Money Maker – Board Game Review
Follow Genre: Strategy
Players: 3-6
Age: 11+
Duration: +-15 minutes per player
Distributor: Cooperatie Money Maker

Money Maker – Board Game Review

Site Score
8.3
Good: Concept, Design, Balance
Bad: A bit daunting at first
User Score
7.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Board games come in all forms and sizes and in many different categories when looking at their price. We have had many luck-based games before, or even paper-based escape games and a first-person shooter that was translated to a board game. There are many different concepts and it’s sometimes hard to pick the game that suits you the best. Nonetheless, some games catch our attention, and this time it was Money Maker that started off as a blip on our radar. For this one, we go back in time to Amsterdam’s Golden Age, where it’s all about earning money and, making money.

Contents

  • Game board
  • Credit die
  • 2 territorial dice
  • 82 gold pieces
  • 6 player tokens
  • 5 bank run tokens
  • 6 vaults
  • 480 credit tokens
  • 120 commodities
  • 36 finance cards
  • 19 action cards
  • 1 score notebook

The contents in the box of Money Maker are quite plentiful, but they are also colorful, sturdy and easy to differentiate. There are many loose parts in this game, and the box would have been a mess if it wasn’t for the extra Ziploc bags that were thrown to store everything in a neat and tidy fashion. Choices like this show that these are experienced board game makers/players that know what a hassle it is to store your games. It might be silly, but gestures like this immediately make you want to play the game, in a carefree fashion, as cleaning it up will be a lot of fun, as it also makes sure your game is ready for a new playthrough at a later date, without having to sort every component first. Returning to the individual components, we love how the developer(s) created the vaults and the different dice.

Mechanics

The goal in Money Maker is actually quite straightforward, as it’s all about making money, and having the most of it before the last bank run has ended. You’ll be playing as one investor competing with other investors that also want to enter the market. You’ll have some resources at your disposal, but it’s all about loaning money (credits) and hopefully paying off your debt when the situation demands for it. Overall the game looks daunting and complex, but when you’ve started, it’ll be quite easy to get the hang of.

You’ll first have to set up the board, the commodities, your vault, your credit stack and so on. You can start bidding on who gets to go first, and after that, it’s always the same format. You either bid on a finance card, produce commodities or you opt to pay off some of your debt. The latter can be quite interesting when the game is coming to a close.

The credit you request has to be placed in one of the game’s regions. Where you have to place yours depends on how much of your debt you have paid off. If you haven’t paid off any debt, you’ll be in the first zone, if you paid off more than 10, you’ll be in the next, if you pay an additional 20 extra, you’ll be in another category, and so on. The higher your ranking, the more zones your category has. The latter decreases the risk of being in a targeted zone (which is chosen by the territorial die). When it’s time for a bank run, a zone will be targeted and every player will have to pay off their debt, which correlates with the outstanding credit in the targeted zone. If you’re in the first category, you’ll see that your zone corresponds with every figure on the die, if you’re in the next, the figures are split up, meaning you have a 50/50 chance of paying back what is due, etc.

As time goes on, you’ll notice that you can barter with players who can’t pay off their debt when they have to, or when you are in trouble. The game has a lot more things to go by, but it would just make this review overly complex, and more of a guide than an opinion about the game.

Luck or Strategy?

Even though the rolls of the different dice add a certain luck factor to the game, especially concerning how much each player has to pay off his debts, you’ll still have a lot of strategic options in this game. You can opt to invest in different properties, buy action cards that can be used at later periods, or you can already pay off debts yourself, making you a bit more secure during a bank run. You can barter with other players in need, earning you some new properties or getting a bit of extra credit from their bank. The options are plentiful and you’ll also have to take into account that getting promoted to a new solvability state isn’t always the best choice, because it can also mean that you have a lot of outstanding credit that might plunder your vault during a bank run. We found the luck and strategy balance perfect in this one, and it never made the game feel unfair.

Conclusion

Money Maker looks like a daunting experience when first opening the box, but the creator also has a few YouTube clips to show you how the game works. We recommend watching these clips first, before you read the rules, and you’ll notice that the game is actually fairly easy to understand. We were treated to a very interesting concept, where there’s no clear winner or loser until the end balance is made. If you like competitive games that revolve around gathering commodities, bartering with other players, earning money and pretty much loaning as much money as you can, then Money Maker will make your weekly board game evening.

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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Money Maker - Board Game Review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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