Game of the Goose

A Game of the Goose board

The Game of the Goose or Goose game is a board game with uncertain origins. Some people connect the game with the Phaistos Disc (because of its spiral shape), others claim that it was originally a gift from Francesco I de' Medici of Florence to King Philip II of Spain sometime between 1574 and 1587.[1] In June 1597 John Wolfe had attested that the game existed in London. It is thought to be the prototype for many of the commercial European racing board games of recent centuries. The game is mostly played in Europe and seen as family entertainment. Commercial versions of the game appeared in the 1880s and 1890s, and feature typical old European characteristics such as an old well and children in clothes from the period. In the 1960s, the game company CO-5 marketed a variant called Gooses Wild. The aim of the game is to reach square number sixty-three before any of the other players with obstacles such as, the Inn, the Bridge, Death and many more. The age range is four years old and above. The number of players ranges from two to four. It is normally started by the youngest player.


The board consists of a track with consecutively numbered spaces (usually 63), and is often arranged in a spiral with the starting point at the outside. Each player's piece is moved according to throws of one or two dice. Scattered throughout the board are a number of spaces on which a goose is depicted; landing on a goose allows the player to move again by the same distance. Additional shortcuts, such as spaces marked with a bridge, move the player to some other specified position. There are also a few penalty spaces which force the player to move backwards or lose one or more turns, the most recognizable being the one marked with a skull and symbolizing death; landing on this space results in the player being sent back to start. On Spanish boards the reverse is usually a parchís board.

In worldwide culture

Game of the Goose "Tourn'Oie" Work and holidays in campaign Musée de Plein air, Villeneuve-d'Ascq, France


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