19-year-old creates card game to relate to boyfriend’s time in NS
Some women can find it hard trying to connect with their boyfriends during the men's national service (NS) stints, and they struggle to understand the army, police or civil defence culture.
When Miss Romaine Lee found herself in such a situation, she knew how to play her cards right - literally.
The 19-year-old dance educator initially created the hand-drawn card game Chao Recruit! last September as a passion project-cum-gift for her 22-year-old boyfriend, Mr Liu Chuanjiang, as they were both card game enthusiasts.
Chao Recruit! is modelled after a recruit's basic military training (BMT) journey and allows each player to progress through the game as a fresh army recruit.
She told The New Paper: "I wanted to show him I was willing to put in the effort to better understand and relate to his NS experience."
The goal is to "finish BMT" by gaining three sets of five experience points. After Mr Liu played the prototype of Chao Recruit! with his army mates and it turned out to be a hit, he encouraged Miss Lee to turn it into a business.
After forming a team with three friends, the couple revised and improved the prototype.
Fifty decks of Chao Recruit!, which retail at $28, were produced in May out of the team's own pocket, and it reached out to retailers such as Battle Bunker and Kommune last month.
The public can purchase the game through its crowdfunding effort on Kickstarter, which has managed to hit more than 75 per cent of its goal of $8,000 and will end on Aug 15.
Not content to just provide a channel for others to engage with and learn from those who are serving or have served NS, the team hopes to expand the game to explore parts of NS life beyond BMT and for it to become an educational tool to inspire students to be more curious about NS.
Miss Lee said: "I believe Chao Recruit! celebrates a core aspect of our Singaporean identity... and that our game can be enjoyed by any Singaporean regardless of race, age or sex."
Mr Theodore Ong, manager of board game store Games@Pi, said it intends to purchase a "substantial amount".
He added: "Its relatable and earnest design gives it a lot of potential. With its local theme, we feel it will do well in the Singapore market." - SERENE HO