Joe Basile won top honors for his board game King of Kingdoms –

Now he’s plotting his next move

Board game inventor Joe Basile wants to study film in college.

Board game inventor Joe Basile wants to study film in college.

Editor’s note: This story appeared in our June 2009 issue.

Joe Basile says he has made two board games a year since he was 9.

Joe is 17.

Doing the math, the South Elgin, Ill., teen has created at least 16 board games in his young life.

One of those, King of Kingdoms, captured first place at last year’s Young Inventor Challenge at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair.

In this game of elimination, you have to keep your kings out of the dungeon.

“When you lose all your kings,” says Joe, “you’re out of the game.”

Based on Joe’s research of ancient monarchies, the game includes decks of blue and red cards, with images of kings, queens, knights, scientists and others that allow you to fight or protect kings.

Four to seven players can play. Each game takes about an hour to an hour and a half.

“When I went to the competition, I picked the game I liked playing the most,” he says. “Luckily, the game I liked the most was least similar to any out there.”

Hannah Allen and Ella Lambert, both of Evanston, Ill., won the Young Inventor Challenge for their Lemonade Stand Game in the junior category (ages 6-12) at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair last year. Winners are selected by popular vote. Visit

Mike Hirtle, head of global product acquisition and inventor relations at Hasbro, tells Inventors Digest that global specialty games company Winning Moves Germany is evaluating King of Kingdoms for possible licensing.

Although Hasbro itself wasn’t interested in carrying the game, the company has a close relationship with Winning Moves around the world.

King of Kingdoms is an engaging strategy game that has been well thought out,” says Hirtle. “In my judgment, King of Kingdoms is the kind of game that is usually found to grow out of the ‘Eurogame’ community. I think that his design is good enough to be considered as a new entry into this marketplace.”

Should Winning Moves pass on the game, Hirtle says other companies have expressed interest.

Joe’s favorite board game is Settlers of Cattan. But his passion is film.

“Board games,” he says, “are side hobby.”

He shoots shorts and posts them online. He’s into drawing. He writes scripts. And he’s worked for his high school newspaper all four years. As of this writing, he was looking at colleges in Los Angeles.


And the Awards Go to…

Summer fever is here. But we’ve got to give shout-outs to winners of this year’s Outstanding Inventive Students from the Thomas Alva Edison Regional Science and Inventors Fairs. The annual event is held each January in Fort Myers, Fla. These kids got a free annual subscription to Inventor’s Digest. So let’s hear it for:

Maggie Van Northwick, Skyline Elementary – Shoe-lution
Tabatha Fournace, Orange River Elementary – Easy Tie

Jonas Schlotterbeck, St. Michaels Lutheran  – Ultrasonic A-G Buster
Isaac Schlotterbeck, Bishop Vero – Measuring Electrical Conductivity to Determine (Water) Potobility
Zohair Zaidi, Cape High School – G Threp System (Water hose leak detector & Shut off)

Richard Coughlin, Pine Woods Elementary – Underwater Mangrove Eye

Ryan Jaffe, Community School of Naples – Cold Ring Syringe
Bailey Gulash, Littleton Elementary – Scent Anesthesia Machine

Max Palmer, Seagate Elementary – Water Talkie

Jordan Benham, Gateway Elementary – Magnetic Front Flap
Alex Marsh & Paul Teleweck, Mariner – Automatic Window Wiper (Side auto window)

Christopher Douglas, Seagate Elementary – Grab & Bait