Avalon Hill (Hasbro), 1996, 2-6 players, ages 12 and up. This classic game has been around since the 1960s (originally from 3M) and is a must-have for any serious boardgame library. Acquire is to Monopoly what Chess is to Checkers. It is extremely simple to learn to play (the rules take up a single sheet of paper), and at the same time, is extremely entertaining. Players take turns placing hotel counters on a map grid (each hotel tile has a corresponding location on the board). When two hotels are placed adjacent to each other they form a chain. Players can then purchase stock in the various hotel chains (I think there can be 6 or 7 different chains). When two chains are connected a merger takes place with the stockholders of the subsumed chain getting large payoffs for their stock. Once a chain reaches 41 hotels the game is over and the money and stock are counted up. Games go pretty quickly and everyone always seems to want to play another. Things can get pretty spirited as well (as my friends in the picture demonstrate). Definitely a great game for the whole family.

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