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Family Business


List Price: $14.99
Price: $13.67 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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  • Card game for 2-6 players
  • Resource management game
  • Takes about 45 minutes to play
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Product Description

Product Description

Be the boss in this fast paced card game of survival on the mean streets. "Family Business" pits mobsters against each other all working to make sure theirs is the last family standing. Your gang members get placed on the Hit List. Can your "Family Influence" save them? Will they "Take it on the Lam", seek "Police Protection", or perhaps up the ante with a "Double Contract"? Family Business is fast, furious, and fun. Your goal is survival. What's in the cards for your game?

From the Manufacturer

Be the boss in this fast-paced card game of survival on the mean streets. "Family Business" pits mobsters against each other - all working to make sure theirs is the last family standing. Your gang members get placed on the Hit List. Can your "Family Influence" save them? Will they "Take it on the Lam", seek "Police Protection", or perhaps up the ante with a "Double Contract"? Family Business is fast, furious, and fun. Your goal is survival. What's in the cards for your game?

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 6.2 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item can be shipped to select countries outside of the U.S. Learn More
  • Origin: USA
  • ASIN: B001HBJ41C
  • Item model number: MFG4401
  • Manufacturer recommended age: 6 - 10 years
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,476 in Toys & Games (See Top 100 in Toys & Games)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
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From the Manufacturer


About Mayfair Games

Mayfair Games is a U.S. based Illinois company, incorporated in 1981 and is an international publisher of board games and card games suitable for families and hobbyists. Mayfair Games has over 100 game titles in print including many long-running series of games such as Empire Builder and Catan as well as many long-running standalone titles such as Alibi and Family Business. Mayfair Games, making the “games of our generation”.

Family Business: Mobs, Contracts, Mayhem

Family Business takes mob warfare to a new level of backstabbing, revenge, and general bloodthirstiness, which is what makes it such a blast to play. Every player controls a 'family' and plays various cards to off other players' family members. In a game with this little structure, it's possible for everyone to gang up on one unlucky soul, or for the damage to be fairly evenly spread. Either way, the last family standing is victorious.

Each player starts with a gang of nine characters. To try to get rid of other gangsters, contracts are played on them. If these contracts are not blocked by anyone, the targeted gangster is placed on the hitlist. As soon as six gangsters are on the hitlist a mobwar is started. This means that, at the start of every turn, the first character on this list is eliminated. This goes on until the list is empty.

Mobwars can also be triggered by cards being played. When no more than the last six or fewer characters are in play a constant mobwar is going on, until only one player has characters left.

In general players take turns clockwise, however, the turn goes to any player who plays a response card and then clockwise mode is resumed with the player next to him/her. Lots of interaction as players play cards to put gangsters on the list, save them, have them replaced, start a Mob War, or stop it...

  • 54 Mobster Cards (6 families with 9 mobsters each)
  • 58 Action Cards (33 Attack, 12 Counter, and 12 Rescue cards)
  • "R.I.P." card tray
  • Simple rules

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Hyacinth on July 17, 2009
Verified Purchase
My family, friends and I have been playing this fast-paced, easy-to-learn game for over twenty years and it's always our first choice for company.

Each player gets a "mob" of nine gangsters and a hand of cards that play dastardly tricks on the other guys -- or defend their own guys from attack. Attacked mobsters go on a "Hit List" and can be rescued until a mob war rubs them out.

Throw in special cards that cause double-rate wars, Ambush attacks, turn stealing, and a Saint Valentine's Day Massacre, and the result is a game of surprising strategy and quick reverses, where even a fairly young player can win.

My favorite aspect of this game is its "self leveling" nature. Any player who starts to fall behind becomes a weak target, meaning it's in the stronger players' interest to attack somebody else. People rarely feel picked on (except in fun) and there's no long dusty road to defeat.

Although gameplay can be complicated, the cards all have hints printed on them to remind players what they do, meaning even new players can jump in with gats blazing.

But don't forget your cement overshoes!

[UPDATE 8/09 - Although we still love this game, my family and I are NOT thrilled with the latest edition, which has been redesigned with cluttered graphics and a blocky hard-to-read font that detract from gameplay. Bring back the older (or at least a more legible) verision!!]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Peter Smith on May 9, 2011
Verified Purchase
My friends and I now play this game at every game night. It is easy to setup and very fun to play. One word of warning, this game leads to some of the most heated moments we have during our game nights. While other games end with an, "ok, let's add up the scores and see who won." This one ends with every screaming, "Oh man, I was so close! You are going down next time." and other various curses. I highly recommend this game.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By MVV on January 3, 2012
Verified Purchase
I played the game for the first time in early December and ordered a copy right away. It's easy to learn and provides a great combination of things needed for a worthwhile game:

1. It doesn't take forever. You end up playing 3 or 4 rounds at a sitting because as soon as it's over, everyone wants to play it again.
2. It provides just the right amount of strategy combined with some luck of the draw.
3. It stimulates a lot of fun interaction between players. You're killing each other off. No hard feelings!
4. The artwork is great. I catch myself wondering who I know who looks like one of the gangsters.
5. You never know who is going to win until the last play. You don't want to jump out in the lead too early, or else you'll become everyone's target. The game intensifies towards the end and then it often ends with a bang, usually with a surprise. Great stuff.

I've played it with all ages and it's fun to watch the demeanor of someone new to the game. They catch on and it's satisfying to see them get into it pretty quickly. I've played it in tandem with some other award winning games and you can see the energy level go up with this one.

I've been surprised to find that this game is way down the list in terms of favorites or best-sellers. No awards, not even nominations for awards. I have collected a number of strategy games over the years and have often bought them based on awards, sales history, favorites, and web recommendations. I never would have given this one a thought if I hadn't played it first. It's a good one.

MVV
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bweemes on September 19, 2012
Verified Purchase
Just bought this game not too long ago and it has risen quite quickly to a place of honor on my game shelves. I love the mechanics of this game, the theme, the gameplay, the quickness, the chaos, the back-stabbing, and everything else that goes into keeping my mobsters alive while trying to kill all of yours. It is just fun. The theme might be a little bit dark for some families, but this is a great large group game. Play with people who don't get their feelings hurt easily because there is a lot of intentionally hurting other players and possibly causing them to be out of the game. I love this game though and my gaming group loves it, I can't ask for more than that. I am keeping it in my collection for sure.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By JC on June 13, 2009
Verified Purchase
First of all, parents, this game has almost no educational value, unless your child is planning on becoming part of the mafia. This game is very addicting, and all games are hilarious to play. The more people the better, and even beginners can win. This is a must buy for kids and adults 12 and over!
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Verified Purchase
Family Business: 2-6 Players, Ages 8+, Average Play Time = 30 Minutes

The components are fairly straight forward: cards, cards, and more cards. The quantity, colors, and text on said cards might seem overwhelming to first time players, but it’s actually very easy to understand. It took me perhaps five minutes to grasp the basic concepts, though this is the first time I’ve had someone teach me a game as opposed to learning it myself. Regardless, I’m confident I could have had a basic understanding of the game within ten minutes of reading the manual (which happens to be fairly short as well). Once one understands that family / mobster cards have no use beyond being interactive / movable life point counters, all they’d really need to learn is what the various action cards do.

When I first saw this game, I was intrigued by the whole elimination mechanic in that you lined mobsters up against a wall and eliminated them in turn. It gave me a sense of a ticking clock that was winding down fast. Since you can only play rescue cards on your turn, there’s a good chance that your mobster will be eliminated before you even get a chance to do so (especially when playing with a lot of people). There are plenty of cards that re-arrange the hit list, allow for substitutions, and prevent a contract from being placed from the get go, but there are also some cards that are truly nasty. One eliminates every mobster on the hit list for example, while another causes two mobsters to be eliminated every player turn…ouch!

As a whole, “Family Business” is easy to pick up and play. Despite the theme (eliminating mobsters), it’s very family-friendly and doesn’t feature any sort of violent card art.
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