US 3814434 A
A game using moveable playing pieces which includes a box with an inclined bottom and walls having recessed edges, which box further contains a plurality of substantially parallel channels of varying width which overlie the inclined bottom. The game further includes an apertured playing surface which may be fitted in the recessed edges so that it overlies the channels, the apertures being arranged in a path along which the playing pieces are moved under the control of a die, some of the apertures being dimensioned to allow the playing pieces to pass therethrough into the channels from which point they may progress by gravity to a game scoring area.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Robinson 1 June 4, 1974 1 BOARD GAME APPARATUS [211 Appl. No: 249,709
Primary Examiner-Delbert B. Lowe Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Fay, Sharpe and Mulholland  ABSTRACT A game using moveable playing pieces which includes a box with an inclined bottom and walls having recessed edges, which box further contains a plurality of substantially parallel channels of varying width which overlie the inclined bottom. The game further includes an apertured playing surface which may be fitted in the recessed edges so that it overlies the channels, the apertures being arranged in a path along which the playing pieces are moved under the control of a die, some of the apertures being dimensioned to allow the playing pieces to pass therethrough into the channels from which point they may progress by gravity to a game scoring area.
4 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJUH 1914 SHEET 1 OF 2 BOARD GAME APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to that field of art pertaining to chance-controlled games played on a game board with moveable game pieces.
2. Description of the Prior Art The prior art has included many games having playing surfaces over which chance-controlled playing pieces could be moved. However, in the prior art. the housings which supported the playing surface were often quite complicated and different playing surfaces were not readily interchangeable so that a variety of games might be played using the same game box. Both of these difficulties are solved by the instant invention.
SUMMARY or THE INVENTION The game of the instant invention is of simple design and comprises a box having an inclined bottom to permit playing pieces, preferably marbles, to roll there along when said marbles are dropped through selective apertures in a playing surface. Substantially parallel channels overlie the bottom and guide the dropped marbles to a scoring area at the end of the channels. The playing surface comprises a series of pathways which may be followed in a series of moves controlled by the throw of a die. The particular embodiment shown allocates a higher game score for a player maintaining his playing piece on the playing surface as the piece progresses toward the middle of a circular diagram on the playing surface. The scoring means at the terminus of the channels is normally visible so that each player in the game may keep an accurate count of his score. The channels, of course, may be of varying widths and can be narrower on the outside in order to accomodate any particular set of playing surfaces. The scoring of any particular game may be such that it is to a players advantage to dispose of all his playing pieces at the earliest possible time and it is thus merely desirable to align the playing surface apertures with the channels. The objects of the invention are thus to provide a game having a simplified playing box with a readily ascertainablescoring system. A further object is to provide a game box which is capable o accepting interchangeable playing surfaces so that a number of different games may be played with the same equipment.
These and other objects of this invention will become obvious in the following detailed description and accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view'of the game box and an overlying illustrative playing surface;
FIG. 2 is a view taken along line 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a view taken along line 33 of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now with particularity to FIG. I, it will be seen that the game comprises an apparatus, in this case a game box, generally indicated at 2 having two substantially parallel side walls 4 and 6, a back wall 8 and a front wall or bumper l0. Disposed within the box are members 12 which define channels 14. The playing surface 16 is mounted at the upper edge of the walls 4, 6
and 8. The playing surface is selectively apertured as shown illustratively at 18.
In FIG. 2, playing pieces, in this case marbles, are shown at 20. These playing pieces are of such dimension and the apertures l8 are of such dimension that the playing pieces will not normally pass through the apertures into the channels. However, at selected intervals on the playing surface some of the apertures, as at 22, are of sufficient dimension to allow a marble to pass into a channel. It will be seen from FIG. 2 that the game box has an inclined bottom 24 which slopes toward the wall 10. Thus, a marble falling through the playing surface into one of the channels will roll forward toward the bumper 10 which may generally be numbered at its upper edge 11 to provide a scoring means. In the preferred embodiment shown, a marble falling into the narrower inner channels receives a higher point count than a marble falling at the outer, wider channels. Of course, the use of other sets of playing surfaces may necessitate that the channels be of widths different from those shown and the inner channels need not necessarily be narrower than the outer channels. One will also note in further reference to FIG. 2 that the playing surface does not extend completely over the channels at the front of the game box so as to facilitate the removal of marbles from the channels. The box is thus constructed so that many playing surfaces can be interchanged with the particular one shown thereby enabling the same game box and playing pieces to be used in playing many different games.
In FIG. 3, which is taken along line 33 of FIG. 1, it is readily seen that side walls 6 and 4 are notched at their upper edges 26 and 27 respectively so that the game playing surface is more securely held. In FIG. 2, it can also be noted that the back wall 8 is similarly recessed at 28.
Referring now to FIG. 4, which is a plan view, it is seen that the particular playing surface shown presents a game which can be played by four players. In this game each player would have up to six marbles to be used as his playing pieces. Coloring on the marbles would preferably be different for each player in the game so that the playing pieces of each player could be readily identified. The player would generally move his playing piece a number of spots along the playing surface as determined by the throw of a die ordice. The, object of this game would be to move concentrically about the circles shown and inwardlytoward the center of the circles along colored radial lines corresponding to the players colored marbles. Of course, if the throw of the die was such that the completion of the players move would place his marble at an aperture 22, his marble would pass through the playing surface and into a channel and would thereafter roll toward the front of the box to the scoring area.
It should be noted further in FIG. 4 that the channels 14 are of a width whichdiminishes towards the center of the box. It can be seen that by varying the width of the channels, as has been done in the instant invention, the larger holes 22 can always be substantially aligned with the channels.
Referring the reader back now to FIG. 2, it will be seen that the inclined bottom of the box. is secured to the back wall 8 in slot .30. The inclined surface is further secured, as is seen in FIG. 3, along the side walls 6 and 4 in slots 32 and 34, respectively. It is also seen that side walls 6 and 4 have bottom edges 38 which permit the game box to rest flat and horizontal on a table or other support member for the game box. Channelsor recesses 26, 27 and 28 are substantially parallel to the aforementioned bottom edges so that the playing surface is also held level.
In the play of the particular game represented by the playing surface shown in the drawings a player would select a set of six marbles having a color corresponding to one of the four different colors in the corners of the board. His marbles would be placed in the apertures within the starting rectangles 40. The players would consecutively roll a die and move one of their marbles along the paths 42 or the shorter paths 44 and onto the outer concentric circle 46. The players would continue to move their marbles in a clockwise direction along circle 46 until exactly reaching an ingress path 48 or 50 which corresponded to the color of their marbles. At that point, at a successive roll of the die, a player could move his playing piece into inner concentric circles 52, 54 and so on. As a players marbles progress alongthe ingress paths and the concentric circles, there is a possibility that they might drop'thro'ugh, at the end of the die roll, any one-of the apertures 22 at which point they would, of course, pass into one of the'channels and roll to the'front of the game board to a scoring means. It
can be seen that by applyinga higher value to the inner channels the player dropping a higher number of balls therein will win the game. The game may further be made more difficult by not allowing the player to have more than one marble on any concentric circle at any one time and by permitting him to move onto the shorter path 44 onlyif by a previous rollfhe had landed exactly at the beginning of the shorter path. Otherwise he would be required to follow the longer paths 42.
Also envisioned in this game would be a rule permitting a player observing another player having more than one marble in any one concentric circle to remove his opponents marble and replaceit with one of his own. A player might also be allowed to remove one of his opponents marbles by landing by exact count on a space occupied by another players marble. The movement inwardly toward the vortex circle 23 along paths illustratively shown as 48 may be controlled by requiring the player to land by an exact count at the end of one of said paths and allowing him to move inwardly only on the next roll of the die. It should be noted that if a player accidentally drops his marble through one of larger apertures 22 the game box is so designed that he may wait until his marble rolls to the front of the game, merely pick it up and replace it where it should have been. The marbles, of course, being of different colors, may be allowed to remain in the scoring tray until all marbles have dropped through and the game score then may be readily calculated. At any time a player may check his score since all marbles are visible at theend of the channels adjacent the scoring means. Thus, having particularly described my invention, it will be understood that game boards of different configurations might be used on the game box and I intend to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is: l. A game using moveable playing pieces comprising:
a game box having an inclined bottom;
a substantially horizontal playing surface having apertures therethrough, said playing surface being supported by said box, some of said apertures being dimensioned to support the playing pieces and some of said apertures being dimensioned to permit the playing pieces to pass therethrough, said apertures further being spaced from each other and arranged in a path along which at least one of said,
pass therethrough being in substantial register with at least one of said channels.
2. The game of claim 1 wherein said box has walls supporting the inclined bottom and has recessed edges for removably supporting the playing surface whereby said playing surface is interchangeable with other playing surfaces.
3. A game apparatus for employment with moveable playing pieces, comprising:
interconnected side andend walls;
an inclined surface within said side and end walls;
a substantially horizontal playing surface having apertures therethrough, said playing surface being supported by said walls above said inclined surface,
some of said apertures being dimensioned to support the playing pieces and some of said apertures being dimensioned to permit the playing pieces to pass therethrough, said apertures further being spaced from each other and arranged in a path along which at least one of said playing pieces is moved such that it is a matter of chance whether said playing piece stops on an aperture being dimensioned to support the playing pieces or on an aperture being dimensioned to permit the playing pieces to pass therethrough; a plurality of substantially parallel channels within said apparatus below said playing surface which channels terminate at a constantly visible means for scoring the game, each of said apertures which permit the playing pieces to pass therethrough being in substantial register with at least one of said channels.
4. The game apparatus of claim 3 wherein the channels are substantially parallel with a side wall and wherein said apertures are concentrically aligned.