This is the oldest game in my collection and was bought by my father some time in the late 60's. I think it has aged well and still makes for a good game today although it may be difficult to find a copy.
What is it?
Tired of a life of gold prospecting or deep sea diving you decide to do something more interesting like get into the world of the stock market. Buy shares and hope that they go up in value. Be careful though as you may be forced to sell them all for a pittance.
How many players?
There is not really a limit on how many people you can play with. There is zero interaction in this game. Not even indirect interaction really. The only thing to consider is increasing the player count will increase the downtime. More than 4 players and you will definitely find your attention wandering. Fortunately each players turn is fairly short and can usually be done within a minute.
Each turn you roll two dice and move that number of squares around the board similar to monopoly. Most squares allow you to buy shares with a specific company. Some squares for you to pay a fee based on how many shares you have and some squares force you to sell all your shares in a company for the minimum price.
Interestingly each square has an arrow on it directing which way you can go. So sometimes you go clockwise and sometimes anticlockwise. You can also enter shareholder meetings and here you can double or even triple your shares! These shareholder meeting pathways give you options on how you move around the board and put in some decision making.
The other part of the game is the value of the shares. There is a large table in the centre of the board which has multiple values for each company. There is a slider in the middle of the table so you can adjust the values of the shares. Every square you land on will adjust the stock market. 4 companies shares will increase in value while the other 4 decrease in value. The companies are not all equal either. Some of them have a much greater variance in values. For instance they roughly go 20-40, 15-100, 10-110, 30-230;
There is a lot of luck to Stockmarket as you roll dice and see where you land. You might receive several hundred shares or you might lose all your shares. However the strategy is in understanding the risk of each dice roll and being able to mitigate that risk. E.g If you need a 12 to land on sell all then you are most likely safe to continue. If you need a 7 to land on sell all then you should probably sell of a decent amount of your shares at the current price so you are not forced to sell them at the minimum price.
Replayability here is not massive as once you understand the basics of how the game works that is pretty much all there is to it. Buy stock when it is cheap. Sell it when it is high and avoid the Sell All squares at all costs.
Aside from everyone using the same changing stock market there is no interaction in this game at all. Occasionally someone will land on a corner square and your stock value will plummet but they are not really in control of that and furthermore they then have to pay a massive fine so if they have the choice between landing on a corner square and any other square they will likely go for the other square. This game is a million times less spiteful than monopoly and hence I enjoy it a lot more.
Path to Victory
One thing that I really like about this game is that you can't lose. No matter what happens you can always keep going and eventually you will manage to make a lot of money. If only it worked like that in real life!
If you want to be the first to make mega bucks then you need a little bit of luck and a little bit of strategy.
-Only buy 1 share in a company unless they are very cheap. If the stockmarket is on the bottom rung then buy as many as you can afford though as you can't lose out. Shares will never become worthless.
-Always consider what roll you need to land on Sell All and consider how many shares you have. The more shares you have the more you should probably sell now.
-Try and have at least 1 share in every company
Stockmarket is really easy to learn and play. Just be sure to have a calculator handy.
-Easy to learn
-Good education about finance although not completely. A discussion about why this game does not resemble actual stocks is probably a really great idea as a teaching tool
-No one is a loser here. Everyone can make thousands.
-Slightly more strategy possible in how you move then in say Monopoly.
-Epitome of multiplayer solitaire
-Theme is kind of dry. Shares are just not sexy.
-No natural stopping point. (The box says 100,000 but it is kind of arbitrary so you can just keep going and going)
-Outdated. The names of the companies don't mean anything to me.
-Luck of the dice plays a large part in this game.
You should buy this game if
-You like stocks
-You want to teach your children about shares and investing
-You like the feeling of going from having nothing to having a huge stock empire in the course of an afternoon