A CREATIVE dad-of-three has invented a board game – and won a top industry award for his efforts.

Oliver Sibthorpe, 34, is the brains behind KingBrick, which took four years to come to fruition.

Mr Sibthorpe, who works at Homebase in London Road, Southend, now wants to turn his creation into a business.

And his dream has moved a step closer after the game won the best family game award at the UK Games Expo, in Birmingham.

Mr Sibthorpe said his inspiration came from the love of playing games with his children – Megan, 11, Jack, seven, and James, three.

He said: “I have always had a passion for playing games, all different types of games, and then I came up with this idea.

“It’s a bit like chess and all about defeating your opponents’ bricks by knocking them off the board.

“On one level, it appeals to youngsters for the enjoyment of flicking your bricks to get your opponent’s bricks off the board, and it works for adults, too, as there is another, more strategic level.”

Mr Sibthorpe, of Gainsbor-ough Drive, Westcliff, has ploughed £4,000 of his savings into developing the game.

But after making pretty much all the components himself up to now, he is desperate to attract support from businesses to mass market his concept.

Once Mr Sibthorpe produced a few boards, it started attracting interest from his friends, and friends of his children.

He said: “It took me quite some time getting the bricks right and getting the right materials.

“In the end, I found a company in China which moulds the pieces from polypropylene plastic at a good price.

“It means the bricks are lightweight, which is ideal for the game.

“It has taken a while and has been a labour of love, but it’s proving really popular and I hope to make a real success of it. It’s at a stage now where I want to take it to the next level.”

After working tirelessly to develop the game, Mr Sibthorpe decided to exhibit at the UK Games Expo after advice from a fellow games inventor, Colin Leaman.

Mr Sibthorpe met Mr Leaman, who created his own board game, Treasure Chase, on an internet forum for gamers.

He said: “The expo was a great success. We sold out of our stock of 50 by the second day and started taking orders.

“We could have taken 100 at least and we have loads more orders to fulfil, which I’m working on now.”

Mr Sibthorpe said he couldn’t thank his friends and family enough for their help with the project.

His brother Gary, 37, from Bournemouth, Dorset, and sister Suzi, 28, from London, helped with testing, developing and designing the game and preparing him for the expo.

Mr Sibthorpe has also had help from his friend Tony Bradon, from Westcliff, who has done the artwork.

The next stop for the game is to get it onto High Street shelves.

He added: “I’m not at the stage yet where I can give up the day job, but that’s the dream.”

For more information, or to order a copy of the game, visit www.kingbrickgame.com