Date of review: 2/3/15

Time to play (in my experience) 60-90 minutes

Current personal ranking: #7

Difficulty level: 2 (5-10 minutes to teach, 90 minutes or less to play)

Age level: I think 7 or 8 might be as low as I would go with this one.

Type of game: Stock Market/Set Collection/Route Building. Through the building of airline routes and the collection of stock market cards, you try to have the most stock in the most profitable companies.

Game setting: Europe, mid 20th century.

Brief overview of how to play: On your turn, you may take one of four available actions.  They basically consist of either building up the stock value of a certain airline, increasing your stock portfolio, or taking money.

How many players does it play? 3-5 (I think that there might be a variant that plays two people, but I’ve got other games I’d rather play with two).

Ideal number: 4 or 5. Three is fine too, but there’s a little more battling for the routes with higher numbers.

How do you win? Have the most points by the end of three scoring rounds by wisely investing in various airline companies.

Why do I love/recommend this game?

1) Easy to teach/easy to play: Although the rulebook might seem a little overwhelming, it really is a pretty simple game, and after the first scoring round all makes sense of what people should be aiming for.

2) Fast turns: You only take one action on your turn, and they all move very fast. You generally are not waiting around for someone to take his or her turn.

3) Popular with families, and, for some reason, women: My sisters love this game as do a bunch of other women that I have taught this game to. They often ask me to bring over the “airplane game.”

4) Each game plays a little bit differently. Depending on how the cards come out will depend on how people invest in the airlines. Sometimes the brown line ends up being very valuable, and sometimes it’s all about the gray line. Knowing when and what to play can be key.

5) A gentler alternative to “Ticket to Ride”: The designer of this game also made the much more popular “Ticket to Ride.” I like Ticket to Ride okay, but that one’s a bit of a meaner game as blocking other opponents is a pretty key element of the game. And I get a little frustrated when I’ve been building up a set of a particular color, only to have someone steal that route from under me. There’s not much of that in this game.

6) Beautiful components: The little planes are so cute, the stock market cards are all cool and unique (and there are several references to other board games in them), and the board is very attractive.

      

Here's a close up of the stock market value with the little colors indicated how valuable each line is at the moment, with a little view of the map (left), and a close up of a "portfolio" that sits in front of the players (right).

Is there anything offensive in this game? Anything at all? Not that I can see.

Final Word: This is one of my favorite “main course” family games. It’s light enough to understand and play, but deep enough and long enough to feel like you’ve played a nice, full game.

Amazon.com price at the time of this posting: $41.84

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