Petropolis (USA)


The role identity & Neighborhood action game

Publisher: Pressman, USA

Dimensions of the case: 52 x 34 x 6 cm

The first Petropolis issues I saw were the German and Dutch sets in nice looking cardboard boxes of very special design. However, this American set in a black leatherette case (made in Mexico) has a kind of Deluxe appearance! Both parts of the gameboard are mounted in the inner sides of the case.

The aim of this game is to collect as many oilconsessions as possible and to obtain the highest possible profit from the oil producing countries. Despite the maker of this game calls it a "dice game" it has all the elements of the well known Monopoly game!

TAKE OFF/LANDING (Geneva Airport) is on the midfield and the game goes counter-clockwise! 27 countries are spread over the strong game board, each of them having 1 oil consession to give away.

From the airport on the spaces are:

Red: Venezuela / Argentina / Ecuador

Light Blue: USA / Canada / Telex / Mexico - Go T International Court - Refuel / Pay $ 100,000

Dark Brown: Indonesia / Brunei Malaysia / Australia

Light Purple: China / USSR / Norway - Telex - OPEC meeting

Dark Yellow : Libya / Algeria / Nigeria / Gabon

Yellow: Falconry in the desert - International Court - Telex - light green: Iraq / Kuwait / Egypt

Dark Blue: Sjarjah / Dubai / Abu Dhabi - Throw Dice Again - Go To International Court

Beige: Oman /Telex / Bahrein / Qatar - Iran (blue green) - Lost in the dessert yellow and Saudi Arabia (blue green).

Subject to the number of players the consessions are to be distributed amongst them at the start of the game and the remainder must be bought.

The oil tycoons always move over the board by plane. Over or on TAKE OFF you receive P$ 500,000. There are 8 molded gold tokens representing an airplane - tanker - sword - storage tank - bar of gold - barrel - drilling-rig and an oilrig. (The German and Dutch tokens are but plastic "emblems on a base"). They are stored in a black vinyl pouch wilth gold draw-strings. There is a black dice shaker felt-lined inside.

Typical for this edition is the keychain/timer, to set the game up to 60 minutes. This is a clever item because the game is fundamentally played from time.

The course of the game is divided into 3 stages:

  • Stage 1: The opening, playtime 10 minutes. In this stage those oilconsessions who were not distributed amongst the players in the first instance must be bought from the Worldbank now.
  • Stage 2: Trade and auction, playtime 5 - 10 minutes. The still unsold oilconsessions must be sold or auctioned anyhow. Next the players can trade together in order to complete color groups.
  • Stage 3: Main match, playtime 60 minutes. The oiltycoons can now open up their properties by building drilling-rigs (instead of houses) and finally oil rigs (instead of hotels). For the rest the game works out according to the usual rules.

All property cards are made of thick vinyl with gold lettering for prices and interest rates.

The money consists of clumsy tiny (45 x 75 mm) but good looking plastic laminated Petrodollar banknotes from the Worldbank. In the centre is a circle with a dromedary (or camel?) with "IN OIL WE TRUST" over it! The bills are in the amounts of P$1,000 - 5,000 - 10,000 - 20,000 - 50,000 - 100,000 and P$1,000,000 denominations.

Instead of Chance and Community Chest cards there are 25 Telex cards, consisting of black paper with gold lettering. The instructions are like:

  • The radar of your private jet is out of order. You miss a turn.
  • You must appear in front of the Tribunal of The Hague - President of the Tribunal.
  • Heavy storm: important repairs on all the oil rigs - Pay P$ 100,000 for each one.

The card "Your political influence has helped to prove your innocence. Keep this telex - President of the Tribunal." correspond consequently with "Get out of Jail free".