It’s Up There deck.
Saturday night plans have just been elevated thanks to a local Detroiter and her idea to create a card game celebrating the city. It’s Up There: The Ultimate Detroit Drinking Game is a 72-card deck that features tasks only Detroiters would know. Marketing under the slogan “guaranteed to get you lit,” Detroit’s newest game is specifically geared towards the 21 and up crowd and requires alcohol, friends and a sound base of Detroit knowledge.
Created by University of Michigan graduate DaShuane Hawkins, the game features cards that asks its players to drink for a series of things including performing a verse from Detroit rapper Kash Doll, naming Faygo flavors or the classic East vs West debate.
“I had this idea since last year. I came up with the idea because my family has game nights often and we get together to have fun. We have other drinking games or things that we do,” says Hawkins. “It just came to my mind. This would be fun, but make it Detroit. It would be so great to have something that’s related to our culture.”
A dance teacher for the River Rogue School District, finding time to create the playing cards came with ease. Using a plethora of other games as a point of reference, the cards consist of a series of tasks to either be completed by the drawer or by each player in the game. Cards include directions like “each player name an exit on I-75” or “name 5 coney islands in 30 seconds.”
“I thought about what things would be relatable to get people to play the game. I sat down one day after work and was on my computer like ‘let me come up with some things from Detroit,’” says Hawkins. “I think it took me two or three days to sit down and type up the cards.”
Starting with just 100 decks, the brand’s owner sold out quickly and realized the game was an instant hit. Now, faced with a high demand, the card’s production is ramping up and getting ready to supply Detroiters.
“A fun fact about all of this is the same day that I made the cards and the templates was the same day I posted on social media,” says Hawkins. “Everyone was like ‘I need a pack.’”
Launching Detroit Baddie in December 2020, the BEO, Baddie Executive Officer, had plans to celebrate Black women coming up from Detroit. A born and raised west-side resident, Hawkins looks to exemplify what it means to be a baddie. Unrelated to physical appearance or material possessions, Detroit Baddie is the culmination of beauty, hustle, style and grind. Releasing It’s Up There under the newly-created brand helped to showcase the head Baddie-in-charge and her goal for the brand.
“I knew I would have some people in-tuned to it, but not as many as now! I didn’t think it was going to be this amount of attention, desire or demand for the game like it is now. I was overwhelmed. I’m still overwhelmed,” says Hawkins.
Starting with just 1 tester deck, the brand’s owner had no expectations the cards would become a sensation. Only ordering a personal pack to play with family and friends, requests for the cards began to grow. Deciding to invest in a small number and sell them through the existing site for Detroit Baddie, the cards sold out quickly and the entrepreneur realized the game was an instant hit.
“It’s just me right now and I don’t want to overwhelm myself. With such a high demand, I want to make sure everyone gets a deck. I want to have more than enough on this next shipment,” says Hawkins.
Aside from the brand, the entrepreneur heads up Midnight Brunch, a dining experience where patrons have brunch at night versus the day. Despite earning a political science degree, it was teaching that stole her heart. Working as a dance and performing arts teacher for the River Rouge School District and being able to put on the school’s various programs gives the teacher pride.
“I always joke and tell my students once Ms. Hawkins make it big, I’m not going to be here anymore. That was two or three years ago. Now it’s like ‘am I still going to have time to teach and coach,’” says Hawkins.
As momentum and excitement for the cards grow the fun will continue as the owner is planning multiple expansion packs including one exclusively for the ladies along with East and West side editions. To keep gamers playing, the first of the expansion packs is due out this summer.
“I already have so many versions that I’m creating,” says Hawkins. “The next version will be coming in July.”
It’s Up There: Detroit’s Ultimate Drinking Game is sold out currently, but will soon be available.