Archive for the ‘board games’ Category
For Christmas and News Eve holidays we shall meet the family: children and adults together around a big dining table. That’s a good occasion to play the best board games and party games for all the family. Certainly among the most classic games are always fun and Monopoly, Risk, Scrabble and bingo, where the legendary Grandma usually scoops the jackpot.
Do not despise even the Quiz Trivial Pursuit, in all the sauces and classic party games. In short, these are the classic board games to buy this Christmas, but if you look for the latest games releases, you can buy Heroscape and Settlers of Catan.
Heroscape and Settlers of Catan are two role plays / board games that bring fun to all family, adults in particular.
Heroscape is a game branded Hasbro and it’s a little bit pricey (around 60 pounds). But this board game is really fun to play an d will appeal to those who love heroes and monsters and the fantasy genre with special missions and quests to do. A Master will follow the whole story, managing the game with its beautiful miniatures and settings. Many cards and dice look very similar to Dungeons and Dragons. Read the rest of this entry »
Christmas holidays are a time to play family board games, never so in vogue as this year.
Tombola and not only: the Christmas holidays are a time of social and family board games, never so in vogue as this year. There are some new entries this year among board games as the new Force 4X4 and Clue Harry Potter, but the evergreen classics board games are always the most played games, with millions of fans around the world.
Beginning with the dear old Monopoly, with the little green houses, so worldwide famous that Ridley Scott is adapting it into a movie. Monopoly, distributed by Hasbro, has incredible numbers: it was played by some 750 million people since 1935, making the “most played board game in history .
Starting in 1935, has sold over 250 million copies of Monopoly in 106 countries and 40 languages. Have been published over 200 editions of the game, but the most popular is the classic number nine which is based on the streets of Atlantic City and is nearly identical to the original version by Charles Darrow presented to Parker Brothers. 74 years of history always renewed: from simple board games iPhone application has become the most downloaded, for PC. Read the rest of this entry »
Scrabble is probably one of the most famous board games ever invented with over 100 million sets sold in all the world.
Today everyone knows Scrabble and have played this linguistic clever game once at least, but few people know the real story of its invention.
In fact not everyone knows that Scrabble before becoming a famous board game was first a commercial flop.
Year 1931; The city of Poughkeepsie, upstate New York, was facing the worst years of the great depression. This was the situation when an architect, Alfred Mosher Butts, lost his job and decided to devote himself to his biggest passion: board games and words. Soon Butts decided to invent a board game to play with words and improve the linguistic skills of the player. Towards the end of 1931 Butts had already developed the basic idea of the board game, which was initially called Lexico. This game was initially played without the board and players calculated their scores according to the length of the words formed. There were also reward points for words formed with less frequent letters (B, F, H, M, P, V, W, Y) and bonus points even higher for those containing unusual letters (J, K, Q, X, Z).
In 1933, Butts tied to register the trademark of is new board game but his request was denied. Similarly, when he proposed the new board game to the two top gaming company In United States, (Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley), he received only a polite refuse.
It’s clear now to everyone that board games are the new Hollywood frontier.
After the big success of super heroes entertainment movies and the renewed invasion of toys in the cinemas, now Hollywood is ready to hit on.
New adaptations are ready for the next year to hit the big screen with some of the legendary board games of the twentieth century.
All started with the success of Transformers, followed in these days by G.I. Joe, another historic brand of Hasbro the second largest toy manufacturer in the United States who has a deal with Universal Pictures to make movies based on its products: toys or games
For this reason Hollywood is ready to invest a lot of money for new big budgets movies based on board games.
Here there is the Hollywood board games top list: Read the rest of this entry »
The Mahjong (麻雀麻将), is a board game for four players, born in China at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and now worldwide popular, especially in United States and Japan.
Its name means “bird of hemp” or “hemp sparrow”.
There are different versions about the birth of this board game, but the most legendary one tells that Mahjong board game was invented by a fisherman in China about 2500 years ago.
The story goes that a fisherman was on his boat and, during a storm, seeing his men worried and scared, he invented something to entertain them. It is said that the gods favoured the poor fisherman and inspired him the invention of a game with few pieces of wood. In a meantime, the fisherman carved the pieces with different symbols, and taught his men how to play this new board game. The crew was so interested in the game that soon forgot the storm.
The fisherman called the game Mah-Jong (hemp bird), remembering the little bird that always followed him during the fishing.
Another legend attributes the invention of the Mahjong game to the great Chinese philosopher Confucius, around 500 BC.
This story (considered false by historians) has some curious correspondence with the reality: infact the pieces of the game called the “three dragons” represent the three cardinal virtues professed by Confucius: the red Chung (Benevolence), the green Fa (Sincerity ) and the White Po (love). It is said that Confucius had a great love for birds, and for this reason called the game Mah-Jong (bird of hemp).
Many of the terms used in this board game, such as Chee and Kong, are explained with the Confucian origin of the game.
However, for historians, the Mahjong game was invented at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Some researchers sad that this game could come from the Madia (马吊) , another popular board game played in China at the beginning of the Ming Dynasty.
There are only hypothesis around the real inventor of this board game. Someone say that it was created by Chinese army officers, to pass the time during the Tai Ping Rebellion (1851-1864), others that the inventor was a noble of Shanghai between 1870 and 1875.
But we like to think that the game of Mahjong was invented either by the fisherman or by Confucius, because we’re so fascinated by old stories.
In 1640, a new board game called “Game of the goose” appeared for the first time.
The game of the goose was published in Venice (Italy) by Carlo Coriandoli. The first stamp of this game represents a family sitting at the table covered with food off all kind with a big roasted goose in the centre.
The name “game of the goose” probably derives from this first stamp, although many studious declare that the origin of the name comes from the particular player’s habit of using the won money to buy a big goose.
Certainly the game of the goose has ancient origins, that can be tracked down in many documents recovered in ancient Egyptian tombs.
The goose game represents in a board game the eternal struggle of good vs evil: the goose must defeat evil overcoming all the obstacles of the game.
The game board of the goose game is composed by 90 coded boxes (in the ancient one they were only 63) arranged in a spiral. The aim of the goose game is to roll the two dices and get from square 1 to square 90 before the other player. Yo do this we have to be lucky enough to avid the penalty boxes.
The goose game is very simple and it doesn’t request particular abilities, the player wins with the fortune of the dices.
The game of the goose spread quickly in all European countries and was really popular especially among literate and intellectuals. After several years the basic model of the game was reinvented and evolved in many different versions called with many different names during our history: the “owl game”, the “war game”, the “travel game”, the “train game”.
The triple wall is the pattern of the popular board game called Nine Men’s Morris in England, Morabaraba in South Africa, Naukhadi in India, Molenspiel in Germany and Jeu de Moulin in France. The triple square symbol was find in Italy, UK, Ireland and Afghanistan and in a lot other regions of the Middle East engraved or painted in holy places for Christianity and Islam.
The aim of the Nine Men’s Morris is to form a row of three pieces along the board’s lines and leave the opposing player with no moves.
This is the playing function of this geometric concentric figure, but we can find the same pattern in ancient churches and in the Chinon tower in France, engraved on the walls by Templar Knights kept prisoners during the Middle Ages.
Some researchers suggest that this geometric draw could be the symbol of an ancient and esoteric ritual made by knights Templars.
For example, René Guénon, affirm that this symbol represent, in ancient religous rituals, a sort of holy centre where the world energies can reach the right power to involve a man’s mind on a mystic level.
The origins of the triple square are still unknown but without any reasonable doubt we can say that its symbolism is related to the centre and the balance of the world and the human spheres represented by the pieces of the game have to converge to find the perfect equilibrium.
The geometric scheme of the Nine Men’s Morris game represent the route that men have to follow to find themselves without lose the right way in unethical directions. In this sense the triple square has a manicheistic meanining deeply related to the Middle Ages religious symbolism.
God is the origin and the centre of all the universe and everything has to point in His direction; it’s clear in this interpretation the religious and ethical meaning of this symbol directly derived from the holy circle used by ancient civilizations of the far East to show the solar wheel also called the wheel of life.
All those clues made the researchers think that the symbol of the triple square in the Middle Ages was not used as a game but as a religious symbol and only after several years this geometric pattern was used as the board of the game known with the name of Nine Men’s Morris.
In this mausoleum Wodley discovered several incredibly well conserved exemplars of an ancient board game.
This artefact was called the Royal Game of Ur and was made more than 2600 years before Christ:
The Royal Game of Ur is one of the oldest board game in history and is composed by two decorated boards and two different sets of seven pieces each.
This incredible piece of game’s history is part of the British Museum’s Mesopotamia collection and was played with pyramidal dices.
Like the Faraons’ board game named Senet, the Royal Game of Ur was a race board game in which the players had to reach the other end of the board with their pieces.
This game had a mistyc power for Ancient Sumers; they believed that the dead person must play The Royal Game of Ur vs a spiritual entity in order to acess the reign of death.
This ancient Sumerian game can be played on the British Museum’s Mesopotamia website.