Facets of Fortune, a new, independent, gem-trading family game published by Millbrook Games of Bellevue, officially launched Thursday, Nov. 2.
It is the company’s first product.
In Facets of Fortune, gamers are plunged into a world of high-powered gem trading with a relatively small amount of money to get started. Their goal is to buy low and sell high, using special gem trading cards in strategic and surprising ways to make thrilling plays for cash. Sometimes, it seems like gamers’ fortunes have fallen so low that they’ll never get ahead, but with one clever play they could suddenly find themselves on top of the gem world.
In a recent review, BoardGameCapital.com described the essence of the game: “The challenging, random and addicting nature of this game makes Facets of Fortune one of our current favorites.”
Facets of Fortune is for two-to-four players, takes about 45 minutes to play, and is intended for ages 10 and up. The suggested retail price is $24.95.
Millbrook’s president, Lowell Press, created Facets of Fortune more than 20 years ago but finally set about developing it in the summer of 2011 when he wanted to at least temporarily engage his two sons, who were 12 and 9 years old at the time, in something other than video games.
“I was surprised by how much my kids got into the creative process of game design,” Press said. “Whether or not you publish, I highly recommend creating board games with your kids as a way of engaging with them. It makes for some serious quality time.”
Press, a fan of monetary games as a kid, said, “Facets of Fortune reminds me of an addictive market game I used to play called Stocks and Bonds. It was so exciting to make big money by picking the right stocks. And it was also so crushing to lose it all. It taught me how precarious it is to take big risks with your own money.”
Unlike Stocks and Bonds, Facets of Fortune is not modeled on real-world markets. It presents to players a unique system wherein gem markets ultimately rise to a very high value, and players know that it is a race to make money before the markets begin to crash and become worthless. “The key to the game,”Press said, “is that you have to figure out how to use your gem cards in clever ways to make gem purchase and sale decisions before it’s too late. If you make those clever plays, and have a little luck, you will make millions and win the game.”
For the look of the game, Press sought out experienced graphic designer Marcia Friedman, of Seattle-based Friedman-Petersen, who has worked on a number of successful board game projects, including Cranium and Find It.