Are You “Board?” Trivia Put a Spin on Board Games By: Paula Green

           Board games are one of the oldest forms of recreation.   Evidence of their existence was found in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) over 4,000 years ago. The Royal Game of Ur is the earliest known board game.  It was a race game where the first player to complete the course was the winner.  Moves were governed by throwing dice-like objects.  Archaeologists believe it is the forerunner of backgammon.

          The game Senet was popular in ancient Egypt.  In fact, it was unearthed in the grave of King Tutankhamen.  Checkers also dates back to 3,000 B.C. and was found in Ur and Iraq.

          China had the Game of Go (Wei-qi), which was established around 2,300 BC.  Another Chinese game founded around the same time frame was Mah Jongg.

         Pachisi or Parcheesi was created in the 1500s in India by Akbar the Great.  It was played in the palace courtyard with young women as game pawns.  “Home” was originally the emperor’s throne.

         Chess was founded around the fifteen century, this strategy game between two players uses a checkered board.  Modern day chess tournaments are popular with special titles being awarded to best players.

         The first American board game, The Mansion of Happiness, was produced in 1843.  Its theme was Victorian: players tried to avoid Passion, Idleness, Cruelty, Immodesty and Ingratitude.

         In 1860, Milton Bradley bought a lithographic press and began printing board games.  His first game was called The Checkered Game of Life.  The object was to get “happy old age” while avoiding “disgrace and “ruin.”

         Milton Bradley turned into a highly successful board game manufacturer.  This company brought us such classics as Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, The Game of Life, Mystery Date, Pictionary, Scattergories, Stratego, Twister and Yahtzee and many others.

          Another board game manufacturer Parker Brothers introduced us to the real estate game Monopoly.  It was first marketed on November 5, 1935.  Today, it has grown to be the most popular board game in our country.  An estimated 500 million players from around the globe have been mesmerized by the game since its creation by Charles B. Darrow.      

          Parker Brothers also manufactured Aggravation, Clue, Operation, Pay Day, Risk, Sorry, and Trivial Pursuit to name a few.   Today, both of these game manufactures now are under the parent company of Hasbro.

         Mattel gave us Apples to Apples, Balderdash, Blokus, Othello and Pictionary.

         Since we have strategized your attention on these recreational pastimes, we must now match some thoughts.  “Let the games begin” because it’s time to get a little trivial.


  1.  This fruity game was created for preschoolers.  It was first published in 1960 by Whitman


  1.  How many rooms are there in the who-dunnit game Clue?
  2.  This American writer invented a  Memory Builder Game for Acquiring and Retaining All Sorts

 of Facts and Dates.

  1.  In what game do you have to pull a wood block from a stack?
  2.  You’ll find lots of famous artwork and value cards in this board game.  Once they are matched

 you auction them off.

  1.  Invented in 1965, this board game has a large bubble you pop with a die inside that has numbers

 on it, not dots.

  1.  This comparison game was bestowed with the “Party Game of the Year” Award in 1999.  It comes in adult version as well as a junior one.
  2. The game Reversi is better known as what board game?
  3. In this party game you’ll find the cards – Creative Cats, Data Head, Word Worm and Star


  1. In what game do you have to deliver a certain gift on Christmas?
  2. Name the tile board game conceived during the great depression by New York architect Alfred Mosher Butts, and is still popular today.
  3. This game is based on the ancient Cross and Circle game Pachisi, you draw cards instead of rolling dice.
  1.  Name the “world domination” game that was released in 1957.
  2. In the 1960s, Art Linkletter was the spokesman for this board game.  He was even featured on the game’s $100,000 bill.
  3. The National Toy Hall of Fame was established in 1998 in Salem, Ore.  It relocated in 2002 to this city in New York.

Answers:   1.  Hi! Ho! Cherry Ho!  2. nine  3. Mark Twain  4. Jenga  5.  Masterpiece  6.  Trouble  7.  Apples to Apples  8.  Othello  9.  Cranium  10.  Santa’s Special Delivery Game  11.  Scrabble 12.  Sorry!  13.  Risk

14.  The Game of Life  15.  Rochester