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Big Money

Roll dice to create runs and sets to earn money, acquire stocks and assets, diversify or go all in on one industry. But be careful, because some bad biz news might just wipe you out!

Published by Wonder Forge, Big Money is a set collection, dice rolling game with push-your-luck mechanics. Will you become the richest zillionaire of them all?

Gameplay

The board is placed in the center of the table and the asset deck is shuffled. You draw four asset cards and place them in the market area on the board. Assets belong to one of five different industries and there are regular assets and stock assets for each industry. The biz news deck is also shuffled and placed on the board. Each player takes one starter asset and places it in front of themselves (starter assets not used are returned to the game box). Finally, you set the money in front of the board. Money comes in three denominations: one zillion, five zillion, and ten zillion.

On your turn you roll one industry die and five number dice. Based on what industry you rolled, players earn money based on the asset cards they have. Regular asset cards earn the amount they cost. So if you paid ten zillion for an asset, it will earn you ten zillion each time its industry is rolled. Stocks earn double the money you paid for them, but are then discarded after they’re scored. Players also earn a bonus if they have two or more assets in the industry rolled, with the bonus increasing the more cards they have in that industry.

If the industry die rolled biz news, you must draw a biz news card. These will have largely negative effects, such as forcing players to discard asset cards that belong to a certain industry or forcing everyone pay money for each asset they own.

After the industry die has been resolved, the active player may reroll any of the number dice up to two times. The goal is to create sets of matching numbers or runs of sequential numbers. The more difficult the combination the more you will earn for it. After you have finished rolling and created whatever combination of dice you can manage, and taken your winnings, you may buy one asset from the market. The market is then filled back up, and it is the next player’s turn.

The game ends once the bank runs out of money. Players count up all their bills and the player with the most money wins.

Big Money Components

Review

Big Money is a fun, casual dice game that is incredibly easy to pick up and play, while still offering engaging player choices and push your luck elements. Choosing which dice sets to go for of course gives you the opportunity to go with safe rolls or try for the bigger payouts — but you typically walk away with at least something, so you seldom feel like a turn has been wasted.

Turns are really zippy, which keeps the game moving at a fun fast pace, and since you can earn money from the industry die during an opponent’s turn, even at higher player counts you feel interested on other players' turns.

The game has a really excellent escalation built in, as more and more assets are acquired causing players to start earning more and more each round. Stocks also offer big payouts, but even they are not sure money, as there is the luck of the draw with the biz cards that might find you losing a stock before being able to cash it in. The biz cards keep the game unpredictable and suspenseful. Some players may not enjoy having half their wealth or assets wiped out by the draw of a card, but it is thematically appropriate and does fit with the press-your-luck element of the gameplay. Once everyone is familiar with what cards are in the deck, you can make more informed decisions with the assets you purchase.

As you near the end of the game, choices become trickier. Assets are not worth any at the end, so late game purchases may in fact work against you, especially as you don’t know what the industry dice will roll. This introduces some additional strategy as you near the game’s conclusion.

Big Money is an attractive game, with fun and purposefully silly artwork. The fact that the money is in denominations of zillions, sets the tone for the theme and the gameplay. The board is nice and the dice and dice cup are good quality. The only downside are the cards, which are made of a thin, flimsy cardstock.

We had a lot of fun with Big Money. Its speed, fast turns, and player choices come together in a light but pleasing game. It’s satisfying to watch as you start earning more and more bills and acquire more and more assets, and pulling off an excellent roll of the dice has all that satisfaction that you want from a good dice game.

Pros: Game escalation and endgame, speed of turns

Cons: Flimsy cards, some players may dislike the unpredictability of the biz cards

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.