US 2940760 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 14, 1960 H. c. BRINKMAN, JR 2,940,760
THREE DIMENSIONAL GAME Filed Nov. 26, 1957 i i i l p States Patent Ofifice 2,940,760 Patented June 14, 1960 2,940,760 THREE DIMENSIONAL GAME Herbert c. Brinkman, Jr. 3419 Aultview Cincinnati, (ihin Filed Nov. 26, 1957, Ser. No. 699,104 g 3 Claims. (Cl. '273130) This invention relates to games and is particularly directed to a novel three dimensional game in which pieces are positioned in a manner generally similar to the pieces in three dimensional tic-tac-toe.
The principal object of the present invention is to provide a three dimensional game which ofiers a large number of possible combinations and moves and thereby provides an intriguing test of skill between contestants, requiring both a mathematical and spatial analysis of the game board and pieces.
More particularly, the game apparatus of this invention comprises a transparent cubical member constituting'the playing surface or board. Each corner of the cubical member is provided with an opening adapted to receive and frictionally support a game piece. Similar openings are formed in the center of each face of the cube and in the center of each edge of the cube. A sufiicient number of game pieces are provided for insertion in each of these openings. These game pieces are preferably formed of a slightly compressible material such as polyethylene or rubber so that when a piece is inserted in an opening it is securely held in place by frictional engagement with the surrounding wall. The pieces are divided in accordance with the number of players, each players pieces being of a distinguishing color. In addition to these pieces, a common piece belonging to all of the players is permanently mounted in the center of the cube. In playing the present game, the players alternately insert their pieces in the openings on the, surface of the cubical memberuntil all of the spaces have been occupied. Each player is awarded a certain number of points for each opening or space that he occupies and is awarded an additional number of points each time he' completes a straight line containing three of his pieces. As explained below, the number of points awarded for occupying a given space varies inversely with the number of lines that can be completed using the opening. Thus, a player is faced with the choice of attempting to obtain a maximum score by occupying spaces with a high point value or by occupying spaces from which he can complete a maximum number of lines. Since any player can use the center piece in forming a straight line, there are a large number of possible lines which can be formed using openings of different point values; and the choice of the best possible move can become relatively complex.
The cubical member is formed from a hard clear material such as Lucite or the like. Such a member is highly advantageous as a'playing board since its faces clearly define six of the nine major planes along which lines can be formed. Thus, when game pieces are placed on the surface of such a cube, a player obtains the maximum feel, or perception, of a three dimensional game and is greatly aided in visualizing the various possible lines which can be formed from any particular space.
The present game apparatus is further advantageous in that once the pieces are inserted they are firmly held in position. Consequently, the cube may be picked up and inverted; and can be held in any position for inspection. This facilitates study of potential moves since the cubecan be viewed from many angles before 'a move is selected. An accurate analysis of possible moves is further aided by the complete symmetry of the cubical playing board.
In one preferred form of apparatus, the cubical member is constituted by a hollow box formed of Lucite or the like. The walls of the box are provided with corner, edge and facial openings as described above. A common game piece is mounted in the center of the box in any suitable manner such as by securing the piece to a rod formed integral with one wall of the box and extending from the wall to the center of the box. The box lid is preferably hinged to the box bottom and suitable co operating lugs are provided for frictionally holding the lid in a closed position. Alternatively, the lid can be entirely separate from the bottom section of the box and can be held in position by any suitable form of frictional gripping means.
This preferred form of cubical member is particularly advantageous since it not only forms the playing board for the game but also can be used to store and carry the game pieces.
Alternatively, it is contemplated that the cubical member can be. in the form of a solid transparent cube hav-,- ing a common game piece molded in the center thereof. It is to be understood that this solid cube is provided with openings at its corners and in the center of its edges and faces as described above. v
One advantage of the present game apparatus is that it can readily be carried from place to place so that the game can be used by people while they are traveling, commuting or the like. The cubical member can be of any size from approximately an inch cube to several inches. Thus the game can readily be slipped into the users pocket or nurse.
Another advantage of either form of game apparatus is that it is extremely durable and is particularly adapted to withstand the hard usage incident to the use of the game by children or by people while traveling.
A still further advantage of the present invention is that the apparatus is extremely economical to produce, Both the cubical member and the game pieces can readily be molded from thermomolding or thermosetting materials. There are no machining or assembly steps required. 4
These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will be more readily apparent from a consideration of the following detailed description of the drawings illustrating preferred embodiments of the invention.
As shown in the drawings:
Figure 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention.
Fimire 2 is an elevational view of one form of game piece.
Figure 3 is a cross sectional view taken along line 33 of Figure 1.
Figure 4 is an elevational view of a modified form of cubical support member.
One preferred form of game apparatus constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention is shown in Figure 1. As there shown, the game apparatus comprises a cubical support member, or playing surface 10. In this embodiment, the support member '10 is hollow and is in the form of a cubical box having a lid section 11 and a base or bottom section 12. These two sections are hinged together by means of a hinge pin 13 which passes through wall sections 14 and 15 of base 12' and wall section 16 of the lid 11.
Cubical member 10 is transparent and is preferably formed of a hard plastic material such as Lucite or the natively these openings can be cylindrical;
' transverse vertical planes pas member 31] In any of these arrays, it' is possiblejto '22 is formed in each of the corners of the cube. Similar openings 23 are formed inithe center of eachv cube face;
and additionabopenings 24"are formed'in'the center of each edge 21 of the cube. As best. shown'in Figure '3; openings 22, 23, and 24 taper'slightly inwardly; alterwan sec'tioh 25 of lid 1 1"opposite from hinge section isnamvtaea 'With a finger 26. .Thi' finger extends downwardly from edge 27 off wallZS and engages a projectionif'iermed on the inner surface of wall section 30 of base- 121 projection and 'fing'er 26' function to 'nrcaansn hold the'li'd'in the closed position. i V a In additionto these elements, cube is provided with a permanent common center g me piece 31 disposed in the geometric center ofthe cube." This game piece is formed integrabwithor is secured in anysuitable manr'ier such as by means ofan adhesive m-arrans parm post member 32. Member 32 maybe molded integral Y with the bottom wall 33 of thecube or can be secured to a wall of the cube as by means of a suitable adhesive.
,As explained below, center game piece 31 belongs to each [of the contestants.
7 will be -'a prectate'd that each of the faces18 of the cube is providedrwith nine "openings disposed in a' rec- 'tangulanarray identical with t he squares in the familiar es rogen;
twqdimensional game of tic-tac-toe. An additional ninepoint rectangul r array is' conta'ined' aIhoriZontaI plane extendingthriough theicommon piece 31; Similar re ta'ngular arrays are containedfin'fthe longitudinal sin'g .throu'gh the common complete eight'strai'ght lines of three openings. Four r other lines o ffthreeopenings can be formed along' the di gonals of the cube; 7 V f It will further be appreciated that fron'i each corner opening 22, seven straight lines containing three openings can be formed. Three or these lines lie along the ad- 'iacentcdgespf the. cube, three more lie along the, dia'gona ls' of tli'e "adjacent raees er the cube, and one line lies along theldiag'onal of the cube through thee enter piece. 'In a similar manner from one of'thefhcial openings 23 five lines consisting ot thre e aligned ape'rtnrespanne eonstrucftd ramnyrm an .edgefopening "24,.fou'r lines containing three apertures can be formed. In. addition to cubical member ltlfthe presentfg ame ap t i n lu es. a i irs Pi e q a ket 34. Suflicient markers are provided to occupy each of 4 player then inserts one of his pieces in any unoccupied opening and the players continue alternately to place their pieces in any unoccupied opening until all of the openings have been filled. v
The object of the game is to amass the highest total number of points. Points' are awarded as follows: for each piece placed in a corner opening 18, a player receives four points .For. each piece placed anopening 23 in the center of a nee of the cube a player scores five points. For each-piece placed in aniopening 24in, the edge of the cube a player score'slse'venipoints, In addition to the points scored for occupying an. opening, a player scores ten points each tirfihecompletes 'a'frow; or line containing three of hispieicesa .It will lie recalled that the center piece 31 belongs to both players.
The essence of the game is that the number of points obtained by occupying an opening varies in an inverse manner with the number ofpossible lines that car'rbe completed from the opening; Thus, for example, a player.
can complete seven lines from any of the corner openings 22, but receives only fourjpoints 'for occupying such an opening; fintheiother hand, aplayer can complete, only four. lines from one of the edge openings 24; however he receives seven points for occupying one of these openings. Thus a player ir'rustdecide whether to attempt to occupy. the highpoint value openings or to attempt to achieve a maximum score by completing the most lines. His-analysis of the possible moves available to him is facilitated by the fact that the game pieces are tightly held inplace so :that the cube may be inverted or turned at any desired angle. Additionally, the six faces of the cube define six-of the nine major planes giving a player a muchmore acute perception of a cubical array than i is possible with a plurality of spaced shelves or the like.
..'IZne:holl'ow cubical support member 10 shown in Fignri-l is particularly advantageous .since after the game is finished, the pieces can beremoved from their openings in the support member and lid 11 raisedto allow the pieces to be placed "in the interior of the container. Afterthe pieces'are in place the lid can again be snapped shut,'and the playingasurface or :board thus provides a box forEstm'ing theplayingpiecesand carrying them from placelto place. 7 a 1 V Aimodified forin of cubical'play'ing surface or support member 40 is shown in Figure 4. Member 40 is a transparent solid cubical inem'her. formed of 1a 'cl'ear 'plastic such as Lucite; polystyrenegpr the like. This cubical member has :six -faces, eight corners, and twelve edges the openings formed .in the cube. These game pieces-34 are preferably formed of aslightly compressiblermaterial such as rubber, polyethylene, cork or the like. The pieces of each player -are preferably colored' a distinctive color such'as red, blue or the like. Common piece :31is preferably multi-coloredrthat is, it contains aporti-on of the color of each players pieces to remind the players that it is acommon piece. .Alternatively, piece 31=may be of a completely distinguishing color not used for any of the players pieces v V p n As shown in Figures 2 and 3, one'suitable form of game piece 34 is, configured in theshapeof two opposed conical sections '35 and 36 interconnected by a central angular flange 37. Game pieces '34 arconfigurated and dimensioned so that when a piece is inserted" in one of the openings 22, 23 and24, the game piece; is fr'ictionally held in piaee'ana extends outwardly from the surface er the cubicalp laying member as best shown 'infFigure 3-.
To illustrate the manner in whichthepresent gam rs played, assumetht there are two contestants "each as which is provided with 13 playing pieces -34 of a distin-. gnish g. color. jrn commencing the game, the players determine the order'of--.play in any stiitaisiemanae'r such as by fiipping .acoin. ,Thefi rst playerithen inserts one i s am sesin a' iid i i ename 'i'corresipondin'g.to Lthose bfcubical member 10 of Fig:
:ure Moreover,-Zcubicalmemher 40 is providedxvith openingsstlaformed in each of eight corners, facial open.- ings-42$forn1ediin :the center'of each of the six 'ces of the cube, and edge openings 43::forrned in the center of each of the edges of the cube. These openings correspond respectively. to openings .22, '23, and '24iof the embodiment showniinFigut'e 1. Additionally, cubicalsmember 40 has a common, game piece '44 molded'in the geometric eenter of the cube; This common piece .is preferably rnulti c'cilored or colored a distinguishing color in the same :manner ,as piece 31 to indicate to each of the players'that'itiis a common marker.v Each'of the :openings41, 42, arid-'43 is of suflicient'depth to receive and ifriction'allyisupport a marker'suchas marker 34 illustratedzi'n Eigufres .2 and .3; It is 'to .be understood that cubical:supporL-otlboard member 40 and markers 34 are used iniplayingthe .garneinexactly-the same-manner as described-above, g, 1 4
I .From the ioregoing disclosure of the general principles of the invention and the above descriptiono-I' .two preferred embodiments, those skilled-in the .art will readily comprehend various .modifications .to which the iinverition ,is susceptible I ;us for examplelidll andbase 12.0'f hinged cubicallrnember 10 may behinged together bymeans of lugs and sockets .inoldd integral .with the lid and base es t s when? bxm aa 43-.
in in A- desired, the hinged connection between the lid and base section of the cubicle member can be dispensed with and a plurality of cooperating lugs can be formed on the lid and base for frictionally holding the two in assembled relationship. Also, the shape of playing pieces 34 can be altered so long as the pieces are dimensioned and configurated to be frictionally supported within openings formed in the cubical support member and to extend outwardly from the surface of the member.
Having described my invention, 1 claim:
1. A game apparatus for playing a three dimensional game with pieces, said apparatus including a support member comprising a transparent plastic cubical member having six faces, eight corners and twelve edges, said cubical member having apertures formed at each of the corners thereof, in the center of each of the faces thereof and in the center of each of the edges thereof, a common piece disposed in the center of the cube, and a plurality of playing pieces adapted to be inserted in said apertures, said pieces being dimensioned and configurated so that when a piece is inserted in an aperture it is frictionally held in place and extends outwardly from the face of the cube, said playing pieces having indicia dividing said pieces into two groups, said common piece having indicia distinguishing it from said playing pieces.
2. A game apparatus for playing a three dimensional game with pieces, said apparatus including a support member comprising a transparent hollow cubical member, said cubical member having a lid section and a base section, means hingedly connecting the base section and lid section adjacent to one wall thereof, means for frictionally securing said lid section and said base section together at a point remote from said hinge, a common piece, means for supporting said common piece in the center of said cube, said cubical member having six faces, eight corners and twelve edges, and having an aperture formed in each of the corners thereof in the center of each of the faces thereof, and in the center of each of the edges thereof, and a plurality of playing pieces adapted to be inserted in said apertures, said playing pieces being dimensioned and configurated so that when a piece is inserted in an aperture it is frictionally held in place and extends outwardly 6 from the face of the cube, said playing pieces having indicia dividing said playing pieces into two groups, said common piece having indicia distinguishing said common piece from said playing pieces.
3. A game apparatus for playing a three dimensional game with pieces, said apparatus including a support member comprising a hollow transparent plastic cube, said cube having a lid section and a base section, means operatively associated with said lid section and said base section for releasably holding said lid section and base section in assembled relationship, said cubical member having six faces, eight corners and twelve edges, and having an aperture formed in each of the corners thereof in the center of each of the faces thereof and in the center of each of the edges thereof, a common piece, means for supporting said common piece in the center of said cube, and a plurality of playing pieces adapted to be inserted in said apertures, said playing pieces being dimensioned and configurated so that when a piece is inserted in one of said apertures it is frictionally held in place and extends outwardly from the face of the cube, said playing pieces having indicia for dividing said pieces into two groups, said common piece having indicia distingushng said common piece from said playing pieces.
References -Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,119,870 Pettit Dec. 8, 1914 2,313,473 Heacock Mar. 9, 1943 2,335,293 Meyer Q Nov. 30, 1943 2,500,484 Clunan Mar. 14, 1950 2,547,991 YVitbrod Apr. 10, 1951 2,676,018 Cornish Apr. 20, 1954 2,765,949 Hillman Oct. 9, 1956 2,773,690 Housley Dec. 11, 1956 2,799,118 Lullo July 16, 1957 2,801,107 Greer July 30, 1957 2,803,088 Swann Aug. 20, 1957 FOREIGN PATENTS 259,904 Germany May 16, 1913