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Average Rating: 5 in 1 review
dbSpiele can do no wrong (well, there was Texas). But this is my favorite in a crowded market of stock market games. With its simple mechanics, Spekulation creates a tense game with much thinking involved, a trademark of this company (see Timbuktu).
The utilitarian board is nothing more than a series of numbers which track the eight stocks (they have names, but the color is all that matters). Each player has a set of nine cards (one of each color plus a 'whammy' card) and at the beginning of a turn, each player takes two of his 9 cards in hand (they are cycled through, randomly, so each of the nine cards will be played once during the first nine turns of the game, then the entire lot is reshuffled).
Of these two cards, the player selects one and places it face-down on the table. All players' cards are revealed simultaneously and, if no one played their 'whammy' card, each stock moves up based on its popularity amongst the played cards. The amount of movement is dependent upon a die roll (which is known before choosing a card). Finally, players may sell and/or buy stock if the market is open (also random, but known before the turn begins at prices based upon relative position of the eight stocks). But purchasing is limited to only one share at a time, making for tough decisions. Add to that the fact that only five shares of each stock exist and the resources are very limited.
When one stock reaches the finishing space (by which time it's worth about $350), the game is over and everyone tallies their net worth. After which, someone says, "let's play again."