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If you ever loved Monopoly,
if you ever got tired of Monopoly,
this is the upgrade you’ve been waiting for!
What is Microbiz?
Microbiz is a little simulated economy, “Business in a nutshell.” A game for 3-6 players. Farms and factories make things. Cars, trucks, and boats deliver them. Contract cards provide a way to sell goods to off-board buyers, bringing new money into the game.
So where’s the excitement? Making deals! You need each other. Many factories need each other’s output to create their own products. Everyone needs food. Goods need transporting. So the dealing never stops – and any deal is legal! Everyone is trying to get the best of the deal, and with multiple players jumping in to make a better offer, it sometimes comes to shouting! (Watch the video, right in the middle are some great examples.)
This little board game turns out to be really realistic! So much so that all kinds of real-world business situations naturally arise, just in the process of dealing: joint ventures • joint or community ownership of property • loans at interest • pay in advance, pay on completion, pay when I get paid • noncompete agreements • and more.
- Properties are factories: they allow you to make things.
- Contract cards create opportunities to sell goods and make money.
- Use cars, trucks, and boats to move around the board and deliver those goods.
- Invest profits to buy more industries and build your business empire.
- Players are interdependent, even while competing. Industries need each other!
- Make deals among players — any deal is legal! Anything you hold can be sold.
- When the dealing’s done, the richest one wins.
How it works
Properties give you the power to make things. Properties need each other’s products. Example: wood from a farm is needed to make a boat. So you often need to order goods from other players.
Contract cards create opportunities to sell goods and make money. Deliver the goods to the destination to get the payoff. Free-for-all cards create a public opportunity, a race!
But those are only the mechanics. The excitement begins when the dealing begins – and that’s almost immediately. You need each other – you have to deal – and everything is up for grabs! Will I pick up or will you deliver? Pay in advance or pay on completion? In what time frame? Oh, and just as we’re about to close the deal, a third player jumps in with a more competitive offer! The shouting can get heated!
And that’s only the beginning. Complex, multi-part deals happen: I’ll get you these three commodities, you produce those two, and together we’ll split the proceeds of a big free-for-all that just came up. Need a little extra money to buy that business? Oh, just propose a loan at interest. Someone will do it, if the price is right.
Oh, and accidents happen! You can get a flat tire. Pests can reduce your food supply. And if you run out of food, starvation! You will be disabled until you can persuade someone to rescue you…which they will, if the price is right! And that may completely change the course of the game.
Microbiz, as well as being fun, teaches real business skills! Consider it for use in homeschooling and education.
Contact us! microbiz at sparklight.com