BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to board games, and more specifically to a game in which players consider the likelihood of other players (or other persons known to all players) performing some behavior in accordance with a series of hypothetical behaviors listed on a series of cards provided with the game.
2. Description of the Related Art
Innumerable board games and similar pastimes have been developed over the years, with many such games being directed to at least an approximate simulation of an occupation, travel, a physical game or sport, or other situation or environment. For example, the present inventor is aware of such games as Monopoly®, which simulate competitive financial transactions in urban real estate, among players. Still other board games relate to the measurement of the knowledge of the players in various fields, with players competing to answer a series of questions relating to popular culture, current events, history, science and technology, etc. The game of Trivial Pursuit® is an example of such board games.
However, little has been accomplished in the field of board games which relate to character judgment and estimations of the psychology and characteristics of others, particularly other players involved in the game. The vast majority of board games and similar pastimes are directed to external factors, rather than dealing with the psychological characteristics of the players, or of other persons known to the players. Where games relating to characteristics of the players have been developed in the past, such games are more closely related to the game of Trivial Pursuit®, with players being asked questions relating to the personal history of other players, rather than being required to make judgments about their actions in various hypothetical circumstances. Yet, such a game could be a valuable tool in developing character judgment in the players, as well as providing an enjoyable pastime.
The present likelihood game responds to this need for such a game, by providing a board game in which players make character judgments about their opposing players, and/or other persons who are known to all of the players of the game. A game board is provided, with advancement along the playing path of the board being determined according to the success of the players in responding to various hypothetical situations or scenarios relating to other players or persons known to the players. A series of cards listing a relatively large number of such situations is provided with the game, with players selecting exemplary scenarios or questions either randomly or as desired, depending upon the rules.
A discussion of the related art of which the present inventor is aware, and its differences and distinctions from the present invention, is provided below.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,395,044 issued on Jul. 26, 1983 to Carl J. Hula, titled “Space Board Game Apparatus,” describes a game which loosely simulates space travel. A series of cards is provided, with the cards containing various instructions which benefit or penalize the player, according to random chance. The only similarity between the game of Hula and the present likelihood game is the use of a game board, a series of cards, and chance means. Hula does not require players to select or choose among other players or persons, as to which is more likely act in a certain way regarding a hypothetical situation listed on a card.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,565,373 issued on Jan. 21, 1986 to Bracha B. Ungar, titled “Numerical Guessing Game,” describes a game in which players are required to deduce a series of specific numbers selected randomly by a dealer. Players are given numerical clues for assistance. No board game having a playing path requiring the winning player to reach the end of the path is provided by Ungar, nor is there any requirement in the Ungar game for players to make any determination of the likelihood of another player's actions to a given hypothetical situation or scenario, as is the case with the present likelihood game.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,822,043 issued on Apr. 18, 1989 to Lewis S. Carter, titled “Baseball Card Game,” describes a simulated baseball game in which nearly all of the various factors which are a part of the game, are contained on a series of cards. Dice are used to determine which of the characteristics on the cards, are used for each play of the game. However, no game board is provided by Carter, nor is there any determination of the likelihood of a player's or person's response or actions to a given hypothetical scenario, as is the case in the present likelihood game.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,840,382 issued on Jun. 20, 1989 to Kenneth L. Rubin, titled “Electronic Card Reader And Financial Asset Games,” describes a board game having an electronic device for reading cards which are used in the game. The card reader includes means for changing the characteristics of the game, depending upon the information contained on the cards which are read by the machine. The Rubin game is directed primarily to a financial simulation, but may be used to play a musical identification game as well. Rubin does not include any requirement for players to make determinations about the likelihood of other players' or persons' reactions to given hypothetical situations.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,217,229 issued on Jun. 8, 1993 to Francisco Jaime, titled “Football Board Game,” describes a game having a game board resembling a football field. A series of specially marked dice are provided, for randomly selecting the type of play and outcome, the yardage gained or lost, etc. The only cards used in the Jaime football board game, are for noting the score of the game. Jaime does not disclose any requirement for players to make judgments as to the likelihood of other players' or persons' reactions to various situations as listed on a series of cards.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,280,914 issued on Jan. 25, 1994 to Clifton B. Selby et al., titled “Educational Board Game,” describes a trivia type game in which cards are provided with pictures of famous persons on one side thereof, and a series of facts relating to that person on the opposite side. Players are shown the picture, and the facts relating to the person are read. The object is to guess the name of the person on the card, with the player making the correct determination, collecting the card for the duration of the game. The first player to collect a predetermined number of cards, wins the game. Selby et al. do not disclose any requirement for players to make any determination as to the likelihood of one of their number acting or reacting in a certain manner, to a hypothetical situation.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,308,077 issued on May 3, 1994 to Jeffrey J. Caggiano, titled “Board Game,” describes a game in which players use markers to travel along the playing path of the game board, in accordance with the successful solving of a series of puzzles or problems listed on a series of cards provided with the game. The puzzles or problems comprise anagrams and Rebus type puzzles. No disclosure is made of any requirement for players to make guesses as to the likelihood of another person's reactions to a situation or scenario described on a card, as is the case with the present likelihood game.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,480,157 issued on Jan. 2, 1996 to Donna M. Plummer, titled “Fact Game And Method Of Playing The Same,” describes a game in which each player in turn is presented with a series of facts from the other players, and must guess as to which fact corresponds with which player. The Plummer game is a wagering game, with correct responses from the guessing player resulting in the guessing player winning the wager from the player whose identity was guessed correctly from the fact card, and with the fact card player winning the wager from the guessing player if the guessing player guesses incorrectly. While wagers may be placed upon the outcome of the present game, it is not geared to such play, as is the Plummer game. More importantly, Plummer states that the cards used in her game contain factual responses from the players, relating to their lives (column 1, lines 51-53). In contrast, the present game does not ask players to provide factual statements about their lives, but rather presents a series of hypothetical situations and asks each player to make a guess as to which of the players (or other persons known to the players) would most likely fit the given situation. Also, the present game includes a game board with a playing path, with responses which agree with the response of the acting player resulting in the advance of that player's position marker (with certain randomized exceptions). The object is to be the first player to reach the finish position on the board. Plummer states that her game board is optional (col. 3, lines 1 and 2), and no playing path is disclosed on her game board configuration.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,735,522 issued on Apr. 7, 1998 to Damien Sausa, titled “Quote And Year Trivia Question Game,” describes a trivia type game having a series of cards with only two types of questions, i.e., the personage responsible for a well known quote, and the year in which a well known event occurred. A game board having a playing path is provided, with movement along the path determined by dice. Successfully answering the question, as determined by the character of the board position where the player's marker is placed according to the dice toss, allows that player to play again. No listing of hypothetical situations, nor requirement that players guess which of their number (or other persons) would be most likely to fit the given hypothetical situation, is provided by Sausa in his game.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,899,456 issued on May 4, 1999 to Andrew D. Weinstock et al., titled “Progressive Trivia Game,” describes a game having a board with a series of playing positions forming a path thereon. Player advancement is determined by dice or other chance means. The positions are broadly differentiated into four different types, which relate to different genres of movies. A series of cards are provided, with each having the names of actors associated with the various movie genres on one side, and the name of the corresponding movies on the opposite side. The object is to guess the name of the movie in the shortest time, i.e., after hearing a minimal number of the actors' names associated with the movie. No guesses as to the responses of players or others to a hypothetical situation, are disclosed by Weinstock et al.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,913,518 issued on Jun. 22, 1999 to Durand K. Demlow, titled “Method Of Playing A Learning Game,” describes a game having a board with a rectangular matrix of positions thereon, over which the player position markers are advanced. A series of trivia cards contain subjects relating to various sports and games. No requirement for players to determine the most likely of their group, or of other persons, to fit a predetermined hypothetical scenario as described on a card, is provided by Demlow.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,116,601 issued on Sep. 12, 2000 to Stanley E. Kornafel, Jr., titled “Board Game Apparatus,” describes a game which loosely simulates travel. The series of cards provided include instructions which directly affect the advance or setback of the position marker of the player drawing the card, rather than describing hypothetical situations, as in the case of the cards of the present game. Kornafel, Jr. does not provide for the players of his game to guess the likelihood of the response of others to hypothetical scenarios, as in the present game.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,164,650 issued on Dec. 26, 2000 to Robert F. Wilkins et al., titled “Board Game,” describes a game having a board configured to fit within the playing path of the Monopoly® game board. The cards provided with the Wilkins et al. game affect the advance or setback of the player position markers about the board, rather than containing a series of hypothetical situations, as in the cards of the present game. No requirement for players to guess the likelihood of the reactions of others to hypothetical situations, is disclosed by Wilkins et al.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,328,308 issued on Dec. 11, 2001 to Matthew A. Kirby, titled “Creative Comparison Card-Game W/Board-Game Variant,” describes a game having two groups of cards, with one generally containing nouns (or phrases containing the names of things), and another listing adjectives (or other descriptive terms). The object is to match the most likely combination of one of the cards from each group. In one embodiment, players play against a “judge,” with players winning the round if they select differently from the judge. While the present likelihood game contains certain elements of the Kirby game, Kirby does not provide any hypothetical situations in which players must consider the likelihood of others' reactions to such situations.
British Patent Publication No. 2,220,146 published on Jan. 4, 1990 to Rodney H. R. Hayward et al., titled “Wine Tasting Game,” describes an activity involving the tasting and comparison of wines. Successfully identifying the wines in a blind taste test, results in advance about a game board. No hypothetical scenarios are presented in the Hayward et al. game.
Finally, Canadian Patent Publication No. 2,321,477 published on Mar. 29, 2001 to Vanessa E. Grundy, titled “Board Game,” describes a game simulating space travel on a game board depicting actual and fictional areas of space. No cards describing hypothetical situations, nor any requirement for players to guess the reactions of others to such situations, are disclosed by Grundy.
None of the above inventions and patents, either singly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention is a likelihood game, in which players take turns in guessing the likelihood that a player (or another non-present party known to all of the players) would or would not engage in an activity described upon a series of cards provided with the game. A game board, a player position marker for each player, and a conventional cubical die are also provided. At least eight persons are involved in the play of the present game. If fewer than eight persons are present as players, then one or more non-present persons (e.g., mutual friends and acquaintances, relatives, well known personalities or public figures, etc.) are mutually agreed upon to provide a base list of at least eight persons. More persons may be placed upon this base list, if so desired. Where eight or more players are present, the naming of additional non-present persons is optional.
Movement of the position markers is accomplished in accordance with guesses as to the likelihood of one of the persons on the base list engaging in a given activity or performing a given act, as described upon a randomly selected card. Each card has a series of statements thereon, i.e., “Most likely to . . . ”, with the die being used to select the statement on the card drawn, which is to be used by the players for that round. Advancement is dependent upon several factors, including agreement or disagreement with other players, the roll of the die where agreement occurs among the players, and agreement or non-agreement with the player who drew the card containing the likelihood statement being acted upon. Some of the cards may contain an additional statement which allows players to advance their position markers a predetermined number of positions on the board, if they fit the conditions of the statement (e.g., “If you own two or more dogs, advance two spaces.”) The first player to advance his or her position marker completely about one lap of the playing path of the game board, wins the game.
Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to provide a board game in which players advance position markers about a game board in accordance with the players' considerations as to the likelihood of other players (or non-present persons) engaging in or performing a given act.
It is another object of the invention to provide a board game in which advancement on the board is based on the likelihood of the players performing activities described upon a series of cards provided with the game.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a board game in which movement of position markers along the game board playing path may be dependent upon agreement or disagreement with other players as to the person most likely to perform a given act as described in the game cards.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a board game with cards having additional conditions upon some of the cards, with players meeting the conditions being allowed to advance their position markers.
It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.
These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.