FIELD OF THE INVENTION
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The invention relates to a game which is played on a board or as a computer version. In particular one or more players play an interactive game with choice and chance means while being provided with educational information.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Many board and computer games provide choice and chance means such as the well known game of MONOPOLY. It is known from U.S. Pat. No. 4,428,580 that one or more dies may be encased in plastic. Combinations of trading cards and dice as chance and choice means are known from U.S. Pat. No. 4,634,125. Further it is known from U.S. Pat. No. 4,611,355 that VELCRO fasteners are useful for temporary attachment. U.S. Pat. No. 5,226,822 teaches a board game in which player figures move along a game path from a start to a finish position wherein the moves are determined using an electronic ladybug with VELCRO pads to attach it to a position on the board and the number of spaces for each move is determined by pressing its nose and seeing how many lights on its back remain lit. Board and computer games are known which lack any suggestion of the new and useful features presented herein. Thus these and other board and computer games do not offer learning opportunity which could be helpful for subjects such as Science, History, Agriculture, and Geography, as well as experiences such as space travel.
It is an object of this invention to provide a durable and easily transportable game comprising: at least one fabric playing surface where a player figure with VELCRO fastener feet or other figure such as a ship or horse or tractor, etc. moves from space to space via temporary attachment to VELCRO fastener tabs on the surface in accord with the number resulting from the throw of a die. The die may be encased in a plastic egg wherein half of the egg is clear and the other half is of an identifying color worn by the player figure or other figure. The die used for a space game may be a plastic space helmet having a base of an identifying color. The die for a farming game may be encased in a plastic hay bale. Cards associated with the game are stored in pockets of a foldable fabric container which can be laid out on a surface adjacent to the fabric playing surface.
It is a further object that in addition to being entertaining, that the interactive experience involves educational experience as well.
It is an object of a hand held computerized version of an educational exploration or excavation game that discoveries and recovery of relics provide audio and graphics as part of the educational experience.
It is an object of this invention to provide a game which provides entertainment along with education while a player uses both choice and chance during an expedition or exploration or other educational experience.
The method of playing the game of the invention involves the steps:
1. traversing a path from a starting position towards an objective according to chance means and following instructions associated with spaces along the path;
2. collecting points according to the spaces on which a player lands;
3. following instructions from spaces, chance cards, etc. which may advance or delay traversing the path and/or collecting points;
4. accumulating factual knowledge as well as spelling and vocabulary associated with the educational experience; and
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
5. determining the winner as the player with the most points when a first player has reached the objective on the game surface.
FIG. 1 Components of a portable game are shown as being taken out of a carrying bag to be laid out on a surface.
FIG. 2 A game board surface is shown.
FIG. 3 A legion with cards is shown.
FIG. 4 Fabric game figures are shown.
FIG. 5 Chance means are shown
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
FIG. 6 A hand held game version is shown.
The concept of the present invention provides educational experiences for a player of this interactive game to not only accept the challenge of reaching a specific destination or goal by means of choice and chance means, but to gain specific knowledge concerning spelling and pronunciation and description of objects and/or items collected during navigation of the game board which would be subject matter in Science or Geography or History or Agriculture, etc. Thus the concept for an excavation could be Digging For Dinosaurs or Egyptology Expedition. For an exploration concept it could be Gold Of The Incas or Viking Voyages. Dinosaur bones, Egyptian relics, Inca gold and North American discoveries would be accumulated to gain points before the first player reached the museum or returned home. For Agriculture it could be Farming the Fields wherein the object is to collect the most income from cash crops. As an Astronaught the object can be to make discoveries and accomplish missions.
While a board game would use cards and a die or spinner for choice and chance funding and instruction; either a hand held game unit or a CD game program would make these moves as well as providing a player to compete with a single player. Different degrees of difficulty can be provided via the cards and the programming. It is also possible to use a special chance means such as an egg encasing a die; or an object or animal connected with the game which functions as a random number generator similar to a die.
A feature which is new and useful for a board game version of the present invention is that a durable and flexible fabric game board surface comprise VELCRO pads at sarting positions and along the game path such that figure with VELCRO foot pads can be positioned temporarily along the path as they move towards an objective. A further feature is that each player figure wears a particular color which is the same as one half of a plastic egg containing a die. The plastic egg is thrown to determine if the figure of the same color will move 1 to 6 spaces during that turn. In the case of an Agriculture game the figure traveling over the game path may be a tractor of a particular color such as green for John Deere, blue for Ford, red for Massey Furguson and yellow for Caterpillar.
In addition to a foldable fabric game surface which can be spread out on a floor or table to play the game; a fabric legion identifies symbols on the the game surface and has pockets into which cards associated with the game can be stored when not in use with playing the game. Both the game surface and the legion fold to fit into a carrying bag along with one or more storage bags for the figures and plastic eggs and other means for playing the game.
Features included in educational games of the present invention may relate to the collection, preservation and documentation of items and events and places associated with Science, History, etc. The game may represent a journey or mission. A game may require the selection of at least one entity with specific knowledge or leadership qualities to contribute to scoring the most points during an expedition and/or exploration. Once this entity or entities are picked, or assigned by the computer program to be competitive, choice and chance means regulate the players across the board toward a destination. Each discovery of relics, treasure, etc. will provide educational facts and descriptions which relate to school subjects or trivia knowledge. Once the game has been played, it will be possible to repeat it using more difficult choice and/or chance means as well as using an entity and/or opponent with greater experience and/or ability to navigate the course and accumulate points. Game boards and program skill levels of different difficulty can be provided either in the same or different geographical areas.
- DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
A form of the educational game in a hand held computer format provides for sounds and graphics associated with the exploration or excavation; whereas the game board version can only rely on pictures on cards which give correct spelling and pronunciation.
FIG. 1 A game board (1) is illustrated for use with a Digging For Dinosaurs game in which players conduct the expedition by collecting points when landing on spots marked by a shovel (2) and being sent back to camp to start over if landing at a problem spot. Fabric figures (3) move to spots along the game path to the museum and attach via VELCOR foot pads (4) to VELCRO pads (5) on the game board surface. A legion (6) is laid out along side with game cards (7) stored in pockets (8). Moves are determined by rolling a die (9) encased in a plastic egg which is half clear (10) and half the color (11) which matches the fabric figure (11).
FIG. 2 A fabric game board (1) is shown with VELCRO pads (5) for temporarily positioning a fabric figure at that spot.
FIG. 3 A fabric legion (6) with pockets (8) is shown along with game cards (7) which are used in the play of the game.
FIG. 4 Fabric figures (4) are shown which have an identifying color (11).
FIG. 5 Chance means are shown with a die (9) and an electronic indication (12).
FIG. 6 A hand held unit (13) has a video display (14) and impute keys (15).
The following Procedures and Examples point out the general concept and operation of the present invention without being limiting.
- EXAMPLE 1
The general procedure common to the present invention is the use of an interactive scenario wherein a player and/or chosen leader and/or navigator and/or science expert starts from a port or city or campsite, etc. with limited provisions, crew, funding, etc. to navigate a route or course or trail, etc. while being required to respond to chance situations which require at times that the expedition or exploration return to the starting position, obtain provisions or funding or other cause of delay. As the expedition or exploration advances onto certain positions it will be possible to earn points according to either drawing a find card or by a random selection via the computer program. An extra award of points will be awarded to the first party to reach the final destination. Each party in the game retains all points even if being sent back to the origin multiple times before one party reaches the final destination. The winner is the party with the most points at the time that a party reaches the final destination.
Digging For Dinosaurs is played as either a hand held or as a CD on a computer using the following rules and definitions. The object is to collect the most points. Setup begins with each player selecting a Paleontologist. For a single player the game program will pick a competing Paleontologist of equivalent experience. Beginning at the campsite each Paleontologist will move in turn and follow the instructions according to the space landed on. When landing on a shovel a sound will be heard connected with an individual dinosaur located or sounds connected with several dinosaurs in a Bone Park. A name or names will be pronounced and a brief description will be given. The computer will automatically keep track of your findings and points. Landing on Lost Map or Travel Expenses or Hazardous Weather will present appropriate sounds and the Paleontologist is sent back to start over from the Campsite. Both Footprint and Tent represent free spaces along the way. Landing on Empty Dig means you have tried to excavate but found it empty and puts you back at Campsite.
Digging For Dinosaurs as Illustrated by FIG. 1, FIG. 2 and FIG. 3 uses the following sets of cards:
|Deck of 27 Find Cards |
| ||Dinosaur ||10 points ||10 cards |
| ||Coprolite ||2 points ||4 cards |
| ||Find bone park ||5 points ||2 cards |
| ||Gastoliths ||2 points ||6 cards |
| ||Ichnite ||3 points ||3 cards |
| ||Nests ||4 points ||2 cards |
| || |
Museum Fund Cards Deck of 56
2 cards 50 points
2 cards for 5 points
4 cards for 4 points
8 cards for 3 points
20 cards for 2 points
- EXAMPLE 2
20 cards for 10 points
- EXAMPLE 3
In an exploration game Viking Voyages both a leader and a navigator are selected along with vessel and provisions. Storms and icebergs will cause delay and landfall will give opportunity to take on provisions. The leader and navigator will have choice and chance opportunities along the game board to score and loose points while at sea. Each landfall will offer opportunities for discovery and mapping and even establishing a colony or capture of slaves or treasure.
- EXAMPLE 4
A portable version of an excavation or exploration educational game is composed of material that can be rolled up when not in use, then placed in a bag with a drawstring. All components of the game are washable. This design makes the game easy to transport and use either at home or while away. In the case of a rug game board there is a rubber bottom with an earth colored material sewn on top to create a more aesthetic look.
- EXAMPLE 5
A hand held version of an excavation or exploration game is illustrated in FIG. 6 in which an interactive program provides a competing figure or party of comparable skill level to follow a game path and collect points in the same manner as a single player via chance means. Thus the single player is provided with spelling, pronunciation and other graphic and audio information having an education purpose during the course of collecting points.
- EXAMPLE 6
A computer version either on the Internet or a network in a classroom would enable multiple players to share this educational experience in a competitive atmosphere.
- EXAMPLE 7
An Agriculture game is Farming the Field in which each player starts from a house and travels over a field of play moving a tractor according to choice and chance means to maximize crop income until the game ends when a tractor reaches a shed at the end of the game path. Each player has a plastic hay bale containing a die. VELCRO pads under the tractor wheels allow each player's tractor to be temporarily attached while traversing locations marked as the following: fuel tank, seed, repairs, utilities, fertilizer, grass, etc. which are involved with obtaining cash crop cards for: hay, pecans, sod, apples, peaches, corn, wheat, etc. Thus for instance if the tractor lands on a spot for fuel tank or repairs, then it must return to the house until the next turn but all points earned up to that time are retained. Landing on grass is a free space for which no points are awarded, but it represents a break from Farming the Field. Each time a tractor lands on a tractor position that player picks up the top card in the cash crop pile which in addition to points earned has spelling and pronunciation as well as descriptive material concerning that crop. The first player to reach the shed gets a bonus of 25 points added to the total of what has been collected along the game path. The game board is shaped as a hay meadow with a continuous path from house to shed. The problems encountered in the course of this interactive educational process involve utilities, fertilization, seeding and repairs.
- EXAMPLE 8
An illustration of an educational exploration game is Soaring into Space for two to four players aged four and up. The game board is shaped like a rocket and four astronaut figures with VELCRO foot pads each use a die encased in a clear helmet to determine spaces to move on a turn. Both a deck of Discover cards and Space Fund cards are used in the play of the game during which astronaut figures are temporarily positioned along the game path from Space Training Center toward the Space Station as the objective. Landing on a rocket space means that that player has discovered or accomplished something. The top card from the Discovery pile is taken along with the amount of points from the Space Fund indicated. Landing on fuel tank or book or computer glitch or hazardous weather requires a return to the start, whole landing on a bed means you have reached a free space to take a break until the next turn. Points gained are retained and the player with the most points wins when one player reaches the Space Station. Along the way educational information is given as players interact with the rigors of space exploration discoveries and missions. The game board and Legion can be rolled up and carried in a bag along with all figures and helmet dies, etc.
FIG. 4 illustrates that fabric figures with VELCRO pads for temporary attachment to a fabric game board can be fashioned as either human figures or transport or work elements of the particular game.