Aunt Millie's Millions
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Dear Aunt Millie left behind an estate worth millions. Are you one of her lucky heirs? In this hilarious party game, play the role of one of the colorful characters out to get Aunt Millie's fortune. Use speed, strategy and persuasion to collect the most coveted valuables. Will you get her vintage jukebox or get stuck with a rusty toilet? Claim the same item as another player and you must give the best sob story to convince the judge that you deserve it more! Whoever ends up with the most riches wins the game. Heir-splitting fun!
- 100 estate cards
- 12 appraisal cards
- 8 character pieces
- 1 vault
- rules of play (English, Spanish)
Average Rating: 3.5 in 1 review
It's amazing how people who are generally nice can become quite uncivil towards each other when it comes to how a dead relative's possessions are split up. I've seen huge fights over paltry sums of money or a few things; and I can't imagine the angst that goes on when a large sum of money is on the line. Aunt Millie's Millions (Gamewright Games, 2007 - Colleen McCarthy-Evans and Joyce Johnson) takes this scenario and attempts to transform it into a silly party game.
And the end result is actually quite good - better than I expected. With a very short playing time (only about twenty minutes), Aunt Millie's Millions allows players to spin hilarious, colorful stories, while attempting to collect cards with good values. There is player judging in the game, which can lead to "gaming" the system, but the game deals with this easily, keeping in the short time frame and allowing multiple judges. Aunt Millie's Millions is a party game that doesn't overstay it's welcome and will surely please those who might be turned away by the garish, cartoonist look of the game.
A deck of cards is shuffled, with ten dealt into a face down pile in front of each player. One card is secretly put into a vault envelope. Each player takes a token with a caricature of a person and a name. Players must state how their character knew the beloved, late Aunt Millie ("my character is Vincent, who was Millie's trusted lawyer.", etc.) A pile of appraisal cards (from $0 to $2,500) is shuffled and placed in the middle of the table, and the first round begins.
In each round, players simultaneously flip over the cards in front of them. Immediately they then place their character card on top of any of the available cards with a maximum of two characters allowed per card. Each card is an item from Aunt Millie's legacy and has a price value from $100 to $1500. Some cards have an undetermined value (represented by a "?"), and each card is one of five colors (purple, yellow, red, blue, and green). There are also some "Steal" and "Reappraise" cards available.
If only one person is on a card, then they take the card. If two players place their characters on the same card, then they are fighting over who gets the item. One of them picks another player to be the judge, and then they both make up a story as to why their character should get the item. The judge listens to both stories, and then awards the item to the player who gives the better story. If those two same players are involved in an argument later on in the game, then the other player gets to pick who is the judge.
If a player gets an item card, they place it face down on the table in front of them. If they have already received an item of that color, they must discard the first one, even if it is of a higher value. If the player takes an item with a "?", then they draw the top appraisal card and place it on the item, showing its value. If the player takes a Reappraise card, they may pick a card, then draw the top appraisal card, placing it on the card as its new value. If the player takes a Steal card, they may randomly steal a card from an opponent.
As soon as one player has a card from each of the five colors, the game ends. The players all total up their sum total of items, and the player who ended the game gets a $500 bonus. The player with the lowest score takes the card in the vault and keeps it (or uses it in case of Steal or Reappraise). The player who then has the highest score is the winner!
Some comments on the game…
- Components: The artwork on the cardboard tokens and box is silly
but fits with the theme of the game, representing strange characters,
who are foolishly fighting over these items. The cards and tokens are
of good quality, which is nice, since players will be slamming them on
the table. The items on the card are diverse and are pictures of
actual items, helping make the stories more realistic as players think
about why they want/need the item. All numbers are clear and easy to
read; and everything, including the little cardboard folder vault,
fits inside a medium- sized box.
- Rules: The rules come on a giant sheet (much too big - what's
wrong with a small rules booklet?) that clearly explains the game with
a few pictures. The game itself is quite simple; but new players need
to have it stressed that when winning a color item, they will lose the
prior one, even if a higher value! That burned a few people playing,
- Time and Players: The game works with three players, but it's at
its best with five or six. That allows more choices, a larger variety
of matchups between players, and more choices for judges. But what
amazed me was that even with the story telling, the game ends in
fifteen minutes or less. This qualifies the game as a party game and
a "filler" game, and you can even play the game in sets of three for a
longer version. It's a great warm-up game for a larger group.
- Speed: Even though the game has some speed elements to it, it's
not as fast as it sounds. In fact, one player calmly waited each turn
before placing their piece (they lost, but remained competitive).
Still, if you get your piece on the color you want quickly, you at
least have a good chance at it. It's not a good feeling when the only
choices left are colors that you already have, but with lower prices.
Grabbing the most expensive item isn't always the best move either,
because of the higher competition for it. So it's a speed game, but
- Stories: The game revolves around the story telling to a degree,
although you can play and even win without ever telling a story. But
that's the fun of the whole game, I think. The rules specifically say
that the story is to take place from the character's point of view,
but in every game that I've played, the stories "coincidentally" just
included things that somehow pertained to the judge's personal life.
Games like this have problems with impartial judges; but Aunt Millie's
Millions has rotating, picked judges, which helps mitigate the problem
tremendously. You'll still find that a player, who is clearly in the
lead, will have a hard time getting a judge to pick him; but in a
quick game like this few complaints are heard. A lot of hilarious
stories ensue, though!
- Fun Factor: Set collecting is a good mechanic, and with a bit of
speed and stealing going on, it makes for a decent game. Aunt
Millie's Millions goes over the edge with the stories, bringing it
into the party game realm, and one that generated laughter and
enjoyment from the moment we started playing it. It even has the
amazing vault, which can catapult a player into first place (I've seen
it), and no one minded because the game was so short. Reappraising
items for a low price and acting pleased so that another player will
steal it is also great fun.
Aunt Millie's Millions scratches the itch I have for a fast, fun party game. It's quick, rewards creativity, and remains interesting for the fifteen minutes it covers. It's a good icebreaking game, and even shy players have a good shot at competing. Groans and laughter make this a surprisingly good choice for your game night - it's a great, enjoyable start.
"Real men play board games"