Fix the World
Updated: Oct 24, 2020
Designed by Magnus and Elin Holmgren, with art by EJ Dela Cruz, Fix the World is a fun storytelling party game. It's notionally for 3–6 players but it's best with six and can easily be adapted to take more than six.
Each round, one player is the 'Investor' to whom the others are pitching their solutions to a world problem. The problems are mostly serious real-world issues like Pollution, Overpopulation, Global Warming and Terrorism, although there are some less 'serious' issues in the 50-card deck, including Zombies and Hostile Aliens.
The Investor turns over a card from the deck of problem cards and reveals it to the other players. Meanwhile each of the players has drawn two 'solution' cards. These are hexagon-shaped cards with prompt words printed on each of their six sides. The solution each player pitches must use the two prompt words that are in the topmost position on their two cards. When each of the players has pitched their solution, the Investor chooses between them and awards $100 million to the one they think is best and $50 million to the runner up. The game ends when each player has taken a turn as the Investor, and the winner is the one who has amassed the most cash.
Although the theme and components differ, there is much in Fix the World that you'll recognise if you've ever played Jeff Ochs' Snake Oil (published by AMIGO and Out of the Box). As with most storytelling games, the fun you'll get out of the game is heavily dependent on the players. You may find some players tempted to take the game too seriously, especially if the words on their solution cards make apparent sense in relation to the problem that they are pitching to solve. More often, though, the words will prompt a flight-of-fancy nonsense 'solution' as the pitcher tries to find, for example, a solution to Homelessness involving Black Holes and Fishing Nets. The humour that flows from this encourages players to pitch ever more outlandish 'solutions', with the Investor probably awarding the money to the pitch that got the most laughs.
In case you fear Fix the World makes light of real-world issues, each problem card does incorporate a few brief facts or factoids, and the rules suggest the option of ditching the solution cards altogether and inviting genuine solutions, although at this point it would cease to be a game. The better option (also suggested in the rules) is to continue to play Fix the World for laughs but first ante-up a small amount of real cash, with the pot donated to the charity of the winner's choice. That way you can have fun but still make a small but real contribution to fixing the world.