Maleficent (game)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A wooden Maleficent game with a simpler design
A wooden Maleficent game with a simpler design
Game data
author Werner Schöppner
graphic Jan van Heusden
publishing company Ravensburger , u. a.
Publishing year 1960
Art Dice game with strategy
Teammates 2 to 4 (6)
Duration 30-45 minutes
Age from age 6

Malefiz is a widely used board game by Ravensburger and was invented in 1959 by Werner Schöppner, a then 26-year-old bakery employee and later a systems analyst . It is a derivative of the game Pachisi . The template's cross-shaped game plan has disappeared. The rules for capturing the pieces have remained and have been emphasized very strongly. Blockages are no longer formed with two pawns, but are separate pawns .


Two to four (on special game boards up to six) players try to get their five pawns from their starting positions at the bottom of the board to the top of the target point. The number rolled determines how many spaces a pawn can be moved forward. The players try to hinder their fellow players by throwing them back to the starting point or by placing white blocking stones in their way. In order to capture a blocking stone or an opposing pawn, a player must roll an exactly matching number. It is therefore possible that a player cannot move any of his blocked pawns over several rounds.

The standard version of the game material consists of

  • a game board
  • 5 pieces each in four colors
  • a cube and
  • 11 barricade stones.

Style of play

The game board is placed in the middle of the table and each player gets five pieces of one color. The figures must then be placed on the matching color fields. Has a player z. B. five red pawns, he must place them on the red playing fields. The white, round blocking stones are placed on the "running fields" (the playing fields marked in red).

Now each player can throw the dice once and whoever has thrown the highest number becomes the starting player. If several players have rolled the same number, they roll again until the starting player has been determined. The figures all start on the first black playing field that is in front of the respective colored starting field; the colored starting fields are not counted when moving out.

After a player has thrown the dice, he must move the full number of points with his pawn. The pieces can be moved forwards, backwards and sideways. During one move the piece may not move forwards and then immediately backwards again. All game pieces may be skipped, this applies to foreign as well as your own pieces; the skipped field is always counted. After a 6 is rolled, the dice are not rolled again. The player may gradually bring all of his characters into play, but in contrast to the beginning with Mensch ärgere dich nicht , he doesn't have to.

The blocking stones (barricades) are of tactical and strategic importance for the course of the game, as they cannot be jumped over. If the player hits a playing field with a barricade with one move, he may take the blocking stone and place it on any other playing field - except for the fields in the bottom row. To a large extent, the fun of the game consists of using blocking stones to make the path more difficult for opposing characters or to protect themselves.

Each playing field may only be occupied by one playing figure. If a player comes with his figure on an occupied space, he may move the other figure back to its respective starting space. From there, the playing figure can be brought back into the game.

The player who is the first to get one of his five pawns into the target field with a direct throw wins the game.



The game was developed by Werner Schöppner, a 26-year-old employee of a large bakery, and was offered to three different game publishers in 1959. The Otto Maier Verlag Ravensburg answered the only positive and suggested Schöppner ago to send in a game board as a pattern. Just a few days later, Karl Maier, son of the managing director Otto Julius Maier , expressed interest in the game. The name of the game that the name specified by the inventor rooms and waiting or lock cracker or The red stopper should wear, was amended by Karl Maier in Maleficent. The name is said to go back to an exclamation from his wife during an audition: "You are a real maleficent!"

Publication and international success

Under the then publishing director Erwin Glonnegger , the game was first published in 1960 in a design by the Dutch graphic artist Jan van Heusden . It then saw numerous new editions, partly as an advertising game Kistomania for a beverage company or with an elaborate wooden board. 830 copies of the game were sold at the Spielwarenmesse, around 8000 copies were sold in the German-speaking market in the year of issue and the success increased further in the following years (1961: 12,000, 1962: 17,000). In 1965 35,000 games were sold and in 1970 there were 175,000.

It was exported to other countries under the name Barricade (named after the blocking stones that are crucial for the course of the game), in the United States it became known as Obstruction . At times, modifications were available that allowed more players. By 1982, around three and a half million copies of the game had been sold internationally, including 2.3 million in Germany alone, and according to the publisher, over five million copies had been sold by 2011.

Criticism of the design

One reason for Malefiz's popularity was its almost unchanged design, which quickly became a trademark. In the original from Ravensburger Verlag, the four game parties correspond to the four figures on the game box: red is a gunslinger, green is a lady in a cocktail dress, yellow is a girl with a hair bow, blue is an old man with a gray beard. This design by van Heusden was initially controversial when the game was presented at the toy fair in Nuremberg in 1960 ; the publisher had presented the "maleficent" and thus daredevil in the form of a grim-looking gunslinger and given his companion a generous décolleté, to compensate he added the group of players on the box with the nice grandfather and his granddaughter. Due to lack of time, the controversial cover could not be changed, which turned out to be a stroke of luck for the success of the game. After the delivery in the summer of 1960, there was also public criticism of the design, especially in northern Germany there were some protests against the cover image.

Copies and recent developments

Malefiz quickly became a modern classic and, due to its success, was also copied several times. In the Great Book of Board Games , the author Richard C. Bell mentioned a game called Gold Rush , which supposedly appeared as early as the end of the 19th century, but was derived from Malefiz after examination . Loriot developed a game called The Path to Success , which appeared on ASS and in which the barricade stones were replaced by official figures. The publisher FX Schmid published with Diablo another Maleficent clone, which, however, did not succeed. Herbert Pinthus from Carlit-Ravensburger Zürich, in consultation with Otto Maier Verlag, developed a variant entitled Barricade for Switzerland, in which gold prospectors were out in groups. The three-dimensional game Baubylon by Reinhold Wittig from 1982 also rebuilt the Malefiz game, which was creatively changed.

Ravensburger Malefiz is currently also selling a variant for "fast game rounds" as the Spongebob Maleficent game . Maleficent since 2004 as a PC - Computer game implemented and available since 2007 as a multiplayer - online game .


The name is jokingly derived from the outdated term maleficence from Latin maleficus (malicious, evil acting, godless) or Latin maleficium (outrage, crime, literally: bad deed).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. "What a maleficent guy!" March 17, 2010, accessed February 27, 2018 .
  2. ^ David Parlett : The Oxford History of Board Games. Oxford University Press, Oxford et al. 1999, ISBN 0-19-212998-8 .
  3. a b c d e f g h Synes Ernst: Quite maleficent this maleficent. In: spielbox 4, October to December 1982; Pp. 38-40.
  4. Bodo Mrozek: The threatened word: Maleficent. Spiegel-Online, February 2, 2007, accessed February 2, 2007
  5. Kistomania in the game database Luding
  6. Malefiz / Pachisi (1973) in the Luding games database
  7. Malefīz . In: Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon . 6th edition. Volume 13, Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna 1908, p.  166 .