Game Type: Negotiation
Number of Players: 3 -8
Mechanics: Negotiation, Auction, Bluffing
Recommended for fans of: Modern Art, Sideral Confluence
*PSSST* Hey you…yeah you! Come over here, but keep quiet. I’ve got quite the deal for you, but I don’t want any of my competitors nosing in on it.
What would you say if I told you I had some brand new dilithium crystals for sale? I know, I know they’re hard to find these days, but because you look like such an honest, kind individual I’d be willing to part for them for the low, low price of ten gold plated latnium. How ‘bout it?
What’s that you say? Quarg sold you three already for eight latnium each?!? THAT FITHLY BACKSTABBER! WHEN I GET A HOLD OF HIM, I’M GOING TO STRANGLE HIM! WE HAD A DEAL TO KEEP PRICE HIGH SO WE COULD FLEECE ALL THE RUBES…uhhhhhhh what I mean to say is that undercutting your friends is bad for business and society, heh. Ya know what forget the crystals, let me tell you about this fun little game I have instead.
In Galactic Enterprises, players are ferengi, a shrewd and greedy race from the Star Trek universe. You are all competing to become the right hand of the Grand Nagus (he’s sort of like the space Pope if the Pope was in charge of Wall Street instead of the Vatican).
Each turn players draw market cards equal to the number of players and put them face up in the middle of the board. These cards each represent one of eight different resources that all have their own unique numerical value. There is also one action card placed face-down in the middle. The action cards are one use special powers that can be played at different points in the game as specified on the card.
Play starts with players bidding on the cards in the middle till everyone has one (and only one) card. After this, players secretly write down a price for each resource they have a card for. The minimum price is the value on the card and the maximum is double that value. Players are encouraged to talk about what they what to price their resources at and have very good reason to do so because for each card of that resource that the players own, they will get different payouts based on what they priced it at.
The last part of each turn is where players make a fortune in latnium or get hosed. The players go down the list of resources one at a time and declare what they priced each resource at. The player who set the highest price gets nothing, the player who priced the lowest gets double the price they set, and everyone in between gets whatever price they wrote down. In the case of ties players share rewards or penalties.
After ten turns (or eight in the case of a 7 – 8 player game) the player with the most latnium wins, becoming the First Clerk to the Grand Nagus!
The rule book is easy to understand and laid out in normal flowing fashion. There are even some variants in the back, which is always nice.
If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a money grubbing weird little alien, this game is for you! This is one of those great examples of a game where the theme and game play mechanics as blend together perfectly.
It’s also nice to see a game set in the sometimes, too squeaky-clean Star Trek universe that doesn’t involve anything particularly noble or heroic. The seedy underbelly of Star Trek is something not often explored so it’s a refreshing change of pace. I have to wonder though how much this game will appeal to people who aren’t fans of this universe. I think it’s well worth playing if you know nothing about Star Trek, but some people be turned off from the go.
Here I am reviewing yet another game where you just shuffle some cards and start playing. Pretty straightforward.
WizKids does not fail to disappoint in this department. The cards and tokens are a nice quality, with the tokens being nice and chunky. The booklet of price fixing sheets, which are necessary to play the game, has a pretty sizable quantity of said sheets, all of which are double sided. And of course, I can’t talk about a Wizkids small box game with out mentioning the super durable box.
If you aren’t a fan of Star Trek I hope you kept reading till the end because this game is a total blast! Even if the theme turns you off, it is well worth your money if you like negotiation games at all. It’s also got the feel of a heavier weight negotiation game, while still being easy to teach and playing at the speed of a light to mid-weight game. I also don’t think being unfamiliar with the source material will make the experience any less flavorful either. After a couple rounds of shrewd dealing and a little backstabbing, you’ll understand the ferengi perfectly.