Game of the Goose, board games
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Game of the Goose, board games

The ‘Game of the Goose’ is one of board games of the European racing games variety. This particular board game is considered to be the prototype of most of the commercial racing board games of Europe from the recent decades. It is a type of family board game and the all age groups of players can enjoy, as it is an effective form of family entertainment. The commercial versions of the game of goose board game appeared recently in the period between1880 and 1890’s. In the particular type of board game, there is an essence of the old European characteristics. This is evident from the fact that the game comprises of the characteristics like the old well and kids in clothes that are reflect the period of old days Europe.

There is a common notion that this particular board game was actually a present from the Francesco l de’ Medici of Florence to King Phillip ll of Spain. This is said to have happened between 1574 and 1587. In the month of June, 1597 it was attested by John Wolfe that the game also existed in London. However, the game company, CO-5, in the 1960’s marketed a variant of the ‘Game of the Goose’ by the name ‘Gooses Wild’.

The board where the game is played comprises of a track with 63 consecutively numbered spaces. The spaces are arranged such that the starting point is at the outside with the arrangement in spiral dimensions. There are pieces divided among the players playing the game and each player’s piece is moved across the board in accordance to the throws of the dice. The game is played with one dice and also with multiple dices. The movement of the pieces is according to the numbers that are depicted with each throw of the dice.

Throughout the game board, there are a number of scattered spaces on which a goose is depicted. The rules of the game are such that if a player lands on a goose, s/he is allowed to move the same distance again. There are also added privileges that are depending on the luck of the players playing the game. For example, there are shortcuts that are the spaces marked by a bridge that helps to move the player to certain specified positions in the board. To make the game more interesting, there are also some penalty points in the board game. This penalty spaces force the players to move backwards or other form of penalties like losing one or more turns etc. there are special spaces in the game board, the most significant being the one that is marked by a ‘skull’ that symbolizes ‘death’. If a player accidentally lands in this space, he is to go back to the starting position all over again.

There are instances of this game in the various different cultures of the world. The famous writer Jules Verne in his 1899 novel ‘Le Testament d’un excentrique’ denoted the United States of America as a real-life “Game of the Goose” board where there are seven players who compete each other to pursue $60,000,000 inheritance. There are Italian and Spanish versions of the game also.
June 2, 2008, 11:51 am

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