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- Card game for 2-6 players
- Resource management game
- Takes about 45 minutes to play
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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
Top Customer Reviews
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!!]
*I am getting sick and tired of all the fake reviews on Amazon. Let me assure you that I am a normal person who paid full price for this game and that this is my honest, unbiased opinion. Nobody paid for this review or offered me any favors or free product to write it.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the BEST game! We have introduced this game to many of our friends and it's always a "hit"!! :) We have bought several for gifts now too. BUY THIS GAME! So fun!Published 18 days ago by Kayla
This game is an absolute blast! It's actually based on true people and events which makes it pretty cool too. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kate Kirchner
This game is a great family style game that is easy to learn, and just as easy to play. The game moves quickly which allows for multiple games in one sitting. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Easy to learn, fun to play. Gets to be a little too simple after playing several rounds but still a recommended buy!Published 4 months ago by B. Vater
really fast paced game. the point of the game is to get rid of everyone else and maybe save other people so that you get your turn again. definitely a take that game.Published 5 months ago by William G.