Girl mends Broken Hearts with a game

When Joey Teh broke up with her boyfriend last year, she kept a brave front despite the heartache and did not talk to anybody about it until she brought it up one day with two of her friends.

Shocked at how well the 23 year old was coping with the failed relationship, the three of them – who work together in a co-working space where Ms Teh is the community manager - have joined forces and decided that her experience could be channelled into a card game.

Ten months later, Broken Hearts is born. The strategy-based relationship card game was launched on Kickstarter on Wednesday (Oct 24) and the aim is to help players – or broken-hearted souls such as Ms Teh once was – to be brave and learn to love again.

Each game lasts 15 minutes and four to six people can play it together. Participants will be required to do such things as blow a kiss or wink, and the first to carry out all five and make as many connections will be declared the winner.

“We wanted to create something with an interactive element as we feel a lot of people nowadays don't know how to express their love to their friends, families or even partners,” shares Ms Teh. “By doing some of the actions, walls will be broken down so connections can be made.”

She adds that the different personalities of the players will shine through during gameplay and the aim is to woo people out of their comfort zones.

Despite its name, Broken Hearts is not just for those looking to hook up with each other, but meant for everybody.

“The game is based on life itself and we named it Broken Hearts because that feeling of disappointment is something that all of us will experience at some point – be it through a relationship or from a job,” explains Ms Teh.

She was also advised to change the name of the game because of its negative connotation, but refused as she felt that would make it lose some of its essence.

“We want to keep things as real as possible – yes, you will face rejections and there will be heartbreaks – but we need to also move on,” says Ms Teh.

Broken Hearts ultimately wants to help people shed their inhibitions, and in developing it, Ms Teh and both her co-creators also learned to step out of their own comfort zones.

“All of us encountered a lot of 'firsts' during the journey – for me, it was learning how to market something from scratch and speaking to total strangers about it,” shares Ms Teh.

The plan is to raise S$15,000 from about 600 backers from the Kickstarter campaign, which will last 30 days. There is no concrete business model behind Broken Hearts because the project is born out of pure passion and the need to try something new for a change.

“We are not trying to make money from this,” insists Ms Teh, “Hence, we did not think of grants or looked for investors.”

And the best advice she has received from those who helped along the way is not to be afraid of making mistakes. 

“If we kept overthinking things or focused too much on success or failure, then we wouldn't have come this far.”