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It's Christmas time so what better time to review those board games you've never got bored of!
Unlike most games you find in the shops, the object of this one is the name of the game - go for broke! Instead of getting as much money as you can, you have to lose the £1million that you start with. You would think this was an easy task, after all, you struggle to make money in most games! It is in fact quite the opposite.
The game is made by the popular MB and can be played by 2-4 players and the age guidance is 8 years and up. This guidance is probably right as there is a bit of counting to do, but if you have a child younger that's good at maths then they would love this game. We bought ours for around £2.50 at a car boot sale and it's been a bargain. Looking around on the internet, it's being sold for around £10 on Amazon and i think that would still be a bargain.
The first thing i noticed in this game was the instructions. We bought this second hand at a car boot sale and spent about 10 minutes cursing because we couldn't find the instructions so we had no idea how to play! Low and behold, we went to put the lid back on the box and the instructions were printed inside the lid. This was fantastic, the instructions are always handy, you can't rip them and they don't mysteriously vanish from one game to the next. They are very simple and clear so there are no places where people can argue over the rules like in most games. The set up instructions are included, but we have never had to follow these as it was second hand. It looks as simple as putting a few stickers on and slotting the plastic into the holes (they do come out again so this is very simple and i can't see where anyone would go wrong).
Your playing pieces are made of champagne bottles with lids (be careful with these, ours unattached very easily and we tend to play without them) and you have a matching colour hotel. They come in four colours, green, yellow, red and blue and there are also two dice in the game for movement. The other things you have to use? Four different values of money, £5,000, £10,000, £50,000 and £100,000 and share certificates, oil, steel and electric.
You start the game the same as any other, by rolling the dice and traveling around the board in a clockwise direction. Depending on where you land, depends on what you have to do. There are hotel squares around the board priced between £50,000 to £200,000 and each player can purchase one of these to lose money quickly if you land on them. They do have a downside though, if another player lands on them then they have to pay you rent, if there are four players then you can quickly reacquire the money you spent.
On the four corners of the board, there are four main activities that you can be sent to or that you can choose to go to. The first of these (and the one i hate the most!) is the races. There is a spinning dial that has a picture of four horses on and several places for the spinner to stop. You can bet between £5,000 and £50,000, but if the spinner lands on your horse, the higher you've bet the more you win! The picture of the smallest horse is number 4, 3 is slightly bigger etc etc. The beauty of it is every player has to play and make a bet. I hate this one in particular because it doesn't matter which horse i pick, i always seem to win! The amount you win varies depening on which horse you have picked -
Horse 1 wins twice the amount bet
Horse 2 wins three times the amount bet
Horse 3 wins four times the amount bet
Horse 4 wins five times the amount bet.
You can easily see by this that when i stupidly put £50,000 on horse number 4 every time, i end up with a lot more money than what i started with! If only i was that good in real life i'd be laughing!
The next corner is the stock exchange and this can make you or break you depending on the shares you have. There are several squares situated around the board that make you buy a share for £100,000. There is also a square that gives you a free share as a present, how nice of them! You'd think this was a very easy way to lose all of your money, but it's not that simple! The shares come in three kinds - steel, electric and oil. If someone is sent to the stock exchange, or has madly chosen to go there, they spin the spinner on the board and hope for the best. If it lands on a red share, all players lose £10,000 for each of that share they own as the share prices have fallen. However, if it lands on the black, each player gets £10,000 for every share of that kind owned as the share price has increased! (You want it in real life, but it rarely happens at that extent, especially whilst there are so many companies struggling). You can be doubly unlucky and stop the spinner on the money symbol. This lands you £10,000 for each share you own, regardless of the company.
The Casino is in the next corner and to be honest i've always found this to be a bit of a let down. You don't lose much money and it's all over a bit too quickly. You put £20,000 on the fruit machine (not a lot considering you start with £1million) and you roll the three slots. You win if you match 2 or 3 symbols. Any 2 of a kind gets you £50,000, any 3 of a kind gets you £150,000 and 3 x $ Symbols gets you a massive £250,000. The second part of the casino is the roulette and you can choose how much money you want to gamble and which way you want to play. You can:
Pay £5,000 for one number, be unlucky and land on it and win £150,000.
Pay £20,000, pick a group of numbers and win £100,000
Pay £50,000 and choose red or black which wins £80,000 (Yes, you got it. Whichever colour i pick, it lands on!)
The final corner, and my real favourite is snake eyes. You might wonder what on earth this game is, but it's really quite simple. You roll both dice, multiply the total by £5,000 and you can put that amount in the bank. You can roll as many times as you like so you can really add up the amounts you spend. The catch? If you roll a 1, you lose your total and instead win £100,000. It you're really unlucky and roll a double 1, you win a massive £300,000!.
My verdict? I absolutely love this game. It has a bright board, different activities and even some silly little rules and squares that make people laugh. One of the squares involves winning money if you happen to be wearing blue, it's worth thinking about before you start playing the game! There are also squares that win you money if you've left the room during the game so get everything you need first!
It's a very simple game with easy to follow rules that kids will love because it is so silly. Hardly any of the squares where you lose money will have a serious concept to them, so it's perfect if you're tired on an evening or weekend. The best part? I've been playing this game for a good 15 years and i've never bored of it yet. Each game varies so much and there is very little skill to it so everyone really has a chance to win.
We've played it with varying amounts of money too, who says you need to stick to the £1 million target they set? We've played losing more and less money and the fun of the game has still been set in stone. The game is extremely sturdy and everything still works just aswell as when we purchased it.
One slight problem? The length of the game can vary greatly, but then most games do. We had a game at the weekend that lasted well over an hour because we were so useless, but usually the games last around 20 minutes.
Sorry for the long review, but you need the facts in order to establish just how much fun you really do have. It's a must buy for all families or anyone that loves to play board games.
I just picked up this game at a second hand store. I played it with my daugher with help from this site from Belfin's review. I am still in need of the instructions for this game. My daughter is eight and she and I really enjoyed the game. We pretty much winged it as far as rules and instructions go, with not having them. It is a very good game for kids with lost of excitement of losing all of your money.
I got this game years ago as a child - when playing board games was a great way of passing an otherwise boring Sunday afternoon when the rain poured down outside. This was kind of a family tradition without Playstations and the like to keep you amused, no DVDs and video rental was quite expensive at that time so this was a way to get us all involved in something fun. Looking back I can't help but feel that kids of today really miss out on this fun family time together when you fight over who gets which coloured playing piece and try to outsmart your parents. Didn't it feel great when you beat them.
This game is still around today - although it is quite difficult to find in the shops and you will have more luck with an online search if interested. The likes of Amazon and Farscapegames.co.uk have it for around £10 new or you can pick it up second hand cheaper on ebay. It involves a very strange philosophy - You have to lose to win so if you are always best at coming last then this is definately the game for you.
It is made by MB Games who are big retailers in the board games industry with other favourites such as Frustration, Twister and Operation. It recommends on the box that it is for age 10 and up but my girls used to play this when they were around 8 so depending on the child this is flexible. 2-4 players are needed for this game although you could easily have teams if there are more of you. This could cause conflict though as you decide how best to lose your money.
When you open the box you find the instructions written on the inside lid so no losing these as is often the case with a flimsy piece of paper and these give clear and precise details of how to build your own gambling centre. This is very simple as it involves sticking on stickers and clipping in 3 reels for your fruit machine, a reel for the stock exchange gamble, and sitting on spinners for a horse racing game and a roulette game. For the roulette game there is a small black pointer 'ball' which is fixed to the spinner so there are no small bits to lose. This done you have 4 champagne bottles which need coloured stickers on and these are your playing pieces for moving round the board. They are blue, red, yellow and green. There are also 2 dice and a coloured hotel to correspond with each champagne bottle. There are also share certificate and money in the box along with the playing board itself. This board is bright and colourful and has lots of pictures featuring a 'hooray henry' type which include him playing in the casino, riding in fast cars and on exotic holidays.
The game itself starts by handing out £1million to each player and all you have to do is spend it all to win. Sounds easy but as well as there being lots of purchases to be made there is also gambling which of course you can win on.
You start off the game in the corner of your colour and the dice are thrown to decide who goes first, highest starts. You then continue to move round the board in a clockwise direction following the instructions on the squares you land on. There are a few rules to follow as you do this.
*If you throw double six you can get rid of £100,000 to the banker, who like in Monopoly is responsible for looking after the money and in this case share certificates although if you are in a gambling corner this does not apply.
*If you land on the same space as someone else you get to give them £10,000 compensation for bumping them.
*Each time you pass over the Go For Broke lottery space you place £5,000 on the lottery tray on the board which can be won by a 'lucky' player if you are sent there during the game from one of the instruction squares. If however you win the lottery and there is nothing in it at the time then you pay £50,000 into it instead.
I mentioned the hotel pieces earlier and these are for buying one hotel each if you land on a hotel square. There are 6 to choose from and are all varying prices. This is a great opportunity to immediately get rid of a large sum of money but there is the chance of someone landing on you for a stay and you will then be paid rent which works out at 10% of what you paid. Hotels are as follows:-
Hotel Villa D'Ossa £50,000 to buy £5,000 rent
Hotel Shanghied £100,000 to buy £10,000 rent
Hotel Schlossed £100,000 to buy £10,000 rent
Hotel Spendide £150,000 to buy £15,000 rent
Hotel Costa Plenty £150,000 to buy £15,000 rent
Hotel 1001 Nights £200,000 to buy £20,000 rent
It is therefore up to you whether to go for a cheaper hotel immediately or try to hang on to purchase a more expensive one.
The Stock Exchange is another way to spend some money but you can only purchase shares when you land on one of the Buy a Share squares. There are 3 companies to buy shares in and each share costs you £100,000. They are Big Flash Electric Company, Dry Gulch Oil Company and Realybig Steel Corporation. When someone is sent to the Stock Exchange corner they have to spin the share wheel which has pictures for all 3 companies on it as well as a moneybag sign. At the bottom of each picture there are red and black areas. If the spinner lands in the red this means the price has dropped and all players who have share certificates for the company involved pay £10,000 to the bank for every share owned. Alternatively if your share lands in the black you get £10,000 for every share owned. If the moneybags sign is landed on then all players get £10,000 for each certificate they own regardless of company.
The races are decided by a spinner and there are four horses to bet on numbered 1-4. When someone is sent there then all players have to make a bet on a different horse. Horse 1 has the largest winning area and Horse 4 has the smallest area. Your bet can be between £5,000 and £50,000. The winnings are as follows:-
Horse 1 wins twice the amount bet
Horse 2 wins three times the amount bet
Horse 3 wins four times the amount bet
Horse 4 wins five times the amount bet
So if you think the favourite has more chance in winning then go for horse 4 but of course if it wins you are really in the money.
The Casino features 2 games and you have to play both games. You start with the Fruit machine which is for the player sent there only. You pay £20,000 to have a go and then spin each of the 3 reels. Winnings are as follows:-
Any 2 of a kind gets you £50,000
Any 3 of a kind gets you £150,000
3 x $ Symbols gets you the jackpot £250,000
The second game is the roulette table and you can choose one of 3 bets before spinning the wheel to decide your fate.
Pay £5,000 and choose a single number for this you win £150,000
Pay £20,000 and choose one of 3 groups of numbers and win £100,000
Pay £50,000 and choose red or black which wins £80,000
Now the other players can choose to place exactly the same bet as you on the roulette but only if they feel unlucky.
The last corner of the board where you can be sent to is to play the dice game Snake Eyes. This is to be played by the player sent there only. Now for anyone who doesn't know this game the point is to throw both dice and try to get at a 1 on either or preferably both dice. Of course as you are trying to lose here this isn't the outcome you want as 1 x 1 gets you £100,000 and double 1 gets you a whopping £300,000. To get rid of money you throw the dice as often as you want until you either decide to stop or get a 1. This amount is counted up and you pay £5,000 back to the bank for each point added. So if you scored a total of 10 and decided to stop you could get rid of £50,000. If a 1 appears though you instantly win and your score is disregarded.
This is a really good fun game and easy to play. The rules are easy to understand and betting amounts are written on the board itself so there is no constant looking up the rules as with some games. As well as the ways above to spend or gain money there are some fun instruction squares which give you a laugh as you go round the board. Such things as paying money to the Protective Society for Traffic Wardens would not normally be a welcome gesture to make (no offence to any traffic wardens out there) but of course this is a great way to lower your bank balance. There is also the fun idea that your friends will give you money cause they think you need a new wardrobe. I wish I had friends like that in real life. There are lots of funny scenarios as you go round this board and we really love this game in our house.
The only problem with this game is that it can vary in time length dramatically, for instance I think the quickest game I've ever played lasted around 10 minutes and the longest was around an hour and a half so make sure you have plenty of time just in case. Of course if time is limited I guess you could do an add up to see who has the least amount of cash at a specified time but this isn't as much fun.
I'll leave you with a strange story.
This was never such a popular game as certain other MB games and I had never come across anyone else who knew how to play it apart from my immediate family let alone owned it so imagine my surprise when my bloke and I moved in together. He owned this game too. Is that weird or what???
The Aim of the Game You start of with a million pounds and to win you have to spend all that money. It sounds easy but believe me, it's not! You win money when you bet on the horses, inherit the stuff, it seems to come from everywhere! So think of the Game of Life reversed. Who Can Play? It's for 2 to 5 players from age 8 to adult. It's a great family game to play in the evening instead of watching the box! The Pieces Little plastic things that could be lost quite easily if you're not careful! Ways of Losing Money (and Getting it Back) The Lottery square: here you place money £5000 to be precise. However if you are directed to go to it, you get all the money in the tray. Hotels: you can buy one of these per game BUT you get paid rent if someone lands on it! Horses: place a bet and hope to lose! You spin the horse wheel and if your horse loses great. But if it wins, then you get your bet back plus your winnings! Casino: again you either win or lose! Landing on an oponant: great! pay them money in compensation! Double Six: Boo! you win money. Price: This was in the cottage we stayed at so I can't really help there Overall The more players you have in this game the longer and better it will be. I spent many an hour playing this with my friend. I found the aspect of losing money instead of winning quite refreshing. It's definitely worth a look if you want something different to play with the family, and if you do have young childre, they could buddy up with a grown up and help in the decisions as to what to do. So noone gets left out.