By Kerry Temple
Printed in the Fall 2007 Notre Dame Alumni Magazine.
Nicholas Scarpino '03 recently created "What's Wild?!" a rummy-based card game for two to seven players, ages 7 and up. The game is the first product of Little Shoe Publishing, a card and board game publishing company started by Scarpino and his wife, Monica, in Addison, Illinois. "It's incredibly fun to see others play and enjoy my game," says Scarpino, who is the web and publications coordinator for The Institute for the International Education of Students, a nonprofit study abroad provider located in Chicago.
The family game's safari theme features numeric cards with suits made up of animal skin prints of alligators, cheetahs, peacocks, and zebras. Instead of books and runs, players collect herds and caravans. In a twist on traditional rummy games, certain numeric cards are declared wild, but the player with a special chameleon card can change what's wild.
The game can be ordered at whatswildcardgame.com. The website also includes game directions, score sheets, FAQs and a comical commercial of a game in progress, written and directed by Scarpino.