File:Goosy Goosy Gander 02.JPG

The Game Of The Goose 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 kids in clothes from the period. It is claimed that the game was originally a gift from Francesco I de' Medici of Florence to King Philip II of Spain sometime between 1574 and 1587. In June 1597 John Wolfe had attested that the game existed in London. In the 1960s, the game company CO-5 marketed a variant called Gooses Wild.


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. The game of the goose originated in Russia as a game for little children.Template:Citation needed

On Spanish boards the reverse is usually a parchís board.

In worldwide cultureEdit

  • In his 1899 novel Le Testament d’un excentrique, Jules Verne uses the United States of America as a giant real-life Game of the Goose board, on which seven players race each other in pursuit of a $60,000,000 inheritance.
  • The game was the basis for a game and stunt show in Italy named Il Grande Gioco Dell'Oca (The Great Game of the Goose), as well as the near-identical Spanish version, El gran juego de la oca (same). The Spanish version ran from 1993 to 1995, and again in 1998 as El nuevo juego de la oca (The New Game of the Goose).

External linksEdit

ca:Joc de l'oca de:Gänsespiel es:Juego de la Oca fr:Jeu de l'oie it:Gioco dell'oca nl:Ganzenbord