One couple in Pike Creek can't help but view life as a game — a card game, if you will. And it's easy to understand why.
In 2005, Donald McNeill and his wife, Susan, released the sentenced-based card game "You've Been Sentenced." The game, sold nationwide at retailers including Toys"R"US and Barnes & Noble, has afforded the McNeills enough income that they no longer have to work for the man. They work for themselves.
Their company is named McNeill Designs for Brighter Minds, headquartered in a modest office (located at 1729 Marsh Road) in Wilmington. They've even hired a full-time employee and a team of 30-plus part-timers.
Considering the success of "You've Been Sentenced," the McNeills have decided to roll out a new variation of the game titled "You've Been Sentenced Country Music Edition," which was released this year.
Donald, the creator of the game and chief executive officer of McNeill Designs, said the game was birthed from the desire to give country music fans a game to call their own.
To validate the widespread popularity of country music, Donald brought up WRXP, a country radio station that's been generating national attention since it launched in January. WRXP is the first country station to land in New York City since 1996, according to CMT.com.
"New York City has not had a country music radio station in a long time and one finally opened up," smiled Donald.
"One of the biggest stars out there [in all of music] is Taylor Swift," added Susan, vice president of public relations for McNeill Designs. "Country music is so hot right now."
RULES OF THE GAME
"You've Been Sentenced Country Music Edition" is for audiences aged eight and older. Three to 10 players can play the game. Everyone draws 10 cards, which are pentagonal-shaped. The game features 540 cards and each has five words (one on each side of the card) that are related to country music. An example of words on a single card are: smoked, smoky, smokes, smokiest and smoke.
Page 2 of 2 - Once you receive your cards, players are tasked with stacking them on their others to form sentences. Players aren't required to use all 10 cards, since sentences can be any length. One of the words on each card is worth 10 points, while the rest are worth five. The name of the game is to outscore your opponents by creating the wittiest sentences.
The fun and plot thickens if you have to read your sentence aloud and justify why it makes sense. At this point, the rest of the players become the jury and get to vote thumbs-up or thumbs-down on whether your sentence is legit enough to score points.
WHERE TO FIND THE GAME
"You've Been Sentenced Country Music Edition" is sold at all Barnes & Noble and Toys"R"US stores. Nearby Barnes & Noble locations include the Concord Mall (4801 Concord Pike, Wilmington) and Christiana Mall (340 Christiana Mall, Newark). The game is also available online at Amazon.com and McNeilldesigns.com. Retail price online is $29.95; in-store prices may vary.