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High Society - Board Game Box Shot

High Society

| Published: 1995
20 1

In High Society, count yourself among the most influential and wealthy citizens of the late 19th century. You start with a personal fortune in cash and spend it on ostentatious possessions and shows of status while attempting to avoid disaster.

Can you emerge victorious by amassing the greatest collection of possessions while still retaining more of your cash than at least one of your High Society rivals? This quick, multifaceted game creates a nail-biting auction experience, and one that will surely become a favorite edition for generations of game lovers.

User Reviews (2)

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27 of 30 gamers found this helpful
“Between a roch and a hard place”

This is the most evil auction game I know, and every decision is painful. And since the designer is Reiner Knizia there’s a twist in the scoring.

The setup is very simple, you all play rich brats with nothing to do in life but to buy status symbols. Whoever have the fanciest collection of bling wins the game. Pretty straightforward huh? Well, think again. Two things makes this really hard.

First of all, all players start with an identical set of money bills in different values, and DURING an auction you may never pick up any money you’ve put on the table. That is, you cannot pick up the $10.000 bill and replace it with a $20.000 bill, only add more money or pass the opportunity to stay in the auction. This means that you have to be careful what money you spend, not to limit future auctions because you’re stuck with the wrong bills.

The second detail is that at the end of the game the player/players that have spent the most money is out of the game (being the poor guy is not ok in these social circles).

So, you must figure out how much to spend and try to figure out how much cash to save for the endgame.

Some of the cards are bad, and in this case all the players pay to avoid the card (for instance thieves that will grab one of your previously purchases), only the player that accept the bad card is free from paying.

Some people hate this kind of game, but I knew I had to own this the first time I played it. It’s fascinating to see the player group as a collective deciding what every card is worth and how that effect the auctions.

I don’t think this game is for everyone, but I think you should try it out before you dismiss it. I consider this along with Modern Art (also by Knizia) to be the Crown jewels of auction games.

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I play green
8 of 12 gamers found this helpful
“A deceptively stressful (but fun) gem from Dr. Knizia ”

I’ve heard positive reviews about “High Society” from podcasters and players for some time now. (And it took me ten years to get to it.) It seems to make its way onto a lot of lists, and I managed to ****** a copy recently to give it a try. The art is fairly well executed, there are nice heavy cards and tiles, an unnecessarily heavy rules booklet, all give the game an air of sophistication when the box is first opened.
Reading through the rules and looking at the components, I thought this would a simple bidding game with limited resources, including a few auctions the players strive to avoid as they go ’round. Sounds good – let’s play.
Please forgive me when I say “O.M.G.” The stress level at the table was amazing as each player struggled with their next bid. “If I do this, then he might go for that, but he just did the other thing, so…” And then the negative tiles come out and it’s too late! I’ve already blown my smaller money cards – this is going to cost me!
We played this through with three, then four, and this will surely be coming to Game Night again.
At first, it was a little tough to get our heads around the bidding strategy for the negative tiles, but after a bit it was manageable. We were all impressed with another great Knizia creation. We only had one rules wonderment (“What happens when you’re out of money?”) that wasn’t very clear, but we worked it out.
A definite recommendation for a wide audience.


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