04 January 2009

Graph Paper Race

game graph paper race BoardgamegeekI remember playing a graph paper racing game when I was a kid. I'm pretty sure my Dad first taught me how to play, and I know I taught it to several of my friends. I did a little searching and found ...

Graph Racers
Racetrack (also image at right)
Race Car Game
Racetrack_(game) at Wikipedia
Vector Racer (online implementation vs human and AI players)
... no shortage of sites already covering this in great detail. A little more digging and I found several site crediting this game to Martin Gardner, who wrote the Mathematical Recreations column in Scientific American for many years (more). My Dad was always a regular reader of this magazine, so that my educated guess where he found it. There are other site listed the origin of this game as unknown or uncredited, so it's possible Gardner was simply the first to write about it.

[Edit/Update: Another good information source on this game at Chesswanks.com.]

The game Triplanetary features the same movement system on a hexagonal grid, and one of the scenarios is a race where each player must travel to each planet and return to Earth first. (On something of a tangent, one of my favorite books as a kid was Lester Dey Ray's Rocket Jockey, a high-adventure story of a race around the planets). It would not be difficult to create your own "space race" graph paper game either, if one were so inclined (and I might be so inclined).

Oh yes, vector movement, did I mention that before? This game was my first introduction to vectors, and it is still used educationally for that purpose.

Part 2 (finally posted, but it did not turn out too well).


rixlauren said...

nice one.i play rocket evade when im bored in the class room.you know the space ship on the paper and you run it at the back of the cover of your notebooks.fun to me.

High Power Rocketry said...

Robots are cool. Giant robots are neeto. But battling robots... that is where it gets really good.

manny said...

i love this stuff its all thanks to great sci-fi writers of our time like asimov

Dan Eastwood said...

I am delighted to report that Graph Paper Race seems to know no borders: http://www.wretch.cc/blog/duncan0227/10322205 :-)

Anonymous said...

great post