Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Review: Acquire, new edition

The following is a guest post by Moshe Sambol:

I heard from Funagain Games about a month ago that they had a new stock of Acquire. Having played the game a few times on an old board of my in-laws', and not having had luck finding a reasonably priced copy of the old edition(s) to buy, I was happy to pay $24 for a new copy (not including S&H). I received it on Thursday via visiting American Mom service.

The construction of the new set is a real let down. Everything is cardboard at best. Whereas the old set includes plastic tiles which are placed on a plastic board, the new tiles are simple cardboard squares that you have to punch out of a few sheets of cardboard before your first use. The board is a simple piece of cardboard that folds down the middle. It and the tiles are plain gray. Even the font used on the pieces is not my taste, the E is rounded and practically indistinguishable from a 3.

Aside from the board and tiles the set includes play money, stock certificates, and legends to help players figure out the values of the hotels.

The stock certificates are very nicely done on colorful, tasteful, sturdy-enough card stock. The money is the same junk you'd get with a Monopoly set, albeit at higher denominations. The legends, though, are a real embarrassment. They are printed on the last few perforated pages of the instructions booklet and you have to tear them out. That the manufacturer didn't even bother to print these on cardboard was shocking to me.

The final components are a set of six cardboard racks which can be used by each player to hold his or her tiles. These must be punched out and assembled, like the tiles.

Even the box itself is inferior to the old sets: it doesn't have compartments for the various pieces, you just dump them all back into the box when done. With the tile racks assembled it's a tight fit, but I wouldn't recommend taking apart the tile racks as after a few re-assemblings they'd certainly start falling apart.

In the old set there were separate compartments to hold the stacks of stock certificates during game play. With the new set, you'll need table room for those.

Having said all that about the construction, after having played once last night I'm glad I own it. Our group included game enthusiasts and non, and the game kept all of our attention and was fun and interesting.

I first learned Acquire a year or so ago. Since then I've played (and acquired) Settlers and Puerto Rico. In my opinion Acquire is more interesting than Settlers and significantly less challenging than P.R. I liked that it's quick and easy to teach to a new player. The luck factor is present but low (random tile draw). Our game took over an hour but certainly less time than PR would have taken. I think I'll be able to teach this to my (young) kids just as easily as Monopoly, but will be much happier with a game that doesn't involve running around the board.

Overall for those who don't own it I recommend it, but be prepared to be let down by the materials. The stock certificates are the one reason not to just put this together yourself.

1 comment:

Sean said...

I agree 100%. I just got my copy last week, and was very, very disappointed by the components. More so since I received FFG's Tribune in the same order which has some really amazing components.

Still, I have really enjoyed the game when I have played it, so I am happy to add the game to my collection.