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Go For It! (1986) Board Game Review and Instructions

How to Play | Review | Final Verdict | Comments

How to Play

Objective

To be the first player to collect two or three different valued status cards from all four categories by the end of a Go For It round.

Set Up

Shuffle all of the news cards and place them face down on the table. Shuffle each set of status cards separately. Place the top three cards from each status deck face up on the corresponding spaces of the game board and the rest of the cards face down. Place the timepiece marker on the first week of January space.

Each player gets three $5,000 bills, and five $1,000 bills. Each player also selects a birthday marker (orange pieces) and places it on the game board on the space that corresponds to their birthday. Every player selects a career card and attaches a clip to the left side on the 0 space at the bottom of the card.

All of the players roll the dice to see who goes first. Play then proceeds in a clockwise fashion.

A Player’s Turn

A players turn consists of the following four steps:

  1. Roll the dice and move the time piece maker the number of spaces indicated by the die roll.
  2. Follow the directions printed on the space that the time piece marker landed on.
  3. The current player may play a News card.
  4. The current player can trade, buy, and/or sell any status cards that they own with another player.
Space Text in Go For It
The player who rolled the dice this turn will get to take one card from the status tray. The player would also get to pick up a News card (obscured by the red piece).

Buying Status Cards

A majority of the spaces you land on and some of the News cards allow you to buy additional status cards. If the space or card indicates purchasing a specific type of status card, the player may only buy cards from the category/categories listed. If a player either doesn’t have the money or doesn’t want to purchase one of the status cards, they are not required to. Before buying a status card you may sell any status cards you already own (see the Selling Status Cards section).

When buying status cards you have two different options. You may purchase face up status cards. To purchase these cards you just pay the price printed on the card and place the card in front of you. Replace the face up card taken from the board with the top face down card from the same category. Players can also buy the top face down card by paying the price printed on the back of the card. When purchased the card goes in front of the player like any other card. Since you don’t know the value of the status card you could either be getting a deal or losing money buying a face down card.

Buying Status Cards in Go For It
The time piece has landed on a space that allows the player to buy a House ‘N Homes card. The player can pay $400,000, $100,000, or $300,000 for the face up cards or pay $240,000 for the face down card.

After buying a status card, players can risk the item they just purchased by attempting a Go For It Roll.

Go For It Roll

If a player wants to risk the item they just purchased they can gamble the card they just purchased in order to receive a better item. This step is optional and a player could choose to just keep the item they purchased. If they want to risk it, they roll both dice. If the combined total is six or higher the player exchanges the card they purchased with a card from the next highest status category (the next category to the left). If the roll is less than six, the player loses the status card (placed on the bottom of the corresponding stack) and they do not get back the money they spent to purchase the item.

Roll For It in Go For It
The player has purchased a Goin’ Places card. They can risk this card in order to possibly exchange it for a Feelin’ Good card. Since they rolled a seven they could exchange the card they purchased with a Feelin’ Good card. They could then risk this card if they wanted to continue pressing their luck.

If the player rolled six or better they can decide to continue risking the item they just received or they can keep it. If they risk it they will once again roll the dice. If they roll higher than a six again, they get to exchange the card for a card in the next level of status cards. If you roll less than a six, the player will lose the status card.

By using Go For It rolls a  player could turn a Goin’ Places card into a Feelin’ Good card then a Wheels card, and finally a House ‘N Home card.

Selling A Status Card

Either before buying a status card, at the end of their turn, or due to a News card or a space on the game board; a player may end up selling one of their status cards. The selling player announces which card they are selling. All of the other players have the opportunity to bid on the item. If either no players make a bid or the top bid is less than the value printed on the card, you sell the card to the bank for the card’s value. If players bid more than the value on the card, the selling player must sell it to that player once bidding has concluded.

Selling Cards in Go For It
The current player has put this house card up for sale. If no player bids more than $300,000, the card will be sold to the bank. If the bidding gets higher than $300,000, the player who bids the most gets to purchase the card.

Before the bidding closes, the selling player may choose to remove the card from the auction and is no longer required to sell it to any player.

News Cards

By landing on spaces marked “Pick Up the News” or by landing on the space where you can purchase News cards, players will end up drawing News cards. News cards come in two varieties. “Extra Extra” News cards must be played immediately for their effect. Regular News cards can either be played immediately or held to be used at a later point in the game.

News Cards in Go For It
The News card on the left is an Extra Extra card which has to be played immediately. The card on the right can be played at any time.

Players may only play one News card on their turn. If a player acquires two News cards on their turn and both are “Extra Extra” cards, both cards will be played but the player may not play any other News cards on their turn.

Birthdays

If at any time during the game the time piece marker lands on a space occupied by a birthday marker, the player who that birthday marker represents will receive a present from all of the other players. Each player must give the “birthday player” a gift of one status card (giver’s choice). If they don’t have any status cards they must give the player $5,000.

Birthday in Go For It
The time piece marker has landed on a space which contains a birthday marker. All other players will have to give a status card to the Ice Cream player.

Labor Day

Labor Day in Go For It
The time piece marker has moved past the Labor Day space. The Labor Day events will take place before the normal turn actions are performed.

On the turn when the time piece mover lands on or moves past labor day each year, special events take place. Each player will look at the number of status cards in front of them and adjust the slider on the left side of their career card to the number that corresponds with the number of status cards they have in front of them. Players can either stay at the same spot, move up, or even move down. Players then receive the salary number on the right side of the card from the bank that corresponds to the row that their slider is currently on.

Salary in Go For It
The current player owns five status cards. The player will adjust their salary marker to the four status card level. They will get $50,000 from the bank.

After everyone collects their salary, play returns to normal unless a player decides to pursue a “Go For It” round.

Go For It Round

In order to win the game, a player must possess at least three different valued cards in each status category (Goin’ Places, Feelin’ Good, Wheels, Houses ‘N Homes). In five or six player games each player only needs two different valued cards for each status category. Possessing enough cards is not enough to win the game though. When the game reaches Labor day all of the players need to decide whether they think by the time the next Labor day rolls around, they will have all of the cards required to win the game. If they think they will, they declare that the next round for them is a Go For It Round. Even if the player does not currently have all of the cards they need to win, they can still Go For It. They must declare that they are going for it after everyone receives their salary but before the current player takes any of their normal actions for the turn.

Play continues as normal until the next Labor Day is reached. If you do not have the required combination or cards on the next Labor Day, you have failed the Go For It round. Due to your failure each player will get to take one of your status cards of their choice for free. The player on your left gets to pick first followed by all of the other players in clockwise order.

If you have all of the necessary cards when Labor Day is reached, you will win the game as long as no other players also successfully completed a Go For It Round. If two or more players both met the conditions to win the game, whichever player has the most status cards will win. If the game is still tied, whichever players’ status cards are worth more will win.

Winning Go For It
This player currently has the required cards in order to win the game. If the player had a combination of cards like this at the end of a Go For It round, they would win the game.

Review

Are you a materialistic? Are you not satisfied unless you have multiple cars and multiple mansions? Well if this describes you the game Go For It! was made for you.

Go For It! is a 1986 game made by Parker Brothers where the object of the game is to obtain the most stuff as possible. The goal in the game is not to enjoy your life or have a successful career, it is to just acquire stuff. Who said money can’t buy you happiness? While this might sound ridiculous to you (is is), the game does have some redeeming qualities that could have made it better than most of the other Parker Brothers roll and move games. Unfortunately due to an issue with the end game, Go For It fails to be much more than a completely average roll and move game.

A Capitalist’s Dream

If there was one main theme in Go For It, it would definitely be “greed is good.” This game is the embodiment of a capitalist’s dream where people spend money all the time buying stupid things that they don’t actually need. Based on this game, the only thing that matters in the whole world are your possessions.

To show how far out of reality the game actually is, I want to tell you the story of my player in the game. My player started in the software/programming profession as a junior programmer. On either the first or second roll of the game, he won a mansion for St. Patrick’s Day. He then bought his second mansion for $20,000. He ended up inheriting one or two mansions from his dead uncle. By the end of the second year, my poor little junior programmer had over five houses/mansions. Outside of being the luckiest man in the world, I would like to know how that could possibly happen.

At least in our game it actually seemed easier to acquire houses than it did to get the lower priced items. Part of that is whenever a player could take an item for free they would always take a house since it was worth the most money after all. Players ended up acquiring so many houses that we ended up selling them just to get the money out of them. About half way through the game most of the players had so much money that they didn’t even know what to do with it.

While money may seem important in the game, it really isn’t. You will be quickly swimming in money and won’t be able to spend it quick enough. You don’t win the game with money but by being lucky and being able to purchase the cards you need to win the game. You could have a millions dollars in your hand and still lose since you couldn’t buy that cheap vacation that you needed in order to meet the victory conditions.

The late game auctions will show you how pointless the money in the game truly is. In the early game you will likely sell everything to the bank since other players don’t have enough money to purchase them from you. Soon though auctions can be very lucrative for sellers. For example in our game a player was able to sell a $4,000 vacation for over $100,000 since several players needed that value luxury and everyone had so much money that it didn’t really matter if people overpaid for the item.

While the game kind of has its priorities messed up, the game is surprisingly fun at times. The gameplay is quite simple but it provides enough choices that you feel like you have an impact on the final outcome of the game. Go For It also has enough new mechanics that it doesn’t just feel like a generic roll and move game.

Are You Lucky?

If you answered no, good luck winning Go For It! While the game actually has some interesting mechanics for a roll and move game, luck will almost always determine who ends up winning the game.

Luck first comes into play with landing on the right spaces on the board. As I have already mentioned, money doesn’t play a big role in who wins the game. You will win the game by being lucky and landing on the spaces that can get you the items that you need. You could have a ton of money but if you can’t land on the space that lets you buy that $2,000 vacation you aren’t going to win the game.

In addition a lucky player can quickly gain a huge lead by taking chances and rolling for better items. While if you regularly roll for it, you will end up losing quite a few items, you can gain a lot of value quickly. You could end up turning $2,000 into a $500,000 house with just three rolls that are higher than a six. With the requirement only being a total of six, the odds are actually in your favor for every roll so if you are the gambling type you can build up a pretty big lead.

Luck also comes into play due to huge shifts in fortune. In the game we played one player went from last play to almost winning the game in just a couple turns. Some of the spaces on the board and the News cards are really powerful which can result in huge shifts in each players standing in the game.

A Broken End Game

While I actually liked a decent amount of the elements in Go For It!, the end game almost ruins the entire game. While the idea behind gathering the different kinds of status cards is interesting (despite glorifying materialism), it just doesn’t work. There are just too many ways for other players to end up messing with your status cards that it is likely that you will end up losing at least one of the cards you need to win the game.

This gets me to the Go For It mechanic. I think it is interesting that you have to declare that you are going for victory one year in advance. The problem is that this makes you a huge target. As soon as you declare that you are going for it you become target number one. There is no reason for the other players to not go after you since if they don’t stop you the game will be over. So players will either hold News cards to mess with players when they go for it or they will likely land on a space that allows them to mess with you.

This is the biggest problem I had with the entire game. It just drags on and on. In the game I played we ended up quitting since it was over two hours and no one was close to winning the game. If the game only lasted a half hour to an hour, I would have enjoyed the game quite a bit more. In out game one player would go for it and then all of the other players would swarm and take enough cards away from them that they would fail the challenge. This would put them further away from actually winning the game and the process would repeat itself over and over again. Since no one was actually making any progress, all of the players just decided to call the game a draw.

When playing the game we used the four player rules which required getting three different values for each type of status cards. This was a big mistake. I would recommend totally ditching that rule and going with the 5-6 player rules where you only need to get two different values for each type of status card. With requiring three cards you essentially need to get four different values of cards since otherwise the other players will just take one of your cards which will make you fail the go for it challenge. Playing with the three card requirement means that you essentially need four different values for all four categories which could take forever to acquire.

Other Tidbits

  • Go For It hasn’t aged particularly well. How would you like to spend $12,000 for a television and a VCR?
  • At least based on where I live, some of the events in the game don’t make a whole lot of sense. For example who in the world has a rummage sale in the middle of November. While they might have rummage sales in the south at that time of the year, you couldn’t find anyone holding a rummage sale in the middle of the winter anywhere near where I live.
  • In a four player game, you will run out of money quickly. We ended up having to make IOUs since we ran out of money since every player had a lot more money than they could even spend. We eventually had to make IOUs for a million dollars just to get cash back into the bank.
  • The birthday mechanic is interesting. While the mechanic is based entirely on luck, it treats all of the players fairly since every player has the same opportunity for the piece to land on their spot. Having the piece land on your spot can give you a huge advantage. If two players share the same spot it will really suck for the other players having to give up two status cards.
  • While at first I thought they wouldn’t be valuable, the News cards turn out to be very valuable. While a couple cards may end up backfiring on you, most of the cards will let you get an item for free or at a significant discount. A lot of the cards also let you mess with the other players. One of the spaces on the game board lets you buy News cards for $5,000 each and if you can afford them I would highly recommend purchasing them.

Final Verdict

While I don’t agree with the theme that greed is everything, Go For It is not a terrible game. The game has some unique mechanics that improves on traditional roll and move games. The game does rely heavily on luck though. I found Go For It to be a fun game for a while. The biggest problem with the game is that it takes way too long to finish. A game that should have taken a half hour to an hour at max can easily take up to two hours. The game gets dull at this point and you have to just wait for it to end.

If you don’t like traditional Parker Brothers roll and move games, Go For It won’t be any different. If you like roll and move games though and don’t mind the materialistic message of the game, you may get some enjoyment out of the game if you can pick up a copy for cheap.

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