Capital Gains Studio’s Wongamania: Banana Economy, the international version of their successful economic manipulation board game, has managed to achieve 70% funding with two weeks remaining.
Staged in a banana republic – not the American clothing retailer but the term for a country with unstable politics and an elite-controlled economy – players have to stash enough money in an offshore trust fund for a comfortable retirement.
This can be done by legitimate means such as stock, property, and bond investments, in addition to shady tactics such as influencing the government for personal gain. It’s a ruthless race to the top as players use everything at their disposal to bring ruin upon the competition: from seemingly cute financial monsters with names like Debtzilla and Taxopus to schemes involving car accidents and divorces. One can almost imagine the curly moustaches, monocles, and incessant cackling.
Wongamania contrasts this seemingly dark and complex subject matter by enlisting Singaporean comic artist Andy Choo for his expertise in satire, and by designing a game that’s friendly enough for 10-year-olds.
The Apprentice (Beginner. Suitable for age 10+ and folks new to board games. Recommended 2 – 3 players.)
The Strategist (Beginner. Recommended 2 – 4 players.)
The Hardcore Wongamaniac (Advanced. Recommended 2 – 5 players.)
The international edition not only overhauls the cards and boards for balance but also introduces new mechanics. Banana Economy is now modular to better accommodate different play styles, has a Productivity Die for pacing, and implements an insurance system to protect against take-that cards (cards that directly affect another player).
A significant portion of the AU$10,000 target (approximately SG$10.3K) will go towards manufacturing and shipping costs, with 10% set aside purely for risk mitigation – “If things go wrong along the way, we promise you that we will go all out to solve them and get your package delivered to you.”
It costs a minimum of SG$25 to pick up a physical copy although a high-resolution digital copy can be had for just $10. Limited edition tiers that include personalized goods have also been well received, with only a total of four slots remaining.
Wongamania: Banana Economy is expected to ship by April 2016.