Shogi (将棋, shōgi, English: /ˈʃoʊɡiː/, Japanese: , also known as Japanese chess or the Game of Generals, is a two-player strategy board game that is the Japanese variant of chess. It is the most popular chess variant in Japan. Shōgi means general's (shō 将) board game (gi 棋).
Shogi was the earliest chess variant to allow captured pieces to be returned to the board by the capturing player. This drop rule is speculated to have been invented in the 15th century and possibly connected to the practice of 15th century mercenaries switching loyalties when captured instead of being killed.
The earliest predecessor of the game, chaturanga, originated in India in the 6th century, and the game was likely transmitted to Japan via China or Korea sometime after the Nara period. Shogi in its present form was played as early as the 16th century, while a direct ancestor without the drop rule was recorded from 1210 in a historical document Nichūreki, which is an edited copy of Shōchūreki and Kaichūreki from the late Heian period (c. 1120).
Two players face each other across a board composed of rectangles in a grid of 9 ranks (rows, 段) by 9 files (columns, 筋) yielding an 81 square board. In Japanese they are called Sente 先手 (first player) and Gote 後手 (second player), but in English are conventionally referred to as Black and White, with Black the first player. The board is nearly always rectangular, and the rectangles are undifferentiated by marking or color. Pairs of dots mark the players' promotion zones.
Simon is an electronic game of memory skill invented by Ralph H. Baer and Howard J. Morrison, working for toy design firm Marvin Glass and Associates, with software programming by Lenny Cope. The device creates a series of tones and lights and requires a user to repeat the sequence. If the user succeeds, the series becomes progressively longer and more complex. Once the user fails or the time limit runs out, the game is over. The original version was manufactured and distributed by Milton Bradley and later by Hasbro after it took over Milton Bradley. Much of the assembly language code was written by Charles Kapps, who taught computer science at Temple University and also wrote one of the first books on the theory of computer programming. Simon was launched in 1978 at Studio 54 in New York City and was an immediate success, becoming a pop culture symbol of the 1970s and 1980s.
Ralph H. Baer and Howard J. Morrison were introduced to Atari's arcade game Touch Me at the Music Operators of America (MOA) trade show in 1976. Baer said of the product, "Nice gameplay. Terrible execution. Visually boring. Miserable, rasping sounds." The prototype built by Baer used the low cost Texas Instruments TMS 1000 microcontroller chip, which was in many games of the 1970s. Lenny Cope, who was one of Ralph H. Baer's partners, programmed the core of the game, titled Follow Me at the time. Baer developed the tones of the game, inspired by the notes of a bugle. When they pitched the demo, an 8-by-8-inch console, to the Milton Bradley Company the name of the game was changed to Simon. Simon debuted in 1978 at a retail price of $24.95 (equivalent to $98 in 2019) and became one of the top-selling toys that Christmas. U.S. Patent 4,207,087: "Microcomputer controlled game", was granted in 1980. Milton Bradley soon capitalized on the original with both the smaller-sized Pocket Simon and the expanded, eight-button Super Simon.
Many variants of Simon have been made since Hasbro acquired Milton Bradley in the 1980s, building on the possibilities offered by advances in technology. The original Super Simon was reinvented in the late 1990s as a hexagonal unit with six buttons. 2000 saw Simon Squared (or Simon2), a unit with the four traditional buttons on one side, and a set of eight smaller buttons on the other. In 2004, Hasbro released the Simon Stix. The game features two electronic sticks (modeled after drumsticks), an emphasis on the musical part of the game, and features four levels of play.
In 2005, Hasbro released Simon Trickster (also known as Simon Tricks in Europe and in the UK, and as Simon Genius in Brazil), which features four game modes, in a similar fashion to another Hasbro game, Bop It, and colored lenses instead of buttons. "Simon Classic" mode plays up to 35 tones(notes). "Simon Bounce" is similar to "Simon Classic", but instead the colors of the lenses change. "Simon Surprise" is one of the most difficult games in the unit. Every lens becomes the same color and the player has to memorize the location. "Simon Rewind" requires the player to memorize the sequence backwards. During each game, the player is paid a compliment after a certain number of tones completed. On reaching five and eleven tones, the computer will randomly choose "Awesome!", "Nice!", "Sweet!" or "Respect!". On reaching 18 tones, the game will play a victory melody three times. On reaching the ultimate 35 tones, the game will play the victory melody again and will say "Respect!". If the player fails to memorize the pattern or fails to press the right color within the time limit, the game will play a crashing sound and the game will say "Later!".