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Subject: Acquire: an undisputable classic rss

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Ed Sherman
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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Acquire, the Sid Sackson real estate game, has been published buy many companies over the past forty-plus years. Is is worth it?

At its heart, the gameplay is pretty simple:
1) play a tile
2) purchase some stock
3) draw another tile

The tiles represent the growth of several hotel chains that grow and merge like something out of John Conway's classic computer simulation Life (not the boardgame) -- as two chains connect, the stronger one absorbs the weaker one. This changes the value of the stock that you've been buying up throughout the game.

In a way, the game feels very abstract -- you only get to place a tile in its proper spot on the grid (7h always goes in the game place). This allows more strategy because you can hold onto a certain tile until you can really profit from it (by buying up more stock before a merger). However, I really think that Acquire uses its theme very well -- for example, I always think of holding onto a tile for a strategic purpose like having "insider information" in the stock market.

The nice thing about Acquire is that it is what I think of as an elegant game. By "elegant" I mean that the rules (place a tile, buy stock) are very easy to understand allowing you to see the depth of strategy available.

In summary, Acquire in many ways is the first game to show a lot of the characteristics of the "German game" -- abstracted gameplay, easy mechanics but deep strategy. I think it it one of my favorite games and would play it just about any time. I wish Avalon Hill would re-release it though. Until then, try to get a copy at a thrift store or ebay. (My rating: 10/10)
 
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