Holiday Rush: An Interview With Game Creators Scott and Emily Starley

The Game of the Season
Holiday Rush is "The Game of the Season", bringing family together in a fast-paced seek and find style game sure to entertain all.

Is it an overstatement to say that Latter-day Saints love them some board games? At least that has been my experience. Every family that I’ve met has a plethora of board games, some more intricate then others. It can range from a closet of various games to a full on gaming room with walls of games and a customized gaming table (you know who you are). I like to play all kinds of games with my family and friends, though if you ask them they will tell you  I’m exceptionally horrible at rolling dice. To the point that it now has a nickname. You’ve probably heard of Rickrolling, may I introduce Jeffrolling. Instead of a mildly funny internet prank, my name is now synonymous with a bad throw of the dice. I know you’re jealous.

One of our favorite games is Settlers of Catan. Which subsequently has caused a spirited debate about how Catan is pronounced. We also love Skull King, Cover Your Assets, One Night Werewolf, and Skyjo, to name a few. A couple years ago my family was introduced to a new game being developed. The game, Holiday Rush, officially launched November of 2021, with it’s first public appearance at Pinners Utah.  It’s a seasonal game, meant to bring together the family at Christmas time. I could tell you all about it, but why don’t I let the creators (Scott and Emily Starley) tell you instead.

 

I’ve never created a game before, but I know it can’t be easy. Beyond games, Scott and Emily said they had other ideas for businesses or products but none of them ever stuck.

This idea felt different. We’ve remained motivated through years of development and some setbacks.

Scott told me they probably went through about 7 versions before their final product, making adjustments along the way. According to their Facebook page, the creators of Holiday Rush state they have two primary goals:

  1. Provide families an opportunity to spend quality time together and create lasting traditions.
  2. Provide meaningful and memorable holiday experiences for children in need. They do this by donating 5% of their proceeds to organizations that provide children with magical Christmas experiences.

One of the organizations Holiday Rush partners with is The Spokane Fantasy Flight. This organization provides  underprivileged children with a once in a lifetime  “flight” to the north pole and an  evening at the north pole where they receive their Christmas wish list, eat Christmas treats, meet Santa, and play with the volunteer “elves.” Scott and Emily volunteered as elves two years ago and they told me it was an amazing experience. Like most things, the COVID-19 pandemic shut the event down last year, but it’s back on this year. This year Holiday Rush is donating a game to every child.

 

Scott and Emily Starley with their youngest son, Wes at Pinners Utah.

The Verdict

For me, having a game that I don’t have to roll anything is a plus. I also really enjoy games that are quicker, though I do love longer games like Talisman, Catan and Risk. Holiday Rush is a game that the whole family can engage in.

Holiday Rush is not just a kids game. While it looks fun and cute it actually is a fast paced competitive game that is even fun for adults and teenagers. Once you are familiar with the game and the ornaments it becomes even more fun. You can always adjust the timers on the app to give less time to make it more challenging. It is one of the few games that you could play with four-year-olds and adults and still have a fun competition.

I agree. If you’re looking for a good game to play this Christmas season and a way to help out those less fortunate, I say give Holiday Rush a try.

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