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Ground Floor - Board Game Box Shot

Ground Floor

| Published: 2012
59 10 4

The day has come. The paperwork is complete, the registration filed, and the business cards purchased – you're open for business! So now what? Where do you spend your time? Where do you spend your money? Which tasks are most important? What should take priority? Should you hire new employees? Or maybe invest in a marketing campaign? These are just some of the decisions facing you as a fresh entrepreneur who dreams of running a successful business. You must excel at balancing your time, money and staff because all are scarce and all are required to thrive.

So barter with your fellow colleagues, manage your staff, collect information, expand your office, or schedule your next product shipment. It's up to you – after all, it's your business. Of course, no matter which route you decide to take to reach that corner office at the top of the tallest skyscraper, you must start with everyone else...

...on the Ground Floor!

User Reviews (3)

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Critic - Level 4
Advanced Reviewer Beta 1.0 Tester
126 of 133 gamers found this helpful
“A Strong Econ Game With Lots of Options”

Tasty Minstrel Games found its way on my radar with Eminent Domain, an elegant blend of deck-building and role selection, with a hook that always pulls me in: a space theme. I missed the initial Kickstarter campaign for that game but it found its way into my collection quickly. It’s one of several titles from that company that I have enjoyed, so I did not pass up the chance to fund a campaign for the economic game Ground Floor. It arrived last week and found its way to the table in short order. This game was certainly worth the wait.

An econ game of this sort features a lot of different kinds of resources that need to be managed. The two principal forms of currency are money and “info”, and most actions in the game will require both. Your company will generate supply cubes, either to trade for immediate benefits or put on the market for consumers to buy. The main board sports a job market track, where the cost to hire new employees will fluctuate over time, and a “popularity” track that acts as a turn order feature. There is also a space for Economic Forecast cards that give a general range of how many consumers will be in the market, and how much the job market will fall, for the round to come. The main resource you’ll be managing, however, is time: a stack of markers that will grow as you hire employees and be placed around the table to run your business.

Each player starts with a main board that serves as his “ground floor”; a rooftop for the building that denotes a small, unique bonus; a single employee (yourself) with some time markers; some “info” and a supply cube. The game runs in three stages of three rounds apiece, or nine total. You begin by receiving income and hiring new employees, if desired, and in the meat of the round, placing and resolving your time markers. The round ends with a maintenance phase that sets up the board for the next round.

The way these effects resolve depends on where you place your time. Markers placed on your player board resolve immediately and tend to have small benefits, but markers placed on the main board resolve in a later phase of each round. The main board is where big gains are made, but they are also highly speculative; it’s not unusual for markers to go unused on the main board, leaving the player unable to make important gains like gathering info or selling their products on the market. The main board also contains a set of floors and Tenant Improvement tiles, that build up your building and provide Victory Points and various other bonuses. These tiles come out in stages, with income bonuses coming early and big endgame points coming in the later rounds.

The production quality of this game is fantastic. All of the boards and tiles (and currency) are thick and sturdy, and all the player pieces are brightly-colored wood pieces. The artwork is a bit subdued, but appropriate to the theme, and all the pertinent game information is on clear display. Of particular note, the ground floor of the player board has an odd-shaped cutout in the top, and the floors and rooftops are cut at angles to create an angled, 3D-style perspective of the building. It may or may not be necessary but it’s a great piece of chrome and a creative way to display information.

Early plays of this game have shown an embarrassment of riches when it comes to options. There are many ways to pull in money, work the popularity track, upgrade your business, and they all feel important. On the one hand, that means more plays will be needed to get a good feel for where to place priorities. But with a variable stack of economic cards, and the new gameplay options that came as Kickstarter rewards, I have no compunction about bringing it back to the table over and over again.

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Gamer - Level 5
I Love Playin' Games
Amateur Advisor
Rated 100 Games
110 of 127 gamers found this helpful
“Literally watch your company grow”

I’ve had this game for a while and sadly it has taken way too long for me to actually get it to the table. Here are a few details about the game without going into too much detail.

This game is similar to a lot of worker placement games where the more players, the more direct conflict but it is very scaleable down to 2 (there is even a one player solo variant on that other site that is pretty fun. It is also very re-playable because the random starting business paired with random economic forecasts forces you to specialize and switch up your normal strategy.

So here is what I think about the game:

1 I like this game!
2 The player boards are ingenious. I love that I build my company and actually build it as I go instead of “building it” with blocks or something like that.
3 It is easier to play than the size of the rule book may make it seem and the rulebook is super helpful.
4 It has way more strategy to it than I thought it would.
5 Advance planning is a must so you don’t waste time on something you can’t build because you spent all your money (hypothetically of course, you would never really do that).
6 Constructing the right levels at the right time is key to victory.

Player Avatar
Private eye
33 of 43 gamers found this helpful
“Moving on Up ”

I have played quite a bit of Belfort from TMG and a bit of Ground Floor and have to say it doesn’t stray far from the Belfort mold – but it doesn’t have to. Instead of using dwarves and elves to build guilds and taverns, you are building a corporation with a large layer of Euro feel and crunchier mechanics stuck on top.

Ground Floor is a satisfying weighty Euro experience, but there is a lot going on and too many different strategic and tactical routes to take to not require a learning curve and repeated play to find your feet.

Ground Floor will definitely feed the beast for a deep and immersive entrepreneurial simulation, if that’s your sort of thing. It does feel very corporate and that might not be for everyone.

When it comes to Ground Floor vs Belfort it really is a matter of business or pleasure.


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