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Publication numberUS3674264 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 4, 1972
Filing dateJul 7, 1969
Priority dateJul 7, 1969
Publication numberUS 3674264 A, US 3674264A, US-A-3674264, US3674264 A, US3674264A
InventorsBoercker Ethel
Original AssigneeBoercker Ethel
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Matching game apparatus
US 3674264 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Boercker [54] MATCHING GAME APPARATUS Ethel Boercker, 10144 Cabot St., St. Louis, Mo. 63137 [22] Filed: July7,l969

[21] Appl.No.: 839,258

[72] Inventor:

OTHER PUBLICATIONS Selchow & Richter 100th Aniv. Catalog ppg. 12 8L 13 3/14/68 1 July4, 1972 Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-Paul E. Shapiro Attorney-Charles B. Haverstock [5 7] ABSTRACT A game apparatus which is entertaining and has educational values for improving muscular and visual coordination and requires skill and dexterity including a game board having a plurality of different distinctive areas thereon, and a plurality of objects having distinctive surface characteristics matching certain of the distinctive areas of the game board for distributing randomly on the game board so that the player or players of the game can compete by attempting to pick up as fast as possible only those objects that are on areas of the game board having similar matching distinctive characteristics. A timer is provided to determine the time period during which a players performance can be measured, and scoring members bearing distinctive characteristics identical to the characteristics of the playing pieces are provided for award to the players removing the most playing pieces of each distinctive charac' teristic during each playing period.

6 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures MATCHING GAME APPARATUS The present invention relates to a novel game apparatus which as well as being entertaining, exhilerating, and fun to play can also be used in rehabilitating, improving or generating muscular coordination in certain handicapped individuals such as those having some brain and/or visual damage or a nerve or muscular impairment. The subject apparatus can also be used to improve the visual recognition and/or motor skills. The subject game, however, is designed primarily to be played as a competitive game requiring that the players use their skills and abilities to recognize and distinguish shapes, colors and/or patterns, and be able to use these skills and abilities in a competitive way. The size, surface condition and/or shape of the objects provided with the game can also be chosen to increase or decrease the visual and motor skilled required to play so the game can be made to match the relative abilities of the participants.

It is a principal object of the present invention therefore to provide a game apparatus which is both entertaining and fun for the participants.

Another object is to provide an apparatus for playing a game which can be played by participants of various ages and various visual and mental skills.

ANother object is to provide means that can be used to improve the visual and motor skills of the players or participants.

Another object is to provide a game apparatus which is relatively inexpensive and easy to manufacture.

Another object is to provide a game apparatus which can be used to provide competition between the participants and which can also be used to test their relative visual and motor skills.

Another object is to provide a game apparatus the rules of which can be changed to adapt it to the age level and/or the motor and visual skills of the participants.

Another object is to provide a game apparatus which is entertaining to individuals having widely varying motor and visual skills.

Another object is to provide a game which tests the color perception of the participants.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent after considering the following specification which discloses a preferred embodiment thereof in conjunction with the accompanying drawing wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a game apparatus constructed according to the present invention, said apparatus being shown in playing condition;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary view showing a portion of the upper playing surface of a preferred form of the subject game board with objects used in playing the game randomly distributed thereon;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged perspective view showing different types of objects which may be used in playing the subject game; and,

FIG. 4 is an enlarged perspective view of scoring members which may be included in conjunction with the subject game.

Referring to the drawing more particularly by reference numbers, number 10 refers generally to the game apparatus which is shown in FIG. 1 as including a game board 12, a plurality of objects 14 for random distribution on the playing surface of the game board 12 by means such as a cup 16, optional means for timing the periods of play of the game such as hourglass 18 or any other suitable timer such as random timer 20, and a plurality of members 22 which are shown as cutouts of letters used for scoring the game.

The game board 12 has a playing surface 24 which is divided into a central portion 26 with an annular portion 28 formed thereabout. The annular portion 28 is in turn subdivided into many smaller separate areas 30 having different characteristics as shown in FIG. 2. The areas 30 may differ in characteristic from one another by having different patterns thereon as shown in FIG. 2, by having different shapes or colors or by having different combinations of patterns, shapes and/or colors. There should usually also be repeats of the same pattern, shape and/or color in the various areas 30 for reasons that will become apparent later when it is explained how the game is played.

The objects or playing pieces 14 used in the playing of the game have characteristics which are similar to those of at least some of the various areas 30 of the playing portion 28. For example, the playing pieces 14a which are shown in FIG. 3 as cubes have difierent patterns (or colors) on the various different sides thereof. In like manner, the pieces which are tetrahedrons are shown having the same pattern on all sides thereof, tetrahedron objects are shown having difierent colors on the different sides thereof, cubical objects 14d are shown having the same color on all sides thereof, and objects Me of which five examples are shown are wafer-like objects having different geometric shapes and scoring characteristics thereon. Like the areas 30, the objects may have identifying characteristics which are combinations of patterns, shapes and/or colors, and many more shapes and pattern or color arrangements for the playing pieces in addition to those shown are possible and within the scope of the present invention.

When playing the game, a plurality of the objects 14 are placed in the cup 16 (or held in the players hands or in any other suitable container), and are randomly distributed onto the playing surface 12 by one or more of the players. This can be done by shaking them or tossing them like dice. The players then race to identify and pickup as many of the objects 14 as they can from the playing surface that have one or more sur faces that have the same pattern, shape and/or color on a side thereof as the pattern, shape or color of one or more of the areas 30 on which it rests. In other words, some part of the playing piece or object 14 must have a pattern or other form of identification on it that extends to adjacent a portion of the playing surface that has the matching; pattern for a playing piece to be picked up. The removal of the objects 14 from the playing surface 24 will continue until the players agree that there are no more objects 14 on the playing portion 28 of the playing surface 24 that have a surface thereon that matches the adjacent surface of the playing surface.

The present game can be played by any desired number of players or teams of players who are gathered around the game board 12, the number being limited only by the space available. After the playing pieces 14 have been distributed over the playing surface preferably as uniformly as possible so that all players will have the same chance, the signal is given to begin playing. All of the players then commence to look for pieces 14 that match in some desired way with all or some portion of the playing surface on which they rest. The matching pieces are designated with a prime in FIG. 2. When a player spots such a piece 14' he is entitled to immediately remove it from the playing surface 12 and to commence looking for another matching condition. THis is repeated either until all of the matched pieces 14' are removed or until someone such as a timekeeper calls a stop to the playing. A timer such as hourglass 18 (FIG. 1) can also be used for this purpose. After each playing period is over the players count the number of pieces, by color or pattern, that they have removed, and scoring pieces 22 are then distributed accordingly, the player having the most playing pieces of each color being awarded the corresponding color scoring piece. The playing pieces are then regathered and redistributed over the playing surface and a second playing interval takes place like the first, and after it is over scoring pieces are again distributed. This procedure is repeated until finally some player has accumulated enough scoring pieces of each color to have completed a key word as will be explained later, and that player is then declared to be the winner. Some of the other details of how the game is played will be described hereinafter.

If an hourglass 18 is used to time the playing intervals it is overturned at the time the objects 14 are distributed on the playing surface or shortly thereafter and provides a definite length of time for each play period. The timer should also be located at some place where all the players can see it.

As another alternative, the random timer may be used so that the total playing time period available is an unknown quantity. The central portion 26 of the game board 12 is usually the preferred place for the timer means because the timer means are then equally visible to all the participants.

The timer 20 may be any suitable random timer device and is shown as a spring loaded suction cup 32 with a bell 34 attached thereto. The timer 20 is activated by depressing the suction cup 32 in the central portion 26 of the playing surface 24 which is preferably constructed of relatively smooth material which allows the suction cup 32 to stick thereto. The spring 36 tends to bias the suction cup 32 away from the board 12 so that after an unknown period of time which is relatively random, the timer 20 springs upwardly from the board 12, ringing the bell 34 and calling an end to the playing time.

The scoring members 22 (FIG. 4) are constructed having characteristics which may be similar to the objects 14 and the areas 30 of the game board 12. The game is preferably divided into a plurality of playing periods which can be controlled by timer means as aforesaid or by having a timekeeper who signals the beginning and ending of each play period. A typical playing period will usually last about a minute or two although the playing periods can be increased or decreased substantially as desired.

The scoring member 22 are distributed at the end of each playing period to the player or players who have picked up the most playing pieces or objects with the same characteristic color, pattern or shape as one of the areas on which it is resting. The scoring members 22 as shown in FIG. 4 are alphabetically shaped members with characteristic patterns and the object is for each player to try to accumulate as many different letters as possible until one player has accumulated enough to spell out a key word 38 which in the game as shown is the word Colorama. The first player to accumulate enough letters to complete the spelling of Colorama is the winner of the game. The key word 38 is shown displayed at the central portion 26 of the game board 12 for the players reference as shown in FIG. 1. It should also be apparent when playing that strategy may be important. For example, if a player sees that his opponent needs one or more particular colored pieces to win, he should try to pick up the same pieces 14 as are needed by his opponent so that the opponent will be prevented from accumulating the required scoring member or members 22 to complete the key word 38.

The relative difficultness of the game largely depends on the size, shape, and type of objects 14 employed and the size of the areas 30. For example, the smaller the objects 14 become, the more difficult it is to locate matching colors and the longer it takes to accumulate like pieces. Also, if tetrahedron shaped objects 14b or 14c are used it will become relatively more difficult to pickup the pieces than if cube shaped objects such as the objects 144 and 14d are used, The objects may also be made easier to pickup by dimpling their surfaces as in the case of objects 14c and 14d. Objects having solid colors on their sides are also relatively easier to distinguish and match than objects that have patterns on the surfaces. The difiiculty of the game can be further increased by using more than one type object 14 simultaneously as shown in FIG. 2.

The rules of the game can also be substantially varied as by making the objects 14 to be picked up the ones that do not have any surfaces that match an adjacent area 30 on the playing surface and so on. When this is the case, objects such as objects l4a,14b and 140 having different characteristics on different sides thereof can also be used.

Although the rules normally require that an object 14 only partially be on its characteristic area 30 to be picked up, they can also be varied to require that the objects 14 be completely on their characteristic areas 30 thereby reducing the number of objects 14 eligible for removal.

Thus there has been shown and described a novel matching game apparatus which fulfills all of the objects and advantages sought therefor. Many changes, modifications, variations, and

other uses and applications of the present apparatus will, however, become apparent to those skilled in the art after considering this specification and the accompanying drawing. All such changes, modifications, variations and other uses and applications which do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention are deemed to be covered by the invention which is limited only by the claims which follow.

What is claimed is:

1. A game apparatus comprising a game board having a plurality of several different types of distinctively different contiguous surface areas thereon, a plurality of different kinds of objects respectively identified to correspond to different ones of the different surface areas of the game board, means to randomly distribute said objects on said game board surface areas, a plurality of scoring members each member having a characteristic that corresponds to a different kind of the said objects, and means to determine the periods of play of the game during which the players try to remove as many of the said objects from the surface areas as possible which have characteristics that correspond to the characteristics of a surface area on which they rest; after each period of play the players who have removed the most objects of each distinctive type are awarded the corresponding scoring member, the first player to be awarded scoring members which are arrangeable in a predetermined sequence being declared the winner of the game.

2. A game apparatus for one or more players comprising a game board having a playing surface defined by a plurality of distinctive areas thereon, a plurality of objects having distinctive characteristics which correspond to said distinctive areas of the game board, means for randomly distributing said objects on said game board whereby the players of the game test their relative performances in determining which of the objects rest on areas of the game board that have a particular relationship between the distinctive characteristics thereof and the distinctive characteristics of the objects, and timer means for determining the play period during which the relative performances of the players are tested, said timer means including means to randomly determine said play period.

3. A game apparatus for one or more players comprising a game board having a playing surface defined by a plurality of distinctive areas thereon, a plurality of objects having distinctive characteristics which correspond to said distinctive areas of the game board, means for randomly distributing said objects on said game board whereby the players of the game test their relative performances in determining which of the objects rest on areas of the game board that have a particular relationship between the distinctive characteristics thereof and the distinctive characteristics of the objects, and a plurality of scoring members having distinctive characteristics corresponding to the distinctive characteristics of the objects for awarding to players who have determined and removed the greatest number of objects from the game board that have the particular relationship with the areas of the game board on which they rest, the first player obtaining a selected combination of distinctive scoring members being declared the winner of the game, said scoring members including selected letters of the alphabet, the selected combination of said scoring members being sufficient to spell a predetermined word.

4. The apparatus defined in claim 3 wherein said distinctive members are formed in the shapes of letters of the alphabet.

5. A game apparatus for one or more players comprising a game board having a playing surface defined by a plurality of distinctive areas thereon, said distinctive surface areas including a plurality of several different kinds of distinctive areas arranged and distributed to form the playing surface, a plurality of different kinds of objects having distinctive characteristics which correspond to and match respective ones of the different kinds of said distinctive areas of the game board, said objects during playing of the game being randomly distributed on said game board whereby the players of the game test their relative performances by gathering up as many of the objects as possible that rest on areas of the game board that have a particular matching relationship with the distinctive characteristics of the objects, and timer means for determining the play period during which the relative performances of the players are tested.

6. A game apparatus for testing the recognition abilities and manual dexterity of one or more players including a game board surface having a central portion and another portion thereabout, said other portion being defined by a plurally of smaller areas including a plurality of each of several distinctively different types of areas which are identified by having different distinctive, easily recognizeable characteristics, a plurality of multi-surfaced playing pieces including pieces which have surfaces with characteristics that correspond to respective characteristics of the different types of smaller areas, means to randomly distribute said playing pieces on said other game board surface so that players can identify and remove playing pieces that have surfaces thereof touching ones of said smaller areas that have corresponding identifying characteristics, timer means for establishing playing periods for the game, and a plurality of scoring members identified respectively by means which correspond to the difierent distinctive characteristics of the playing pieces for awarding to players removing the most playing pieces of each of said distinctive characteristics during each playing period.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4039186 *Mar 11, 1976Aug 2, 1977Anderson Paul RGame apparatus
US4047716 *Apr 21, 1976Sep 13, 1977Plech Jr JohnPeg game with spinner-type timer
US4486023 *May 9, 1983Dec 4, 1984Tomoff Judith MEducational game device of the colored pattern type
US4575091 *Oct 1, 1984Mar 11, 1986Boomer Mark JWord game of magnetizable letters for children
US5377990 *Oct 27, 1993Jan 3, 1995Seeney-Sullivan; Sarah E.Board game incorporating native American symbols and knowledge
US5378184 *Feb 5, 1993Jan 3, 1995Today's Kids, Inc.Toy figure having disassembleable appendages
US6142786 *Mar 11, 1999Nov 7, 2000Kaplan Companies, Inc.Educating special needs children about shapes and hardware
US6224381Mar 11, 1999May 1, 2001Kaplan Companies, Inc.Educating special needs children about money
US7621808Nov 23, 2004Nov 24, 2009Walker Shandra LAfrican American board game system and method
US8113842 *Nov 12, 2007Feb 14, 2012Stone Joyce SSystems and methods for providing educational structures and tools
US20050133995 *Nov 23, 2004Jun 23, 2005Walker Shandra L.African American board game apparatus and method
US20080182230 *Nov 12, 2007Jul 31, 2008Stone Joyce SSystems and methods for providing educational structures and tools
US20090239202 *Feb 20, 2009Sep 24, 2009Stone Joyce SSystems and methods for providing an electronic reader having interactive and educational features
US20100178641 *Jul 15, 2010Franklin David DamonApparel fastening learning apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/445, 273/273, 434/258, 273/447
International ClassificationA63F3/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63F3/0478
European ClassificationA63F3/04L