A small sub genre of digital board game seems to have formed over the last couple of years. These games involve you racing across countries or continents to destinations whilst investing in property on the way. They also seem to avoid the Monopoly trap of paying anything out to other players too. With Billion Road possibly being the leader in this genre, The MoneyMakers Rallye is a new variant that calms down on the zany side quests and focuses more on Monte Carlo.
Available for 1-6 players locally and with AI bots to fill any voids you want to fill, The MoneyMakers Rallye is an exact copy of Billion Road and Rich Man in terms of its base gameplay. This version lets players travel across Europe over a pre-decided set of rounds. Richest player wins. Each round sees you roll two dice to then move spaces towards a randomly chosen city goal. You’ll take turns rolling and using your GPS to move the quickest and shortest route. Every space in the game has something going on though. You can gain or lose money. You can buy ability cards to hinder other players or boost your own success. You can play casino minigames like BlackJack for cash. You can upgrade your vehicle to withstand other players ability card attacks. The most important thing is that you can land in a city and choose to invest in properties in that city. Then for every future turn afterwards, they’ll pay a small revenue fee to you.
Each round ends when someone lands directly in the target city by exact dice roll. That player then wins a bit cash reward and everyone plays in a 20 ball lottery game buying tickets and getting assigned random numbers. After that the winner gets to choose the next rounds modifier such as double bonuses or reduced lose money percentages and we go again. The big thing here is never be the furthest away from the target city at the end of the round as you then get given a curse that will either ruin your dice rolls or make you lose money every single turn until someone lands on your same space and you can pass that curse on. Getting a curse is infuriating.
Whilst there are a few random events that take place, what distinguishes The MoneyMakers Rallye from others in the genre is that there is less faff per turn and less chaos. This means that playing the game, whilst still very luck based, has more of a skill element to it. That skill element increases the longer you play a game for as well. If you play a short game, the chances are you are just playing a dice rolling game and that isn’t fun. Increase it beyond say 20 rounds though (which is a 2-3 hour investment) you’ll then find the investments in properties play much more of a larger role in the game. This is because as you go back and forth over Europe, you can start buy up multiple properties in a city and if you can get all of them, their revenue and value doubles. This then starts to ask the question ‘how can I return to my cities when I have cash to buy more there and not be last’. Is that upgrade worth more than winning the round?
I will say that turns take place much, much faster on The MoneyMaker Rallye than Billion Road and Rich Man and the game is all the better for it. It does have the same issue as Billion Road though that winning the race is usually worth more than any property investment over time unless you are playing a mammothlike long game. I wished there were more casino styled minigames too as they are fun but there are only three. One other curious thing I’d noticed was that each time I’ve played the AI, its always the easy AI player that wins – not the medium or hard ones. The easy ones always go for the goal and ignore property investment and I think that shows how these games are fun but unbalanced. This game also has some valuable quality of life features too. You can speed up AI turns to make the game go faster when playing them. Ability cards are focused on providing multiple dice and there is one at the end of the round to help stop people needing 5’s and rolling everything else constantly but allowing you to roll more and more dice and choosing your result. It just makes the game feel less drawn out and more focused with is a good thing.
I think The MoneyMakers Rallye is the easiest and most accessible and immediate of this sub genre of digital game to get into. I really feel like not charging for people landing on your property is a missed opportunity as investments should be made more powerful in the game. Each game will still take a long time to play but this is the best recent version out there of this style of game to date.
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