Pollyanna is a race/pursuit game published by Parker Brothers between 1915 and 1967. During those years, several editions appeared with differing artwork and game pieces. Some of these editions are entitled Dixie or Dixie-Pollyanna and some are subtitled "The Great Home Game," "The Glad Game," or "Parker Brothers Track Pursuit Game." In 1917 it was completely rethemed as The Popular Game of Broadway, with artwork of New York scenes featuring famous buildings of the time. Pollyanna itself gets its name from the title of the 1913 children's novel by Eleanor H. Porter. Each piece color in the game is associated with one of the characters in the novel. In the original 1915 edition blue was Aunt Polly; green was Nancy; red was Jimmy; and yellow was John Pendleton. These color associations changed in future editions.
The game is widely recognized as a variant of Parcheesi, which is itself derived from Pachisi, a classic game of India. The object of Pollyanna, as in all games of the Pachisi family, is to be the first player to move his or her four men from the start space around the board to the home space. During the course of the game, players may also land on single opposing pieces and send them back to start. Two or three opposing pieces on the same space can neither be captured nor passed.
Pollyanna differs from Parcheesi in six important ways.
- The track is laid out as a square and is 62 spaces long between start and home (in Parcheesi it is laid out as a cross and is 72 spaces long); furthermore Pollyanna employs four turnouts—short semi-circular paths off the main path (known as the broadway). Only single pieces may occupy a turnout space, but pieces there may not be passed and are invulnerable to capture. Turnouts are the most important difference between Pollyanna and Parcheesi. They make the two games play quite differently.
- Pollyanna pays a capturing bonus of 10 spaces (the bonus is 20 spaces in Parcheesi).
- There is no bonus for a piece reaching home (in Parcheesi the bonus is 10 spaces).
- Doubles are handled differently. In Pollyanna each double earns the right to another roll. (In Parcheesi, on the third consecutive roll of doubles a player loses his/her turn and must return one of his pieces to start.) In addition, only the obverse faces of dice are counted in doubles. (In Parcheesi, both the obverse faces and reverse faces of the dice are counted.)
- Up to three pieces of the same color may occupy a space on the broadway. This effectively means that a player can pass his or her own blockade. This is not possible in Parcheesi.
- Pieces are started on a roll of six (on either of the two dice or as the sum of the two dice). In Parcheesi, the roll required is a five. This means that starting a piece in Pollyanna is somewhat easier than in Parcheesi.