed when the item card is inserted into one of slots 76. Front surface 74 also includes mission identifiers 50 to one side of the grid, arranged such that each mission identifier 50 aligns with a single row of windows 78.
  • In the exemplary embodiment, the relative positioning and/or size of the light regions indicate the mission identifiers, or villains, with which the item is associated. Several villains may require a given item, so the item card that represents the item may contain several light regions. When placed in decoder 24, the light regions may thus be visible in several rows of windows, each corresponding to a villain that requires the item. However, as more item cards are inserted into other slots, the number of villains that align with the light regions on every one of the item cards decreases until only one remains: the villain on the mission card selected by the first team.
  • This feature of decoder 24 is illustrated in FIG. 9, in which four different item cards 22 are shown inserted into four slots 76 of the decoder. The encoded data that appear on each item card can be seen through windows 78. Each row of windows corresponds to a single villain, indicated by the mission identifier 50 that aligns with each row. The mission identifiers in FIG. 9 are labeled with the letters “A” through “J” for ease of reference, although the mission identifiers may indicated by words, names, pictures, icons, symbols, etc. As shown, most of the rows are made up of windows showing both light and dark regions. However, in the top row (indicating the mission identifier labeled “A”), only light regions are viewable. Thus, when this particular combination of item cards 22 is inserted into decoder 24, the villain associated with all four items may be identified. This may allow the second team to correctly determine which villain, or mission identifier, is on the mission card selected by the first team.
  • On the other hand, if a particular combination of cards collectively displayed light regions across more than one row, the second team would need additional item cards for a correct determination of the villain. For example, in the decoder of FIG. 9, the three right-most item cards (individually labeled 22 d, 22 e, 22 f) in the decoder display light regions in three different rows, which respectively indicate the mission identifiers labeled “A,” “B,” and “I.” Upon insertion of the left-most item card (labeled 22 g), the mission identifier labeled “A” may be identified as correct.
  • Item cards 22 may be collected from location spaces 40 by team movers 16, 18 traversing game board 12. In the exemplary embodiment, a six-sided die 26 may be rolled to indicate a number of movement spaces 42 a team mover may be moved. However, game 10 may include any suitable random number generator including, but not limited to, one or more dice having any number of sides, a spinner, a randomly-selected card that bears movement indicia, etc.
  • Optionally, game 10 may include components that allow movers to be moved in a manner differently than, or instead of, that indicated by a random number generator. For example, the game of the exemplary embodiment also includes a plurality of command cards 28, each of which indicate a special ability or move available for a mover if the card is played, additionally to or instead of a move indicated by die 26. Moreover, the command cards of the exemplary embodiment are divided into a set of first team command cards 30 and a set of second team command cards 32, which may enhance entertainment value of the game by providing each team with its own set of special abilities and/or moves.
  • By way of illustration, exemplary first team command cards 30 are shown in FIG. 9, and indicate abilities or moves that are consistent with the first team's assumed role of minions attempting to steal items. For example, first team command cards may enable the first team to re-roll die 26 (indicated by a “dice” image on card 30 a), move a first team mover twice the number of spaces indicated by a die roll (indicated by a “jetpack” image on card 30 b), place a second team mover in a location space of the first team's choice (indicated by an “alarm” image on card 30 c), refuse to give an item card being carried by a captured first mover to the second team (indicated by a “smoke bomb” image on card 30 d), or place a second team mover in a predetermined location where it must remain until another second team mover moves to the same location (indicated by a “hostage” image on card 30 e).
  • Similarly, exemplary second team command cards 32 are shown in FIG. 10, and indicate powers or moves that are consistent with the second team's assumed role of heroes attempting to fight crime. For example, second team command cards may enable the second team to move a second team mover twice the number of spaces indicated by a die roll (indicated by a “rooftop jump” image on card 32 a), re-roll die 26 (indicated by a “dice” image on card 32 b), move or “fly” a second team mover to a desired location space (indicated by a “Batwing” image on card 32 c), place a first team mover in a predetermined location space for one turn (indicated by a “police badge” image on card 32 d), or allow a second mover to move unlimited movement spaces in a desired direction until a first team mover is intercepted (indicated by a “Batmobile” image on card 32 e).
  • An exemplary method of game play utilizing the concepts and components discussed above is outlined in the paragraphs below. The game may be played by multiple players divided into two teams. For consistency and convenience, the team representing the minions is referred to as “the first team,” and the team representing the heroes is referred to as “the second team.”
  • According to the exemplary method of play, all of the first team movers (minions) are controlled by a single player, whereas the second team movers (heroes) may be controlled by one or more players. For example, the game according to the exemplary embodiment includes five minion movers and four hero movers. Thus, if two players are playing the game, one player may control all of the hero movers while the other player controls all of the minion movers; if three players are playing, two players may each control two hero movers while the third player may control all of the minion movers; etc. Of course, other modes of assigning players to movers are possible.
  • Before initiating play, the first team (controlling the minion movers) selects one of mission cards 18, which, as described above, includes mission indicia indicating a mission identifier and a corresponding set of unique items that must be collected by the first team in order to win. The location identifiers on the mission card indicate the location spaces 40 from which each the item card for each item may be collected. The mission indicia is not revealed to the second team.
  • After placing the various movers on designated spaces such as starting spaces 42 a, teams take turns moving their movers around the board by rolling die 26 and moving up to that number of movement spaces 42. In particular, the first team attempts to collect each item on the selected mission card by moving minion movers to the various location spaces, selecting an item card from a location space that corresponds to an item identifier on the selected mission card, and moving minion movers “bearing” item cards off of the game board. A mover may be moved into a location space 40 from an entrance space 42 b, at which point the first team may select one of the item cards associated with the location space. Once an item card is selected, the item represented thereon is considered to have been “stolen” by the minion mover. The item card depicting the stolen item is placed such that it can be correlated with the particular minion mover bearing the item. For example, the mover may include a slot or space adapted to hold the item card. Alternatively, the item may be placed in or on a holder with indicia matching the indicia 46 on the minion mover. The holder may be an area on game board 12 or may be a separate, individual component of game 10. The first team then attempts to move the minion mover bearing the stolen item off of the game board, via an exit space 42 d.
  • At the same time, the second team attempts to intercept or capture minion movers bearing stolen items, taking item cards from intercepted minions, decoding the encoded data on such item cards, and using the decoded information to determine the mission identifier on the mission card selected by the first team. The second team may capture a minion mover by moving a hero mover to occupy the same movement space 42 as a minion mover. If the minion mover is captured while bearing a stolen item, the corresponding item card is transferred to the second team and may be placed inside decoder 22. As explained above, when an item card is placed inside the decoder, encoded data 56 is visible through windows 78 that correspond to one or more mission identifiers. The second team wins when the mission identifier on the mission card selected by the first team is correctly guessed. However, some items are associated with more than one mission identifier, and it therefore may be necessary for the second team to obtain multiple stolen items in order to make an accurate guess. If a minion mover bearing a stolen item is moved off of the game board before being captured, the second team no longer has the opportunity to read the encoded data on the corresponding item card.
  • During play, each team may employ some of the described features of the game to interfere with the opposite team's attempts to win the game. For example, in the exemplary embodiment, there are more items cards available for collection than those indicated on any individual mission card. Thus, not all available items need be collected by the first team. As such, if a first team mover is moved to a location space that contains items the first team does not need to collect, or if the required items from that location space have been collected, a “red herring” item card may be selected. As described above, the encoded data on a “red herring” item card does not convey any information regarding the mission being completed. The second team thus may be misled by attempting to capture minion movers bearing “red herring” item cards.
  • Also, as described above, each team may use command cards 30, 32 to move the other team's movers, or otherwise hinder the other team's progress. Further, in the exemplary embodiment, the jump spaces 42 c represent manhole covers, enabling the minion movers to enter and exit from Gotham City's “sewer system.” In other embodiments, one or both teams may use the jump spaces to move a mover from one jump space directly to another jump space without traversing each movement space therebetween.
  • Several aspects of the exemplary method of game play may be reflected in a set of rules to accompany the game. Such rules may thus be adapted to provide a game with a desired degree of complexity or difficulty, provide additional context to further a theme, include additional methods of game play consistent with the components and concepts of the game as described above, and so forth. The following is an example of printed rules that might accompany the game components and method of play of the exemplary embodiment.
  • Object of the Game
  • For the Villain: Collect the ten items you need to carry out your plan against Gotham City and escape the city before Batman discovers who you are.
  • For the Heroes: Discover the identity of the Villain behind the thefts in Gotham City before they escape.
  • Setup:
    • 1. Open the game board in the center of the playing arena.
    • 2. Place the four Heroes on the spaces with the starting symbols at the four corners of the board.
    • 3. Place the five Minions on the purple manhole covers.
    • 4. Separate the Hero and Villain command cards into two different piles. The Villain command cards are red and the Hero command cards are blue.
    • 5. Separate the item cards by building and place them into the twelve slots in the game tray.
    • 6. Choose who will play the Heroes and who will play the Villain.
      Playing with Less than 5:
  • While the optimum number of players is five you may still have a great game with four, three or two. Since one player always plays the Villain, a game with less than five players only affects the Hero side.
    • 4 Players—One player plays two Heroes or the players may take turns moving the extra Hero.
    • 3 Players—Two players control two Heroes.
    • 2 Players—The Hero player rolls once for all four Heroes.
      Villain Mission Cards
  • Each Villain mission card pictures one of Batman's greatest foes. These cards also list ten items and their locations in Gotham City. These are the items each Villain needs to collect in order to destroy Gotham City.
  • The Villains are:
      • The Joker
      • Ra's Al Ghul
      • The Riddler
      • Mr. Freeze
      • Scarecrow
      • Penguin
      • Catwoman
      • Harley Quinn
      • Two-Face
      • Poison Ivy
        Hero and Villain Command Cards
  • These cards give the Heroes and Villains special tools and abilities to help them combat or perpetrate evil. Only one Hero or Minion may play a card per turn. After a card has been played, place it face up to start a discard pile. Cards can only be used once per game. You may draw one new Hero or Villain command card per turn.
  • Hero Cards:
    • Rooftop Jumping—This card allows one Hero to move twice his or her roll.
    • Re-roll—This card allows you to re-roll the die once. You must take the result of the roll even if it is lower than your first roll
    • Batwing—This card allows you to fly from where you are to any building in Gotham City. Only one Hero at a time may use this card.
    • Interrogation—This card allows one Minion, of your choice, without an item to be placed in the Police Station for one turn.
    • Batmobile—Allows one hero to move in a straight line along any street until the street ends or you've captured a minion.
      Villain Cards:
    • Re-roll—This card allows you to re-roll the dice once. You must take the results of the roll even if it is lower than your first roll.
    • Jetpack—This card allows one Minion to move twice his roll.
    • Set Off Alarm—This card allows the Villain to send one Hero to the building of the Villain's choice.
    • Smoke Bomb—When this card is played, a captured Minion does not have to show the Hero the stolen item he is carrying.
    • Hostage—This card allows a Villain to place one Hero in Crime Alley. The captured Hero must remain in Crime Alley until another Hero rescues him by entering Crime Alley and remaining there for one turn.
      Playing the Game:
      The Basics:
    • 1. One player plays the Villain—the remaining player(s) are the Heroes. The Villain moves first, followed by Batman, Robin, Batgirl, and Nightwing.
    • 2. Before the game starts, Hero or Villain cards are drawn according to the number of players in the game. Example: If there are three players in the game, the Heroes each draw one card and the Villain draws two because there are two players against him. Once the game begins the Villain and Heroes draw one card at the beginning of every turn.
    • 3. Roll the die and move up to that number of spaces. Although you do not have to move your full roll you must move at least one space. You do not have to roll the exact number to enter a building or capture a Minion.
    • 4. Minions are captured when a Hero moves onto a Minion's space. When a Minion is in a building, a Hero must only enter the building to capture the Minion. Capturing a Minion ends the Hero's turn.
    • 5. Enter the buildings at the spaces marked with arrows.
    • 6. All Minions move on one die roll. Example: If the Villain rolls a six, all the Minions move up to six spaces.
    • 7. Heroes move in this order Batman, Robin, Batgirl, and Nightwing.
    • 8. A Minion may move through a Hero without being captured and a Hero may move through a Minion without capturing him.
    • 9. Playing a Hero or Villain card does not count as your move. Example: If you play the Batwing card, you may fly to your chosen destination and still move the number of spaces that you rolled.
      As the Villain:
    • 1. Without letting the other players see, choose which foe of Batman you wish to play. You may choose one from the following Villain Mission cards: Joker; Ra's Al Ghul; Riddler; Mr. Freeze; Scarecrow; Penguin; Catwoman; Harley Quinn; Two-Face; or Poison Ivy. Place the remaining Villain Mission cards face down.
    • 2. The Villain you have chosen needs to collect ten items to initiate the evil scheme. The items he needs to collect and their locations are shown on the Mission card. It's your Minions' job to spread throughout Gotham City and return with these items. You may go into any building, but if the building does not contain items from your Villain Mission card, you may only take a red herring card. A Red Herring card is an empty box.
    • 3. Once a Minion enters a building, it may take one item and place it in its backpack. Minions may only carry one item in their backpack at a time Note: The game tray has five “backpack” slots that correspond to the number of the Minion. When a Minion steals an item, the item is placed into that Minion's slot. If a Minion travels off the board without being captured, the Villain removes the item from the backpack slot. If the Minion is captured, the Hero removes the item from the backpack slot.
    • 4. Move the Minions in the following order: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
    • 5. If a Minion can exit the board with an item before it is caught, Batman will lose a valuable clue to your identity. If a Hero catches a Minion and take the Minion's item, the item is still considered “collected” and can be checked off your list.
    • 6. A Minion may exit the board anywhere a road leaves the board. When a Minion exits the board however, its turn is over. Minions do not have to re-enter the board at the same place they exit.
    • 7. Minions may not take items that are not on their Villain's list. They may however, take a red herring card from a building to throw the Heroes off. Note: The red herring cards show an empty box.
    • 8. Minions may travel through the sewers by landing on a space with a manhole cover. They may exit the sewers on any other space that has a manhole cover. Simply standing on a manhole cover does not mean a Minion is in the sewer and thus protected from the Heroes. Note: Moving from one manhole cover to the next counts as one space. You may continue your move when you exit the sewer.
      Winning as the Villain:
  • As the Villain you must collect all ten items that are on your card. If you can collect these items before the Heroes discover your identity, you win the game.
  • As the Heroes:
    • 1. Each player draws a Hero Command card. These cards may be played on your turn to increase your chances of defeating the Villain's dastardly plan. The Heroes are: Batman, Robin, Batgirl, and Nightwing.
    • 2. Each Hero rolls the die and moves the appropriate number of spaces.
    • 3. If a Hero captures a Minion with an item before the Minion exits the board, the Hero may see the item that was stolen. Each item is a clue to the identity of the Villain.
    • 4. An item captured from a Minion may be placed into the Bat-computer for analysis. If the item corresponds with a particular Villain it will show up yellow in that Villain's slot. If the item card shows black in a Villain slot, that Villain may be eliminated as a suspect. Note: Some of the items are associated with more than one Villain. Make sure you have eliminated all suspects before guessing the identity of the Villain.
    • 5. The Heroes may guess the identity of the Villain at any time after catching a Minion but they only get one guess. Guess wrong and the good guys lose. Note: This is a collective guess—each hero does not get a guess.
      Winning as the Heroes:
  • If the Heroes can reveal the Villain's identity before the Villain's Minions collect the ten items and exit the board, the Heroes win. Note: A Hero must capture a Minion before they guess the identity of the Villain.
  • Notes from the Batcave:
  • The entry to each building is marked with an arrow.
  • A Minion may move through a Hero without being captured. A Hero may move through a Minion without capturing it.
  • While the present invention has been shown and described in the context of a particular example and based on a particular theme, such disclosure is intended to be exemplary and non-limiting. It should be understood that the game may or may not be based on any known or previously described world or theme and may include any number of themes, backstories, or characters. Further, some embodiments may include game components and methods for play as disclosed in, or different from, the exemplary embodiment.
  • For example, in view of the concepts and components of the present disclosure, some embodiments of the game may include a plurality of game items (for example, mission cards 20), each game item further including a corresponding plurality of individually distinguishable indicia (for example, item identifiers 52), such that the plurality of indicia on a first game item is different from the plurality of indicia on a second game item, and which also includes a plurality of cards (for example, item cards 22), each card including at least one of the indicia included with one or more of the plurality of game items. Further, such embodiments may include a set of rules for playing the game, which provides a first objective for a first team and a second objective for a second team. The first objective may be to select one of the plurality of game items and to collect a quantity of the plurality of cards sufficient that all of the indicia on the selected game item is included with at least one of the collected quantity of the plurality of cards, and the second objective may be to retrieve a subset of the collected quantity of the plurality of cards sufficient to determine which of the plurality of game items is the selected game item.
  • Further, some embodiments of the game may include a first plurality of cards (for example, mission cards 20), each including at least one of a first type of indicia (for example, mission identifiers 50) and at least one of a second type of indicia different from the first type of indicia (for example, item identifiers 52), and a second plurality of cards (for example, item cards 22), each including at least one of the second type of indicia included with one or more of the first plurality of cards, wherein each of the second plurality of cards includes none of the first type of indicia.
  • Some embodiments of the game may include a plurality of game items (for example, item cards 22), at least two of which include a first common characteristic, and at least two of which include a second common characteristic different from the first common characteristic (for example, two item cards 22 may correspond to one mission identifier 50, and two item cards 22—which may the same as or different from the first two item cards 22—may correspond to another mission identifier 50). Such embodiments may also include a set of rules for playing the game, which may provide that a first objective for a first team is to collect a predetermined quantity of the plurality of game items that include a common characteristic, and which also provides that a second objective is for a second team is to determine the common characteristic.
  • Some methods of playing games according to the present disclosure may include providing a plurality of game items, at least two of the plurality of game items including a first common characteristic, and at least two of the plurality of game items including a second common characteristic different from the first common characteristic; assigning a first objective to a first team of at least one player of collecting a predetermined quantity of the plurality of game items that include a common characteristic; and assigning a second objective to a second team of at least one player of determining the common characteristic.
  • It is believed that the disclosure set forth above encompasses multiple distinct inventions with independent utility. While each of these inventions has been disclosed in its preferred form, the specific embodiments thereof as disclosed and illustrated herein are not to be considered in a limiting sense as numerous variations are possible. The subject matter of the inventions includes all novel and non-obvious combinations and subcombinations of the various elements, features, functions and/or properties disclosed herein. Similarly, where the claims recite “a” or “a first” element or the equivalent thereof, such claims should be understood to include incorporation of one or more such elements, neither requiring nor excluding two or more such elements.
  • Inventions embodied in various combinations and subcombinations of features, functions, elements, and/or properties may be claimed in a related application. Such claims, whether they are directed to a different invention or directed to the same invention, whether different, broader, narrower or equal in scope to any original claims, are also regarded as included within the subject matter of the inventions of the present disclosure.

Claims (45)

  1. 1. A game for at least two teams, comprising:
    a game board with a plurality of location spaces;
    a plurality of moveable game pieces for movement on the game board, each game piece having team alignment indicia;
    a plurality of mission cards, each mission card including a unique mission identifier and a set of unique item identifiers;
    a plurality of item cards, each item card including an item identifier, encoded data, and a location identifier indicating a location space; and
    a decoder adapted to decode the encoded data.
  2. 2. The game of claim 1, wherein the game board further includes a plurality of movement spaces interconnecting the plurality of location spaces.
  3. 3. The game of claim 1, wherein at least some of the plurality of movement spaces bear indicia designating a movement space as one or more of an entrance space for a location space, a start space for one or more game pieces, a jump space allowing a game piece to be moved to a specified movement space, and an exit space allowing a game piece to be moved off of the playing surface.
  4. 4. The game of claim 1, further including a random number generator to indicate a number of movement spaces a game piece may be moved.
  5. 5. The game of claim 1, wherein the team alignment indicia includes first team alignment indicia and second team alignment indicia differentiable from the first team alignment indicia, wherein a first game piece has first team alignment indicia, and wherein a second game piece has second team alignment indicia.
  6. 6. The game of claim 5, wherein first team alignment indicia includes being shaped to resemble a superhero figurine, and wherein second team alignment indicia includes being shaped to resemble a minion figurine.
  7. 7. The game of claim 5, wherein each game piece has secondary indicia such that game pieces having the same team alignment indicia are distinguishable from each other.
  8. 8. The game of claim 7, wherein the secondary indicia includes an embossed number.
  9. 9. The game of claim 7, wherein the secondary indicia includes being shaped to resemble an identifiably distinct superhero figurine.
  10. 10. The game of claim 1, wherein the mission identifier includes a graphical depiction of a villain character.
  11. 11. The game of claim 1, wherein the set of item identifiers on each mission card correspond to the mission identifier on the mission card.
  12. 12. The game of claim 1, wherein each item identifier includes a graphical depiction of an item.
  13. 13. The game of claim 1, wherein each of the plurality of mission cards includes a first face and a second face, and wherein the first face includes the mission identifier and the set of item identifiers.
  14. 14. The game of claim 13, wherein the second faces of each of the plurality of mission cards are indistinguishable from each other.
  15. 15. The game of claim 1, wherein each of the plurality of item cards includes a first face and a second face, wherein the first face includes the item identifier and the encoded data, and wherein the second face includes the location identifier.
  16. 16. The game of claim 1, wherein the encoded data includes at least one of a light region and a dark region.
  17. 17. The game of claim 1, wherein the encoded data, when decoded, indicates which of the mission cards include a mission identifier corresponding to the item identifier on the item card.
  18. 18. The game of claim 1, wherein the decoder includes a top surface and a front surface, wherein the top surface further includes at least one slot sized to accommodate insertion of an item card into the decoder, and wherein the front surface includes a plurality of windows, each window being configured to display at least a predetermined portion of the encoded data on the item card.
  19. 19. The game of claim 18, wherein the decoder is configured to simultaneously accommodate insertion of a plurality of item cards into the decoder such that at least a predetermined portion of the encoded data on each item card inserted into the decoder is displayed.
  20. 20. The game of claim 18, wherein the front surface of the decoder further includes a plurality of mission identifiers, positioned to indicate whether the displayed encoded data on each item card inserted into the decoder indicates one or more of the plurality of mission identifiers.
  21. 21. The game of claim 1, further including a plurality of command cards, each command card indicating a manner in which one or more moveable game pieces may be moved on the game board.
  22. 22. The game of claim 21, wherein each of the plurality of command cards includes team alignment indicia.
  23. 23. The game of claim 1, further including a random number generator to indicate movement of a game piece on the game board.
  24. 24. A set of components for a game for at least two teams, the set comprising:
    a plurality of mission cards, each mission card including a unique mission identifier and a corresponding set of unique item identifiers;
    a plurality of item cards, each item card including an item identifier and information indicating which of the mission cards include a mission identifier corresponding to the item identifier on the item card.
  25. 25. The set of claim 24, further including a set of rules for playing the game, wherein the rules provide that:
    one of the plurality of mission cards is selected and displayed to a first team and concealed from a second team;
    the first team is assigned the objective of collecting item cards that include the item identifiers on the selected mission card; and
    the second team is assigned the objective of determining the mission identifier on the selected mission card.
  26. 26. The set of claim 24, wherein the information includes encoded data.
  27. 27. The set of claim 26, further including a decoder adapted to decode the encoded data.
  28. 28. The set of claim 26, wherein the encoded data includes at least one of a light region and a dark region.
  29. 29. The set of claim 24, wherein one or more item cards include an item identifier that does not correspond to a mission identifier.
  30. 30. The set of claim 24, further including a game board with a plurality of location spaces, wherein each location space is associated with one or more item cards.
  31. 31. The set of claim 30, wherein each of the plurality of item cards includes a location identifier to indicate the location space with which the item card is associated.
  32. 32. The set of claim 31, wherein each of the plurality of item cards includes a first face and a second face, wherein the first face includes the item identifier and the information, and wherein the second face includes the location identifier.
  33. 33. The set of claim 24, wherein the number of item cards is greater than or equal to the number of unique item identifiers included on the plurality of mission cards.
  34. 34. A method of playing a game, comprising:
    providing game components, including:
    a game board with a plurality of location spaces;
    a plurality of moveable game pieces, including at least a first game piece having first team alignment indicia and at least a second game piece having second team alignment indicia differentiable from the first team alignment indicia;
    a plurality of mission cards, each mission card including a unique mission identifier and a corresponding set of unique item identifiers; and
    a plurality of item cards associated with each location space, each item card including an item identifier and information indicating which of the mission cards include a mission identifier corresponding to the item identifier on the item card;
    associating the at least one game piece having first team alignment indicia with a first team of at least one player and associating the at least one game piece having second team alignment indicia with a second team of at least one player;
    displaying the mission identifier and corresponding set of item identifiers on a randomly selected one of the plurality of mission cards to the first team, and concealing the mission identifier and corresponding set of item identifiers on the selected mission card from the second team;
    assigning a first objective to the first team and assigning a second objective, different from the first objective, to the second team;
    allowing each team to manipulate its associated game pieces on a game board in an attempt to accomplish its objective;
    declaring the first team to accomplish its objective as the winning team.
  35. 35. The method of claim 34, wherein assigning a first objective includes assigning the objective of attempting to collect item cards that include item identifiers corresponding to the mission identifier on the selected mission card, and wherein assigning a second objective includes assigning the objective of determining the mission identifier on the selected mission card.
  36. 36. The method of claim 35, wherein allowing each team to manipulate its associated plurality of game pieces on a game board in an attempt to accomplish its objective includes:
    allowing the first team to move a moveable game piece including first team alignment indicia to one of the plurality of location spaces, select one of the plurality of item card associated with the location space, and move the moveable game piece with the selected item card off of the game board; and
    allowing the second team to move a moveable game piece including second team alignment indicia to intercept a game piece including first team alignment indicia with a selected item card, take the selected item card, and use the information on the item card to determine the mission identifier associated with the selected mission card.
  37. 37. A game for at least two teams, comprising:
    a game board with a plurality of location spaces interconnected by a plurality of movement spaces;
    a plurality of moveable game pieces for movement on the game board, each game piece having team alignment indicia;
    a plurality of mission cards, each mission card including a unique mission identifier and a set of unique item identifiers;
    a plurality of item cards, each item card including an item identifier, encoded data, and a location identifier indicating a location space;
    a decoder to decode the encoded data;
    a random number generator to indicate a number of movement spaces a game piece may be moved;
    a plurality of command cards, each command card indicating a manner in which one or more moveable game pieces may be moved on the game board; and
    a set of rules for playing the game.
  38. 38. A set of game components, comprising:
    a plurality of game items including a first game item and a second game item, each game item including a corresponding plurality of individually distinguishable indicia such that the plurality of indicia on the first game item is different from the plurality of indicia on the second game item; and
    a plurality of cards, each including at least one of the indicia included with one or more of the plurality of game items.
  39. 39. The set of claim 38, wherein the game items are cards.
  40. 40. The set of claim 38, wherein the game components further includes a set of rules for playing the game, which provides a first objective for a first team and a second objective for a second team.
  41. 41. The set of claim 40, wherein the first objective is to select one of the plurality of game items and to collect a quantity of the plurality of cards sufficient that all of the indicia on the selected game item is included with at least one of the collected quantity of the plurality of cards.
  42. 42. The set of claim 41, wherein the second objective is to retrieve a subset of the collected quantity of the plurality of cards sufficient to determine which of the plurality of game items is the selected game item.
  43. 43. A set of game components, comprising:
    a first plurality of cards, each including at least one of a first type of indicia and at least one of a second type of indicia different from the first type of indicia; and
    a second plurality of cards, each including at least one of the second type of indicia included with one or more of the first plurality of cards;
    wherein each of the second plurality of cards includes none of the first type of indicia.
  44. 44. A game for at least two teams, comprising:
    a plurality of game items, at least two game items including a first common characteristic, and at least two game items including a second common characteristic different from the first common characteristic; and
    a set of rules for playing the game, which provides that a first objective for a first team is to collect a predetermined quantity of the plurality of game items that include a common characteristic, and which also provides that a second objective is for a second team is to determine the common characteristic.
  45. 45. A method of playing a game, comprising:
    providing a plurality of game items, at least two of the plurality of game items including a first common characteristic, and at least two of the plurality of game items including a second common characteristic different from the first common characteristic;
    assigning a first objective to a first team of at least one player of collecting a predetermined quantity of the plurality of game items that include a common characteristic; and
    assigning a second objective to a second team of at least one player of determining the common characteristic.
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US6450498B1 (en) * 2001-06-01 2002-09-17 Michael Rombone Military strategy game
US6808172B2 (en) * 2001-11-02 2004-10-26 Mattel, Inc. Board game

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20060145421A1 (en) * 2004-12-30 2006-07-06 Mattel, Inc. Board game incorporating doll play
USD794074S1 (en) * 2016-04-11 2017-08-08 Microsoft Corporation Display screen with icon

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