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Top 10 Economic Board Games

Written by Top 100 Arena on 2012-09-24
Board games are among the best leisure activities that exist. They do not have the medical side effects that most electronic games have and they do not result in you becoming anti-social either, as most games require you to play with others. The greatest advantage of board games however, is that they allow you to exercise your mind, while at the same time enjoying yourself. Economic board games have three common features. They simulate an economic environment, have a general economic theme and the winner is the one who comes up with the most efficient economic system of production and distribution. Many board games have been created ever since George Parker published Banking way back in 1883, but the following list outlines the best of them all.

10 Monopoly

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A board game that simulates the capitalist system, this game is so popular that the publishers now host an annual monopoly tournament where the winner gets what is the highest figure in the monopoly bank, $ 20,580. It was first published in 1913 but has been republished severally to come up with the game that is frequently played now. The aim of the game is simple; get as much land for yourself while at the same time drain the other players of their assets. Remember that you have to deal with two main types of taxes as well as the possibility of landing in jail though.

9 Power grid

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This game lays bare the secrets of the energy production industry while at the same time beautifully illustrating the law of supply and demand. It is almost themed like Monopoly only that there are power plants involved in this case. The players start with 50 units of currency. Using this money, they are supposed to bid for and buy power plants and houses as well. The power plants are priced differently according to how good they are. Once the players have their power plants they are supposed to provide power to the houses they have bought, which in turn will increase in value as a result. Keep in mind however that your resources as in any economic system will get depleted!

8 Agricola

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This board game allows you to play the role of farmer and tests how good you would be and how much you would be able to produce. You start with a basic set of resources and you are supposed to make your farm as productive as possible. Starting with your wife in a small shack, you are supposed to build up your family by having babies, while at the same time balancing this with your production, as every member of the family will need to be fed.

7 Puerto Rico

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The game simulates the great settler boom that occurred in Puerto Rico. You are a settler and you own a plantation. With each game, you are allowed to make a choice of what occupation you would rather take. The game requires you to strategize to get the most profits out of your plantation. What to plant, when to plant it, when to harvest, whether to store your harvest or to ship it to Europe all depends on you. The best plantation manager wins.

6 Caylus

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Here you are a serf, and the point of the game is to win the king’s favor by helping him build castles. Every caste you build and every favor you get equals more points. You also have a number of workers at your disposal who can perform certain actions for you. However, you will have to pay in gold for this. It is up to you to balance between the actions you want taken and the amount of gold you have. Beware also of where you position your workers as there is a mechanism in which the other players can ruin your game.

5 Le Havre

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This is one of the harder games to master. It is like a blend between Puerto Rico and Agricola, you have to handle production, shipping and other factors while at the same time ensuring you feed your workers. The game critically tests your decision-making abilities as well as how efficiently you will be able to manage all the resources available to you. The person with the most points at the end of it all is the winner.

4 Million dollar Challenge

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This game places you in the thick of the stock market and tests how well you will be able to trade. It is an efficient way to learn your way around the ropes in the stock market, from the terms used to the indicators that you need to watch out for to know that it is time to exit the market. You win by making a million trading in stocks, commodities, indexes and more. It is excellent for educating you on the stock market and much fun as well!

3 Hotels

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Much like Monopoly as well, you start with a certain amount of money and with it, you are supposed to buy land and build hotels on it. As you move around the board, landing on certain squares will mean you can buy land, if the land next to them is empty. If other players happen to land on a square with your hotel, they have to pay you for it, and if they cannot afford it, they have to auction their property. The aim of the game is to make the most money while making the other players bankrupt.

2 Cashflow 101

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Most people can relate with this game. Starting with a job that is already pre-designated as well as a certain amount of income and debt, you are supposed to try make as much money as you can so that you can get out of the ‘rat race’ and join the rich folks’ club. As you roll your die, you will land on certain squares that will avail to you investment opportunities which, if you handle well, will build up your wealth and get you out of the rat raced once and for all. It is a great educational tool on the realities of everyday life.

1 Steam: Rails to Riches

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There are board games that simulate the building of the railway industry, but this tops them all. Steam allows you to become an imaginary railway tycoon, and you get to choose which routes your railway will pass through. The towns your railway passes through automatically become better and in the process, you are able to figure out which are the most profitable goods for you to carry on your trains. The route you choose is extremely important. Everything, including the terrain, is taken into consideration and the person with the most successful railway system wins.

A great way to relax after a long day is engaging is such games. From an early age, one can learn quite a lot from playing these games as they relate to their every day activity and one plays then as if they are living the game. Economic board games teach many life skills including planning and strategy. They also teach on how to respond to various situations especially in trade and money.

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