Jarryd Goldberg, of Langhorne, spent five years after college as a professional soccer player and has since worked in the toy industry. His new profession is what motivated him to create a board game of his own, inspired by his fitness-focused family and wanting to see his two children stay active as they grow.
Introducing “The Floor is Lava!” to the community has been a huge success.
“We’ve all played either a version of this game or something like it when we were kids, using furniture as the rocks and the ground as lava,” says Jarryd. “I was also inspired by the viral video that was circulating with adults who would yell ‘the floor is lava’ and use anything from desks to cars if they were in the road as a jumping place.”
In Jarryd’s board game invention, colored foam tiles work as the rocks to help players jump from one to the next, mixing together ideas from Twister and a Musical Chairs element.
You have someone who is the spinner, who spins on a Twister-like board. Each kid has to move to a certain color based on what is spun, and whoever is last to get to the certain color takes away the tile they were last on.
“Slowly the game loses tiles and then players,” Jarryd explains. “It keeps the game fast-paced and exciting.”
Jarryd was pleased to learn that, as the game has been on the market for almost a year, one of the coolest responses he has had is that people are incorporating their own creative rules into the game.
“I’ve been getting so much feedback from people who love playing the game but also love doing their own spin-off,” he says. “I love the fact that one idea leads people to be creative in their own sense.”
The game not only sparks interest in those who buy it, but it has since started to be noticed by award companies, and recently won two awards – one from the National Parenting Product Awards, which is one of the top family game awards, and one from Tillywig Toy Awards for Best Family Fun.
Jarryd licensed the game to Endless Games, who has been in the toy industry for 20 years and specializes in family entertainment.
Endless Games helped to market “The Floor is Lava!” to mom and pop shops throughout the community, and as sales grew, other major retailers started to take notice, such as Target and A.C. Moore.
The best part of creating his own family game?
“Being a dad, if I see my kids smile, I’m the happiest person alive,” says Jarryd. “If I get to create a game that not only makes my kids smile, but makes other kids smile, that’s the ultimate goal.”
The creating isn’t done for Jarryd – he has much more in the works and has big plans for the near future. The next game he’s releasing is a twist on Frogger called “Traffic Cop,” which will be released at the New York Toy Fair this year.
As Jarryd explains it, there will be a ‘traffic cop’ or one kid on one side of the room (or “street”) and all the other kids on the other side.
“This game is laid out similarly to ‘Floor is Lava’ but you lay out crosswalk maps instead of floor tiles. The traffic cop spins the spinner and tells the others how you get to move – left, right, forward, backward, etc.”
Along the crosswalk map are activity cards so that the kids continue moving and staying active as they play.
“I like to come up with games that are going to get people up and moving, off the couch,” Jarryd says. “When I was a kid, all we did was play outside. I like creating things that will help kids (and adults) live a healthier lifestyle by promoting health and fitness.”
To purchase “The Floor is Lava!” or learn more, check out the Endless Games website at www.endlessgames.com/product/the-floor-is-lava/.
Get your kids up and moving with an innovative take on an old beloved game and see what all the buzz is about!
PHOTO CAP: Jarryd Goldberg holding one of the first editions of “The Floor is Lava!”