April 17 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
When Tom White went cap in hand to his bank manager 25 years ago asking for a £30,000 loan to start a games business, he never imagined the experience would spawn an idea for a new board game.
Along with his son Thomas, Mr White has invented The Really Nasty Bankers Game, which gives players a chance to play it safe and invest wisely or be reckless and risk everything.
According to the pair, from Monks Eleigh near Lavenham, the humorous game also tests players’ abilities to double-cross, scheme and bluff.
Tom, who has an impressive pedigree in the games industry, said: “Ten years ago, people might not have been very interested in it but with what’s happening in the current financial climate, now is the right time to bring the game out. It’s really a tongue-in-cheek tribute to that banker who gave me a chance all those years ago.”
That initial investment certainly paid off, and with his previous company, Tom brought Trivial Pursuit to market and his most successful venture was the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire board game based on the TV show. The Really Nasty Bankers Game has been produced by the father and son duo’s new business, Rascals.
Each player representing one of six fictitious banks rolls the dice and lands on a space with three investment options. There are bluff cards and players can get a bonus by using the “boom and bust” spinners. There are options to crash everyone’s stock and call in the regulators. Competitors can use their “really nasty” cards to ruin the other players’ plans and there is even a “public bailout” option if you get into trouble.
Tom said they had been careful to research the subject matter thoroughly.
“My ex bank manager – who has tried out the game and thinks it’s really funny – got a whizz kid from the City to help us with the different investments and advise us on how they should fit into the game,” he said. “We have of course simplified the system and made it fun. We also worked with our co-inventor, Simon Knock, from Felixstowe, to ensure the game wouldn’t go on for hours and we have kept the price at £19.99 to make it affordable.”
Thomas, 30, believes despite the growing trend towards electronic games, nothing will replace board games especially at Christmas time.
He said: “Board games are still the most sociable option because up to six people can play together. It’s a great game for winding people up and it really brings out different personalities.”
The game has been snapped up by retailer John Lewis and is selling well on internet site Amazon.