US 3924858 A
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United States Patent 1 Dittrich et al.
[ Dec.9, 1975 BOARD GAME APPARATUS [22 Filed: Aug. 23, 1973 21 App1.No.:39l,154
 US. Cl. 273/134 AC; 273/134 D; 273/134 GA; 273/134 AT  Int. Cl. A63F 3/00  Field of Search 273/134  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 651,811 6/1900 Sexton 273/134 E 1,455,045 5/1923 Conde 273/134 C 2,811,361 10/1957 Woolrich 273/134 AD FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 349,053 1929 United Kingdom 273/134 AD 564,396 11/1932 Germany 273/134 AD 364,205 1962 Switzerland 273/134 AD Primary ExaminerDelbert B. Lowe Attorney, Agent, or FirmWalter Becker  ABSTRACT A game in which the flow of traffic is simulated and in which a panel is formed of a center section and side sections. The center section is imprinted with multiple lane main streets running across the center section from one side section to the other and also at right angles thereto. Trafiic signals are provided, especially at the intersections of the main streets and take the form of holes in the panel with a slide member therebeneath on which the signals are imprinted to be viewed through the holes with the slide member being adjustable to change the signals. The side sections include main street portions thereon connecting with the main streets on the center section and terminating in a circular path. Auxiliary streets representing starting regions are disposed inside the circular path and lead thereto. Figures are provided for moving along the paths and are advanced therealong in conformity with the value displayed on one or more thrown dice. The driving paths of the streets are subdivided into spaces and at least some of the spaces bear indicia.
9 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures 1 US. Patent Dec. 9, 1975' speeuofz 3,924,858
FlG l US. Patent Dec.9, 1975 I Sheet 20f2 3,924,858
The present invention relates to a game which consists of a plurality of play tracks respectively comprising individual fields upon which play figures, characters or objects are placed in conformity with the number of a die or a pair of dice, said objects being movable.
Entertaining games are known with which on a surface, as for instance cardboard surfaces, play tracks are printed which lead from one section into another section and on which play figures according to a respective play plane are placed. In order to facilitate the placing of the individual objects, the individual play tracks are provided with fields on which the respective objects are moved stepwise for instance in conformitiy with the respective number of a thrown die. The play tracks which begin at a start and may end at a goal may comprise bad fields and good fields or other markings which determine the course of the game so that a play figure or object which moves into a field corresponding to the number of a thrown die will be advanced or retracted respectively or stopped, or the player may be given an award or the like. If payments are to be made, prior to the start of the game, the individual players are equipped with token money to enable them to pay the corresponding penalties.
A game of the above mentioned type is substantially played from a play plane on which the play tracks have been printed, said play tracks leading from the outside to a central circle. The central circle which comprises a special disc includes some play tracks which extend from the center radially outwardly. These play tracks will when turning the disc correspondingly lead into the outwardly located play tracks. By means of this disc and here the play tracks thereof, the outer play tracks beginning at a start may be connected to a goal in such a way that a play figure or object which is moved on the fields of the play tracks in steps can in conformity with a corresponding number obtained from a cast die be guided into the goal. In order to increase the degree of difficulty, the disc must be located with the play tracks printed thereon in such a way that after a previous connection of the outer play tracks with the inner play tracks, the inner play tracks have to be subsequently connected to the goal. In this way, a kind of ferry is formed in front of the outer play tracks toward the goal so that a player, the play figure of which is located in a field of the disc, will be able to materially influence the course of the play and thus also the chances of winning over the other player. If the player is the first to move his play figures from the outer play tracks over the disc to the goal, this player has won the game and the play is continued among the remaining players. While with such a play an amusing entertainment can be realized, it is considered disadvantageous that with this play the player cannot gain an effective advantage in the form of learning. At this point, the present invention starts and has as its object to provide a game by means of which not only a social or group entertainment is obtained which lasts a greater period of time, but has also the advantage that it teaches while playing.
This object and other objects and advantages of the invention will appear more clearly from the following specification in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a top view of an entertaining game with a medium and two lateral sections with play tracks printed thereupon. 1
FIG. 2 represents an enlarged cutout of some of the 5 play tracks which form main streets, said play tracks being provided with one mechanism which changes the traffic signs and forms a slide.
FIG 3 is a side view of a section illustrated in FIG. 2. The problem underlying the present invention has been solved in conformity with the invention by designing the play tracks as main and secondary streets and by equipping in particular the main streets with at least two driving tracks. The game according to the invention is furthermore characterized in that the individual play tracks through several connections and as the case may be in lieu of traffic signs provided on said streets permit a traffic flow for the play figures which are movable on the fields of the play tracks. The invention is also characterized in that a portion of the traffic signs are variable in conformity with the course of the game.
the traffic signs will be made possible in a simple manner. Furthermore, by means of such traffic game, the grasping of traffic situations as they are customary or common nowadays in the practical street traffic will be taught to the player. Due to the fact that a portion of the traffic signs can be changed in conformity with the course of the game, therecan always be created new situations within the course of the game which force the player to think anew.
In order to create a continuous flow of the game, the
5 play tracks, particularly those functioning as main streets, are according to a further feature of the invention respectively equipped with three driving tracks. These driving tracks make possible a friction-free traffic in both driving directions while a driving track or 0 lane for overtaking is always kept free. In this way, it
will not be necessary to skip over play figures or that two play figures have to stand on the same field whereby frequently confusion of the players is caused.
An advantageous further development of the invention is characterized in that the play tracks and/or the range thereof comprises cutouts, and that below these cutouts there is provided a mechanism which changes the traffic signs.
By employing such mechanism which changes the traffic signs, the player has the possibility of influencing course of the traffic by correspondingly throwing a die so that for one player advantages can be gained whereas for the other player drawbacks will be encountered. In this way, a preferred player will reach this goal earlier or, by skillfully judging and mastering the respective traffic situations, will be able to gain awards.
A particularly simple design of a mechanism varying the traffic signs consists according to a further feature of the invention in that the mechanism comprises at least a slide which has traffic signs printed thereon and the traffic signs of which are visible through cutouts.
Referring now to the drawings in detail, the entertaining game according to the invention is formed primarily by a plurality of play tracks 2 which are printed for instance upon a plate 1 for example a plate made out of cardboard. Each play track 2 is divided into individual fields 3 on which play figures or objects 4 may be moved stepwise in conformity with a number thrown by 3 a die. Plate 1 itself is with this embodiment sub-divided by folding it at 5 into three card-like portions or sections A, B and C. One section B of these is arranged in the center and the other two sections A,C are arranged laterally to said section B. These lateral sections A and C can be folded onto the central section B so that the game area will be considerably smaller than the unfolded game area. The play tracks 2 on the central section B as well as on the lateral sections A, C are with the embodiment of the game as a traffic game designed in the manner of driving tracks, and a portion of these driving tracks forms main street 6, freeways 7, fast traffic streets 8 and others, whereas another portion of the driving tracks functions as auxiliary or secondary streets such as the traffic circle 9, parking streets, feeding streets 10, etc. The auxiliary streets, which are for instance designed as traffic circles 9, are provided at the lateral sections A, C of the plate 1 and the play field respectively and they are connected to each other through the play tracks 2 forming main streets 6-8. Inasmuch as the play tracks 2 which interconnect the traffic circles 9 may be designed as the above mentioned main street 6 and/or also as non-illustrated additional auxiliary streets such as one lane streets, in this instance for purposes of simplicity all main streets 6-8 are provided with three lanes each. The arrangement of these main streets 68 is preferably such that the one main street 6' extends through the center of the play field, i.e., of plate 1, from one traffic circle 9 to the other, and that at both sides of this main street there are provided and extend further main streets 6", 6" as well as the freeway 7 and the fast street 8. Of these additional main streets 6-8, the outer one main street is designed as freeway 7 whereas the other outer one main street is designed as the fast street 8. The additional main streets 6" and 6" which are located between the freeway 7 and the main street 8' extend also from a traffic circle 9 to another traffic circle 9 and are preferably connected with each other through some transverse streets l2, 13. Furthermore, the longitudinally extending lateral main streets 6", 6" are, together with the central main street 6, interconnected through a main transverse street 14 which interconnects all main streets and in contrast to the main streets 6-8 interconnects the same to extend preferably at a right angle thereto. In conformity with the magnitude of the traffic circles 9 to be elected, the main streets 6', 6", 6" which lead into the traffic circle 9, as well as the freeway 7 and the fast street 8 are curved at their leading in ends to a greater or less extent so that their individual fields 3 are connected in a flush manner with the fields of the traffic tracks of the respective traffic circle. In order on one hand to create separate starting places 15 and onthe other hand storing possibilities for the play figures 4, preferably within at least onetraffic circle 9, the traffic tracks 2 serving therefor have printed thereupon additional fields 16 in the circle of traffic 9. These play tracks 2 which are designed as auxiliary streets are respectively provided with one driving track or driving lane only which preferably has seven additional fields 16. One of these fields which faces the traffic circle 9 leads into a traffic lane or track of the traffic circle. Independently therefrom, the play tracks 2 leading into the traffic circle 9 are also among themselves connected through an annular street 17 interconnecting all auxiliary streets. Some fields 18 of this annular street are either by themselves or within the region thereof provided with-traffic signs such as direc- 4 tion arrows 19, traffic signs 20, etc. In order that the individual playing figures to be placed on the game will not interfere with each other, the auxiliary streets which lead into the traffic circle 9 and may comprise the feeding street 10, and annular street 17, are sufficiently spaced from each other. In this connection, it has proved expedient if this distance, especially at the mouth where these streets lead into the traffic circle, amounts to approximately six fields 18. Preferably, the three last fields of a feeding street 10 leading into the traffic circle 9 form the so-called starting places 15. In these feeding streets 10, there is noted that the third field 16 ahead of the traffic circle may be marked in a particular color; the field is provided with a directional driving arrow 21 which points for instance into the annular street 17 which later likewise leads into the traffic circle 9 but on an opposite side with regard to the other feeding streets 10 which comprise the parking places 15. In order to design the traffic flow in conformity with playing instructions, the individual playing tracks 2 may be provided not only with different colors but also with different traffic signs. The traffic signs may be printed onto the playing plate 1 in the fields, 3, 16, 18 themselves or at the sides thereof on the playing plate 1. For the course of the game, it is particularly important when in particular the so-called exit fields 23 which are provided at the mouth and pertain to the traffic circle 9 are in addition to the adjacent fields 3 characterized in color and in addition thereto are equipped with an arrow 24 pointing into the respective exit direction. Also the fields 3 of individual driving tracks of the play tracks 2 may encompass numerals in order to be able to influence certain courses of the play also from the play instructions to a greater extent than by the player. These numerals may be imprinted onto the fields 3, 16, 18 of the main as well as the auxiliary streets 6-8 and 9, 10 and 17. In addition to these fields provided with numerals, also the traffic signs 22 may be imprinted so that for instance the player whose play figure or object 4 moves into a field 3, 16, 18 provided with a numeral will be forced to explain the traffic sign pertaining to this numeral. Moreover, especially at cross roads and leading-in portions of streets, there are in addition to the fields 3, 16, 18 provided with numerals, cutouts such as holes 25 punched out in the play plate 1 within the region of the play tracks 2. These cutout portions make visible various additional traffic signs. For instance by means of these holes 25 traffic signs 26 or the colors 27 of traffic lights may be made visible. This is effected by exchanging on a mechanism movable below the play plate 1, by a corresponding movement thereof, the traffic signs or colors of the traffic lights. Such mechanism may consist for instance of a slide 28 which similar to the play plate 1 consists of cardboard on which there are printed the traffic signs 26 and traffic light colors 27 in conformity with the holes 25. This slide 28 may be movable in guiding means 29 of the plate 1 so that in conformity with the movement of the slide 28 in one or the other direction, the traffic signs 26 and/or traffic lights 27 will become visible. If desired, the slide 28 itself or the guiding means 29 therefor may have locking means on the play plate 1 by means of which the respectively set traffic signs 26 and/or traffic light colors 27 will remain visible and in their respective positions. In this way, especially at the cross roads and leading-in portions of streets, the prescribed traffic signs 26 and traffic light colors 27 corresponding to the course of the play can be set in a simple manner. In order to adapt the course of the game for instance in conformity with the traffic frequency, all main and auxiliary streets 6, 9; 10; 17, with the exception of the freeway 7 and the fast street 8 can be encompassed in the local traffic network and can be provided with the corresponding traffic signs 22 as well as traffic signs 26 and the traffic light colors 27. These streets, which may form a closed locality, village or town, are at the entry and exit thereof provided with traffic signs indicating the start and end respectively of the respectve locality. Within the locality, colored fields may be provided for indicating various buildings such as bank, post office, parking garages, etc., and in addition thereto. these fields may be marked with a number. Furthermore, the freeway 7 and/or the fast streets 8 may at the likewise numbered fields include various stations 30 such as toll stations, filling stations, city halls and others. The utilized traffic signs 22 may correspond to the respective laws of the country or 10- cality and thus, in the individual play tracks 2 of the game there may be provided signs that prohibit stopping along a street, no passing signs that prohibit overtaking another vehicle, sections where parking is prohibited, furthermore sections with limited stopping or parking being permitted as well as sections with maximum and/or minimum speeds, all of which may be indi-.
cated by corresponding traffic signs 22. Furthermore, streets marked as one way streets, right of way streets, may be provided in a closed locality. In addition thereto, various main and/or auxiliary streets may have their fields 3 in addition to traffic signs 22 also provided for instance for right of way with arrows 31 and stop lines.
The game according to the invention includes in addition to the objects 4 which may for instance be in the form of motor vehicles, a pair of number dice, a die having three sides with green clots and having three sides with red dots, various traffic maps with various traffic illustrations and questions, a sufficient amount of play money of different denominations as well as an instruction sheet indicating the rules governing the play as well as answers to the traffic questions and a sheet indicating the various traffic signs.
PLAYING OF THE GAME Each player will at the start of the game receive play money and three play figures. The remaining play money remains in the till of which a player is in charge. The play figures of the players differ from each other in color. A play time is agreed upon among the players. The victor will be the player who after the expiration of the agreed time has most of the play money in his possession. A pair of dice with numbers decides the progress of the play figures and simultaneously determines the driving speed thereof. For purposes of ascertaining the driving speed, a zero is added to the end of the number thrown by the dice. Thus, if the pair of dice totals the number 7, the driving speed will be 70 miles.
Each player starts the movement of his play figures from marked starting places. The player following his dice throw is allowed to advance only one play figure at a time. The thrown number indicates by how many fields the player may advance his play figure. The player must move his play figures through the traffic possibly within prescribed driving limits. For this reason, the player should after each throw of the dice think over which play figure he might be able to advance within the prescribed speed limit. The play figures which are not advanced by the player following the throw of the dice remain at their respective places. If a play figure after the third throw of the game still remains at its place, this play figure is considered as parking. A limited stopping applies only for stopping twice, which means stopping over the period of two successive throws of the dice.
Each player is prior to the throw of the dice entitled to decide whether he wants to throw one die only or a pair of dice. Each player is furthermore entitled prior to'throwing a die to determine whether he also wants to use the colored die. The colored die decides the changing of the traffic lights and how many of the traffic lights are to be exchanged for other traffic lights. This "exchange is effected by slide means arranged in guiding means below the plate. The play plate has holes punched out through which the traffic signs become visible. When the slide is pulled out or pressed in, the traffic signs are exchanged and the traffic lights change their color. Especially ahead of cross roads and the leading-in portions of streets, traffic signs become visible on the slide which indicate the prescribed driving directions. By pulling out or pressing in the slide, these prescribed driving directions are likewise changed. As
a result thereof, the traffic is continuously diverted into another street. The player must with his play figures always take the right-hand driving lane when viewing in driving direction. Only for purposes of overtaking and .only during the actual overtaking process will the play figure be allowed to use the central lane. The left driving lane. must not be used inasmuch as it serves as right lane for the traffic coming from the opposite direction. When a player reaches a field which is provided with an arrow and is marked in a color, he must continue his play. figure in the direction of the arrow.- If,a play figure reaches a numbered field, the player must recite the meaning of the adjacent traffic sign. If he can do this, he receives play money from the till. If he is not able to recite the traffic sign or to recite it properly, he has to pay play money into the till. For all traffic violations, the player has to pay into the till a fixed or agreed fine while certain traffic violations are additionally punished by a corresponding punishment. As such various traffic violations maybe mentioned the. overtaking within sections which are marked as prohibited for overtaking, for instance, by corresponding yellow stripes, the stopping on sections where stopping is prohibited, the parking on limited stop sections such as bus and street car stops, taxi stands and cross roads and feed-in sections. Similarly, no parking is allowed at passenger street crossings. Furthermore, the above mentioned various violations include the stopping at the entry and exit of traffic circles, the stopping reserved for driving students, the non-stopping at stop signs, crossing the street against the light, incorrect entering 'of a one-way street, exceeding a permissible maximum speed, driving at a speed below a marked minimum speed, taking the wrong lane at crossings and feeding-in lanes to other streets.
If a player wants to circumvent a punishment, he has the possibility of taking the uppermost map of a traffic map stack. On this map there is illustrated a traffic situation with a question. If the player is in a position to give the right answer to the respective question, he does not have to pay the penalty or fine. If he answers incorrectly or not at all, he has to pay twice the penalty fine normally due to be paid. Each player is able to secure for himself greater amounts of play money by driv- 7 ing to the bank, post and toll stations. Moreover, when reaching a certain field as for instance 50 or 75, considered lucky, each player doing so will be paid a greater amount of play money.
It is, of course, to be understood that the present invention is, by no means, limited to the specific game illustrated in the drawings but also comprises any modifications within the scope of the appended claims. Thus, the game is not limited to traffic games but can also be used for instance for other types of games. Thus, instead of the main and auxiliary streets, the play tracks may indicate other routes such as race tracks, changing lanes, etc. Decisive in this connection is that the player in addition to entertainment also acquires some knowledge which, with different types of sports and with excursion rides on ships, etc., is possible.
What is claimed is:
1. In combination as a game in which traffic flow is simulated; a panel having a plurality of playing tracks in the form of a series of spaces of which at least some bear indicia, said play tracks serving as paths along which figures are moved in conformity with values displayed by at least one thrown die, said playing tracks forming both main streets and auxiliary streets and at least the main streets having at least two driving lanes each made up of a series of spaces, said streets including intersecting streets, traffic signal means disposed at intersections of said streets for directing the movement of the figures, at least some of said traffic signal means being instructively variable, and a circular path connected to the ends of said street portions, said auxiliary streets being at least in part inside said circular path and connecting therewith.
2. In combination as a game in which traffic flow is simulated; a panel having a plurality of playing tracks in the form of a series of spaces of which at least some bear indicia, said play tracks serving as paths along which figures are moved in conformity with values displayed by at least one thrown die, said playing tracks forming both main streets and auxiliary streets and at least the main streets having at least two driving lanes each made up of a series of spaces, said streets including intersecting streets, traffic signal means disposed at intersections of said streets for directing the movement of the figures, at least some of said traffic signal means being instructively variable, each main street having three lanes, said panel having a main central section in which said main streets are located and auxiliary sections at a pair of opposite marginal edges of said main section and having said auxiliary streets, said main streets including streets extending longitudinally and transversely of said central section, said auxiliary section having street portions thereon forming continuations of the longitudinal main streets, a circular path connected to the ends of said street portions, said auxil iary streets being inside said circular path and connecting therewith.
3. A game in combination according to claim 2 in which at least the main streets have three side by side lanes each made up of a series of spaces.
4. A game in combination according to claim 2 in which said panel comprises holes within the range of said play tracks, and adjustable means beneath the panel observable through said holes and having traffic signals thereon to be viewed through the holes.
5. A game in combination according to claim 4 in which said adjustable means is in the form of a printed member slidably supported beneath said panel.
6. A game in combination according to claim 5 which includes guide means beneath said panel slidably supporting said adjustable member, and means for positioning said adjustable member along said guide means to cause the signals thereon to be visible through said holes.
7. A game in combination according to claim 1 in which each main street has three lanes, said panel having a main central section in which said main streets are located and auxiliary sections at a pair of opposite marginal edges of said main section and having said auxiliary streets.
8. A game in combination according to claim 4 in which said panel comprises a central section and side or end sections, said main streets being located on said,
central section, said adjustable member being disposed on the underside of said central section.
9. A game in combination according to claim 2 in which said panel has a cardboard surface with an imprint thereon.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No, Dated December 9,
Inventor s Siegfried Dittrich et a1.
It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
On the cover sheet insert:
 Foreign Application Priority Data Aug. 23, 1972 Germany P22 41 357.6
Signed and Scaled this RUTH C. MASON C. MARSHALL DANN A! I 8 ff Commissioner oflalents and Trademarks