You’re all scientists who have invented time travel, each from a different point in history. But it really doesn’t matter when you started, because now you’re all racing to the day the patent office opens, July 30, 1790, to secure US Patent No. 1.

The concept of racing time machines to the patent office had been kicking around Cheapass Games for several years, and James Ernest actually developed three other core mechanics for this game (all of which are basically lost, though there are still some test cards). He finally settled on this simple build-it-and-patent-it racing game, in which the only “time travel mechanic” is the fellow next door to the Patent Office, who makes money fixing broken time machines.

US Patent No. 1 is a gorgeous neo-Victorian game with some serious mechanical issues that we hope one day to address. In the meantime, this original edition of the game is yours to print, play, and enjoy.


U.S. Patent No. 1 supports 3-6 players and takes 90 minutes to play. Download the entire print-and-play all at once via a handy .zip, or access individual components below:

In addition, you will need one pawn and one counter for each player, three 6-sided dice, and money.

Make your print-and-play the pride of your game shelf! Check out James Ernest’s videos on how to make game boards and cards! You can also print Cheapass Games money!