Two Hopewell Dads Create New Board Game for Kids of All Ages

    Nick Pollara and Bruce Downie with their new game Emohbi.

    What do you get when you put together two Hopewell Borough dad engineers who have young kids? A three-dimensional board game for kids of all ages.

    Bruce Downie and Nick Pollara, both Hopewell Borough residents and engineers, have created a new three-dimensional board game, called “Emohbi” (pronounced like “emoji”) for kids of all ages.

    “Like most parents, we were tired of our kids being stuck to screens or other electronic games, and wanted to create something without batteries that the whole family can play,” shared Downie. “Nick and I wanted to create a board game for a broader/younger audience which we felt had been somewhat neglected in favor of complicated strategy games targeted to an older audience, and which take a lot of time to learn.”

    Created with elements of classic board games you loved as a kid, Emohbi is a roll-and-move game with an added dimension and unexpected twists and turns. Players choose the path to take with each roll of the die.

    The object of the game is to climb ladders while avoiding waterfalls in the hopes of being the first to the top of the island. The levels can be adjusted so ladders lead to other ladders or waterfalls lead to other waterfalls leading to thousands of possible configurations. There are also “Draw A Card” spaces where the player draws a card from the deck and follows the instructions on the card. The cards provide mixed fortunes, such as “go to the nearest waterfall” or “rotate the top tier” where players may completely disrupt the game or set themselves up for a quick run to the top.

    “It had to be simple, but not too simple, we liked the idea of the player choosing their path at each roll, and also the fact that the entire path can change during the game (and also at each start/setup of the game),” explained Downie.

    Game play is typically 8 to 15 minutes and is great entertainment for the whole family.  Manufactured with the environment in mind, the game is made of 100% recycled 30-ply cardstock.

    “We wanted to make sure the construction, at least initially, could take place with the use of local (or at the very least U.S.) vendors and we also wanted to avoid the use of big plastic parts that eventually would end up in a landfill,” Downie said.

    Through their newly created company, Hopscotch Building LLC, Downie and Pollara hope to bring new products to market that remind us all what it means to be a kid.  Hopscotch Building Company LLC has launched its first Kickstarter campaign to fund its initial production of Emohbi. For more information, please see this link:

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