Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3572718 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 30, 1971
Filing dateDec 4, 1967
Priority dateDec 4, 1967
Publication numberUS 3572718 A, US 3572718A, US-A-3572718, US3572718 A, US3572718A
InventorsRobert L Moore
Original AssigneeRobert L Moore
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Board game apparatus
US 3572718 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor RobertL. Moore 919 Coronet Lane, La Grange, 111. 60525 [21] AppLNo. 687,879 [22] Filed Dec.4, 1967 [45] Patented Mar. 30, 1971 [54] BOARD GAME APPARATUS 8 Claims, 19 Drawing Figs.

[52] U.S.Cl 273/134, 273/137 [51] lnt.CI A63f3/02 [50] FieldotSearch 273/134, 131

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,268,433 12/1941 Smith 273/134 3,114,551 12/1963 Ovitz 273/134 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,139,866 -2/1957 France 273/134 191,600 9/1937 Switzerland 273/134 619,894 3/1949 GreatBritain..... 273/134 915,550 1/1963 GreatBritain..... 273/134 979,214 l/1965 GreatBritain 273/134 Primary Examiner-Delbert B. Lowe AttorneyMcDougall, Hersh, Scott & Ladd ABSTRACT: A game construction comprising a playing board having indicia thereon defining a path of travel on the board. Playing positions are included in the path of travel to be occupied by playing pieces with some of the playing piece positions being interconnected by a plurality of lines of travel whereby alternatives are available to the players. Vehicles are provided for playing pieces, and the distance of travel available is determined by the vehicle selected by the player. Pictorial representations are displayed on the board at playing piece positions with a plurality of such representations being displayed adjac'ent those playing piece positions having a plurality of lines of travel extending therefrom. The representations provide locating positions for vehicles as well as means for determining which vehicles can be used for travel from a particular playing piece position. The appearance of each of said representations is sufiiciently similar to that of the corresponding simulated vehicle to enable identification of the vehicle by comparing its appearance with that of the representation.

PATENTEU MARBO nan SHEET 2 OF 3 PATENTEU msoasn 3.872.718


Ere. 16

) m5 mew DENVER snows CHICAGO usmozrmurm Efiiiiif ve 3mg: 5 w I 200%?500 (AR 3000 YMMV/00G) Mfg CHICAGO BOARD GAME APPARATUS This invention relates to an improved game construction which involves the movement of playing pieces on a playing board.

There are a large number of game constructions available on the market, and many other constructions which have been devised but which have not been accepted by the public. Successful game constructions must be original and must have a method of play which will hold the interest of the players. In many cases, an attempt to provide originality will lead to very complicated games which do not have wide appeal because they cannot be enjoyed by children. On the other hand, if the game pattern is unduly simplified, it is very difficult to hold the interest of players, particularly where games are designed for use by adults.

It is a primary object of the invention to provide a game construction which is characterized by a high degree of novelty, whereby interest in the game can be maintained.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a game construction which is relatively uncomplicated, whereby the game can be played by children, but which is at the same time characterized by several unique features whereby the game will hold the interest of adults.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a game construction which includes an infinite number of playing variations during play whereby the outcome of the game is completely unpredictable, thereby providing for continued interest.

These and other objects of this invention will appear hereinafter and for purposes of illustration, but not of limitation, specific embodiments of the invention are shown in the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. I is a plan view illustrating the playing surface of a game construction characterized by the features of this invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary view illustrating a section of the game board;

FIGS. 3 through are perspective views illustrating vehicles and playing pieces utilized in the game construction;

FIG. I1 is a perspective view of an additional game piece used in the playing of the game;

FIGS. 12 through 16 comprise perspective views of playing implements including dice, play money, stock certificates and information cards; and

FIGS. ll7 through 19 are fragmentary views illustrating modified forms of the invention.

The game construction of this invention generally comprises a board defining a playing surface with a plurality of marked spaces illustrated on the board. These spaces define a path of travel on the board and serve as playing positions to be occupied by playing pieces.

The basic concept of the game involves the provision of alternative means which a player can use when moving his playing piece around the game board. The alternative means of travel may comprise different vehicles which a player can select for moving the game pieces. Alternative lines of travel may be selected based on the ability of a player to pay for a particular method of travel and also. based on the players decision in this regard.

The game also preferably includes a plurality of cards which include instructions for the players. The instructions may direct a player to proceed to a particular playing piece position in order to secure materials which will assist the player in achieving the object of the game. On the other hand, some cards may call for immediate advantages or penalties for the players. The provision of these cards, therefore, greatly adds to the novelty of the game, and tends to maintain a high degree of interest.

The game construction illustrated in the drawings comprises an arrangement embodying various aspects of the instant invention. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the game is called Circus, and the game board 10 defines a plurality of playing piece positions I2. Each of the playing piece positions is connected with other positions by means of one or more lines 14. These lines represent the paths of travel which playing pieces must follow when moving from one playing piece position to another.

As illustrated in FIG. 2, each of the playing piece positions 12 is designated by the name of a city. It will, therefore, be apparent that if a playing piece is located at Rochester, this piece must move to New York by means of the line 14 interconnecting these two playing piece positions. On the other hand, if a playing piece is in Cleveland, it can be moved to New York by either of two lines of travel, one of which is a direct route to New York and the other of which requires an intermediate stop in Rochester.

The playing board also illustrates a plurality of vehicles 16. These vehicles represent a variety of modes of travel by land, sea and air. Adjacent each illustration of a vehicle is a price representing the fare for the particular vehicle. As shown in FIG. 1, the city of Chicago has an illustration of a supersonic plane, a conventional airliner and a train adjacent thereto. The fare for the supersonic plane travel is $400.00, for the airliner l 50.00 and for the train $30.00. As indicated by the line 14 adjacent the supersonic plane, the $400.00 fare provides for direct travel to London. The airliner, on the other hand, flies nonstop to New York, while the train moves to Cleveland.

Adjacent the city of Edmonton, there is illustrated a cycle which provides for travel from Edmonton to St. Paul and to several intermediate stops on to New York. Each trip between cities calls for a fare of l 0.00.

The cities at the four corners and at the centrally intermediate locations between the four corners are referred to as home base cities. Adjacent each of these cities, there is an illustration of a circus train 18. Each of the trains carries three cars and, as shown in FIG. 2, each of the cars is adapted to carry a pair of circus acts, as will be explained.

The playing board also includes two locations 20 and 22 for the placement of stacks of directional cards. The cards at 20 are circus act contract cards, and, as shown in FIG. 15, these cards 24 provide instructions directing a player to a particular city to pick up a circus act.

The cards placed at 22 are referred to as unforeseen event cards, and each of these cards contains instructions for the player picking up the card. These instructions may vary considerably in their content, and will usually provide some advantage or disadvantage for the player. For example, the player may be assessed a fine or given a reward. In other instances, the player may be immediately directed to a certain city, requiring him to bypass all intermediate cities, or the player may be caused to lose a turn, etc.

The board is also provided with a plurality of positions 26 which are designated work areas." Each of these positions is provided with an opening 28 which is adapted to receive the stem 30 formed on playing piece 32 (see FIG. 6). The rules of the game permit a player to place his piece in a work area in lieu of taking a turn and a designated sum is provided to the player when this action is taken. Accordingly, the game provides a means for helping players whose funds are exhausted during the game.

FIGS. 3 through 10 illustrate various vehicles which can be utilized during the game. It will be understood that the rules of the game can be arranged so that actual vehicles need not be provided as part of the game. Thus, the illustrations of the vehicles on the playing surface can serve as means for indicating the modes of travel available, and the cost thereof, and the players can move their playing pieces depending on the mode of travel selected. A preferred form of the game, however, provides vehicles such as shown in FIGS. 3 through 10 so that a player must have a vehicle available in order to move from one position to another.

The vehicles illustrated comprise a supersonic plane 34, a conventional airliner 36, a ship 38, a train 40, a bus 42, a cycle 44, a dog sled 46 and a junk 48. Each of the vehicles includes at least one bore 50 for receiving the stem 30 of a playing piece 32. The larger vehicles have a plurality of such bores so that more than one playing piece can be accommodated. The smaller vehicles are only provided with a single bore.

The dice 50 and play money 54 are conventional materials used for the game. The cards 56 shown in FIG. 14 are the unforeseen event" cards which are placed on the board at 22. The circus act contract" cards 24 are located at 20.

An additional set of cards 58 is provided for purchase by the players during the course of the game. In the circus game described, these cards comprise stock certificates, and each certificate is applied to a specific one of the circuses at the eight home base cities. As will be indicated, a further object of this game calls for an accumulation of such certificates so that ownership of a circus can be achieved.

The actual circus is represented by circus wagons 60 as illustrated in FIG. 11. The wagon illustrated designates a side show act, and an individual wagon is provided covering each of the acts for a train. In the drawing, each of the train cars provides a space for two of the wagons. A player strives to collect a complete set of acts for his train as one of the objects of the game.

The operation of the game will be described with reference to a specific set of rules. lt will be understood that variations in these rules are clearly possible without departing from the basic concepts of this invention.

The game may be played by from two to eight players, each acting individually or in partnership. Each of the players is provided with a playing piece 32 referred to as a circus agent. In addition, each player receives an initial travel allowance of $800.00. Finally, the players are assigned to a specific one of the eight home base cities available. Various means may be provided for determining the home base city of a particular player, such as throwing the dice, with the high number selecting a city, and so on, in order.

The vehicles illustrated in FIGS. 3 through are placed on the board in the designated locations. Thus, four airliners are provided and are placed in position at Chicago, London, Tokyo and Rome. Similarly, two supersonic planes are located at Chicago and Rome, respectively.

The players move in turn with the particular moves being determined by the vehicle which a player selected. The fare for the vehicle must be paid in advance, and the vehicle selected must be one that is available at the time that the players turn arrives. For example, the player at the New York home base may take the boat situated at this base, if the boat is available when the player's turn arrives. This player may also take the plane normally based at Chicago in the event that this plane has been moved to New York. The lines 14 are preferably given different colors, with these colors designating the limit of travel of a vehicleon that line. For example, the plane at Chicago may have a route designated by a green line, and this line may extend from Chicago to New York and then from New York to London. When the plane arrives at London, it must be returned to its home base.

Unforeseen event" cards 56 must be drawn by each player at each turn. As indicated, these unforeseen event" cards will give instructions to a player which may be beneficial or harmful. In addition, a player draws a circus act contract" card 24 whenever the player arrives at a home base city.

When a player draws a contract" card, he will be told to travel to a particular city for purposes of picking up a particular circus act. For example, when a player arrives in New York, he may be directed to Rome for purposes of picking up an animal act. The player will then arrange his traveling so as to arrive at Rome at which time he will be given a piece 60 designating an animal act. The player can then place this piece in the designated wagon position in the train in his home base city. As the players move their pieces around the board, they will collect additional contract cards which direct them to other cities and, therefore, the players must keep constantly aware of their position relative to other cities so that they can pick up additional acts.

A degree of skills and foresight is required to properly play the game since the availability of vehicles and the ability to pay determine how effectively a player moves around the board, It should be noted, for example, that a player situated in London cannot use the plane based at this city if he wishes to travel to Amsterdam or Hamburg. This player must wait for the ship to arrive from New York in order to secure proper transportation. A player who wishes to travel to Amsterdam or Hamburg can, therefore, anticipate the possibility of being temporarily stranded in London. He can then avoid this by traveling on the ship from New York and, therefore, he is assured of the ship being available when in London.

ln addition to the skillful maneuvering required, the game also includes a degree of unpredictability primarily because of the unforeseen event" cards. These cards can result in complete disruption of the travel plans of a player by requiring the player to move his playing piece to an out-of-the-way city or the player may be depleted of money or other assets, for example, if the unforeseen event comprises loss of one or more circus acts. On the other hand, the unforeseen event may result in a substantial benefit to the player.

The game is subject to many variations. It is contemplated for example that a player at the conclusion of his regular turn can throw the dice, and if an even number turns up, the player will be entitled to one more move. The game also contemplates the use of an insurance policy which can be purchased in order to avoid the loss or circus acts because of instructions on an unforeseen event" card.

As indicated, players can secure income by working in a particular city rather than using their turn for traveling. ln addition, each of the circus acts becomes a working act for the player after it is acquired. A fee, for example $|00 per act, is paid by the bank to a player for each turn. The accumulation of money is necessary in order to purchase stock. The stock certificates are relatively expensive, for example $1,000 for each 20 percent ownership. With this arrangement, a player must concentrate on acquiring circus acts in order to acquire sufficient cash to permit purchase of stock.

Where partners are involved, they can engage in various cooperative activities, for example picking up circus acts for their partner if they are closer to the designated city. Exchanging of circus acts or circus act contract" cards can also be engaged in where the game is played as singles. Short versions of the game are also contemplated where only a limited amount of time is available. Thus, the game could be played with a time limit involved with the winner being the individual having the most money and other assets accumulated at the expiration of the time. In other shortened versions, circus act contracts could be distributed at the beginning of the game so that each player can immediately make travel plans for purposes of picking up circus acts.

The circus game described represents only one type of game employing the concepts of this invention. It will be appreciated that, in this instance, a circus agent is traveling around the world for purposes of picking up circus acts. Obvious variations would involve traveling for different purposes, for example, a reporter traveling around the world to pick up stories for publication. The reporter, for example, might pick up news tip cards at each home base city with these cards telling him to travel to a different city to pick up the story. Thus, the news tip" cards would be similar to the circus act contract" cards described.

The news items which are picked up may only form part of the total story, and the player may, therefore, be required to develop a complete story by picking up several items. Again, this bears similarity to the accumulation of circus acts.

The game construction can also be employed with the object simply being to travel around the world at the least possible expense, and in the least possible time. Thus, there may be nothing which is accumulated by theplayer except cash; however, it will be appreciated that the necessity for using the vehicles to provide for travel makes a trip an uncertain matter and, of course, the unforeseen event" cards further add to the unpredictability of the outcome of the game.

The object of the game may be similar to a race wherein the players attempt to move from a starting point to a finishing point in a minimum amount of time. The vehicles could comprise cars, horses, etc.; and, again, the availability of vehicles at particular points on the board will be a critical factor in determining the outcome. The use of the unforeseen event" cards and the provision of cash which must be used along the way will also add to the enjoyment of the game.

in the variations described, the player has a choice of vehicles, depending upon which are available and depending upon the players ability to pay. it is contemplated, however, that some element of chance could enter into the game at this point, for example, the player could be required to throw the dice to determine which vehicle he is entitled to take.

Where the vehicles comprise separate game pieces, provisionshould be made for attaching the playing pieces thereto. The illustrated game pieces are adapted to fit into the bores 50 in the vehicles as described above. Other obvious means for attaching the pieces to the vehicles are contemplated, for example magnetic attachment.

lnstead of locating the vehicles on the game board in the manner indicated, the vehicles may be placed in a pool, and a player may be required to purchase a vehicle in order to accomplish a particular travel plan. The vehicle would then be owned by the individual player for use when the occasion arose. The type of vehicle used on one particular occasion would determine the distance which the player could travel on that occasion.

The game board need not designate the specific lines of travel since the playing piece positions could provide all the necessary information relative to the travel possibilities for a particular vehicle. With such an arrangement, the playing piece positions could be located immediately adjacent to each other, thereby increasing the number of such positions on the board.

The circus game described calls for the use of specific pieces 60 which serve as evidence of assets accumulated by a player. Obviously, direct payment of cash could be utilized instead of such pieces or other means could be employed to indicate the property accumulated.

FIG. 17 illustrates an alternative arrangement embodying certain of the variations discussed above. It will be noted that the playing piece positions are not separated by lines of travel, providing a more compact design which could increase the number of playing piece positions.

It will be noted that each of the cities is provided with a stopping point for the train whereby a player could pay the higher fare for the train to secure passage to Cleveland; however, the player may choose to stop in Detroit when his turn arrives. Similarly, the plane fare of $150.00 can, in this variation, allow the player to move nonstop to New York in one turn or to make intermediate stops if desired.

To add to the compact nature of the board in FIG. 17, the circus train is located inside of the playing piece positions while the work areas are located along the periphery of the board.

FIG. 18 provides an illustration of the manner in which the game concepts can be applied to other games. ln this instance, the players purchase vehicles for the prices illustrated. The vehicles are capable of various modes of travel, and provide different numbers of moves as indicated. Each player can be assigned a particular class of vehicles, and operate as a broker for the vehicles, and one object of the game could be the acquisition of all types of vehicles. As indicated, a house can also be purchased with the acquisition of the house being an object of the game. Houses may be located in several locales so that each play may acquire a residence in different cities. In any event, the purchase of a vehicle would be necessary in order to provide for movement around the board.

FIG. 19 illustrates another possible variation wherein the mode of travel selected determines the number of moves available to the player. For example, the purchase or selection of an available water vehicle will entitle the player to move up to three positions if desired. The road vehicle, on the other hand, could only move one or two positions. Again, the ability of a player to move will depend upon the availability of a vehicle.

In all instances, indicia indicating a line of travel are provided, and cost values are assigned. Obviously variations in these indicia are possible.

In addition to the peripheral playing piece positions illustrated, it will be obvious that other piece positions, constituting side trips, could be made available. For example, space travel, mountain climbing, exploring, or shortcuts could be provided and special bonuses or hazards may be included in the event that such alternatives are selected.

In the concepts described, the vehicle or playing piece movement is controlled simply by the fact that a player's turn has arrived. Another possible variation involves a system where the vehicle selected, and/or the direction of movement, would be determined by cards selected, by throwing the dice, by spinning a wheel, etc. 7 Individual playing pieces may be used as illustrated; however, the travel concepts also lend themselves to the use of plural playing pieces by the players, for example, an entire family may travel together. This, of course, will provide further interest, for example with respect to the availability of vehicles.

it will be understood that various changes and modifications may be made in the above described construction.

lclaim: 1. In a game construction comprising a board defining a playing surface, a plurality of marked playing piece positions located along a path of travel on said board, and a plurality of playing pieces, the improvement comprising indicia on said board indicating lines of travel between playing piece positions, a plurality of such indicia extending away from selected playing piece positions whereby alternative lines of travel are available at these selected playing piece positions, a plurality of simulated vehicles of different designs, and pictorial representations displayed on said board at playing piece positions, a plurality of such representations being displayed adjacent said selected playing piece positions and each adjacent a particular line of travel whereby the representations serve as means for designating the line of travel which can be used for a particular vehicle, the appearance of each representation being sufficiently similar to that of a corresponding one of said vehicles to enable identification of the particular vehicle by comparison of its appearance with that of the representation.

2. A construction in accordance with claim 1 wherein said vehicles have means for receiving said playing pieces whereby the playing pieces can be placed on the vehicles for movement therewith between playing piece positions.

3. A construction in accordance with claim 2 wherein at least some of said vehicles have means to carry two or more playing pieces simultaneously.

4. A construction in accordance with claim 1 including a plurality of cards located on said board, and wherein at least some of the cards contain instructions which affect the travel of the playing pieces.

5. A construction in accordance with claim 1 wherein said playing positions have indicia associated therewith designating cities, and including a'plurality of cards on said board, and wherein at least some of said cards provide for the simulated happening of an event when the playing piece of the player receiving the card reaches the city designated on the card.

6. A construction in accordance with claim 5 wherein said event involves picking up a game piece.

7. A game construction comprising a board defining a playing surface, a plurality of playing pieces, a plurality of marked spaces defining a path of travel on said board, said spaces serving as playing positions to be occupied by said playing pieces, the improvement comprising a plurality of simulated vehicles separate from said playing pieces and having different designs, means defined by said vehicles for the temporary physical association of a playing piece therewith, said playing piece positions being spaced apart from each other on said board, a plurality of indicia displayed on said board and defining lines of travel on said board, some only of the playing piece positions being connected by alternative lines of travel with other playing piece positions, and pictorial representations displayed on said board at said playing piece positions, a plurality of such representations being displayed adjacent said some playing piece positions and each adjacent a particular line of travel whereby the representations serve as means for designating the line of travel which can be used for a particular vehicle,

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2268433 *Nov 12, 1940Dec 30, 1941Marie Smith MabelAmusement game
US3114551 *Jul 17, 1962Dec 17, 1963Morris OvitzGeographic game with a movable transparent sheet having paths thereon and overlying a map
CH191600A * Title not available
FR1139866A * Title not available
GB619894A * Title not available
GB915550A * Title not available
GB979214A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3883142 *Jul 9, 1973May 13, 1975Robert H SpohnBoard game apparatus
US4093235 *Jul 29, 1976Jun 6, 1978Publishers Planning Inc.Tourist game
US5183258 *Nov 19, 1991Feb 2, 1993Lerke Charles JMap reading game apparatus
US5604676 *Jul 25, 1994Feb 18, 1997Lucent Technologies Inc.System and method for coordinating personal transportation
US6808172Nov 1, 2002Oct 26, 2004Mattel, Inc.Board game
US6932342Nov 1, 2002Aug 23, 2005Mattel, Inc.Board game
EP0194875A2 *Mar 12, 1986Sep 17, 1986Robert E. DvorakBoard game apparatus
U.S. Classification273/254, 273/288, 273/256
International ClassificationA63F3/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F3/00088, A63F3/00006
European ClassificationA63F3/00A12