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Game Review

Filthy Rich
The 3-D game of capitalism

Ages 10 and up
Wizards of the Coast
Game © 1998 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
game contents -- binder, money, dice and cards

2-5 Players30+ minutes


Each player is a business owner. Hang the signs for your business in a visible spot to attract customers. Customers spend money at your business which allows you to buy luxuries. The first player to get three luxuries wins the game.


Players are dealt five cards from the "Filthy Rich" deck. The Luxury deck and Signs are set aside for use in the game, but there is no randomization of these decks.

Each player's turn follows this order:

  1. Buy a luxury (optional)

  2. Take two card actions
    (an action is either: play a card or discard to collect $1)

  3. Roll the business dice (10 sided)

  4. Roll the page die (6 sided)

  5. Draw two cards

Look carefully at the pictures of the game in play -- the glare from the flash is due to the way the game is constructed. Inside the binder, are four plastic card pages (most card collectors have a lot of these around.) Each page holds up to nine cards. At the game start, play begins on the first page. The slot numbers are visible through the plastic for dice roll reference. The 3-D aspect of the game will become apparent as you play.

Playing a card usually means "buying a business." When bought, the business' sign is placed on the current card page in the layout specified on the card. (The layout is obvious when you see the signs.) Once placed, and both card actions are exhausted. The player rolls the business dice. The number of dice rolled depends upon which page is currently in play, one die is rolled for page 1, two dice for page two, and so on. The number on each 10-sided die specifies where customers "hit" a business. If the number rolled matches a sign, that business owner gets money (unless the business card says otherwise). However, if a 10 is rolled, all players must pay taxes.

An obvious strategy is to place big signs on pages three and four because there is a better chance to get "hits" for your businesses.

After rolling the business dice and money is exchanged, the 6-sided die is rolled. The number rolled determined the page to play on next: 1 for page 1, 2 for page 2, etc. A roll of 5 or 6 means to stay on the same page.

Now, here is the 3-D part of the game: Notice that signs may be seen through the plastic sheet when pages 2 through 4 are in play. That means that good placement from lower pages can make money on the upper pages, too. And, if placing a sign on an upper page causes your sign to be covered up, the covering player must pay you a few dollars. (Isn't capitalism great?!)

As soon as a player buys his/her third luxury, they win -- and this ability takes place at the beginning of your turn, not at the end.

game at the start -- no signs anywhere

Winning Conditions:

  • The player who purchases his/her third luxury wins.

game in play

Our Opinion:

Thumbs Down! The thumbs down opinon of this game comes after much debate. As a two player game, this game is not especially good. The player who gets the lucky dice roll will win, but only if they remember to buy luxuries -- having the most money isn't the goal. With more players, the game really opens up for some interesting strategy, and as we haven't played it with more than two players, we can't tell how enjoyably the game will play out.

The great equalizer in this game is "taxes." The more businesses and assets that you have, the more taxes you must pay each time a 10 is rolled. Further, on pages where multiple business dice are rolled, more 10s mean multiple taxes: the rules specify that you pay for EACH 10 rolled -- on an early turn, all of the players could be wiped out by one bad roll of the dice.

The "taxes" discussion leads to the Silly Rules problem of the game -- the rules specify rolling a "0" (zero) causes taxes to be collected...the packaged dice actually have a "10," not the normal "0" that most 10 sided dice use. This was briefly confusing before we played, but made sense when the game was played.

When we played this game, I liked it, but the Baroness was less than pleased by it. (She even won the game!) The "3-D" label on the front caught our imagination and we felt a little let down when we got a binder with card collector pages -- I guess we expected a more "upright" game like Jenga or Arch Rival. Cards as the medium of choice are not surprising since the game was designed by Richard Garfield -- The same guy who created Magic: The Gathering.

Aside from the "3-D" disappointment, the game was well put together and the rules are a 1 page quick read. The game plays alright, but when the dice don't roll your way -- you just can't win. Filthy Rich is similar to Monopoly, but lacks the interactivity between the players. All in all, don't get this game until it costs around $10.

Where to buy:

Game stores -- Especially in Wizards of the Coast outlets. Our copy cost about $25.

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