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Subject: This game is still worth a play - Trust Me! rss

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Purple TripleCrown
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Trust me is a short, family oriented game that should be easy to quickly summarize, but somehow it isn't.

The premise of the game is that you visit potential investments on the board (by rolling and moving) and then return to the lending institution at the centre of the board to make investments according to their known, or guessed, rates of return. It's a family game, as there are only 4 possible rates of return, and only 4 short pages of rules.

However, there is more going on here:

1. When it's time to invest in a property, all players can invest to the limit of their cash. However, share purchase payments made by non-phasing players go to the phasing player (but he can't use that money to make his own investment).
2. You can invest blind (the potential reward being an extra turn to return to the lending institution).
3. There's opportunity for bluffing.
4. You can attack other people's investments by trying to land on their space and/or interfere with their travel to investments or the trust company.
5. You can never move just one space (a unique mechanic in my gaming experience). If you roll a 1, you get a card and follow its instructions. Most of the time, the cards allow you to preview the value of investments that no one has claimed.
6. The setup of the game eliminates 4 of 16 possible investment value chits. The game ends when only 2 of the 12 investments in play are left. As a result, it can be difficult to simply deduce the value of the last investment. Consequently, you are forced to calculate "Final Jeopardy-style" how much you are prepared to invest whereby you might still win even if it isn't a worthwhile investment.

In short, this game has a variety of mechanics that:

a. Create risk/reward potential,
b. Permit "catch up" by unlucky or less skilled players,
c. Allow someone who is inclined to mathematics to analyze any number of facets of investment/play options.

All in about 30 minutes.

On the downside, it is awkward (and unfashionable in these times) to handle the paper money/share certificates as often as you have to in this game, and there was certainly room for more artistic creativity in the design of the board and names of the investments and investment groupings. Further, many people will not like even the basic amount of arithmetic needed to keep track of/finalize your score (in my experience people do not like to add up any number over 10 these days). On the other hand, the plastic investment briefcases are a cool component (particularly for that era).

This game was short enough to keep everyone's attention, had enough luck not to discourage the non-gamers of the group, and enough math to please the tactical among the group. Considering that this game is widely available for thrift prices, it's a worthwhile addition to most game collections.
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