Cash is king! Or is it? They best things in life are free! Are they really? Money is power, money isn’t everything etc. etc. There are plenty of money based sayings but the one truth about money is that we all need it – to pay bills, pay rent, buy food. Some can manage with very little, some need exorbitant amounts which is never enough. Everybody needs money. Money makes the world go round, but can it buy you happiness? Of course it can, especially if you are playing for big money in a board game where you have to collect as much money as you can and become the richest player around the table!
There are lots of board games that involves earning and winning money such as Monopoly and The Game of Life among many. Big Money from Ravensburger involves large amount of cash, and in this game, you must collect as much of it as you possibly can – and we aren’t talking about hundreds, thousands or even millions but ZILLIONS of dollars! Big Money is a board game that is a cross between the classic dice game of Yahtzee and the real-estate game of Monopoly. A game of strategy, shrewd investments and BIG MONEY!
Big Money is a game of risky rolls and fabulous fortunes!
In the box:
- Game Board
- Dice Cup
- 6 Dice (5 regular numbered dice, 1 pictorial industry die)
- 47 Cards (Start-up Asset Card, Gold-backed Asset Cards and Biz News Cards)
- 120 banknotes ($1, $5 and $10 Zillion Banknotes)
- Instructions / Game Rules
Big Money is a board game for 2 to 5 players, aged 8 and above with a playing time around 30 minutes. It is a game where risky rolls of the dice can accumulate big fortunes, and everybody can get crazy rich. The game is played until the bank runs out of money. An excellent game that can be played by kids, adults and families.
This is a game when you really have to read and reread the rules of the game before starting. The instructions and game rules are clear and easy to read, as for understanding how to play the game we found them not so easy. We decided to start playing anyway and read the rules as we went, and once we had dived in and just started playing, the rules actually made more sense and are very simple and easy to follow, making sense once you could see what was happening. I would recommend having a read through of the instructions before playing without worrying too much if you don’t quite understand them to begin with, it all becomes clear as soon as you start playing.
Setting up the game couldn’t be easier. The game board unfolds and gets placed in the centre of the table within easy reach of all players. A Banker is chosen who then sorts the money into stacks of $1 Zillion, $5 Zillion and $10 Zillion piles. Each player chooses one start-up asset card (they have green backs so easily identifiable), it could be a Luxury Limo Service (Travel category), a High Fashion Magazine (Entertainment category), Drone Racing League (Sports category), a Video Game Studio (Technology category) or a Food Fleet Truck (Food category) and places it face-up on the table in front of them. All start-up assets have the same value of $5 Zillion, so nobody is getting any monetary advantage to begin with. Shuffle the gold-backed asset cards and place them face-down on the game board, drawing four cards and placing then face-up on the Market area of the game board. Shuffle the Biz News cards and place them face-down on the game board. No player receives any money to start with, you must earn your zillions. You are ready to play.
As with a lot of board games, the youngest player gets to start first.
To play, the starting player puts all six dice in the dice cup, gives them a good shake and rolls them on to the table. Firstly, take a look at the industry die (it will be a picture), any player that has an asset card from the category shown on the die receives the value of that card from the bank (start-up assets are worth $5 Zillion, others are worth between $5 and $15 Zillion). If you roll a pig you will need to pick up a Biz News card and read it aloud – be warned, these generally see players lose money or assets. With the numbered dice, if you have ever played Yahtzee you will know what to do – you have to roll a combination of 1 pair (two dice of the same number), 2 pairs (two dice of one number and two of another), 3 of a Kind (three dice of the same number), Little Straight (four dice of consecutive numbers), Full House (three dice of one number and two dice of another number), 4 of a Kind (four dice of the same number), Big Straight (five dice of consecutive numbers) or 5 of a Kind (five dice of the same number). You have another two rolls to get the best combination that you can. Depending on the combination you have after your rolls of the dice have finished you will receive from the bank between $5 and $30 Zillion (amounts for each combination are printed on the game board). Once you have rolled all the dice and collected your payout you can choose to buy an asset, picking from the four face-up asset cards on the game board.
The game continues around the table with players collecting money and buying assets until the bank runs out of money. The winner is the one that has accrued the most amount of cash.
Overall, Big Money really is a fun family game. At its heart it is Yahtzee with some added extras to make it more appealing to children and families and competitive capitalists. Everybody collects large amounts of money along the way and must make decisions about when to buy assets to increase their large fortunes.
As a family, we have enjoyed it a lot. It is so easy to play and encourages strategic thinking, problem solving and, even though the values of the bank notes are ludicrous, also promotes the value of money and counting skills. With a playing time of 30-40 minutes, it doesn’t take too long to play, and nobody loses interest in the game whilst playing. It is an excellent game for social interaction as well as it gets everybody talking, laughing and interacting with each other.
Another bonus is that it doesn’t come in a big box so if you are limited on space, it makes it a lot easier to store on the board game shelf, and the box itself looks good, like a large stack of dollars.
Big Money is an excellent fun family game. It is very competitive and lots of fun with a playing time that is just right for all age groups. Can you become the biggest ZILLIONAIRE?
Available to buy from Amazon here.