A family game of Scrabble gave Puneite Anand Kulkarni a brilliant idea. Why not use the intricacies of the board game and turn it into an educational exercise?
After much thought, he found a way using cards and created WordHoo. A unique card game for all ages that is both entertaining and educational, WordHoo is now in the market and is becoming increasingly popular.
Prior to embarking on this entrepreneurial journey, Anand was part of the senior management team at HSBC and ICICI Bank among others.
An avid learner and a passionate teacher, Anand visits management schools as a guest faculty to groom management students. He also offers consulting services to businesses in the city.
Anand Kulkarni spoke to us about how he got the brainwave and converted WordHoo into reality.
How did you come up with the idea of WordHoo?
We had family friends over at our home. We all love both indoor and outdoor games. That evening after dinner we were playing Scrabble. After about an hour, the rest of the players, except one, left the game. And we wondered, why can’t a game be a play of intelligence as much as Scrabble is and at the same time, be a lot of fun.
How did you go about making the game?
One of the critical and most important aspects was finalising the number of cards in the game and getting the frequency of distribution of cards right for a smooth gaming experience.
Once that was in place, I put together some basic rules and started play-testing first with family and friends and then with different sets of people in the age groups of 5- 65.
The extensive play-testing helped me fine tune the game mechanics, the rules and come up with smooth game play which is a play of intelligence as well as loads of fun.
WordHoo Boosts 3 key skills
Analysis and Forward Thinking: Deciding each next move requires players to analyse cards in hand/current situation, think ahead and make decisions.
Strategy: During the game play, at each turn, players continuously evaluate situations, form a strategy and respond.
Structured Thinking: Players essentially take disjoint pieces of information and try to piece them together to find solution to the problem at hand. Playing and winning the game requires putting a methodology to thinking process.
What is the game all about ?
It’s an educational game about words, vocabulary, strategy and intelligence. The game boosts cognition while children play and have fun.
WordHoo is already available at stores in Pune and online on leading e-commerce portals.
How do the players go about with the game? Also tell us about the module.
WordHoo has a simple premise – make words using letter cards, use ZAP cards wisely and be the first player to get rid of all cards in hand. But the real joy of the game, lies in strategising your way to victory. It is easy to learn and the rules are straightforward. It’s an amazing game for both children (above seven years) and adults.
How long does the game last?
Normally, a game of WordHoo lasts for about 25-30 minutes – little longer, when you are first learning to play, understanding game mechanics and how ZAP cards function. Keep a pencil and paper handy to keep track of everyone’s point count.
Does the game have an ease of access and understanding?
The game is easy to learn and rules straightforward. The game comes with an instruction sheet which details (a) Object of the game (b) how to play the game (c) rules (d) scoring and (e) how ZAP cards function
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