“I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.” – Muhammad Ali
- Muhammad Ali was a largely popular professional boxer, and was considered one of the greatest boxers to live.
- Muhammad Ali was an African American, born in Kentucky’s Louisville, in the United States, on 17th January 1942 as ‘Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr’.
- Muhammad Ali became interested in boxing and subsequently began training at twelve years of age, after encouragement from police officer and boxing coach Joe Martin, when Ali was seeking revenge on the thief that stole his new bicycle.
- In the 1960 Rome Olympic Games, Muhammad Ali won the gold medal for the light heavyweight category in boxing, as an amateur, and afterwards in the same year, boxed his first professional match.
- In February 1964 in Miami, United States, Muhammad Ali defeated Sonny Liston for the title of World Boxing Champion, and later regained the title in 1974 and 1978.
- Muhammad Ali converted to the Islam religion in the late 1950s/early 1960s, and consequently in 1964, changed his name from his ‘slave name’ of Cassius Clay, to his commonly known name.
- On 3rd June 2016, at age 74, Muhammad Ali died from septic shock caused by respiratory problems, in Arizona USA; and in his lifetime he developed Parkinson’s disease, and was married four times, and produced a total of nine children.
- Muhammad Ali was known for his unique boxing style, which he described as “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”; and he extensively taunted his opponents both during and outside matches.
- Muhammad Ali was drafted in 1967 to join the US military for the Vietnam War, however he opposed this on the basis of religious and political beliefs, and was convicted and suspended from boxing until 1971, when the Supreme Court overturned the conviction on appeal.
- Muhammad Ali was only defeated five times in his professional career, which lasted until 1981, and he remained undefeated during his first ten years of boxing.
Unleash your detective (or criminal!) self with Scotland Yard.
- Scotland Yard is a game that involves one team, the detectives, that are to find and capture the criminal (or Mr X), by travelling across a board under a turn limit.
- The typical goal in Scotland Yard is for the single player criminal, to evade capture by the team of detectives, consisting of multiple players, who strive to capture the criminal.
- Scotland Yard requires the skill of deduction for the detectives, bluffing for the criminal, and tactics for both.
- Players of Scotland Yard are required to traverse across the board using marked taxi, subway and bus routes and stations, and specific tickets are used to enable travel through the various transport methods.
- Generally each detective in Scotland Yard has 22 tickets available for moving, one used up each turn, while the criminal will have the remainder.
- Scotland Yard was first released in 1983 in Europe’s Germany, by Ravensburger Games, and was quite successful, receiving the 1983 German game of the year award (Spiel des Jahres).
- Scotland Yard spread across Europe and eventually reached the United States by 1985, where it was redistributed by Milton Bradley, sporting minor board differences.
- The setting of Scotland Yard is typically London, although boards featuring New York, Japan and Switzerland have been published.
- Scotland Yard can become monotonous for the detective team, as actions can become repetitive, frustrating and limited, unlike the criminal, who has a variety of options consistently throughout the game.
- Scotland Yard is usually played by three to six players and generally takes up to one hour to play.
Now you can explore Careers from your own living room!
- Careers is a popular board game that involves scoring a previously determined amount of points and money, by exploring career paths.
- Careers is played by moving around the spaces on the outside edge of the board, while different interior paths create loops, and are travelled along to collect points.
- Before the game starts, players of Careers are required to create their own targets totalling 60 points, using the three point types – ‘happiness’ represented by hearts; ‘money’ represented by dollar signs; and ‘fame’ represented by stars; to create their own success formula which is kept secret until the end of the game.
- In the game of Careers, the first person to collect their specified quantities of points, and cash in the case of ‘money’, wins the game.
- Careers is a two to six player game, and is notably different to many other games in that it requires significant data recording by the players during play, as collected points and other information is required to be documented on paper.
- James Cooke Brown, an American sci-fi author and sociologist, invented Careers in 1955, and it was his only published game.
- Originally the career paths in the game of Careers included ‘Farming’, ‘Uranium Prospecting’, ‘Going to Sea’, ‘Hollywood’ and ‘Expedition to the Moon’; which were changed to ‘Teaching’, ‘Ecology’, ‘Sports’, ‘The Arts’ and ‘Space’ in some of the later versions.
- Careers was published by Parker Brothers in 1955, and while there was a redesign of the game by the original designer at a later time, it was never published.
- The game of Careers includes money, dice, ‘Opportunity Knocks’ and ‘Experience’ cards, playing pieces, a game board, and a ‘Success Formula’ pad for keeping track of points.
- Due to the personalised winning conditions in Careers, strategies and game play can vary each game, which is significant in its ongoing appeal.
Boggle your mind with this wordy game!
- Boggle is a game involving the creation of as many words as possible from special dice in a specified time limit, and involves two players or more.
- Boggle generally features sixteen cubes or dice that have a single letter on each face, with the exception of ‘Q’, which is combined with the letter ‘U’ as ‘Qu’; as well as a container and lid, designed to hold the dice in place.
- The typical aim of Boggle is to find words within the letter arrangements that sit next to each other on the dice, which are randomised each round by shaking the container.
- Each Boggle player writes the words they find on their own piece of paper, and they are read aloud when time is up, which is usually three minutes on the timer.
- Points are scored in Boggle according to the word length – generally those three to four letters in length score one point, with words eight or more letters in length scoring eleven points, while words found by multiple players are generally considered null and have a point value of zero.
- The longest possible words that can be made in a standard Boggle setup are ‘inconsequentially’, ‘sesquicentennials’ and ‘quadricentennials’.
- A Boggle set’s letter dice may vary depending on the version, with some using a greater amount of less frequently used letters rather than common ones, or more challengingly arranged letters.
- Boggle was invented by American Allan Turnoff and it was originally published in 1972 as part of a three game pack by Parker Brothers, however it was later sold individually due to its increasing popularity, even though the game was initially turned down.
- A number of variations of Boggle exist, with some having more or less cubes; others feature an electronic timer; and yet others are designed for younger children, or are compact for travelling purposes.
- Due to the simple computer programming required, there are many electronic versions of Boggle, including servers that host the game online.
Jenga – Edge of Your Seat Fun!
- Jenga is a game involving the strategic removal of wooden blocks from an erected wooden tower, without toppling the tower, and it is said to be the second best selling game in the world.
- The term ‘jenga’ means ‘construct’ or ‘build’ in Swahili, and in the game, a beginning tower is made of 54 blocks placed in groups of three, in layers alternating in direction.
- The general play of Jenga is to remove blocks from the mid to lower sections of the erected tower, although taking them from higher up is mostly allowable, and put them on the top, all without the tower toppling.
- Leslie Scott, from England, commercialised Jenga, her first game, in 1982, showcasing it in the London Toy Fair in early 1983, however, it was not an instant hit, though in 1986, 400,000 units were ordered at the Canadian Toronto Toy Fair.
- Jenga blocks are traditionally made of wood and are manufactured with deliberate irregularities in the blocks to allow the game to function properly.
- The idea for Jenga grew out of a game played with children’s building blocks in the 1970s by Leslie Scott and her family, using blocks of wood from a local sawmill in Ghana, Africa.
- The original Jenga blocks have height by width by length dimensions of 1.5 by 2.5 by 7.5 centimetres (0.59 by 0.98 by 2.95 inches), and the game is distributed by Hasbro.
- As of 2015, the highest standing tower made from Jenga blocks was built in 1985 by Robert Grebler from the United States and was 40 complete layers in height with a single block remaining until the next layer.
- Jenga is very similar to the game of Ta-Ka-Radi, although Ta-Ka-Radi has the primary difference of the blocks being stacked on the narrowest edge, rather than the widest, with large spaces between the blocks.
- Various versions of Jenga have been produced including ‘Xtreme’ and ‘Ultimate’, while other companies have manufactured their own versions, including cylindrical shaped towers made with wooden blocks, and regular towers with plastic blocks.
Mastermind is the greatest tool to master the mind.
- Mastermind is a game that involves guessing a code, and the game is also known as ‘Master Mind’, while another name for a different brand of the game is ‘Secret Code’.
- Mastermind is often considered a commercialisation of a similar game named Cows and Bulls, which is playable using paper and pens, and is known to have been played in the 1960s, but possibly as early as the late 1800s.
- Two players are typically required to play a game of Mastermind – one devises the code, and the other cracks it over a number of steps, through the skill of deduction.
- Mastermind was invented by an expert in the telecommunications field in Israel, Mordechai Meirovitz, in 1970.
- Mastermind is played by making a code using supplied coloured pegs, and the opponent must correctly determine the correct position and colour of the pegs.
- Smaller black and white pegs are typically used to convey the accuracy of each guess – white to signify if a correct colour was used but incorrectly positioned; black if a correct colour was used and is in the correct position; or left blank if none of the code colours were used in the guess.
- There is a 1 in 1296 chance of correctly guessing the code in Mastermind on the first attempt, with a four peg code and six available colours.
- The average amount of turns taken to break a Mastermind code is four to five, while algorithms have been designed to crack a code in the most efficient process possible.
- The original Mastermind featured six colours and a four slot code, while these numbers vary across versions today, and variations have included letter or number pegs, rather than colours.
- It is not uncommon for a Mastermind variant to be programmed as a computer program, particularly due to its successful one person participation against a computer.