- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to a game useable for recreational and educational purposes and playable with cards, tiles or other tokens.
Customers of coffee shops and cafés often patronize these establishments by themselves. Enjoying a cup of coffee can be a relaxing experience in which a person spends anywhere from ten minutes to several hours at a table. Options are limited, though, for what these customers can do to pass the time. Often times a newspaper is available for purchase, but otherwise it is up to the customer to bring whatever reading material or activity they would like to pass the time with. Offering the customer something enjoyable to use to pass the time can result in increasing the time such a customer spends in a coffee shop or the like. Increasing the time a customer spends in a coffee shop or the like can result in increased sales.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Offering customers a solitaire game gives them another relaxing and interesting option while alone at a coffee shop or café. Also, if the game has an educational component, such as making coffee it is a natural fit for coffee shops and cafés. The solitaire game is challenging enough to keep a customer playing several iterations of the game, and educates the person on the various types of coffee drinks one can order at coffee shops and cafés.
One aspect of the present invention provides a game set comprising a token set comprising a plurality of tokens, such as cards, tiles, chips or electronically-generated images. If the tokens are physical tokens, they may have a first area that contains game information, such as symbols, numbers, pictures and/or wording and a second area that does not disclose the game information on the first side. The tokens include two classes, namely the group class, which include a plurality of different types, and the component class, which represent the components or requirements for specific types included in the group class. For example, for a coffee game using cards as tokens, the group class of tokens may be cards identifying different types of coffee beverages on one side, such as cappuccino, iced café mocha, Irish coffee and vanilla latte, and may identify a recipe such as by listing component ingredients for such beverages. In such case, the first side of the card may include a symbol, wording and/or picture representative of café latte and various ingredients used in the making of this beverage. The component tokens in such case may be ingredient cards that identify such coffee beverage ingredients such as vanilla syrup, espresso, steamed milk and whipped cream. Wild component tokens capable of representing a subset of or any of the components may also be included among the component tokens.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The method of use of the tokens involves forming sets comprising a group class token and component tokens corresponding to such group class token.
In describing the preferred embodiment of the invention, reference will be made to the following appended drawings:
FIG. 1 is a bottom plan view of a recipe card in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a bottom plan view of four ingredient cards in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of a stir stick card in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view of a brevé card, in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 5 is a bottom plan view of the two game rule cards, in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view of a winning hand including the stir stick card in accordance with the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
FIG. 7 is a bottom plan view of a winning hand including the brevé card in accordance with the present invention.
While there are many possible categories of set tokens, the present invention will be discussed in connection with a game involving the theme of types of coffee beverages, such as cappuccino, iced café mocha, Irish coffee and vanilla latte, for example, as the group class and types of ingredients for such coffee beverages, such as vanilla syrup, espresso, steamed milk and whipped cream as the component class. Of course, in the food category sets could follow themes such as different types of ice cream dishes, hamburgers, sandwiches, cocktails and other beverages, pizza recipes and many more. However, the present invention is not limited to food themes. For example, the group class of tokens could be power generators, such as coal fired power plants, natural gas power plants, nuclear plants and hydroelectric dams. In such case, the component class could constitute requirements such as water, generators, uranium, coal, natural gas, steam turbines and so forth. Note, of course, that “water” may be a requirement for more than one type of power generator.
In connection with one embodiment of the invention, a game is provided that may be of particular interest to patrons of coffee shops or café. The tokens used for the game of the present embodiment may be in the form of a deck of cards, and the method of use of the cards may be adapted for either group or solitaire play. A customer at a coffee shop or café may play the solitaire game while waiting for a friend or two to join him (or her). After several rounds, his friends arrive but already he has become engrossed in his current activity. Instead of having to put the cards away, he can instead switch to the group version of the game he is playing. The deck includes rules for both games, so adding additional players is very easy for the customer to do. Also, the small group game allows for friends to converse and catch up with each other while also participating in an interesting activity together.
Coffee shop and café owners may benefit from customers playing either version of the game. While being entertained by their activity, customers are also learning about various coffee drinks. Some customers will order a second beverage while playing the game while others may return within a few days to try out one of the new coffee drink ideas they had discovered. Regardless, coffee shop and café owners may benefit from repeat purchases from customers playing either the solitaire game or the group game.
Referring initially to FIGS. 1-5, in one embodiment of the present invention, a deck of cards is provided that consists of a plurality of playing cards for playing a game based on recipes for types of coffee beverages and corresponding ingredients, with the recipe cards comprising the group class tokens and the ingredient cards comprising the ingredient class tokens
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the front sides of both recipe card 21 and its four ingredient cards 26, 27, 28, 29 have a larger graphic 16 in their centers, that is also repeated in smaller form 17 in the upper left comer of the card 21, 26-29. The front side of each playing card also has a box 23 in its lower portion that contains text pertaining to the type of the card.
As shown in FIG. 1, the front side of each recipe card 21 (of which there are ten per deck in the present embodiment), has a larger cup graphic 16 in the center, and the same graphic in smaller form 17 in the upper left corner. The recipe card 21 also includes a recipe listing four ingredients 11, 12, 13, 14. Two of the ten recipe cards 21 only contain three ingredients 11, 12, 13, which is an exception that will be addressed in connection with FIG. 3. The cup graphics 16, 17 appear with a different color for each of the ten specialty coffee beverage types 24.
Referring to FIG. 1, as a general rule, for each recipe card 21, there are four corresponding ingredient cards 26, 27, 28, 29. The four ingredient cards 26-29, shown in FIG. 2, include the names of the four ingredients 11, 12, 13, 14 that are listed on the corresponding recipe card 21 for the coffee beverage vanilla latte. There could, of course, be more or fewer than 4 ingredients in each recipe. The first ingredient 11 listed on the recipe card, matches the first ingredient card 26, the second ingredient 12 listed on the recipe card also matches the second ingredient card 27, and so forth. Beneath the smaller graphics 17 of the ingredient cards 26-29 is a numeral 18 contained in a border circle 15. The numeral 18 matches the number listed for the four ingredients 11, 12, 13, 14 on the corresponding recipe card 21 (that is, in the present embodiment, “whipped cream” is the fourth ingredient for Irish coffee and vanilla latte, and so has the numeral “4” 18 contained within the circle 15. The background color 19 matches the color of the cup graphics 16, 17 on the recipe card 21. Each ingredient card also has a box at the bottom of the card 23 that identifies the ingredient 11, 12, 13, 14. The graphics 16, 17 on each particular ingredient card 26-29 represent a pictorial view of the particular ingredient 11, 12, 13, or 14.
FIG. 3 shows a special type of ingredient card 30, namely a wild component token, the stir stick card 30. Two of the ten recipe cards 21 have only three corresponding ingredients cards 26, 27, 28, 29. For the group game, the stir stick card 30 is used in place of a fourth ingredient card 29 for the recipes with three ingredients. Therefore, it has the same characteristics of other ingredient cards 26, 27, 28, 29 except for the numeral 18 and the border circle 15. Also, instead of a background color 19, it has colored swirls 32. Swirls 32 vary in color and are not meant to particularly match the color of the cup graphics 16, 17. Also, the stir stick card 30 lists the words “stir stick” 25 inside the box 23 at the bottom of the card.
FIG. 4 shows another special type of wild component token ingredient card, which is the brevé card 31. The brevé card is only used in the group game. It is a wild card that can be used in place of any ingredient card 26, 27, 28, or 29 with an ingredient name 11, 12, 13, or 14 equal to “Milk”, “Steamed Milk”, or “Cream”. This card 31, like the stir stick card 30 has the same elements as other ingredient cards 26, 27, 28, 29 except for the numeral 18 and the border circle 15. The brevé card 31 also has a multi-colored background 33 instead of the single color background 19 used for regular ingredient cards 26, 27, 28, 29. Also, the brevé card 31 includes the word “brevé” 39 inside the box 23 at the bottom of the card.
As shown in FIG. 5, in the present embodiment of the invention, the game rules for the solitaire game and the group game may also be printed on cards 34, 35 with unique front sides similar to recipe 21 and ingredient 26, 27, 28, 29 cards. Rule cards have three components: The game name 36, a recommended number of players 37, and the Rules of Play for each of the two embodiments of the game 38.
FIG. 6 shows an example of a winning hand for the group game that includes a recipe card 21 with only three ingredient names 11, 12, 13, and a stir stick card 30 used in lieu of a regular ingredient card 26-29, which is needed to complete the recipe.
FIG. 7 shows an example of a winning hand for the group game that makes use of a brevé card 31. The brevé card 31 is a wild card that is used as a replacement for the third ingredient card 28. Notice that the third ingredient 13 on the recipe card 21 is labeled “Steamed Milk”. The brevé card 31 is permitted because this label is one of three allowed for use of this wild card.
According to the present embodiment, each deck has a total of ten recipe cards 21 and forty-two ingredient cards 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31. Of these ingredient cards, two are stir stick cards 30 and two are brevé cards 31. In addition to the 52 playing cards, there are also two non-playing cards (the Rule cards) 34, 35.
The tokens of the present invention may be used to play a solitaire game as follows. The game starts after the two brevé cards 31 are removed and the remainder of the cards are shuffled. The deck is placed face-down. The player then selects a set of three cards from the top of the deck. If the top card of the set of three is a recipe card 21, the player may set it in the playing area face-up. If the player was able to play the top card, then he examines the second card in the set of three. If this card is another recipe card 21 or the first ingredient card 26 for the recipe card 21 he has already played, then he can place it in the playing area. If the second card is a second recipe card 21, it is set next to the previously played recipe card 21. If the second card is an ingredient card 26 for a previously played recipe card 21 it may be stacked on top of the recipe card 21 so that it overlaps the bottom of the card. The player may wish to avoid but does not cover up the list of ingredients 11, 12, 13, 14. The player keeps placing recipe cards 21 and/or stacking ingredient cards 26, 27, 28, 29 in order until he no longer can (or wishes to) play cards from the first set of three. Then he selects the next set of three from the deck, stacks them face-up on top of the previous set and examines the top card. If possible and desirable, he plays the cards in the same manner described above. If he plays all cards of the most recent set, he can then consider the next card remaining from the previous set of three. He continues until he no longer can (or wishes to) play and then selects another set of three from the deck.
When determining if an ingredient card 26, 27, 28, 29 matches a recipe card 21, a player examines the numeral 18 and the background color 19 to check if it is appropriate for him to stack an ingredient card 26, 27, 28, 29 on top of a particular recipe card 21. The background color 19 must thus match the color of the graphics 16, 17 on the recipe card 21 as well as the ingredient. For example, in the solitaire game according to the present embodiment, whipped cream is the fourth ingredient for both iced café mocha and vanilla latte, but the background color on the recipe cards 21 containing the recipes for these two coffee beverages will be different. ingredient cards 26, 27, 28, 29 must be placed on the recipe card 21, in the order that the ingredients 11, 12, 13, 14 are listed on the recipe card 21. The only exception to the rule occurs in the solitaire game, when the player places a stir stick card 30 on the recipe card 21 or the most recently stacked ingredient card 26, 27, 28, 29 that has been stacked on the recipe card 21. After the stir stick card 30 is played, remaining ingredient cards 26, 27, 28, 29 can be placed in any order.
When the player reaches the final of three (or fewer) cards in the deck, he examines the final set and plays what he wants to or can play. Then all the cards in the stack are flipped over and he again selects a set of three. He is only allowed to flip the deck over and continue playing if he made at least one play during the previous round, a round being defined as a player selecting, examining, and possibly playing from all sets of three in the deck.
After the player has placed all three or four ingredient cards 26-29 and optionally used the stir stick cards 30 to allow out-of-order placement of the ingredient cards 26-29 on the recipe card 21, he awards himself one point. After awarding the point to himself, he pushes the cards together and sets them to the side of the playing area.
The game ends when the player has built all ten specialty coffee drinks or has reached a standstill, a standstill being reached when the player has examined all sets of three (or, in the case of the final set, potentially of less than three) in the deck and cannot make a play. For players of greater skill, play can proceed by turning over sets of four or five cards at a time, instead of sets of three.
In the present embodiment, the group game begins with the dealer shuffling the playing cards, including the stir stick cards 30 and brevé cards 31 and dealing out a number of cards, such as five cards, to each player. The dealer then places the remainder of the deck face down in the center of the playing area. Players review their cards, and the player to the left of the dealer selects a card from the deck. After selecting a playing card from the deck the player decides whether or not to keep the card, then discards a card from her hand and places it next to the deck, face-up. That concludes the first player's turn. The next player can either select the card from the discard pile or take a card from the top of the deck. After considering the card he too must discard a card. If he is discarding on top of a previously discarded card, his card should be placed so that it does not overlap all of the indicia on the previous card. For example, it could overlap all but one or more of the small graphic 17, the larger graphic 16, the ingredient name 11, 12, 13, 14 on an ingredient card, or the specialty coffee drink name 24. As play continues and the discard pile grows to include two or more cards, players are allowed to draw more than one card from the discard pile at the start of a turn. If this is done, the player takes the card of his choice and must also take all cards discarded after it (i.e., lying on top of it). All of these cards are added to his hand. Regardless of the number of cards taken, the player is still only permitted to discard one card at the end of his turn.
Play continues around the circle and players keep drawing and discarding playing cards until one player has collected a recipe card 21 and four ingredient cards 26, 27, 28, 29 that match the ingredient list 11, 12, 13, 14 on the recipe card 21. The background colors 19 of the ingredient cards do not need to match the color of the cup graphics 16, 17 on the recipe card 21. Also, the numerals 18 on the ingredient cards 22 do not need to correspond to the ingredient listing number on the recipe card in the group game. What does need to match are the ingredient names 26, 27, 28, 29. The player must have cards with graphics 16, 17 and their corresponding ingredient names 26, 27, 28, 29 to match each of the ingredient names listed on the ingredient list 11, 12, 13, 14; provided that a wild card (a stir stick card 30 or a brevé card 31 may be used as explained below). If the remainder of the deck is exhausted during play before a player completes, the discard pile is shuffled, turned over, and play is continued.
After the player has drawn or taken the necessary card(s) from the discard pile, if he has accumulated a recipe card and all of the ingredient cards (including any wild cards), he lays down the set of a recipe card 21 and the four ingredient cards 26-31 that match it. He then discards a card and the round is over.
In the group game, the stir stick cards 30 are used as the fourth ingredient 14 for the two recipe cards 21 that only have three ingredients listed 11, 12, 13. Brevé cards 31 are used as wild cards and each one can replace an ingredient card 26, 27, 28, or 29 with the ingredient name 11, 12, 13, or 14 of “Milk”, “Steamed Milk”, or “Cream.”
At the end of the round, all players lay down the cards in their hands so that the other players can see their cards. The person who laid down a complete set determines which of the other players has the highest number of points in her hand. He adds the points from this player's hand together, subtracts the points in his hand, and adds the total to his score. To determine the score of a player's hand, he first adds the specific numbers for each ingredient card's 26, 27, 28, 29 numeral 18 together, then adds ten points for each brevé card 31, four points for each stir stick card 30, and five points for each recipe card 21. The cards laid down by the player who ends the round by laying down the first set do not count in the computation of the score of his hand.
Players continue playing rounds until one player reaches an agreed score, such as 100 points.
A general purpose or special purpose computing device could be programmed to randomize (shuffle) and display hands of cards to players and to serve as an opposing player by programming the computing device to accept inputs and provide outputs in accordance with the method of playing the games described above. In the case of a multi-player game, the computing device could thus serve as a player, as well as a dealer and scorekeeper. Many of the above details merely illustrate some preferred embodiments and should not be construed as a limitation on the scope of the invention.