Trench is a board game prototype and design from Rui Alípio Monteiro. It’s a pretty-looking abstract game with stackable pieces, weirdly-shaped sand timers, and a black and white die. The game is abstract, but the ad copy and video are full of thematic references to WWI; hence the name. Rui is looking for a publisher.

I couldn’t find any rules information on the site, but that didn’t surprise me. Rui describes his game as the first “real” competitor to the three classic games Chess, Checkers, and Backgammon. The rest of his copy sound like it was lifted straight out of a patent application, which, without any particular information on the subject, I’m willing to bet has been filed. So it’s no surprise that he’d be worried about someone stealing his rules.

And it’s also no surprise that, when the video game Trenched, designed by Double Fine and published by Microsoft, was launched, Rui blocked the game’s release (in certain parts of Europe) on account of a trademark for a computer game with the word “Trench”. (source) There is no relationship between the two games, other than the names. One is an alien mech shooter game set in some alternate reality at the time of WWI, and the other is an idea for a video game that might someday be created from a non-published abstract black and white board game with ad copy about WWI. A trademark filing will ensure that no one can confuse the two and thus dilute his brand.

Can you spot the differences between the two pictures?