Puss in the Corner: Old Parker Brothers Cat Board Game
The simple cat game called Puss in the Corner was published by Parker Brothers in 1895.
The charming cover and game board of Puss in the Corner displays some of the wonderful graphics game companies of the late 19th century applied to their games. After inventing his first game in 1883 called Banking, George Parker was later joined in the production of games by his brother Charles in 1888. The new enterprise named Parker Brothers, quickly became one of the best know manufacturers of board games.
Although Puss in the Corner was a simple race game with barely any obstacles, the board game still provided entertainment for its players and is considered a collectible in the present day. Adding interest to any collector’s game cabinet, Puss in the Corner is an example of an early Parker Brothers game. It should not be confused with the 1888 McLoughlin Bros. game of the same name.
The game board is a gridded three row crossed path with images of four cats placed in the corners. These images are accompanied by short phrases. One cat is in tears with words of “No mice for a week”. The cat on the opposite side is smiling saying, “Plenty of Mice.” While the other two cats across from each other say, “Watch me catch one” and “In love, no appetite.”
This opposite theme is seen in the rules for playing the game. The object of the game is to be the first player to reach his three pieces to the opposite side of the board. Movement on the board is determined by a small spinner of one through five. If players come in contact with each other in the center of the board there is but one consequence. It is; if a player, by exact spin, lands on the space which is occupied by an opponent; the opponent’s piece is placed back at his start.
The only other rule is a player must stay on the path they first entered. At the start of each path there is a symbol of a moon, circle, or star. If a player begins his piece on the path which is marked by the moon, he must then continue along that same path all the way across.
Playing board games, like Puss in the Corner, was about enjoying time with each other. Gathering around as a family or with friends was a way to relax and interact. It should be remembered the game was invented in a time before television was known. The colorful graphics complemented the game and players were amused by their humorous designs.
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