About this project
Welcome to Banana Republic, a politically unstable country where the economy is controlled by political and business elites. You are one of the elites of this nation, and your objective is to stash enough money in an offshore trust fund in order to retire comfortably.
Invest in Stocks, Properties and Bonds and exert influence on the government to manipulate the economy for your personal gain! Unleash the financial monsters such as Debtzilla, Inflationsaurus and Taxopus to destroy the wealth of your competitors. Do you have what it takes to survive in this cut-throat world of money mania?!
Wongamania: Banana Economy is a light-medium strategy economic board game and is the international edition of the popular Singapore board game - Wongamania. Inspired by the spate of scandals of political and financial elites around the world, Banana Economy puts you in the shoes of these elites. Feel the tremendous power that you wield as you reach out and dabble with the economy, or try to outsmart your opponents by pretending to be a wolf in sheep skin and lash out at the last moment with a series of economic manipulation card combos. The underlying message of the game is to caution the man of the streets on how the game of finance can be stacked against them and how they can still succeed, despite all odds.
Illustrated by Singapore's top satire comic artist Andy Choo, Wongamania: Banana Economy has been conceptualized to bring out the irony and satire of the modern financial market. For example, the idea of Debtzilla (Debt Monster) is inspired by the King of Kaiju: Godzilla. Just like Godzilla, Debtzilla is a double-edged sword which can both help and harm people. When grown too big, it becomes a weapon of mass destruction, felling nations and destroying families.
This game is designed by Xeo Lye, a veteran in the wealth management industry, and also a game designer, financial author and award-winning blogger all rolled into one. See what Xeo has to say about his inspiration and passion for the game!
Aggressive Burst Strategy
This strategy focuses on holding on to the aggressive assets such as stock and property and playing them during the growth/stagnant phase. This will allow the players to accumulate tremendous amount of wealth within three to four turns. However, this strategy can be foiled when other players manipulate the economy into recession or recovery and the aggressive playing style will turn against them as stock and property lose money during recession. A good aggro player will have some counter economic manipulation card to prevent disruption of their plans.
Control Balanced Strategy
A control player will hedge their risk by buying a good proportion of bond, stock and property. The economic cycle will not influence them much and they will be able to accumulate wealth in any phase of the economic cycle. Their objective is keep the economic cycle moving as normal, preventing turtle or aggro players to get ahead by stalling the economic cycle in a particular quadrant.
Turtle Defensive Strategy
A turtle player uses a pure defensive strategy by playing cards such as bond, baby and payrise at the expense of short term gains. They earn guaranteed steady income every turn and they will have the interest to maintain the economy cycle at recession or recovery which will hinder the capital gains and income potential of stock and property. They need not expand action points and focuses on improving their hand, setting up for a quick final burst to victory.
- Financial Monsters and Satirical Illustrations! All of the artwork are complete (with the exception of the NSFW cards in the stretch goals). The game is illustrated by one of the top satire comic artist in Singapore: Andy Choo.
- Easy to Learn, Difficult to Master! Seasoned and casual gamers who have play-tested this game have loved it for its balance between fun & realism, great concept art, players' interaction and accessibility. While the game takes under 5 minutes to teach and start playing, it offers a surprising amount of tactical depth and replay value.
- Designed for Fun yet Suitable for Learning! We have successfully designed an easy to learn game while preserving its tactical depth, along with a dose of educational benefits. Because of these factors, we are confident that Banana Economy will be played for years to come whether the purpose is for fun or for learning.
- Discounted Price and Personalized Merchandise! Backers will be able to enjoy a great discount AUD$25 vs AUD$38 when it is launched in South East Asia. This game may not be available for retail sale in your home country unless there are interested distributors.
- Aiming to be the One of the Best! Wongamania: Banana Economy is the result of a continuous evolution to create a great product that is fun and inspirational. Over the course of developing our first 2 projects, we have become an experienced designer and publisher. We are confident that we can execute this project at a high standard.
$1 - Thank You! (SGD 1/USD 0.71/EUR 0.65)
This reward gets you exclusive backer-only updates on all things about Wongamania. Thank you so much for your support!
$10 - Print n Play (SGD 10/USD 8/EUR 7)
Backers will get a high resolution digital copy of Wongamania: Banana Economy Print n Play file
$25 - The Game (SGD 25/USD 18/EUR 17)
1 copy of Wongamania: Banana Economy + Print n Play file
$100 - The Limited Package (SGD 100/USD 72/EUR 66)
1 copy of Wongamania Limited Launch Edition +1 copy of Wongamania: Banana Economy + Print-and-Play file
$250 - The Phone Cover VIP! (SGD 250/USD 177/EUR 164)
Andy will draw anything you want. You receive both the digital and traditional (hand-drawn) copies on an A4 quality cardboard paper, and a phone cover with your art printed on it!
1 copy of Wongamania Limited Launch Edition + 1 copy of Wongamania: Banana Economy + Print-and-Play file
$300 - The T-shirt VIP! (SGD 300/USD 215/EUR 197)
Andy will draw anything you want. You receive both the digital and traditional (hand-drawn) copies on an A4 quality cardboard paper, and a free t-shirt with your art printed on it!
1 copy of Wongamania Limited Launch Edition + 1 copy of Wongamania: Banana Economy + Print-and-Play file
The Limited Edition Wongamania sets come with a certification and a serial number (1-300). There will be not more than 1 set with the same serial number.
In 2013, Wongamania was born in collaboration with the Stock Exchange of Malaysia, to develop an interactive tool to teach college students about the basics of global economics. Modern economics that deals with inflation, interest rates and economic cycle, is one genre that is quite rare in the board game sphere as most of the games deal with stock trading, business management or traditional commodity trading. Many of these board games have complex rules to learn and it is a challenge to introduce complex board game mechanics to a generation that is used to playing Angry Bird and Candy Crush. We decided to focus on designing a fun game, that aims to inspire learning, rather than the spoon-feeding design philosophy which many education games used.
After 1 year of design and testing, we published 300 sets of not-for-sale Wongamania Limited Edition and conducted large scale workshops using Wongamania as a tool to teach college students about Economics. it was met with overwhelming positive response from the participants with many requesting to purchase the game. Based on all the feedback which we collected over hundreds of sessions game play, we developed Wongamania 1st Edition in January 2015 for retail sale in Singapore and Malaysia. Wongamania was extremely well received and we even managed to help produce the first ever board game reality TV show in Singapore.
We have also gotten many positive feedbacks from various media and influencers from around the region.
"The way we see it, Wongamania is to personal finance what Scrabble is to spelling. It’s a game that you play to have fun while sabotaging other players. At the same time, you pick up simple but useful finance knowledge that would help you appreciate just how dynamic the world of personal finance could be."
- Timothy Ho, Co-Founder of dollarsandsense.sg
"Wongamania is a financial educational card game that simulates real life economic scenarios and situations. What I like about this game is that players can learn valuable lessons and gain insights into investing without having to put your actual money. For anyone who aspires to be a smarter investor, Wongamania is among the most important investment game ever created"
- Jonathan Quek, Best-Selling Author of "Why Gold Why Sliver Why now" & "Keep Investment Simple & Stupid"
"But is it fun? Definitely. I wouldn’t put it on the same level as something like Settlers of Catan or Carcassonne, but the general play, trying to balance turning Wonga into opportunities while still saving enough to buy assets, is entertaining..."
- David Congreave, Managing Editor of WINvesting
Even though the 1st Edition is a good game, we feel that it is not up to the international standards as our components lacked in quality and design due to a lack of manufacturing capacity in the region. The game mechanics were also designed based on the gaming culture of South East Asia. With that in mind, we started developing Wongamania: Banana Economy with the purpose of introducing the game to the world.
In order to push Wongamania: Banana Economy to the next level, we consulted with gaming experts locally and internationally. We were fortunate to also meet veterans in the gaming industry like Dominic Huang (Designer of Hitman Holiday and Queen of the Hills) and Koi Hin (Founder of Singapore's largest board game convention), who gave us valuable feedback on manufacturing in China and ideas on how to improve on the gameplay. We also ventured to Spiel Essen in Germany to find out more about the gaming culture and needs of the international audience and learned much from other designers and publishers who generously shared their trade secrets.
Our learning curve from a board game outsider to a game designer and publisher has been extremely steep but fulfilling. Wongamania: Banana Economy is an accumulation of all the trials and tribulations that we have undergo in the past 2 years.
We hope that Wongamania: Banana Economy is a game that people will enjoy playing again and again and at the same time, inspire them to learn more about economics and personal finance.
Wongamania: Banana Economy has been re-designed from its predecessor Wongamania, with new game mechanics, components and a modular system which allows players to adjust the difficulty of the game.
Here is a list of changes which we made to Wongamania: Banana Economy.
- A modular system which allows multiple variant play for people who like a more strategic play or more vicious "take-that" play. Also has a beginner variant which caters better to children and people new to board games.
- A new Productivity Die system that changes the pace of the movement of the Economic Token.
- Overhaul the balance of the cards and boards with more than 90% changes to all the cards.
- Additional of an advance economic board with separate tracks for Stock and Property for deeper strategic play.
- A new protection/insurance system which can block take-that cards.
- Upgrade of components with better quality tokens and card quality.
- Improvement of box packaging to give more allowance for cards with card sleeves and expansions.
"Of all the games that try to educate about economic cycles while having fun, this is the best I have played!"
- Koi Hin, Founder of Singapore Open Gaming
"A rare financial board game that is fun and simple to play. There is also a dose of realism which players can learn about economic cycles and decision making under uncertainties."
- Alvin Chow, Founder of BigFatPurse.com, Best Selling Author of "Secrets of Singapore Trading Gurus"
"I had the honour of play-testing this new enhanced version and must say that it has balanced playability and realism - something which most financial games have failed to achieve so far"
- Christopher Ng, Best Selling Author of "Growing your Tree of Prosperity" & hardcore board gamer.
"Frankly speaking, I was a little disappointed with the lack of strategy in the original Wongamania card game, as it was mostly about making your moves fast. The faster you move and accumulate, the sooner you win. Hesitate too long and you'll fall out of the competition. I like games that make me think, discover and learn...all in a fun way. The original Wongamania game didn't live up to my expectations, so I brushed it off as "just another game". So when Xeo, the game designer, told me they had worked on previous feedback and was about to officially launch Version 2 (better and more innovative), I was skeptical, but was happy to be proven wrong after I tried it out."
SG Budget Babe, Leading Singapore's Female Financial Blogger
"Pure brilliance! I can imagine the game as a tool in giving young ones a fun and basic introduction to the financial world."
For more reviews, visit our website at www.wongamania.com
You could really help us out by spreading the word on social media. In return, there are some exotic stretch goal rewards awaiting for everyone pitching in to help.
Xeo Lye (Game Designer) A jaded investment portfolio manager, an author on investment psychology and a geek who loves video and board games. Xeo dreams of making a difference in the lives of others through games and social interaction.
Andy Choo (Illustrator) As a top satirical comic artist in Singapore, Andy pokes fun of some of the social issues and weird quirks of Singaporeans helping people laugh at some of the silly things that they do.
Made Lidya (Graphic Designer) As a drawing machine who translates ideas into designs, Made secretly keeps an over-imaginative, hyperactive child living somewhere in the back of her mind, fuelling her with imageries and concepts to be developed into countless artworks.
Yvonne Lai (Marketing Director) Bubbly and sociable, she is the life of the organization, keeping us entertained with her various escapades and strange encounters.
Sam Chang (Operation Director) We call him the "Rock". Sam handles all the non-sexy stuff such as boring numbers, stock taking and shipping our products all around the world. His only weakness: A good jug of beer.
Risks and challenges
We are an experienced game design studio and publisher, and had experience working with manufacturers. We are therefore confident about our capabilities, our timelines and our China based manufacturer. 2 years of hard work, along with numerous playtesting have already gone into this project with all of the illustrations done with the exceptions of stretch goals. We are nearly done with our project and we couldn’t be more proud of the end product.
As with any foreign production/logistics, we may still be faced with unforeseen circumstances such as manufacturing and shipment delays and errors. If we have an issue with this, we promise to frequently post updates to keep everybody in the loop as to what are the delays and how we are working on them to prevent/lessen them. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to inform us at email@example.com or visit the FAQ section below.
Thank you in advance for believing in us and supporting Wongamania: Banana Economy.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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