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April 2006 | Vol. V - No. 4
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Valiants Triumph in Sevinpold

Lifelong Game Inventor Aims for Big Time


Darkness Falls on Sevinpold is a new board game set within the imaginary world of “Sevinpold.” In a classic battle between good and evil, the Valiants must play as a team to defeat the Darkness. Taking board game play to a new level with its unique patented movement and groundbreaking “team play” concepts, Sevinpold’s outcome remains unknown until the very last roll of the dice.

Sevinpold was fashioned in the fertile imagination of Don Donovan, co-founder and president of Sevinpold Castles Inc. (ToyShow) Although a distinguished marketing executive with 17 years of experience working for Procter & Gamble, Don’s real passion is, and always has been, games. The story of Don’s creation of Sevinpold is told here in the words of his co-worker, friend and co-founder, Alex Zelikovsky.

Don has been inventing games since the ripe old age of 5, when he started playing them with his grandmother. Because she was disabled and confined to the house, they would play for hours during Don’s summer visits to the small Pennsylvania town of St. Joseph. Not only did his Grandma teach Don obscure games, but she also encouraged Don to make up his own.

Eventually, this ritual with Grandma turned into a passion. At age 10, Don created a “contest” for his school that had all 600 students searching for clues to find a hidden treasure. At 16, he invented his first board game, "Buy a Bond." In college, he created more than 100 “weekly games of skill” under the byline “The Mystery Writer” for the school newspaper. At Procter & Gamble, he invented The Carhunt Mystery Game for Ford Motors and P&G mega-brands.

In 2000, between work and a growing family, Don somehow found the time to tinker with the concept of an ancient, mysterious, imaginary world called “Sevinpold,” with its own history, language, conflicts and characters. At this point, Sevinpold was just a story, not a game. In the next few years, hoping to give added dimension to the Sevinpold legend, Don made characters and castles, treasure and castle cards, and a board.

But, this wasn’t enough. He didn’t want a simplistic game where players move the periphery of the board; he wanted players to think more strategically, as in chess, and play like a team, as in basketball. Armed with a penchant for math and boundless creativity, Don developed a unique, patented movement for the players, which makes for a gripping game each time it’s played. Because of the probabilities connected with the dice rolls, the number of players and castles, the game will never play the same twice.

When the first draft of the game was finished, Don showed it to me during our morning ferry commute to San Francisco. I was immediately hooked. Eventually, we decided to form a company and bring Sevinpold to market. Over the next two years, we played the game with more than 500 people in 19 states and modified it to create the final version, Darkness Falls on Sevinpold, which is currently being sold in test markets in California, Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania, as well as online through Amazon.

We are currently busy in Northern California working on the next chapters of the Sevinpold Saga and continuing our commitment to bring quality entertainment to kids and families worldwide.

To see the inventor demonstrate the game himself, please Watch Video

What follows is more information on Darkness Falls on Sevinpold.





Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games



Darkness Falls on Sevinpold is a revolutionary new board game that's fun for the entire family. Sevinpold is a world where every castle is filled with secrets, perils, powers and magical creatures; where the heroes, known as the Valiant, must play as a team against the menacing Darkness in order to win; where victory cannot be declared until the very last roll of the dice when the Scepter is reunited with the Living Throne. With excitement at every turn, Sevinpold is a game that never plays the same twice. It challenges players every step of the way and maintains their interest so they want to play again and again. With two patents pending for its distinctive movement and innovative "team play" concepts, Sevinpold has changed the way board games are played.
— “Sevinpold hits that demographic of 8 to 14,” said Darren Turbeville, owner of Toy Chest in Healdsburg, Calif. “We average a piece every 10 to 14 days.”
— Sevinpold does “very well” at Thinker Toys in Carmel, Calif., said owner Mark Phillips. “I’ve sold through two or three re-orders. It’s selling without even being demonstrated. Knights and dragons and pirates are the biggest category in the world.”
— “I love it!” enthused 11-year-old Sara Seagle. “I think it has beautiful illustrations on it.” TDmonthly's Homeschooling Roundtables families played with Sevinpold an average of seven times each from January to July 2006. VIEW ARTICLE, VIEW CHART
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5838      (added 12/9/2005)
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Writer's Bio: Alex Zelikovsky is co-founder of board game manufacturer, Sevinpold Castles Inc., the maker of Darkness Falls on Sevinpold. Read more articles by this author

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