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The City Council recently green lit the zoning map for a new urban development — The Estates — featuring high-end infrastructure and a modern atmosphere for its citizens. Shortly after, the banks awarded millions of dollars in loans to six real estate investment firms to help develop this new area. The zoning map for The Estates shows two rows of four buildings each, located between the River and Main Street. The meadows on the opposite side of the River are to remain a recreational area for the City.
But, with hopes of larger profits, investors and building tycoons entirely ignore the City Council's demands and begin developing three rows of buildings. The Mayor catches wind of the potential for profit and starts planning a new mansion in The Estates, which would double the value of one of the building rows! With some sketchy building permits, investors start developing buildings on the other side of the River, beyond the designated building zone. However, the City Council takes rigorous steps to end the racketeering with an ultimatum: As soon as the first two rows are finished, the buildings in the uncompleted row will be torn down, resulting in a huge loss for all who invested there. At the end of the day, the investor with the highest-value of buildings will come out on top.
The players will take on the role of investors seeking to make the most money by developing buildings in The Estates. Players bid for the various building pieces and place them in The Estates to their benefit. All buildings in completed rows get positive points, while all buildings in incomplete rows score negative points. It is entirely possible to have zero completed rows of buildings.
A game of The Estates takes around 40 minutes and can be played in several rounds to experience a shifting economy.