Jatra, the second board game from Kazi Studios, out nowAfter selling more than 2,000 copies of their first creation Samrajya—the first ever Nepali board game—Kazi Studios have now come out with Jatra, a special board game aimed at children aged three and above.
After selling more than 2,000 copies of their first creation Samrajya—the first ever Nepali board game—Kazi Studios have now come out with Jatra, a special board game aimed at children aged three and above.
Jatra is built around the Gai Jatra legend, where a king institutes a festival to cheer up his queen grieving for the loss of their son. Players perform a series of actions using an object, according to the ‘action’ and ‘object’ cards that they draw in order to keep the queen happy. The game is aimed at helping kids learn social and communication skills while also building creativity, imagination and boosting their self-confidence, said Kreeti Shakya and Manish Shrestha, co-founders of Kazi Studios.
When Shakya and Shrestha returned to Kathmandu from the US in 2010, they brought along Settlers of Catan—a board game originated from Germany. This inspired them to begin work on their first ever Nepali board game, Samrajya, based on the story of Prithvi Narayan Shah’s invasion of the Kathmandu Valley. As a Nepali-made board game with local elements, Samrajya was hugely popular, leading Kazi Studios to come out with an expansion pack of drinking cards called Bhatti. Since its launch in 2016, Samrajya has not just become in Kathmandu but a popular souvenir to take away as gifts.
Following the success of Samrajya and the Bhatti game, Kazi Studios returned with another card game—Flipchaa, a memory game entirely based on Nepal’s roots. After launching Samrajya, Kazi, a-month-and-a-half ago, came up with Jatra.
Shakya, mother to a three-year-old child, would often wonder about the kinds of activities children are left to do with now. So, to help her child and other children grow, Shakya decided to come up with something engaging to help children have fun as well as develop their social skills. “Kids are taught a lot of things at school but they are not taught creativity,” said Shakya. “A lot of times they hear ‘no’ and this board game is a perfect opportunity for them to be stupid and silly and solve their problems creatively.”
Jatra consists of a rectangular board that is colourful festive, along with 30 object cards, 35 action cards for ages three plus, 35 others for ages six plus each, and 80 coins. The object of the game is to collect coins and keep the queen happy. It takes from 15 to 45 minutes to finish the game.
“We wanted the game to be fun but at the same time informative too, be driven historically and culturally,” said Shakya. “What we realised with Samrajya was that there was a lot of explaining to do, whereas, in Jatra we wanted it to be generic, simple and traditional.”
Kazi held focus group studies with more than 20 children who provided constructive criticism to improve the game, according to Shakya and Shrestha. “Previously, the cards had a sad queen card and the biggest collector of the cards would win the game. The idea of having happy queen cards changed the vibe of the game and it made sense to us as well,” said Shrestha.
It took Kazi Studios about seven months to come out with a concrete illustration for the board game as it was a challenge to illustrate for that particular age group, said Shakya.
The board game is priced at Rs 1,400.