Ground Floor (2012), by Tasty Minstrel Games, is an intricate game that lets the player become the CEO of his or her own company. This is, however, not your typical game of Monopoly. The game takes realistic aspects of running a company and sees how its players can cope to keep their business afloat in various economic scenarios.
The game can be played with up to six players and takes about an hour to play, and the recommended minimum age to play the game starts at twelve years old.
Here's a breakdown of the game:
Visuals - One of the first thing you'll notice about the game is the creative game design. Each player will start with a game board, and on it is the "blueprint" to the ground floor of their company. On these boards are a slot where they can add floors and expand different departments of their company. Some of these departments include an I.T. department, a marketing department, and even a corner office for the top floor. There is also a main board where players conduct their business that also contains beautiful illustrations. 5 out of 5.
Difficulty - The game is a little difficult to learn and the reason why can either be good or bad, depending on your perspective. It can be a good thing due to the fact how real the game seems. We're not just rolling dice and moving our piece pass Go and collecting $200. However, it can also be a detriment to your experience because sometimes people just want to pick up a game and start playing. In the end, though, if you're patient enough, you will be rewarded. 4 out of 5.
Game Mechanics - There are three stages of the game, and each stage has three rounds. That is basically nine turns in total. Here is a quick rundown of how each round goes: you receive income, hire workers, schedule business, conduct business, and reorganize. Reorganizing involves resetting markers and downsizing your workforce to name a couple of steps. During the game, I found myself really thinking about each move I made or was going to make. Some of the other players even had pen and paper to take notes and map out their course of action. There is a lot of depth to the game and a player can become very invested and involved. 5 out of 5.
Replay Value - A great aspect of the game is that each player obtains a specialty at the beginning of the game. Some examples of the specialists are an industrialist and a advertising specialist. With the different specialists, the first few games can be different for each player. There are also different economic scenarios such as the Great Depression. Different variables means different game experiences. 4.5 out of 5.
Final Thoughts - The game is a little harder to learn compared to other games I have played. With that said, once you learn it, this game is very fun to play. It looks great and when you win, it feels very rewarding because you have to work and strategize for that win. My only other complaint is not really a complaint. It's more of a question, and that is if twelve-year-olds will really get this game? Otherwise I would definitely recommend this game to a friend or other play groups. 4.5 out of 5.
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