Meet the Inventor: Casey Grove

This week we’d like to introduce the latest of our games to hit the market, The Big Fat Tomato Game! We knew this game was ripe for the picking from the moment we opened the prototype and saw the little fuzzy “tomatoes” that came inside. Between the whimsical array of tomato-themed cards and the hilarious artwork, you’ll never think of tomato farming the same way again! The game’s creator, Casey Grove, is actually a farmer – and we were able to chat with him to find out more about the wacky world of tomato harvesting and how this game came to be.

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What inspired you to create The Big Fat Tomato Game?
The idea for “Tomato Patch”, as it was originally titled, all started one snowy winter while hoarding it up inside our house. The concept came from a mixture of sifting through seed catalogs for the upcoming gardening season and playing some family board games. I began to think about gardening, and how many crazy things happen during a growing season. The protection of a gardener’s crops is really part harmony with nature and also part defense against nature and man. You’ve got terrible blight diseases (a.k.a the tomato zombie) that can wipe your crop out in a matter of days; decisions such as using organic practices (a.k.a. soapy water) versus chemical practices; animals and insects that eat your crops (a.k.a. varmints & hornworms); the reward of a good harvest and much more. So, I embarked on a journey to try to capture as many of these elements as I could and develop them into a whimsical rendition of a tomato gardening experience. The ideas started to trickle like water from a soaker hose – run away tractors, remote controlled moles, and compost diving, oh my!

Have you invented other games?
Currently this is my only game that I have invented from top to bottom. Gamewright was the first publisher that I sent it to.

What are your top five favorite games that are on the market? Do you have favorite Gamewright games?
All time favorite games… RISK, Labyrinth, Cathedral, Survive!, Old Maid

My favorite Gamewright game is… There’s a Moose in the House

If you were to give advice to others on how to invent a game, what would it be?
Don’t invent just to invent a game. A good idea that you can see through to the end will come when it is ready. Rework your rules and game play in your head or on paper before you rush to prototype and play testing. Find the right company to publish your game by playing games on the market that you feel may be similar to the style of your invention. I knew that Gamewright was the perfect company for the Big Fat Tomato Game after we played our first round of Moose in the House.

Do you have any more games in the works that you can talk about?
My next game invention is currently under construction. It’s a big secret & heavily guarded by poisonous snakes! Though, I am at liberty to say that I do have an expansion pack for the Big Fat Tomato Game if the market is willing.

Why do you think playing card, board and dice games (i.e. games without plugs or batteries) is important?
I grew up when role playing, board games and using your imagination was how you had fun. A bag of dice, a rule book and a few friends was all you needed. Today, kids get wrapped up in video games, streaming videos and instant communications. They are truly missing out on what we experienced as kids. But it’s a free world. They can take their video games, as long as they leave me the closet full of old board games & dice. We will see who comes crawling around when the batteries run out. Last time I checked you can still play CLUE by candlelight.

What makes The Big Fat Tomato Game different than other games on the market? Why will families enjoy playing it?
I think the game has a couple of things going for it…

Any player can win this game. You can call on strategy all you desire, but a single card played at the right moment can turn the game on its head. The weakest hand becomes the strongest and so forth. A player’s age, gaming experience & brain power have little influence in the Big Fat Tomato game world.

Mayhem! Many modern games have floated towards the “winning isn’t everything” rule. Which is all fine and dandy. But in Big Fat Tomato Game, I’ve amped up the mayhem levels – showcasing the “in good nature” enjoyment of causing chaos to your opponents. That’s what makes the game play fun and the winning even more enjoyable than just crossing over a boring finish line.

We are talking about a game about tomatoes here friends. You don’t see those on the shelves everyday!

The artwork & production of this game is a blast! Gamewright nailed it, right down to the fuzzy tomatoes.

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We just couldn’t tell you all about The Big Fat Tomato Game without offering a giveaway to one of our readers! Leave a comment on this post telling us your favorite tomato-flavored dish, and we will randomly choose a winner to receive a copy. Enter by midnight EST on Monday, July 23rd to win!

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About Gamewright

Gamewright is a leading manufacturer of family games, best known for such household hits as Slamwich, Rat-a-Tat Cat, In a Pickle, Rory's Story Cubes and The Scrambled States of America Game. Gamewright prides itself on making games that foster laughter, learning, friendship and fun. Kids, parents, grandparents, and educators all agree that Gamewright makes some of the best games on the planet. For more information, visit www.gamewright.com.
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16 Responses to Meet the Inventor: Casey Grove

  1. Kevin says:

    a big juicy burger with a nice fat slice of tomato.

  2. Cathy R says:

    I love salsa! (hope that’s a dish!)

  3. Deb morgan says:

    We enjoy freshly picked tomatoes in salsa. We love your games and Gubs is our most recent favorite!

  4. I make homemade salsa at least once a week! Salsa…hands down!

  5. Louise Hudson says:

    Pico De Gallo is our favorite.

  6. Judy Behling says:

    I love to make homemade sauce from tomatoes I grow 🙂

  7. Emily says:

    BLT…yum!

  8. Spaghetti sauce rocks!

  9. Jim W says:

    Gotta be caprese salad with big fat slices of tomato and mozzarella!

  10. Jeff Schomer says:

    Tomato sandwiches in summertime. Yummy.

  11. Angie W says:

    Tomatoes and cottage cheese

  12. Alon says:

    Ice cold gaspacho

  13. Linda Edwards says:

    Garden penne with LOTS of homegrown tomatoes!

  14. Pingback: Father Geek » Father Geek Weekly Rewind: July 16th to July 22nd

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