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Space Checkers

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SpaceCheckers1
SpaceCheckers2
3D board games

Crewmembers playing Space Checkers with a three-dimensional chess board behind them

Sisko and Dax play checkers

Benjamin Sisko and Jadzia Dax playing a replica version of the game in "Trials and Tribble-ations"

3D checkers

Close-up of the Space Checkers set with clear playing boards

SpaceCheckers3

Newer version with red playing boards

Space Checkers is a 3-D variant of the board game checkers. It was produced by the Pacific Game Company in both 1965 (under the company name "Pleasantime") and 1971.

The earlier version was used as a prop in the food synthesizer room aboard the USS Enterprise on the Original Star Trek. A version was also used in DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations", during which Benjamin Sisko and Jadzia Dax played the game during the "chicken sandwich and coffee" scene.

The game looks to have been released in three versions. The earliest 1965 versions came in a plainer-styled yellow box, and had a red plastic base and clear small plastic boards (see top left). Later versions replaced the clear small boards with those made of the same red plastic as the base. The 1971 release apparently has the same small boards, but was released with a more modernized box design (see top right and lower right).

Game components

  • Large game base
  • 12 small game boards
  • 12 clear plastic board supports
  • 8 red checkers
  • 8 black checkers

Gameplay

The game board emulates a cubical 4×4×4 checkerboard (as if a standard checkerboard was cut into four 4×4 sections and suspended over each other). The checkers are initially placed in similar starting fashion to 3-D chess: red starts on the two upper back levels, and black on the two lower forward levels (with the game base acting as the lowest level). Pieces can essentially move and capture as in 2-D checkers (including multiple jumps), with the added effect that moves/captures can also be made vertically from one level to the next (above or below).

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