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February 28, 2015 / Jett

Board Game Night Playlist: Make it Rain


This installment of the Board Game Night Playlist is all about money. This set of games is all about stacking that paper, making it rain and stacking more paper so you can make it rain again. The most obvious choice almost didn’t make the cut, but there are some lesser known games that really make this list pop. Time to get out your wallets and let the money fly!

Last Will

2-5 players
Ages 13 and up
60 minutes

Your rich and zany uncle has just passed away. Instead of simply doling out his money in an orderly fashion, he’s challenged his relatives to go broke as fast as possible. The first one to reach this dubious milestone will earn all of his riches, while everyone else leaves empty-handed. Each day, players take turns spending their money on houses, lavish parties, hot dates and even trips to the gentleman’s club in hopes of going broke first. I like the twist on convention where it’s better to have less resources than more, and there’s actually quite a bit of strategy involved if you want to go bankrupt the fastest. Last Will is a great game to play on almost any given game night, though it fits perfectly with the theme of this one.
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Lords of Vegas

2-4 players
Ages 12 and up
60 minutes

Before the Las Vegas Strip came to be, that area of land was just a desert. In Lords of Vegas, that’s where you and your fellow players come in. As real estate tycoons, you’ll build casinos, gamble at other players’ establishments and battle each other for control of every building on the Strip. The game is constantly engaging, as you’re always involved in the action, even when it’s not your turn. Money is always changing hands and feelings are being hurt basically every step of the way due to the cutthroat nature of the game. When it comes to money-centric drama, you’d be hard-pressed to find a game that does it better than Lords of Vegas.


2-8 players
Ages 8 and up
180 minutes

Monopoly is the reason why this entire category of gaming exists. However, as you probably already know, Monopoly is a deeply flawed game. Players can find themselves eliminated very early on and the game can drag long after you’ve had your fun with it. Having said that, based on what I’ve seen throughout my life, most people have never given Monopoly a fair shake.

Most people play with house rules that undermine the original design. I don’t think Monopoly is anywhere near as good as the games mentioned above, but it’s actually not bad if you follow the rules as written. I think the trading aspects of the game in particular allow you to make some interesting decisions in regards to what properties you’ll keep. If you’re not sure exactly what the rules are, play a digital version of Monopoly on your phone or computer first, which will have the standard rules on by default. Then, once you’ve got a feel for it, bring that knowledge back to the analog version. I wouldn’t go out of my way to give Monopoly an honest try, though if you have it lying around (and you probably do), give it a shot with the official rules and maybe it’ll give you a new perspective on this pioneer of board gaming.

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