Game inventor hopes to spawn new craze
November 05, 2010
Put down your Monopoly counters and pack up your Cluedo pieces because a new board game has arrived in Wokingham.
Budding entrepreneur Phil Annets revealed his first toy venture, Whirred Play, last week when he showed the game to residents at Barkham Post Office in Bearwood Road on Friday, October 29.
The game is a clever word challenge based around homophones, which are words that sound the same but differ in meaning, and players spell their way to victory by choosing different words to their opponents.
Mr Annets created Whirred Play after realising there was a gap in the market for game a where families could have fun together but also play to their own abilities.
He said: “I have a young family and I was playing games with them and we found the early games like Snakes and Ladders and Ludo were quite limiting for adults and even the kids after a while.
“Then we moved on to Cluedo and Monopoly but we found it was difficult for the kids to play on the level of adults and they either got bored or the adults had to play below their ability.
“What I wanted was to make a game where we can all play to our own abilities and that’s how Whirred Play came about because it’s exactly that.”
Mr Annets, who lives in South Oxfordshire, trialled the game with residents, schools and friends in his local area but decided to launch in Wokingham after encouragement from his brother David Annets, who lives in Barkham and is chairman of the Barkham and District Classic Car Club.
Phil, who previously worked as a retail consultant, developed the board game with a designer before approaching manufacturers to see if they could create the pieces.
The colourful board features a path which players move around depending on the words they chose to spell.
Mr Annets said: “At the moment I’m taking it along to Christmas fetes as it’s a perfect Christmas gift for the family. One of the aspects is that there’s no limit on how many can play.
“This is my first venture into developing a product and it’s exciting but also nerve-wracking at the same time. The big test is how well it does at Christmas and at the national toy fair next year.”
He is yet to find a backer but Mr Annets hopes his product will generate a buzz at the fair at the Olympia Hotel in London, which runs in January and attracts some of the biggest names of the toy world. For more information or to buy Whirred Play visit www.whirredplay.co.uk