Engineer and wife, both bubble tea lovers, create their own bubble tea-themed card game

Aaron Tan and his wife Jolene Yang with their bubble tea-themed card game, Teabbles.
Aaron Tan and his wife Jolene Yang with their bubble tea-themed card game, Teabbles.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - Uno and Old Maid. Chope and The Singaporean Dream.

Be it classic card games or Singapore ones, engineer Aaron Tan has played them all, being a card game enthusiast since he was young.

Now, the 30-year-old has gone on to create a card game of his own - Teabbles, a bubble tea-themed card game.

The card game, a joint effort by Mr Tan and his wife, Ms Jolene Yang, 27, a flight attendant, was launched on Saturday (Dec 5) after 1½ years of hard work.

It was in August last year that Mr Tan began to toy with the idea of making a card game with a local food theme. He first thought of Chicken Rice, but later found it to be "too complicated".

"When I was thinking of an idea, I was actually drinking bubble tea. That was when a sudden thought came to mind: Why not bubble tea?" said Mr Tan.

Mr Tan and Ms Yang, both bubble tea lovers, took on different roles in the production of Teabbles - a name coined by joining the words "Tea" and "Bubbles".

Said Ms Yang: "He is responsible for technical aspects such as refining the game and the website, while I am in charge of Instagram marketing and design."

Everything about Teabbles - from conceptualisation to printing and production - was done in Singapore.

"Most card games in Singapore go to overseas suppliers but we believe in supporting local businesses." said Mr Tan.

Even before the launch, there were already about 100 pre-orders for Teabbles, which sells for $28 per set.

Teabbles, which can be played in groups of two to five people, is made up of 39 drink cards and 88 inventory cards.

It can be played in three different ways - "Original Play", "Bluff" and "Boba the Builder".

While all three variants have their unique rules, the central objective of the game is to match combinations of ingredients to those reflected on the drink cards.


Teabbles is made up of 39 drink cards and 88 inventory cards. ST PHOTO: CHING JUN LIANG

The Original Play is the easiest variant for beginners: To win, a player would have to fulfil drink orders with the ingredients they have.

The Bluff variant is similar, with the only twist being that a player can lie about the ingredients he has in order to make drinks.

Each "drink" card is allocated a certain number of points. A player would win by having the highest number of points in the Bluff variant. In the Original Play and Boba the Builder' variants, the first person to reach 11 points wins.

Musing on the charm of old-school card games, Mr Tan said: "Nowadays, people are always on their phones playing mobile games. But the social interaction that you can get from physical card games is different compared to when you play these virtual games."

"We hope that through Teabbles and other physical card games, people will be able to bond with their loved ones and have fun."

- Teabbles is available at a discounted price of $26 per set at the Christmas Market in Capitol Singapore until Dec 25, 2020. For instructional videos on how to play Teabbles, visit their website.