Posted by: gschloesser | August 9, 2011

Money

Design by:  Reiner Knizia
Published by:  Gryphon Games
3 – 5 Players, 20 – 30 minutes
Review by:  Greg J. Schloesser  

While his output has been down as of late, it wasn’t too long ago that designer Reiner Knizia was churning out games at an astonishing pace.  He has also become a master at finding new life for his older designs, with dozens of them being reprinted by a variety of publishers, usually with no or minor changes.  One certainly has to admire his business acumen. 

Originally published in the late 1990s, Money is one of these games that has been republished, this time by Gryphon Games.  The artwork has been revamped – gone is the South African Krugerrand – and the box has been considerably enlarged.  Other than that, the game is faithful to the original.  For me, that is not a good thing, as I have never been a fan of the game.  

The object of the game is to collect sets of currencies in the proper denominations by shrewd trading.  The deck of cards consists of seven currencies, each with nine cards in values ranging from twenty-to-sixty.  In addition, there are six gold coin cards and five bluff cards.  Each player receives a starting hand of six cards plus one bluff card.  Eight cards are revealed, four on each side of the deck. 

Game play is quite simple.  Each player surveys the sets of cards available on the table, then simultaneously makes an offer of one or more cards from their hands.  The player who made the offer with the greatest cumulative value selects first.  He may take either of the two offers on beside the deck, or an offer made by any of the players.  He simply exchanges the cards he offered with the offer he selects.  The active player take the cards into his hand, but the offer he exchanged remains on the table.  Each player has the opportunity to make such a trade, or keep the cards he has in front of him. 

After each player has had the opportunity to trade, the two offers beside the deck are replenished to four cards each.  Round-after-round is conducted until the deck expires.  At the completion of one final round, scores are tallied and the winner determined.  As in many Knizia games, the scoring is a bit unusual.  First, players tally the value of their currencies by type.  If the value is over two-hundred, the player earns the full value.  If, however, the value is less than two hundred, one-hundred is subtracted from the value to determine that currencies total.  Gold coins are always worth ten points.  Bonuses are earned for having all three cards in a currency with a value of twenty or thirty, one hundred points for each set collected.  The player with the most points is victorious, and named the new Donald Trump. 

I mentioned earlier that I’ve never been a fan of Money … the game, not the currency!  I personally find the game too restrictive.  Often during the game, in order to get cards you desire, you are forced to trade cards you want to keep.  That’s frustrating.  But the aspect of the game that dooms it for me is that it simply is not exciting or very interesting.  Swapping cards for other sets of cards over-and-over again fails to excite me.  I find it quite dull, which is the kiss-of-death, as I seek to play games I enjoy and with which I have fun.  Money is neither.  I recognize that I am in the minority regarding my opinion of the game, and am happy many find it to be to their liking.  For me, there are numerous other filler-style games I’d rather play.

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Responses

  1. Good quick filler. Probably my favorite card game filler. 7/10


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