Boardgame Review: Cryptocurrency

No of Players: 2 – 4
Playtime: 60 mins
Ages: 14+
Genre: Strategy/Puzzle
Website: https://www.capitalgainsgroup.com/cryptocurrency
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/capitalgainsstudio/

UPDATE: Their Kickstarter is now live till 11 Sept! Click here to back it now.

Cryptocurrencies have become a recent hot topic, and as news spread of the many overnight millionaires that have resulted, many ordinary citizens have rushed to get in on the action, often with little or no clue of what they are doing. The 5th game in their series of Financial Education games, Capital Gains Studio’s Cryptocurrency hopes to arm their players with some basic knowledge about the topic so they have a sense of what they may be getting into.

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What you get in the box

In the game, players take the role of the CEO of a fintech startup as they assemble a team of experts to trade, mine and evaluate their way to becoming the richest firm. All the while, they better hope the market favours them and that one of the currencies they own does not turn out to be a scam.

HOW IT PLAYS

The game is divided into 3 Phases and the following is a very rough idea of what happens per round. The game ends at the end of the 5th round where calculations are made to determine the valuation of each Cryptocurrnecy, with the lowest being declared a scam and rendering it’s coins worthless. The player with the most money wins.

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The very important valuation board for the 4 currencies

The first phase allows players to recruit new members to replace a member on their team as well as take out loans from the bank. They also receive one rumour card that will affect the final value of the Cryptocurrencies.

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Starting with only interns

The second is where the main action takes place as players tap cards to use their team abilities and energy to either Trade, Mine or perform other actions that may affect the prices and availability of the 4 different Cryptocurrencies.

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The mining cards for the currencies

The final phase allows players to play the rumour card they were dealt in the first phase. These can only be placed on the track of a currency that did not have one placed on it yet in that round. Players also repay their loans and/or the interest on it in this phase. Finally, all their cards are refreshed and the 1st player token is passed to the next player.

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Eruptium doing quite well with very positive rumours

OUR THOUGHTS

LCG members Bryan (B) and Kathir (K) sat down with Steve, the game’s designer, and Xeo, the co-founder of Capital Games Studio, to play the game. Steve helped explain and referee the game while the other 3 sat down for a Standard play of the game. Here’s our experience:

1) What were your thoughts on the setting of the game?

B: Taking place in the same universe as their previous 2 games, Debtzilla and Wongmania, I think it’s pretty cool that Capital Gains Studio are creating a shared universe between their financial education games. With regards to cryptocurrencies, it’s currently a very hot topic but knowledge about it is not very high among most members of the public. Cryptocurrency the game does well by providing people with an easy, simple, fun but most importantly, accurate way to understand the world of crypto trading. Plus hey, you get to try your hand at it with none of the risk.

K: With cryptocurrency the talk of the town these days, being relevant is key and I think the developers did great. The gameplay sticks true to its cryptocurrency element and acts like a bridge to introduce the young generation to the complexities of cryptocurrency. Sparking interest in someone on a subject is difficult and I feel this game does so flawlessly as it was fun to play.

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Debtzilla makes an appearance

2) How did you find the gameplay?

B: This is one of the games where reading the instructions made the game seem complicated but we quickly picked it up by Round 2. All throughout, the game really kept us engrossed, as paying careful attention to what others are doing is essential to winning.

The game we played seemed to be split into 2 very distinct parts, the first 2 rounds spent building up our team while the last 3 was when we started trying to outwit each other. I enjoyed this as I prefer having some room to getting a good team up versus having all out action from the get go in similar games.

One of the biggest pluses for me was that the game allows for many different types of strategies to achieve victory. All 3 of us were concentrating on a different way of playing yet each was a very valid route to victory. It’s kinda rare in the games I’ve played to have this.

Only minus was I felt the game needed something to really shake up the value changes as currently the rumour cards only raise or lower values by 1 or 2.

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Steve, the designer, explaining a rule we didn’t fully understand

K: Without a doubt, it was one of the most fun board game I’ve played in recent times – leaving me wanting for more. Cryptocurrency was easy to pick-up and learn – don’t let the numerous game components scare you; we grasped how the game works mid-way through the first game.

Winning requires sticking to your strategy while reacting positively to the actions of the other players. It is not the kind of game where you end your turn and fiddle your phone. One needs to observe whom the other players are recruiting, where their investments are going, how their cash-flow is going and the rumours they are spreading to undermine or bolster the currencies to play their cards right.

By the third/fourth turn, players naturally would negotiate just so that their currency would not become a scam – hence have no value when players start calculating how much they made when the game ends. Since the game is very focused on the decisions of the players, I highly advise playing this game with different group of people to maximise the fun. There is also two difficulty settings.

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Our faces when Xeo suddenly boosted the price of a currency we didn’t have

3) How do you find the visual design of the game?

B: Having played their previous game Debzilla, it was nice seeing familiar characters and art styles. Really helps Capital Gains Studio with their brand recognition as people who played earlier titles and loved it can easily spot the latest game on their FLGS shelves. The parodies of popular characters also adds to some of the allure of the game as well. Card layouts were also clean and wording was clear as well.

K: The developers of Cryptocurrency – Capital Gains Studio – stayed true to their art direction that they have used in past games – e.g. Debtzilla – and it can still be appreciated in this game as well. Cards are not text heavy. The use of Chibi for character design, overall card and other game component designs are easy on the eyes and everything feels part of a single game. Choice of colour schemes have gone well too.

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Some recognizable characters and cool chibi originals.

4) What was your favorite moment from the game?

B: Pretending to be very interested in Singacoin while secretly plotting it’s downfall all game long. Then in the last round as the last player, selling all I had to drive down it’s price and watching Kathir’s face fall as he had just decided to invest heavily in it, making all his coins worthless.

K: The value of each cryptocurrency is determined by the positive or negative indicators. E.g. Placing a rumour that a Country is approving a crypto means its value would go up etc. So it was a lot to laugh about when the most trusted buddy of mine – Bryan – ruined the value of my heavily invested cryptocurrency towards the last two rounds by stirring negative rumours. I seriously need new friends.

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5) Would you recommend this game? Why?

B: Informational, fun and strategic, what’s not to love? I’d easily recommend this game to anyone who’s interested in the subject as well as anyone in their teens and up. Would be a nice addition to the boardgame shelf for me.

K: Cryptocurrency is a game that I can easily recommend or even buy as a gift. I love how easy it was to pick up, how fun it was for a group game yet subtly teaches you the importance of making calculated investment decisions.

CONCLUSION

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Grab it when the Kickstarter goes live later this year!

Cryptocurrency is a really fun game and an improvement from their previous game, Debtzilla. Great to see the progress that the Capital Gains Studio team has made and we eagerly look forward to their next one. If you’d like to own a copy of the game, be sure to Like their Facebook Page to keep up to date on when the Cryptocurrency game goes to Kickstarter.

If you enjoyed this review or would like to give feedback on how we can improve, do leave a comment. Be sure to also Like our Facebook Page for more content.

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