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Wall Street Spin


By Donald and Betty Lee Deitch
Fun Spin Board Games
www.funspin.com

888-388-7746


Wall Street Spin is a stock market board game. It arrived in a unique package: a plastic envelope file folder carrier with a snap latch and a little handle. Inside a big zip-lock bag I found a sturdy game board folded in fourths and an 8-inch plastic ball-bearing spinner (similar to a Lazy Susan and every bit as fun).

These two components fit together by placing the spinner in the blue center circle of the board. Each of the eight wedge-shaped pie pieces of the spinner is divided into three sections: a number indicating how many spaces to advance your token, a "blue chip" stock, and a market spin situation. This reflects the many interesting dimensions of the game.

The other game components are six playing pieces, Bull and Bear News cards, stock certificates, blue chip markers, and lots of money.

The stock certificates come in the categories of car manufacturing, retail (food and construction), pharmaceuticals, transportation, technology (computer and communication), and natural resource. These stock cards have clever names: Uwait Freight, Dropa Line, Glitch.sys, and Lemon Motors, to name a few.

The game is for ages 10 and up and is similar to Monopoly. We found the game worked well for younger children when there were older children and/or adults playing too. It's important to note that knowledge of the stock market is not necessary to play, but I think a basic understanding of it would enhance one's enjoyment of the game.

There are three stock certificates for each of the eight categories, and as the game progresses, players gain opportunities to buy these stocks. Dividends increase with the number of stocks you own in one color group or category. As with the houses in Monopoly, once you own all three stocks in a category, you can buy a blue chip marker to increase your profits. The object of the game is to get the most stocks and cash by the end of the game, which is after 60 or 90 minutes or when a player becomes bankrupt.

One little kink: during "Hostile Takeover" the player may buy any stock at 50% of value; however there are no $50 dollar bills and all the stocks are divisible by 100.

The more people you have playing, the longer the game period should be since turns can take a long time as more stocks get bought up. We liked the complexity of the game, with the many different and interesting spins involved. For example, a player's turn could conceivably consist of a few minutes of trading, a blue chip spin, a regular spin for moving your token around the board, and a couple more spins depending on your good or bad luck.

There are lots of opportunities to make money, regardless of whether it is your turn, making it fun for all. Besides being an interesting twist on the basic Monopoly game, Wall Street Spin is a good way to practice the math skills inherent in many board games.



Product review by Kathy Gelzer, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, August 2008


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