In August of 2023, Hasbro teamed with a company called Renegade Games and produced a new edition of the game of ACQUIRE. It was time for a new edition since almost eight years has passed since the horrendous 2016 edition and Hasbro has been putting out a new edition approximately every eight years.
The main manufacturer of this edition is Renegade Games but the box also has the logos from Wizards of the Coast, Avalon Hill, and Hasbro. The logos from Avalon Hill and Hasbro are understandable but I am perplexed as to the logos and copyrights from Wizards of the Coast. Although there are some features in this game that were introduced by Wizards and since they are still used, that could be the reason.
In the following paragraphs I will outline the good I discovered from this new edition as well as the bad. Overall, I feel very good about the physical makeup of this edition given it still has the rules limitations. I will also include photos that are not professional but, at a minimum, they will give you a closer look at the game.
Plastic Board and Tiles
When I wrote my review on the 2016 game of ACQUIRE I wrote the following sentence: “The design of the tiles are similar to the 1999 tiles but smaller. Therefore, the board should have been done to a similar style as the 1999 edition.” Renegade Games did exactly that with their 2023 edition.
Renegade has used the same design of tiles as the 2016 edition of ACQUIRE, but they used the design of the 1999 board in a smaller board that matches the size of the tiles. The board in this new 2023 edition of ACQUIRE only measures 12’ x 9”, which is the same size as the yellow plastic board used in ACQUIRE editions for years.
This is compared to the 15” x 10” board that was used in the 1999 editions. The 1999 Hasbro edition has been hailed as the most well-made edition of ACQUIRE because of its board and tiles and now this edition gives all those benefits, but in a much more compact game box.
The stock certificates in this edition are very underwhelming. Once again, they are larger than the heralded 1999 edition, but they are much too thin.
The artwork is done in a manner to make the stock certificate look similar to a real stock certificate. It is a nice idea, but it ended up putting a lot of writing on the certificates that is impossible to read, and therefore, just looks like clutter at first glance.
They have also added an illustration of the entity specific hotel markers on the cards. The back of the cards is printed with a picture of the box illustration.
Most of the names of the stocks have been reverted back to the original editions of ACQUIRE, before Hasbro acquired the rights. They now have the original hotel names of Imperial, Continental, Worldwide, Festival, American, and Tower. However, Luxor has been replaced with Sackson. This is a nice tribute to Sid.
The color scheme is altered a bit from the original editions as Imperial was changed from pink to orange and Worldwide was changed from brown to purple. Renegade has wisely put the number of stocks for each hotel back to the quantity of twenty five instead of the quantity of 24 that was found in the 2016 edition.
Renegade stayed with the design that Wizards had developed in the 2016 edition by keeping the thick chipboard information cards. Wizards had also developed a “tertiary bonus” that added a third payout at mergers. Renegade is still using this third payout, but they have made it an option.
One side of the Information Card contains the “Classic Mode,” which offers the standard first and second bonus, and the other side of the card has a “Tycoon Mode” that offers bonuses for three players.
Hasbro realized the error of its ways in the disaster that was the 2016 edition and made some necessary changes back to the original ACQUIRE in this edition. The last edition seems to have been the “nail in the coffin” for Wizards of the Coast and their input to this classic game.
Renegade has abandoned a lot of the arbitrary changes that were made by Wizards in the 2016 edition. The number of tiles to make a safe company has been returned to 11, which has also returned the pricing structure back to the traditional amounts.
There are the same reservations with the tertiary payouts as there was when the concept was developed in the 2016 edition. At the same time, they still didn’t address the problem that arises when nobody purchases the third majority when playing in the Tycoon Mode. (Actually, they finally did, but they only addressed it in a section in the Rule Booklet called “Rare Cases.”)
They state that if there is no third stock holder than the payout is ignored. So, in the long run, this gives the two stock holders more money than they would have received in a traditional game. (This becomes more of a problem in the balance of the game.)
Adding this third payout is still a feeble attempt to correct the long running balance problem that exists in the game of ACQUIRE. Hopefully, someday, whomever holds the rights to the game of ACQUIRE can make the move to incorporate the changes made by Lloyd’s Rules of ACQUIRE into the game of ACQUIRE to balance game play.
The 2016 Information card had a back that was printed with a “Summary of a Turn” and “Steps for Merger.” In this edition, Renegade has made a separate card, printed on thick chipboard that has a “Steps” for Merger on one side and a “Turn Sequence” printed on the other for a quick game reference.
The one thing they did a fantastic job on in the 2016 edition was the Rulebook. Renegade has continued that with another 14 page booklet that is filled with excellent pictures, illustrations, and print. Sid Sackson was always begging the 3M Company to print an extensive rules booklet. He would be proud of this Rulebook.
Renegade has decided to use the same buildings that were created by Wizards for the 2016 edition. It makes sense since they match the playing tiles that are used. Renegade also decided to keep the worthless “Corporate Banners.” Why? Sorry, there is no useful comment that can be offered at this juncture.
Finally, finally, a manufacturer of the game of ACQUIRE has addressed the problem with the money. Since the first mass market editions of ACQUIRE were produced in 1964, there have been too many $100 bills and not enough $1,000 bills.
Finally, with the 2023 edition of ACQUIRE, the problem has been solved. There are now only 30 $100 bills, but there are 50 $1,000 bills. This will make game play much easier when it comes to distributing the money.
Renegade has also put a little bit of creativity into the design of the money as it is far more appealing to the eye than the design that was used in the 2016 edition. It would have been preferred for the $5,000 bills to revert to the gold color, but Renegade has chosen to make the $5,000 bills green and the $1,000 bills yellow.
Overall this is a very well-constructed edition of ACQUIRE. In fact, it could have the best physical make up of all the previous American editions. (The German editions of ACQUIRE excluded) It has the feel of the 1999 Hasbro edition but in a compact form.
The Renegade Game Co. fixed a lot of the problems that were created in the 2016 edition but they also kept the Tertiary Bonus, which was added in the 2016 edition, as a variant that can be used if desired. They cleaned up the money problem that has been going on in the game of ACQUIRE for sixty years.
Hopefully, someday, the rules of ACQUIRE can be fixed, but this is an edition that is well worth the money and is a fantastic addition to the collection of ACQUIRE.
© 2024 Lloyd T. Solon