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Our Town
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Store:  Family Games
Theme:  Business
Genre:  Cooperative
Format:  Board Games

Our Town

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Ages Players
10+ 2-6

Designer(s): Jim Deacove

Publisher(s): Family Pastimes

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Product Description

The urban companion of Community with higher level strategies. We try to develop our city's economy and avoid going bankrupt. We decide on what works best as private enterprise and/or what works best cooperatively owned and operated. Maybe credit unions, food co-ops, people parks! The DAILY NEWS and MAIL bring many challenges.

Product Information


  • Board 18 x 22 in
  • Property Cards
  • Play Money
  • Pawns
  • Die
  • Daily News Cards
  • Mail Cards
  • Rules for Easy & Hard Games

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 2 in 1 review

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Is this really a game?
March 06, 2001

I am not sure this is so much a game as it is a teaching tool for a socialist agenda. It seeks to expose the "evils" of private ownership and promote the "virtues" of the commune. One need only look at the event cards in the game to see this. The great majority of events affecting private enterprise are "bad", while the majority of those affecting communal endeavors are "good". This theme is so strong that at first it seemed that it was almost impossible to win with any private enterprise on the board. Upon further examination, however, I find that Our Town does work according to its own internal systems.

Our Town can be played with one of two goals, chosen beforehand by the players. They can either work toward a town that is half private enterprise and half commune, or one that is entirely commune. This is accomplished by moving around the board and buying property. The players must decide whether a particular property is best placed in private hands (owned by a player), or public (owned by all the players). The players are trying to beat an off-board entity called OBOC (Owners Beyond Our Control). OBOC owns most of the board at start, and the players pay rent to OBOC when landing on such properties. If OBOC controls all properties, or a certain debt limit is exceeded, the players lose.

I can't really recommend Our Town unless you are willing to overlook its agenda. It's a "strange trip"--but is it a game?

Jim Deacove
April 06, 2001

The game is based on Canadian and Scandinavian small town economic models; in other words, on creating mixed economies or even full blown socialist ones. My background is partnering in the creation of credit unions, agricultural marketing pools, cooperative hardware stores, insurance companies, food cooperatives, etc, anything that worked better in small urban settlements when privately owned enterprises couldn't survive on their own.

The review incorrectly terms these endeavours as 'commune' trips. This may be the frame of reference most familiar to Americans, but it doesn't fit this game's economic models and is misleading. Try 'Mixed Economies', in which private enterprise and cooperative endeavours work together for the betterment of their town, before Big Box operations come in, stay a while and move on when bottom lines aren't large enough. Surely, you have such economic experiences in the USA that you can relate to?

For the 'commune' game experience, try my companion game, Community. Now there's a 'trip', man!

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