This S’pore Couple Created A Bubble Tea-Themed Card Recreation


Bubble tea has been a Singaporean obsession for years, and stores selling the sweet treat have popped up all over the island.

Mega chains like Koi and Gong Cha as well as special brands like Tiger Sugar attract crowds of bubble tea lovers.

The bubble tea craze doesn’t stop there and has spread to a whole host of other products, such as bubble tea hot pot and bubble tea ice cream.

Teabbles – a bubble tea card game – is the latest addition to the product collection inspired by the sugary drink.

The game, launched in December 2020, was developed by the couple Aaron Tan and Jolene Yang.

From a nation’s favorite drink to a card game

Image Credit: Teabbles

Aaron (30) and Jolene (27) are both bubble tea fans and lovers of card and board games.

As a child, Aaron played games like Uno, Monopoly, and Scrabble with his family.

However, as technology improved over the years, various forms of entertainment such as movies and games emerged, making card and board games less relevant.

The self-proclaimed card game freak told Vulcan Post that he believed that the technological entertainment we all consume today “lacks the human interaction aspect.”

Because of this, he came up with the idea of ​​making a family-friendly yet competitive game. The idea for Teabbles hit him in August 2019.

While I had a lot of ideas beforehand, Teabbles just stuck and I decided to make it a reality by conceiving the game to see how feasible it was.

I played the game with a small group of friends and most of them have expressed an interest in purchasing the game, so I decided to take it to the next level.

Aaron Tan, co-founder of Teabbles

Having completed his market validation, he decided to start sourcing for suppliers to mass-produce the game.

Now Teabbles is started under WYX Studio, which stands for wǎn yóu xì (玩 游戏) – it means “play games” in Mandarin.

Three games in one

Teabbles Bubble Tea card game Image Credit: Teabbles

The duo behind Teabbles announced that the game is really “made in Singapore” from start to finish.

Instead of sourcing the suppliers overseas to make the cards, they decided to support the local customers.

However, because it is an entirely locally made product, the cost price of the Teabbles is higher than the other overseas made games.

So Aaron had to rethink the game’s value proposition and see what else it could bring to the players.

“While the cards will definitely be of high quality, the game also had to be good value for money,” he said.

He added that Teabbles is different from other games in that there are three different ways to play it.

The variants are called “Original Play”, “Bluff” and “Boba the Builder”. Players can choose a variant that suits their needs, “just like their bubble tea orders”.

“Original Play” was the first variation to be created, “Bluff” was inspired by an incorrect order received from a bubble tea shop, and “Boba the Builder” was modeled on companies that own their storeroom manage.

In addition to three games for the price of one, Teabbles is also carefully designed with magnetized packaging and thick cards that are waterproof.

The final version of Teabbles is the result of a cumulative effort in refining the gameplay and design, with the look attributed to Jolene and her illustrator Ansley Toh.

The game can be played in groups of two to five people and consists of 39 drinks cards and 88 inventory cards. It can be purchased from Shopee for S $ 30 or from one of the Teabbles retailers.

Getting strong despite the pandemic

Teabbles Bubble Tea GameImage Credit: Teabbles

Aaron told Vulcan Post that starting Teabbles amid the Covid-19 pandemic posed a number of challenges.

The team had ordered 50 sets of prototypes and was thrilled to test and further refine the game, but was hit by the nationwide breaker before the prototypes arrived.

Even after the lockdown wore off and people were allowed to meet again, safety clearances made it difficult to quickly test and distribute the prototypes.

Despite the challenges, the response to the game was positive.

Since its launch last month, Teabbles has broken even and just started preparing to print a second deck of cards.

Even before the start, Teabbles had received around 100 pre-orders.

The duo have also worked with several local retailers like Toystation and Batttle Bunker to bring Teabbles to even more people on the island.

Aside from Teabbles, they have a few other game ideas in mind and hope to start prototyping one of them soon.

The reviews [for Teabbles] has been good so far. We hope it continues when Teabbles launches overseas, and there can finally be a Made in Singapore game among the many popular games in the world.

Aaron Tan, co-founder of Teabbles

Selected image source: Teabbles




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