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Board games such as checkers, chess, and backgammon have ancient origins. The game Senet has been found in Egyptian tombs more than 5,000 years old. Another Egyptian board game Mehen, was played with lion-shaped game pieces and marbles.
In 17th and 18th century America, checkers were popular. Cribbage was invented in England around 1600 and was widely played in the United States. Dominoes probably came to the United States in the 19th century. The first board games for children were produced in the 1750s, and the first commercial jigsaw puzzles were produced around 1760. In the 1800s, there began a gradual shift from farm to urban living, and the growing middle class had more income and more leisure time. Children were given games such as Lotto and Spelling Board that developed literacy skills and provided moral instruction.
Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders were specifically designed for young children in the 1940s. Monopoly (1930) is the most commercially successful board game in US history. Battleship appeared in 1931, and Scrabble was first published in 1938 under the name Criss-Crosswords. Clue was developed during World War II, and Risk was released in 1957.