Trust Me!

Trust Me! is a vintage board game developed by Parker Brothers, first released in 1981. Known for its unique combination of bidding, bluffing, and strategic negotiation, Trust Me! invites players to dive into the world of high-stakes wheeling and dealing, emulating the cutthroat world of real estate and asset trading. This game is an engaging exploration of trust and deception, where players vie to amass the greatest fortune by the game's end, learning valuable lessons about the dynamics of trust and betrayal along the way.

The Basics of Trust Me!

Trust Me! is designed for 2 to 4 players and is best suited for players aged 10 and above. The game setup includes a board depicting various investment opportunities, a deck of cards, play money, and tokens representing the players. Each player starts with an equal amount of money, the objective being to use this capital to invest in various cards laid out on the board, which represent different business deals.

Game Components

Board: The game board features spaces for cards that represent different investment deals. These spaces are categorized into various industries such as technology, real estate, and manufacturing.

Deal Cards: These cards are the core of the game. Each card describes a potential investment deal, including its cost and possible return on investment.
Money: Play money is used for transactions throughout the game.
Tokens: Each player has a token used to track their position on the board.


Starting the Game
At the beginning of the game, each player places their token on the starting square. Players draw cards from the deal deck, which describe different business ventures they can invest in. The number of cards drawn corresponds to the number of players, ensuring a fair distribution of initial opportunities.

Moving Around the Board
Players take turns rolling a die to move around the board. Landing on different squares can have various effects, such as receiving additional funds from the bank, drawing more deal cards, or being forced to pay fees or fines.

Acquiring Deals
When a player lands on a deal space, they have the option to invest in one of the deals available on the board. Each deal card shows an investment cost and a potential profit. Players must pay the investment cost from their money to the bank to claim the deal card.

If more than one player wishes to invest in the same deal, an auction is held. Each interested player bids secretly, and the highest bidder wins the deal. This element of the game introduces a bluffing aspect, where players must judge the value of the deal against their opponents' potential bids.

Trust and Bluffing
A unique aspect of Trust Me! is the ability to bluff about the deals players are pursuing. Players can pretend to invest in high-value deals to drive up the price for others, or they might downplay their interest in a potentially lucrative deal to avoid competition. Trust comes into play when making deals with other players, trading assets, or forming temporary alliances. Players must decide when to trust their opponents and when to watch out for deception.

Winning Trust Me

The game ends when all the deals on the board have been claimed or at a predetermined time limit. Players then calculate their total assets, including cash on hand and the values of completed deals. The player with the highest total value is declared the winner.

Strategic Considerations

Trust Me! requires players to balance risk and reward carefully. Investing too aggressively can deplete one's funds, leaving them unable to participate in later, potentially more profitable deals. Conversely, being too conservative can cause players to miss out on early opportunities to build their wealth.

Players must also pay attention to their opponents' actions and strategies. Understanding an opponent's tactics can provide insights into their future moves, allowing for smarter bidding and investment decisions. The bluffing element adds depth to this analysis, as players must constantly assess whether their opponents are being truthful about their intentions.

Trust Me! by Parker Brothers is more than just a game about financial accumulation; it's a complex social interaction simulator that tests players' abilities to negotiate, strategize, and, most crucially, evaluate trust. Through its engaging gameplay mechanics, "Trust Me!" provides a dynamic platform for understanding the nuances of strategic investments and human psychology, making it a fascinating study in trust and economics within the framework of a board game. This game not only entertains but also educates, making it a valuable addition to any game night, offering endless hours of strategic planning and psychological warfare.

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