Snakes and Ladders

A bit of luck will give you fame in Snakes and Ladders!

  • Snakes and Ladders is a luck based board game with the aim to advance from the lowest square to the highest square by climbing ladders and avoiding snakes.
  • The board of Snakes and Ladders is a grid of squares, often 10 by 10, and the head and tail of snakes and the top and bottom of ladders that are typically pictured on the board, touch two separate squares per object.
  • The number of squares, ladders, and snakes, as well as their positions on the game board, each vary across different Snakes and Ladders boards, however the game is usually played with a dice or spinner, and a playing piece per person.
  • Landing on a snake head in Snakes and Ladders will usually cause the player to move to the respective snake tail, while landing at the base of a ladder will allow the player to move their piece to the top of the ladder.
  • There are numerous versions of the Snakes and Ladders game, featuring other objects to fall or slide down, or climb up, and the game is also known as ‘Chutes and Ladders’, particularly in America, where snakes were replaced with slides.

Snakes and Ladder, Board Games, Ten Random Facts, Trivia, Checkered, Counters, Assortment

  • Snakes and Ladders is derived from an Ancient Indian Hindu game that was possibly played as early as the 100s BC, where the game was used to illustrate the good and bad deeds of life, and was called ‘Moksha Patamu’ or similar.
  • The game of Snakes and Ladders generally features an equal or greater number of ladders than snakes, compared to the Indian game which had more snakes than ladders, and the ladders are or were, generally associated with a positive action and consequence, while the snakes were usually associated with negative actions and consequences.
  • In the late 1800s, the Indian version of the Snakes and Ladders game was introduced to England, and it has been modified over the years to exclude moral or religious perspectives, though some versions have an educational purpose.
  • Milton Bradley recreated the Snakes and Ladders game in 1943, which was popular in Europe at the time, to suit an American audience, renaming it ‘Chutes and Ladders’, with the theme of playground equipment.
  • The player that moves first in the 100-square Milton Bradley version of Snakes and Ladders has a 50.9% chance of winning the game if two players are playing, while a game is completed, on average, after 48 turns.
Bibliography:
Snakes and Ladders, 2015, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snakes_and_Ladders
Who invented the board game Snakes and Ladders?, 2008, The Times of India, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/sunday-times/Who-invented-the-board-game-Snakes-and-Ladders/articleshow/3585003.cms

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Chess

Chess – a game of complex strategy. What will be your next move?

  • Chess is a strategic game played on an 8 by 8 square checkered board, by moving specific pieces to attack and capture.
  • There are 32 pieces, 16 per player, and six different types of pieces in a game of chess; one king, one queen, two bishops, two rooks, two knights and eight pawns.
  • Chess is a game played by two people that take turns, and only a single piece may move per turn in most circumstances, while legal movements vary across pieces.
  • The aim of chess is to put the opponent’s king in a position where capture is unavoidable during the next turn, a position known as ‘checkmate’.
  • Pieces in chess are usually colour-coded white and black, and white always moves first in a game and is generally considered to have an advantage.

Chess, Board, Game, White, Black, Pieces, Gameplay, Game, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Invention, Setup, Strategy

  • A form of chess was played in Persia around the 600s AD, where it was called ‘chatrang’ or ‘shatranj’, and it is said to be based on a game known as ‘chaturaṅga’ originating from 280 to 550 AD in East India, which featured predecessors of the modern rook, pawn, bishop and knight.
  • Chess reached Europe by the 800s, and alterations to the game were made from the 1200s and continued through to the late 1400s, with notable updates to the rules regarding the pawns, bishops and queens.
  • Englishman Howard Staunton coordinated a chess competition in 1851 in the United Kingdom’s London, and this first contemporary contest was won by German Adolf Anderssen, while the first World Championship occurred in 1886, won by Wilhelm Steinitz from Austria.
  • In its history, chess was used as a way to teach soldiers and knights tactical manoeuvres and strategies for battle, although it is now a game played by children and adults, mostly for entertainment purposes.
  • Through the use of complex computer algorithms, computers have been designed to be able to play chess almost since the birth of the first digital computers in the mid 1900s, while the first computer to beat a World Chess Champion was Deep Blue in 1997, and since then computers have become increasingly difficult for humans to beat.

 

Bibliography:
An Illustrated History of Chess, n.d, Ancient Chess, http://ancientchess.com/page/01.htm
Chess, 2015, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess

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The Game of Life

You cannot get such a more realistic game than The Game of Life.

  • The Game of Life is a board game that somewhat replicates the average life of a person, from college through to retirement, by advancing along spaces on the board.
  • ‘The Game of Life’ is also known as ‘LIFE’, and it generally uses cars as game pieces, with small pink or blue pegs to represent people.
  • The Game of Life is based on the original and highly successful version of the game called ‘The Checkered Game of Life’, which was designed by Milton Bradley, an American lithographer, in 1860, after his print run of presidential candidate portraits of Abraham Lincoln failed to sell, due to Lincoln growing a beard after they had been printed.
  • Milton Bradley’s 1860 version of The Game of Life involved the player advancing across a checkered board to gain points, and it was designed with his own morals in mind, which resulted in negative consequences for spaces depicting suicide, gambling, jail, ruin, poverty and the like.
  • The Checkered Game of Life was overhauled and revamped on its 100th anniversary in 1960, and resulted in the modern style version, The Game of Life, designed by Americans Bill Markham and Reuben Klamer for the Milton Bradley Company.

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  • The three-dimensional modern style game board of The Game of Life, first produced in the 1960s, was the first of its kind, and it featured moulded plastic buildings, mountains and bridges.
  • The aim of The Game of Life is to collect the most money by the end of ‘life’, which is generally collected by luckily landing on specific spaces and/or by various choices made throughout the game.
  • The numbered spinner famous in The Game of Life has its origins in the numbered spinning top or teetotum, used to move across the game board in the 1860s version, as dice were considered inappropriate by Milton Bradley, due to their association with gambling, which went against his morals.
  • There have been various updates on The Game of Life over the years, and numerous versions of the game, and while each have their differences, life events that are, or have been depicted in The Game of Life, including marriage, college, having children, suing, insurance and the like.
  • As of 2010, more than 50 million copies of The Game of Life had been sold since 1960, and it had been created in at least 20 different languages.
Bibliography:
Edwards P, Why the Game of Life used to have poverty, suicide, and ruin, 2015, Vox, http://www.vox.com/2015/1/28/7924487/game-of-life-history
The Game of Life, 2015, The Strong, http://www.toyhalloffame.org/toys/game-life
The Game of Life, 2015, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Game_of_Life

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Battleship

Battleship is a highly intense game that involves… saying coordinates.

  • Battleship is a two player board or paper game that involves destroying your opponent’s various watercrafts using strategic guesswork.
  • ‘Battleship’ is also known as ‘Sea Battle’ and ‘Battleships’, and there are numerous other versions of the game known by other names.
  • A typical game of Battleship is played by placing ‘ships’ on a designated grid and then each player proceeds to find and destroy their opponent’s watercraft by ‘shooting’ it, which is done by calling random grid coordinates.
  • Traditionally a game of Battleship uses five different boats of 5, 4, 3, 3 and 2 squares in length, although watercraft may be different sizes and of different numbers.
  • A variety of different terms are used to name each different watercraft; the Milton Bradley version referring to each as, from the smallest size, a ‘patrol boat’, ‘submarine’, ‘destroyer’, ‘battleship’ and ‘aircraft carrier’.

Battleships, Game, progress, Variation, Gun, Ships, Plastic, Red, Shot, Ten Random Facts, Trivia

  • Battleship was originally known as ‘Salvo’, which is thought to have been first played by Russian officials before the first world war, and a commercial paper and pencil version with the same name was produced in 1931 by the American company Starex Novelty Company.
  • Originally Battleship was played using sheets of paper containing a grid, and a writing tool, although the game company Milton Bradley invented reusable plastic boards and small plastic ships in 1967 for the game, that has since become more popular than the paper version, and other companies have made similar styled versions.
  • The commercial Milton Bradley Battleship game introduced the white and red colour coding used to mark a miss or hit respectively, using small pegs that slot into holes in the grid.
  • Grids sizes vary in each version of the Battleship game, though traditionally it is 10 by 10 squares, labelled with letters on the y-axis and numbers on the x-axis.
  • The first computerised version of Battleship was designed in 1979, and was one of the first games scripted for a computer.
Bibliography:
Battleship (Game), 2015, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battleship_(game)
Salvo Is New Game With a Nautical Air, 1931,  The Milwaukee Journal, 1 July, p. 8. Google Newspapers

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Concentration

Unfortunately, I’m not too great at Concentration.

  • Concentration is a game requiring observation and memory skills, generally played with face-down cards, and the game involves flipping the cards face-up to reveal a matching pair.
  • The game of ‘Concentration’ is also commonly known as ‘Memory Match’, ‘Match’, ‘Matching Pairs’, ‘Memory’, ‘Pelmanism’, ‘Pexeso’, and ‘Pairs’.
  • When laying out the cards of a Concentration game ready for play, they are often arranged in a neat square pattern or other format to make memorising their location somewhat easier.
  • The basic game play of Concentration is that each player flips over two cards in their turn, and if they match, they collect the pair and have an extra turn, but if the two cards do not match, the cards are turned back over facing down.
  • A good strategy in Concentration is to first flip over the card that you are unsure of, before flipping the card that you are certain of, in case you remember incorrectly.

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  • There are numerous forms of the game of Concentration, and the cards are often square in shape, although some simply using traditional playing cards, while others use unique printed designs that often contain pictures, however, each set will have the same colour and design on the back of each of the cards.
  • Children generally prefer to play the game of Concentration, and usually do well at the game, although adults do play to test their memorisation skills.
  • On the assumption that each already revealed card is memorised in a game of Concentration, the probability of flipping over a matching card can generally be defined through the formula 1/(t-1-n), where ‘t’ is the remaining cards in play and ‘n’ is the already revealed cards that are still in play.
  • The person with the most pairs at the end of a game of Concentration is deemed the winner, and while the game is typically played competitively with two or more players, it can be enjoyed by a single player aiming to flip the least amount of cards but revealing the most pairs, or to simply test their memory.
  • A Japanese version of the game of Concentration, known as ‘Kai-awase’ and made from painted clam shells, is said to have been played by the wealthy, as early as the 9th century.
Bibliography:
Concentration (game), 2015, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentration_(game)

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Trivial Pursuit

Trivial Pursuit is the mightiest contest over the most trivial of things.

  • Trivial Pursuit is a board game that involves traversing across a board with a wheel shaped playing area, to fill six wedge shaped sections of a playing piece that is shaped as a wheel, by correctly answering trivia questions.
  • Trivial Pursuit has six categories in the original game, known as the ‘Genus’ edition, that are listed in order as follows: Geography, Entertainment, History, Art & Literature, Science & Nature, Sports & Leisure, and are marked as blue, pink, yellow, brown, green and orange respectively.
  • In the game of Trivial Pursuit, a player must land on all six squares that feature a wedge, and correctly answer a relevant trivia question to obtain the appropriate colour wedge, to eventually win the game.
  • Trivial Pursuit was jointly created by Chris Haney and Scott Abbott, Canadian newspaper editors, over a game of Scrabble, in late 1979.
  • After two years of research, collaboration and design, the Trivial Pursuit game was placed on the market in late 1981, and although it was unprofitable at first, it quickly became a popular game.

Trivial Pursuit, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Pursuit, Board, Cards, Pregame

  • In 1984, the sale of 20 million Trivia Pursuit games declared the game a major success, and by 2014, people from all over the world had purchased over 100 million copies.
  • Two to six players can play Trivial Pursuit at one time, although more players can participate by playing the game in teams.
  • An abundance of versions of Trivial Pursuit have been released since the original edition, often appealing to specific interests, some of which are solely cards of questions, although it is thought that some of the more recent editions have much less challenging questions than the original trivia cards.
  • The creators of Trivial Pursuit were taken to court by Fred Worth in 1984, on the belief that they had breached the copyright of Worth’s published trivia books, which had indeed been used among the resources, although the case was lost by Worth due to the judge ruling that trivia was unable to be copyrighted.
  • Some versions of Trivial Pursuit have questions suitable for younger players, while the age recommendation for the original Genus edition is fifteen and above.
Bibliography:
The Highschool Dropout Who Co-created Trivial Pursuit, 2014, Today I Found Out,  http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2014/09/brief-history-trivial-pursuit/
Rees J, Why was Trivial Pursuit, the last great family game, so special?, 2010, Daily Mail Australia, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1283588/Why-Trivial-Pursuit-great-family-game-special.html
Trivial Pursuit, 2015, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trivial_Pursuit

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