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The Best Economic Simulation Board Games

by: Sheila Robinson ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 5/25/2012 • Leave a comment

Many kids may find economics to be a bit boring. Economic simulation board games can be a fun solution to perk up their interest and help educate them on this topic. Find out about some of the best board games with an economic theme that you may consider playing during your family time.

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    Monopoly board game   Monopoly is a classic board game that has been around since the early 1900’s. The main goal is to buy, sell, rent and negotiate different properties in order to become the richest player in the game. To play, one person is assigned to be the banker and will be responsible for distributing and receiving money from players for purchases and other transactions. The game board is a large square path where properties can be purchased by landing on them with the roll of dice. As players start to accumulate real estate, others who land on their location(s) will need to pay rent. There are also Chance and Community Chest spaces which allow a player to select a special card that can give cash bonuses or a fee to pay. The winner of the game is typically the only person who has not gone bankrupt (which would remove you from the game) and has the most money and properties.

    Today, the game of Monopoly is available with many different themes. You can find many of kid’s favorites including the Simpsons, Disney, Littlest Pet Shop, SpongeBob Squarepants, Star Wars and Transformers.

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    Trust Me

    Trust Me is one of those economic simulation board games where you need to use bluffing tactics to your advantage. The goal is to be the player that has the most money at the end of the game. To play, one person is assigned as the banker who will handle monetary transactions and distribute stock shares. Players try to obtain stock claims (which are identified as briefcases) as they move on the board during their turn. When they are successful, they move to the Trust Me investment company space and then try to convince other players to invest in their claim. On the back of each claim piece lists their monetary value (or lack thereof). Only the person who has the claim will know the true value. Investors will then collect profits or lose their money. Game play continues until only two briefcases on the board remain. Players add up all their money and shares to determine their overall value. The wealthiest player wins.

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    Advance to Boardwalk

    Advance to Boardwalk board game   Advance to Boardwalk is a spinoff board game inspired by Monopoly. The object of this game is to become the wealthiest player on the boardwalk by owning the highest valued properties. During each person’s turn three dice are rolled. At this time property can be purchased, hotels are built or a fortune card might be drawn. The number value of two of the dice can determine how many millions can be spent on building hotels. The other is a color die that indicates which properties can be built (if applicable). If an F is rolled on the color die a fortune card is drawn instead of purchasing hotels. Game play continues until one of the players has reached the last space of the boardwalk or can no longer build any more hotels. The player with the highest value of property wins the game.

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    The Game of Life

    The Game of Life   This popular family board game simulates economics, career and other life decision making challenges during play. As players travel through the Game of Life, the decisions made regarding their financial future will help determine if they will win or lose. When all players retire towards the end of the game, those who reside at Millionaire estates count all of their money and set aside their Life cards. The richest player takes 4 additional Life cards. These have monetary value. At this point all players turn over their Life cards and add their value to their other assets. The player with the most money wins.

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    Other Economic Simulation Board Games worth Playing

    If you and your family are looking for a bigger challenge, consider playing the following board games:

    • Aquire
    • Pay Day
    • Power Grid
    • Wealth of Nations
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    Image Credits

    The images for the Best Economic Simulation Board Games article were from the following sources:

    Monopoly board game image was by John Seibert -

    The Game of Life image was by

    The Advance to Boardwalk image was by Sheila Robinson.

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