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Luck: The Game

Bid on key locations and try to control four in a row in order to be the luckiest player and win the game.

Published by Breaking Games and themed around the 2022 film Luck that was released on Apple TV+, Luck: The Game is a re-theme of The Game of 49. Is it a worthy successor? Let's take a look.

Gameplay

The game board is printed on the back of the bag that holds the game. The board shows a grid of spaces numbered 1 to 49. Space 49 is in the center of the grid. Each player takes luck tokens in their player color as well as $49 worth of paper money.

There is a deck of cards which you shuffle and then slide into the box. The box is open on one side so that you can always see one card. Cards have numbers corresponding to spaces on the board. The card currently visible is the card that is up for auction that round.

The active player goes first, either making a bid on the card or passing. Cards show a minimum bid amount. Players take turns bidding or passing. Once you pass, you cannot re-enter the bidding. Bidding continues until everyone but one player has passed. He then pays his bid to the bank and takes the card out of the deck, placing one of his luck tokens on the corresponding space on the board. If no player bids on a card, the card is simply removed from the game.

There are a few special payoff cards in the deck. These will often list a range of spaces, and the player who wins the card gets to choose any one location space in that range on the board that is not already sold and place a sold token there. After the auction of a payoff card, everyone earns seven dollars for each luck token they have on the board.

If at any point a card is up for auction whose space has already been claimed due to a payoff card, you simply discard it and move onto the next — with the exception of the center space, which can always be stolen.

After an auction ends, the next player in turn order becomes the active player and will start the next round. When a player manages to get four luck tokens of his color in a row (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally) he wins the game.

Luck: The Game Components

Review

The core gameplay of Luck: The Game is quite enjoyable. It’s light on rules and is all about the auctions, money management, and player interaction. You never know when the next payoff will come, so while you might really want a particular space, spending big early can put you at a severe disadvantage for future auctions.

There is a lot of player interaction, and you’re paying as much attention to what spaces other people need as you are to what spaces you need. Players will attempt to drive up the prices for each other, but you need to be careful not to end up overpaying for a space you don’t need. Also, the random order in which spaces will come up for sale ensures unpredictability. Something that seems like a wise investment can end up being quite unhelpful down the road. All of this interaction is the heart of the game and is quite enjoyable.

It is worth mentioning that Luck: The Game is a remake of the The Game of 49, which was also remade as Zilionaires Road Trip USA this year. The more general theme and high quality components of Zilionaires Road Trip USA make it a preferable choice for us. We hadn’t heard of the movie Luck before playing this game, and there’s nothing included to set the scene or introduce the characters. However, the artwork and theme could definitely appeal to families, with cute animals and fun characters and bright, cheerful colors used in the design.

There are some component issues, as well. Having everything fit inside a bag makes the game more portable, but using the board on the back of the bag can be a little tricky. Luck tokens can slide and it can be a nuisance. But the real issue lies with the rulebook. The rulebook is only slightly smaller than the bag itself, so when you put the rulebook inside it, you can’t close the bag all the way without bending the rulebook, which in turn means the bag will no longer lie flat, unless you crush the rulebook down. There are also no plastic bags or containers included for the luck tokens, so if you don’t close the bag all the way to enable the rulebook to lay flat, things do fall out.

The gameplay of Luck: The Game is definitely fun and if the theme appeals to you, it is well worth checking out, and it would be a good fit for families who enjoy this movie. If you take the rulebook out, the game would also be great for travel.

Pros: Bright colorful theme makes this family friendly, portable, great player interaction

Cons: Some component issues, there are other versions of this game that might appeal to players more

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