C.W. Faulkner & Co, UK, 1899
This small game is part of a series known as "the Upidee range". All the games had the same rules but different themes. The series started in 1893 with a horse racing game (Upidee). Three new games were released in 1899: Fox and Geese, From Sailor To Admiral and Bikee. Finally, three other games completed the series some years later: Aerito (1907, aviation/planes-themed), Flyto (1908, aviation/balloons-themed) and Pip-Pip (1909, motoring-themed)
There is a French edition of this game called "Le Jeu de la Bicyclette".
Alain Rabussier (from the website Jeux Anciens de Collection) remarks that there is also a German edition, made by Bernard Dondorf, of which unfortunately we do not know the name.
The box is small (12 x 10 x 3 cm), but you need quite a big table to play the game! At 10 cms each tile, this is a 80 x 30 cm layout. Of course there are other possible layouts, I just used the one shown in the rules.
Compared to other turn of the century games, this was surely a cheap one. See the cardboard riders...
Some tiles (If you are interested in a scan of the complete set, email me)
The rules mention a teetotum, but I have a die in the game (an old die, for that matter, contemporary of the game). I wonder if the game (or some copies of it) originally had a teetotum.
By the way, notice the mistake in the last sentence of the rules: "...will bring his HORSE on to a picture card..." Copy and paste mistakes are older than computers ;-)
Bernard Galau has been nice enough to send me scans of the French rules. These rules also mention a teetotum ("toton") instead of a die.
It is interesting how some apparently negative accidents (fields 22 and 47) are eventually positive since the player is supposed to receive a compensation for damages.
The fantastic site www.giochidelloca.it features the game (direct link: http://www.giochidelloca.it/scheda.php?id=1303) with a teetotum in one of the pictures. It also features the complete English rules (unfortunately, only the first part of the rules are included with my copy of the game).
You may notice some differences between the English and French rules, and you may also notice that in general the rules for the English riders are tougher:
nš 1. English players pay six counters where the French pay only three
nš 5. English players miss one turn. French ones do not
nš 9. In compensation, English players have another turn and French ones do not.
nš 16. English players pay three counters where French ones pay only two
nš 22. English players pay eight counters and miss one turn where French receive eight counters and have an extra turn (!!!)
nš 27. French players miss two turns. English ones pay four counters.
nš 33. English players have an extra turn, French ones do not.
nš 39. Englishmen pay double than Frenchmen
nš 53. The English fine is thrice as expensive as the French one
nš 70. French riders must abandon the race, English can choose not to.
nš 75. Once again, English players pay more.
nš 84. English players must fall exactly on this square or else go back. This is not mentioned in the French rules
Quite surprisingly, the rules for squares 43, 47, 57 and 64 are similar in both versions of the game.
Thanks to Adrian Seville for the permission to use his scan of the rules.
Thanks to Eamon for his knowledge about the Upidee range.
Thanks to Dennis for the tip that allowed me to buy this game at a fair price :-)
UPDATE: This game has been recently reissued by House Of Marbles. Even though their historical accuracy is not that good ("a game from the 1920s"???), there isn't a teetotum in this reissue (but then I do not have it either in my original copy of the game) and the red counters are quite cheap (and not present in the original), it is not a bad facsimile. Furthermore, it is not expensive. So if you cannot fins a copy of the original game, this is better than nothing.
The "Choking Hazard" warning spoils the reissue somewhat...
Contents of the box.
2014 rider (left) vs 1899 rider (right)
The back of the box, with the 1920s mention.
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