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Subject: The Bus Game - a game for children rss

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Geoff Dallimore
United Kingdom
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UPDATE: A full downloadable, printable version of the game is now available from

The Bus Game is a simple and educational game for children from about 3 or 4 years of age to maybe as high as 10. I'm looking for feedback while I decide whether or not to take it any further, starting with a computerised version.

Photos of a first full prototype are at

Below are some early digital designs of the board and the timetrack. You can print these off and use small counters for the four buses and the timetrack counter.

You'll also need a six sided die. Assign the number 1 as the "clock" face, the numbers 2-5 as a "single coloured side" (e.g. Red=2, Blue=3 etc), and the number 6 as the "four-coloured side".


In The Bus Game, you must move four coloured buses along their route from one bus depot to the other before bed-time. You can play alone or you can work together with friends and family.

Put the four coloured buses on the board in their coloured spaces in one of the depots. It doesn't matter which depot you start from. The board has four coloured roads, each with four sections going from one bus depot to another around the board. Two sections are crossroads!

Take the "time track" and place it next to the board. The time track has eight spaces on it, each with a time on it from 6am to 8pm, separated by 2 hours. Place a counter on the 6am space.

The die (in the finished game) has four sides with a single coloured circle on it. A fifth side has a circle with all four colours. The sixth side has a clock face.

Each player takes it in turns to roll the die. They then move a bus, if they can, or the counter on the time track.

If a single colour is rolled on the die, the player moves that colour bus to the next section of road. If the bus is at the end of the road, it moves into the bus depot and is safely home. If the bus is already home, it cannot move any further.

But watch out for traffic jams! Only one bus can be on a crossroads at a time. If the next section is a crossroads and another bus is already on it, the bus cannot move. Beep! Beep! Try again next turn.

If the side with four colours is rolled, the player gets to choose which bus they want to move. They cannot move a bus that is already home or that is stuck in a traffic jam.

But if the side with the clock face is rolled, all the bus drivers stop for tea. Move the counter on the time track to the next clock face.

After each die roll, the next player takes their turn.
You all win the game if you get all four buses home before 8pm. Congratulations!

But if the counter reaches 8pm on the time track, the buses didn't make it home before bed time. Don't worry, you can start a new day and try again!
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