High adventure in the world of high finance3M Company – 1968 – 2-6 Players
Acquire is a game of hotel investment and development. The game is played on a 12 x 9 numbered grid. The players take turns placing numbered tiles on the corresponding square on the grid. The tiles represent hotels. When two or more tiles are placed adjacent to each other a “chain” is formed. Players may purchase stock in hotel chains. The more tiles which make up the chain the more the stock is worth.
When a tile is placed in such a way as to connect two chains the chains merge and the larger chain absorbs the smaller. The top two stockholders in the losing chain receive compensation for the merger. All players can then reinvest their stock as they see fit.
A chain of 11 or more hotels cannot be taken over and is called a “safe” chain. When all of the chains on the board are “safe” and no more tiles can be played the game is over. The players calculate their stock values and the player with the highest net worth is the winner.
Acquire was the first of the “business simulation” games released as part of the 3M bookshelf series and is probably the best known. As a business simulation it is quite abstract but as a game it works very well, with the players having to carefully decide how to manage their stocks and investments and how to play their tiles so as to maximize the worth of their holdings. Players do find themselves taking the mentality of a stock investor; buying heavily into a chain just so it can be merged into another and a profit taken or dumping stock in a chain before it is bought out and the stock rendered worthless. Games magazine ranks this as one of their all time classic games, a rating it certainly deserves.