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Board Game Review: Maybe Capital

Maybe Capital is the ultimate parody game for the fast-paced and back-patting world of investment. It as rich with name-dropping as any Silicon Valley dinner party, making it a blast for anyone familiar with the social world of business or looking for a game where only the cunning, or unbelievably lucky, will win.

Maybe Capital begins with each player receiving a set of money for themselves and investments to hand out, placing their game pieces onto the board at the grail of Steve Jobs’s face. The goal is simple: win by getting to the highest level of investment or collecting 50 million dollars first. Getting to that goal, however, will take a wild and unpredictable path.

Each round of Maybe Capital, players draw Networking cards and read them aloud. They could be positive, like gaining money because “Someecards starts converting your tweets,” or it could be negative, like losing a company because “you got pushed out by a millennial,” or it could initiate a Pitch Round. The cards determine how players move around the board, although the mechanic of movement has a fair bit of free will as players aim for different destinations. After pitching on Twitter, players may choose to get free money in Marin County, double bonuses or losses from the Flattery, rake in investors from Google, or end up in Bali, picking up investors and manipulating the board from afar. Numerous other spaces give players a wide variety of options for grabbing money, losing investors, or challenging other players.

The real meat of Maybe Capital comes with the Pitch Rounds. Players make pitches by drawing two cards from the Company deck such as “pan handlers” and “files and file folders” and then dreaming up how this company combining the two is going to be great. Everyone pitches their companies, and then players invest in one another, using whatever subjective criteria they want: most hilarious, most inspirational, most thought-provoking, most whatever. The player who collects the most investments wins, keeping the company as further money at the end of the game.

While most social games have the same sort of speaking rounds each time, Maybe Capital shakes up play with a wide variety of how the pitches go. If players start a Pitch Round by landing on particular blue spots of the board, the session will be very different. The pitch might have to come in the form of a listicle, feature questions from the investors, or be a maximum of five words.

Players in Maybe Capital will have to be charming to win pitches and cunning to navigate the board correctly. Yet, even if a player wins, that player may still not be the winner. If a player gets to the highest level of investment by winning pitches, their portfolio is examined, and if 50% of the investment came from an opponent, that money is given back, potentially along with the win. Just like the real world of investing, there are always clever tricks players can pull to squeeze a little more value out of what they hold, such as merging companies to make them worth even more.

Maybe Capital is a social game for three to seven players. Games last about forty-five minutes, depending on how quickly players make their decisions and pitches, not to mention laughter-breaks.

About Jeff Provine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.

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