A$$et Management

Back in 2001 - long before Cards Against Humanity came along and twisted Apples to Apples, turning the party game world on its head in the process - Forrestt Williams and Jason Main started work on an unapologetically "adult" game using old-school game mechanisms.

A$$et Management is a game that answers the question, what would the child's game of Life be like if it were set in a grimy urban underbelly of crime and prostitution?  Well, all right, perhaps that is not a question you were asking, but the game is amusing with the right audience.  Let's take a look.

An interesting aspect of the game is despite its adult theme, it plays much like the games you played when you were a kid - remember "roll the dice, move your mice"?  Here, it's roll the dice, indulge your vice as you build your crime empire and hire ladies of the evening.  To do that, you'll need plenty of street cred, which you'll get as you collect bling along the way.  The object of the game is to have the highest net worth at the end - you increase your wealth in several ways:

  • Landing on a SCORE square, which gives you a SCORE card (score cards are worth money and have other benefits - weapons to help you in a fight, bling to impress the ladies)
  • Rolling doubles on the dice, which also gives you a SCORE card
  • Landing on an action square that gives you money (however, some will have negative effects)
  • If an opponent lands on a square controlled by one of your ladies

The "landing on someone's square" mechanism works similar to Monopoly in that the controller of the square intends to collect payment, but unlike Monopoly, if you choose to you can "fight" the owner of the square and steal away the call girl named on that spot if you win.  Fighting isn't always the right move, and you have to pick your battles carefully.

The tactical part of the game is choosing when to fight and how many of your limited resources to put towards a fight.  You get weapons on some of your SCORE cards, and can use them in a fight, but once used, they are gone.

The rest of the gameplay is pretty random, but results in funny effects.  With one die roll I narrowly avoided another player's space occupied by her attractive Asian employee, Qum Li (presumably prounounced "comely").  "Whew," I said, "I didn't want to land on Qum Li."  Without missing a beat, my friend said "You got somethin' to say about Qum Li?!?"  You had to be there to see how ironic and incongruous it was to see my friend role-playing a pimp - she's very unpimplike outside of the game.

Finding the right audience for A$$et Management might be tricky.  The creators of the game say they have found it's been a hit with casual gamers, the sort who enjoy Cards Against Humanity but also like Ticket to Ride.  Since it's pretty quick to play and funny with the right perspective, I would think it could be fun with different groups of adult players (only), even outside of environments like bachelor parties or frat houses.  The women I played with found it amusing, though they wondered about replay value after you've landed on all the spots and seen all the girls.

Thinking about it after the game was over, I wondered if it wouldn't be good for the creators to include some attractive males on the cards as well. You know - something for the ladies.  Also, it would create an interesting tension for some male players to have to "land on" a male provider. Perhaps this can be part of an expansion.

The world's oldest profession is an unusual choice for an old school board game, but somehow it works.  Check out A$$et Management on their web site, www.assetmgmtgame.com.  A crowdfunding campaign is coming soon.


  1. Hi C. Nimbus!
    The name of the game got changed to a more straight forward "Pimp - The Board Game" and is now live on Kickstarter:



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