Congratulations on your promotion, CEO! But there’s no time to celebrate. The competition is fierce and these new “smartphone” things are on the rise. They’re coming out left and right, and our company needs to make sure ours are the very best! We’ll need to research new technologies (I hear Wi-Fi’s gonna be big), expand our market, and outprice our competitors come selling time to maximize our customer base. I know you’ll lead us to victory, Boss, so let’s get started!

What Is It?

An economic game that has players take on the role of CEO at technology startups. Each round players must first secretly program their active cells on their planning pads; this will determine: the price of their goods, how many they’ll get, if they can get new improvements, and how much they’ll be able to research technologies and expand into new regions. Once they make their way through those phases, players will sell as many of the goods they acquired as possible for maximum profit (AKA points). After 5 rounds, the company with the most success (VP) wins!

Who Is It For?

I’d consider this the next step up from gateway games; if you’re still newer to gaming, but have played a lot of those games and are looking for something meatier, this is a great choice! I thought this was super approachable overall, and also a great introductory choice to economic games (as someone who’s not big on math, that should mean something coming from me). The way the game breaks down the rounds into phases, all of which are pretty short and sweet, makes for intuitive gameplay that’s easy to follow. I’d recommend this to ages 13+, since there’s a fair amount of front-loading, and goals during the game, which might be harder for younger audiences to keep track of. Finally, you don’t need to be into technology to enjoy it, but the theme was neat and worked well with the mechanics, so it’s a bonus if you are!

Components + Quality

There are a LOT of components, so strap in, fam. All the cardboard components (planning pads, improvements, scoreboard, patents, technologies, retailers, and directives) are great, sturdy and thick. The cardboard pieces that slot into areas of the board fit in place very well. These pieces are also where a lot of the iconography for the game is, besides the board, and it’s top notch. Everything is fairly obvious as to what it means, so it’s easy to remember without referencing the rules a ton.

Speaking of the board, it’s large and in charge and dual layered (for slotting some of the pieces). Overall great design, and the iconography is, again, super clear everywhere. Another thing I love is that the symbols are not super small, which is nice. I’m used to having to squint at board spots and tiles if I’m far away, but everything in this is such a nice size, it’s easy to see. There’s also a small board for the AI player if used, which is simple and has a nice layout. The expansion includes a 2-3 player board, which tightens the game with less players.

The player screens are simple, a bit thin, but fine for how much they’re used; I love that they do the math for you. The progress, goods, and office markers are really solid little plastic pieces. I love the color choices, and the translucency looks nice on the board. These also slot into the board spaces with ease. I will say, I do wish the organizers were designed a bit differently. It can sometimes be hard to get your fingers into the slots to dig out the pieces when it’s full; I feel like it didn’t need slots for the goods tiles, and could have just made the spaces for the markers better. There’s also an extra plastic box included (without slots) which I assume is to help with storage & so the board sits on top, but things don’t fit into it nicely, so it’s not my favorite.

The expansion also includes 5 CEO figures with colored bases. The bases stay on nicely and the miniatures are very nice quality. I do wish they had been unique for some player choice, but it’s not a big deal.

The boxes are a bit small for what’s in them; everything has to be packed in very specific ways, which can be a little annoying. I wish I could have fit everything from both in the base game box, but it doesn’t seem possible with all those organizers. Finally, the rules to both the base and expansion are super clear, thorough, and easy to learn from. Really had no questions arise when learning, which is a great (and rare for me) feeling.

Variants + Expansions

AI PLAYER/ SOLO – If you’re into solo gaming, this was okay. I thought the upkeep with AI Steve was pretty simple and the AI board has a nice layout. I actually thought that it was a little too easy though. Trying to figure out what a player is going to do in a round is half the challenge of the game, so knowing what the AI is going to be doing made it a little to easy to puzzle out my best options. You can also add AI Steve into any games with less that 5 players. Personally, I’m not a fan of dummy players when I have anyone to play with, so I wouldn’t use the AI, even at 2. (Although, if you don’t have the expansion with the smaller board, it might be worth a try!)

UPDATE 1.1 EXPANSION – This adds various modules to the game. The 2-3 player board tightens the map, and brings out less improvements each round for players to choose from. It also adds new buyers with mixed demands, which adds a layer of strategy for players who might tend to back on certain pricing or tech. There are new technologies for some variability, and these introduce mini-upgrades, for your planning pads, as well as CEO figures,which can help in selling. Both the mini-upgrades and CEOs are pretty simple, and don’t add a lot to the game, but it’s nice to have that variety. There are also directives which are shared goals that players can race to finish. There are 24 different ones and you use 5-8 per game, depending on player count. These definitely add in more strategy, and are better once you’ve had more experience with the game. Overall, I’m a big fan of the expansion, primarily for the board, and think it’s a must-have if you’ll mostly play with 1-3.

HARDCORE MODE –This adds in additional rules that force players to pay for their actions. It’s neat if you like that extra math and counting (for whatever reason) but it’s not for me. This can also lead to much more AP from players trying to crunch the numbers before they decide on their best moves, which can bog down the game.


  • Easy to learn/teach
  • Really smooth turn/phase/round flow; moves along quickly
  • Great iconography across the board
  • Nice quality components
  • Theme fits with the mechanics well
  • Variability in technologies, retailers (when used), and improvements
  • Lends itself to many strategies which can all lead to victory
  • Directives add in more competition for players


  • The player organizers are a little tight in some areas, not super necessary for play anyway.
  • I wish the retailers had been made to cover the whole regions, and have punch slots, so you could still use the board slots for the player pieces.
  • I don’t like that starting improvements and regions (on the base game board) are based on player color. I get that there’s balance in there based on location, but I wish you could just be any color and then choose your starting spots in a certain order and the region had a specific improvement tied to it. (I’m very attached to player color, but don’t want to start in the same spot every game is what it comes down to. And I’m sure I’m not alone).

Final Thoughts

At first, I thought this game actually looked pretty intimidating! I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to learn, and how smoothly it played, at pretty much all player counts. It was a nice medium-weight game that I think will be great for a wide range of players, especially if you are looking for a “starter” economic game. I also really dig the expansion, since I mostly play at 2 players, but in general like what the modules can add in. While I wasn’t huge on AI Steve, I think it’s great that it can be added into any games of less than 5, so there’s a little more board competition. Overall, a really solid game that I’m excited to share with more gaming buddies!

My Final Ratings:
Base Game – 8/10
Expansion – 7/10
Aesthetics – 7/10
Replayability – 7/10
Difficulty – 4/10

Additional Information:
Designer – Ivan Lashin
Artist – Viktor Miller Gausa
Publishers – Cosmodrome Games; Arcane Wonders
MSRP – $59.99 (base); $27.99 (expansion)
BGG Base Game
BGG Expansion

*I was provided a copy of this game and expansion to do this review*

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