Robert Tryhorn says he has invented a game to rival Scrabble.
Robert Tryhorn says he has invented a game to rival Scrabble. Christopher Chan

Robert's not lost for words

IT took a teaspoon of sugar, the word "trams" and 181/2 years, but Robert Tryhorn reckons he's finally done it.

After almost two decades of blood, sweat and tears, Mr Tryhorn says he has invented a word-based board game that will not only rival Scrabble, but eclipse it.

It all began on a Sunday, when Mr Tryhorn was playing a game of Scrabble.

"I spelt the word 'trams,' and I got annoyed, because there was a perfectly good word on the board that I couldn't score," he said.

The word was "trams" spelt backwards. Smart.

And so began a journey that saw the disintegration of a marriage, the loss of employment and a spiral into depression. The final result?


The definition of Bricolage, is "to build from that which you have," and that's exactly what Mr Tryhorn's board game is all about.

Although many of the game's elements are still under wraps, Mr Tryhorn can reveal that there are 120 double-sided, hexagonal letters and players can create words in six directions. But the feature he's most proud of is the complete absence of a scoring system - a thunderbolt idea which came to him while he was looking at a teaspoon of sugar.

"There's no scoring system, yet you still arrive at a winner," he said. "It sounds impossible, but it's so simple, it's stupid."

Mr Tryhorn's efforts were recently rewarded in Brisbane, where Bricolage was named September's Invention of the Month by the Inventors Association of Australia.

He is now in the running for Invention of the Year, and if he wins, Bricolage will go straight into production.

"At the moment, the only thing that's stopping me is money," he said. "I have the product, now I just need a partner, someone to finish this last leg of the race with me."

To contact Robert, you can get him on his email:

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