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Relive the fun of today’s doomed property market in 3D city-building board game Magnate: The First City

Board game boom and bust.

You can now experience today’s doomed property market in board game form with 3D building game Magnate: The First City.

Developed by newborn publisher Naylor Games, Magnate: The First City has players racing to build their own 3D cities before the inevitable market crash strikes their property empires down. A game for one to five players, Magnate has you taking advantage of a local boom in property development by buying land, constructing houses, taking rent and eventually selling your investments off to make a profit.

Each turn begins with one player bidding to go first, with the person willing to put the most money down getting first pick of the available land. Once this has been decided each player takes it in turns to perform one action before passing over to the next person, with everyone getting access to up to three actions per round.

The actions you can take depends on what you currently own. For example, you won’t be able to construct a building if you don’t have any land under your belt. This means that player turns will progress in stages as they build their empire and gain access to more potential actions.

The first action everyone has to take is to buy land whose price will change throughout the course of the game. As players buy and sell more property developments the price of land will rise until there is eventually a market crash and the game ends. This is where players will have to measure the risk and reward of obtaining more land to build new properties.

Once a player has bought land they can then pay to construct a building on the plot, with different buildings costing different amounts. These buildings come in the form of little 3D models and can be swapped out for larger properties on another turn. With properties in hand players can then collect rent from tenants, however, this will depend upon whether they can roll the right total on their rental die. Having more money means being able to buy more land and develop more properties, so the chance aspect of tenancy payments will affect this.

Another way for players to get money is through selling their properties. However, properties cannot be re-purchased once sold so players will have to be careful about when to take this action. On the other hand, the value of buildings will be dramatically reduced once the property market crashes at the end of the game, so it’s safer to sell properties sooner rather than later.

Magnate: The First City is currently up on Kickstarter until December 11th, with a base pledge of around £54 getting you a single copy of the game estimated to arrive before the end of 2020. There’s currently no mention of a retail release just yet.


Alex Meehan avatar

Alex Meehan

Staff Writer

Alex’s journey to Dicebreaker began with writing insightful video game coverage for outlets such as Kotaku, Waypoint and PC Gamer. Her unique approach to analysing pop culture and knack for witty storytelling finally secured her a forever home producing news, features and reviews with the Dicebreaker team. She’s also obsessed with playing Vampire: The Masquerade, and won’t stop talking about it.