Spotlight on Games > Ludographies > Essen 2010
Essen 2010 Game by Game

Economic Games

Bangkok Klongs
Martin Schlegel; DLP Games; 2-4; 60
Tile placement and set collection game set amid the floating markets of Bangkok. Players place boats trying for the best places. When a scoring round occurs filled up squares can be scored. After scoring players have to remove a boat back into stock, which will be scored at the end of play. [more]

Das Börsenspiel n-tv
Simon Haas; Huch! & friends; 2-4; 45 10+
"The Stock Market Game" was developed in conjunction with n-tv, German news channel. Players buy and sell shares in four large corporations which has great influence on prices, dividends and trends. [more]

Friedemann Friese; 2F-Spiele; 2-5; 60
In 1516 you grow and supply food to local breweries in the hopes of making enough to achieve your personal palace. The tricky bits are that prices fall as supply of food increases, and that the more work you do on your home, the less space you have for growing. There are special buildings that confer advantages and three types of products (water, barley and hops). Also includes an expert version. [more]

Grand Cru
Ulrich Blum; eggertspiele/Heidelberger Spieleverlag; 2-5; 90
Players acquire vineyards in five varieties, harvest grapes, make the wine, age it and sell it. Each turn there is a wide variety of actions to choose from including an EBay-like multi-multi auction for vineyards and improvements, promoting a variety (increasing the market price of this variety of wine), harvesting a single vineyard or selling all of one variety from one barrel. Although money is the final determinant of victory, there is a secondary economy in which players earn prestige points for having sold the most wine in a variety; these points are spent on one or more special abilities. This is a very tactical affair in which any one player ends the round for everyone by harvesting all his fields and wins the game by paying off all his loans. Unfortunately the iconic language on the improvements and special abilities is rather difficult. [More Wine games] [more]

Isla Dorada
Andrea Angiolino, Bruno Faidutti, Alan R. Moon, Pier Giorgio Paglia; Fantasy Flight/FunForge; 3-6; 90
A 1930s treasure hunting expedition crashes its zeppelin on an little known island where there happen to be a great many treasures. Players represent members of the exploratory party who always travel together. They collect various kinds of cards – movements, actions, destinations, curses, destinies, bonus or penalty – and try to build up the best possible hand in order to decide where the party will go next and get the most valuable cards out of the negotiations. [more]

Key Market
David Brain; R&D Games; 2-4; 90
The latest in the Key series and the first not designed by Richard Breese. Each player controls a family of workers and tries to build up their wealth. First they produce crops, livestock and luxuries which they attempt to sell. They may try to get workers into guilds to acquire skills and become craftsmen. [more]

Key West
Martin Schlegel;; 3-5; 60
In the Florida islands during Hemingway's time players can pursue any of a number of ways of making money: bridge shares, hotels, cigars, plantations and deep sea diving for wrecks and treasure. A new idea for simultaneous auction has the high bidder pay the lowest, but only in the amount that the lowest bid. Low also becomes the start player. Activities are driven by an action board, the player being able to choose up to four types from two spaces per turn. Some activities depend on dice, some on majority control and diving on luck and memory. [more]

Last of the Independents
Patrick Stevens; Numbskull Games; 2-6; 90
Automobile production and sales in the post-World War II era, i.e. when cars had fins. Players represent small independent firms competing with the Big 3 as well as one another. Each company has a different set of strengths and weaknesses such as dealer support, radio advertising, power, safety, interior styling, exterior styling and four-door sedan availability. Players must decide which market segment to go into. There are also special cards "take that!" that can alter the allocations. Contested categories are resolved by means of drawing from a bag. Cards can also be played to affect trends as players seek to have the Car of the Year more often than anyone else. [more]

Master of Economy
Andrzej Kurek; Sinonis; 2-4; 120
Business game inspired by Imperial and Puerto Rico has players running corporations and using them to increase the value of private property. By buying up shares on the market they take over more corporations. There are no dice, cards or random factors apart from what other players do. Companies improve by building new factories. Shareholders receive some share of a company's profits even if they don't control it. Both players and companies have money and not only players, but also corporations can hold shares in other corporations. Auctions, negotiation and roles, as in Puerto Rico play large roles here. [more]

Mac Gerdts; PD-Verlag/Rio Grande; 2-5; 60-90
Rondel-style game and yet another of the many lately inspired by the Portuguese 15th century discoveries. The board shows stylized version most of the world between Brazil and Japan, attractively resembling to some extent an antique map. Each player begins with two ships and three workers. Actions include hiring, buying ships, factories, shipyards and churches, sailing (via area movement), establishing colonies, trading goods on the market and getting privileges (in five categories). Products include sugar, gold and spices. [more]

Show Business
Grzegorz Majewski; Sinonis; 2-5; 60-150
Players are managers of music groups playing in one of five major musical styles: rock, pop, rap/soul/R&B, jazz, or electronic. Musicians (who play in up to two different styles) must be recruited. A band can have as many as six members. Dice determine what the current trends in style, lyrical content, speed and volume are. Then it's necessary to record songs, put on concerts and use special cards to change the trends. There are cards to sabotage others. Eventually each group's songs are ranked to gain popularity points with the bottom five being thrown out. Main mechanisms appear to be hand management and timing. [more]

Paul Laane; Aqua Games; 2-5; 30-60
Players take turns choosing from one of three options: planting plus market manipulation, harvesting or buying/selling. Grapes come in four types: red, white, rosé and champagne. Thematic oddities: water must be purchased like a commodity; planting requires spending red wine; manipulating the market either rosé or champagne. The market availabilities seem destined to pretty much freeze after a certain point. [More Wine games] [more]

Vital Lacerda; What's Your Game?; 2-4; 180
The designer confesses to being a Die Macher fan and this promises to be in that vein, covering every aspect of the wine biz in Portugal with most of randomness being in what other players do. Choose varieties, cultivate vines, hire winemakers and attempt to sell products at the market. Made in Portugal, but containing no in game text to translate. [More] [More Wine games]

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Spotlight on Games > Ludographies > Essen 2010