We were able to talk with Scott, the inventor of Reverse Charades, and learn how he and his brother made this game of non-stop hilarity come to life!
Marbles: The Brain Store: You started working on Reverse Charades in 2008. What prompted you to start designing a game?
Scott, Inventor of Reverse Charades: We played the game on a vacation weekend with friends and had such a blast playing it! The concept was such a simple and hilarious twist on a familiar game, we thought that families and groups that love party games would really love Reverse Charades. We grew up in a big family that went crazy for party games and we could imagine the game making groups everywhere laugh—hard—at each other and with each other. And we loved that the game created unforgettable memories (and potentially incriminating photos and videos) for a lifetime. So we started working to bring it to the masses—the design, the words, the manufacturing, the marketing. We figured either it would fly and catch on or we’d have wedding and birthday gifts for the rest of our lives.
Scott: Oh, it’s very scientific. :) Actually, we are constantly on the lookout for new words that would be providing maximum laughs. We just met someone from Salt Lick, Kentucky and thought that “salt lick” would be a really funny addition in the next edition. When we first started out, we play-tested thousands of words in hundred of game sessions with family and friend groups in totally different settings for about a year. We wanted to make sure that all of the words we selected for the game would be laugh-out-loud funny—words that would either be hysterical to have a multiple people act out in a mini-scene together (like synchronized swimming, dogpile, CPR or cow tipping) or for a group to all be doing the same thing at the same time (like kick boxing, slow motion, trampoline or grenade). That’s really the secret to the game and why anyone would want to buy it. They know they’re getting words that are guaranteed to make you laugh ’til you cry!
Marbles: What was your reaction to winning Creative Child’s Game of the year award?
Scott: We were absolutely thrilled! We may have even done a cartwheel or two in celebration! Especially since it was the Junior Edition that won. We had just released it in June—it was hot-off-the-presses. For the past years, our customers—especially moms with younger kids—loved playing the Original Edition but really wanted us to develop one with more kid-friendly words. We thought it was a fantastic idea and we’re really glad we listened to them. The Junior editions has already won a slew of awards in addition to the Creative Child recognition (like the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Seal, Toy Man award of Excellence and the Tillywig Laugh out Loud award) and mostly importantly kids and their parents go bananas over it!
Marbles: What’s next? We know you have different editions that you are releasing as well as an iPhone App! Anything else new in the works?
Scott: The new Junior edition is just the beginning. We’re really interested in further enhancing the traditional group game-playing dynamic in family, party, team building or even educational settings. So Reverse Charades now comes in App versions (for Apple and Android products) ready to unleash the fun anytime, anywhere—with 1,000+ words including new Junior, Awesome 80s, and Sports fans words, a built-in timer and scoreboard. We’re also developing expansion word packs with new themed words to match those game-playing scenarios. And even looking at new language editions in either App or hard copy editions (or both). We love to hear suggestions and ideas for the game.
Marbles: We know you probably have many stories about words that have been acted out in hilarious ways. Any word in particular that stands out?
Scott: Acting out “Mt. Rushmore” has really earned near legendary status in our Reverse Charades storybook. Four team members heads were all lined up nicely and apparently looking presidential. One team member even drove her family in their “station wagon” to point out the historical site. The guesser was just about to get it when one of the “president” actors erupted with her hands in the air, making sounds effects and then creating a very convincing lava flow with her arms. The guesser and everyone else were completely stumped. Then, from the back of the room, a spectator friend realized what had happened and corrected the “erupting president” with a kind yet humorous “Wrong mountain!” We are still laughing about this one to this day. Other honorable mentions: co-ed “chest bump” with complete strangers, “mistletoe” with cousins and grandkid-to-grandparent “cowtipping.”
Marbles: What do you like best about working with Marbles?
Scott: It’s so great to find a retail partner like Marbles! How can you not love working with someone who’s mission is a to foster a healthier brain? And you’re selective about what you offer your customers so we’re honored to have made the cut. We both share a passion for fun and interactive play. Reverse Charades’ unique twist on the classic game really unlocks powerful brain-building concepts that Marbles champions—like critical thinking, creativity and coordination. We’re very impressed with the way that Marbles is reinventing the retail game experience—it’s like being in an Apple store for games. You have game gurus consulting with each customer—listening to the customer needs and expertly providing advice on game selections. It really is a special experience and we couldn’t be happier to be associated with such a brilliant and innovative group!