Saturday, September 14, 2013

Acquire [Board Game Review]

This is going to be my favorite review to date. It’s not because it’s my favorite game - Agricola and Power Grid co-own that title. It’s not because it’s the best-looking game. It’s because it’s the first “real” board game I played. It’s the game that got me started in the world of strategy gaming. I can very fondly remember joining my dad and uncles when I was 10 or 11 to learn this game and was in awe that there were games that were like this.

The old 3M edition of Acquire - the version of the game I own
Acquire is a game for 3-6 players and takes around 90 minutes to play, though more like 120 minutes as you add more players. The goal of the game is simple - accumulate the most money through your investments in hotel chains (or technological companies depending on your version).

Photo courtesy dandechino @
This is how your turn goes - you play a tile on the board and then purchase stock in any hotel chain currently on the board. If you create a group of 2 more tiles with your placement, you may "found" that hotel chain with one of the available color tiles. If you lay a tile that joins 2 (or more) chains together, a merger occurs, and the majority shareholders in the acquired hotel chain receive a bonus. As I always say, this is not a full explanation of the rules. That is what the rule book is for.

So what do I think of this game? It is great. Sid Sackson, the designer, was ahead of time really. The game is so elegantly simple in its design, but "mastering" the game is the challenge. Which hotel chain do you invest in? Which chains do you merge? When do you merge them? All things you have to consider. All key decisions you have to make. When you look at this game, you can clearly see its influence on other games - Airlines Europe immediately comes to mind.
If you are looking to take friends or family beyond Monopoly, Life, etc, Acquire could be a good start. It would be very easy to teach the game as you go. If you are a more serious board gamer, then this should definitely be in your collection

Happy Saturday!

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