Parents may think that teaching children to be entrepreneurs is a bit of a lofty goal for an app, but Capital City make it accessible in a way I never thought possible. It makes learning finance and business strategy fun. The machinations of the game are simple: buy properties to earn cash flow. Then, over time and game play, kids try to raise their cash flow higher than their expenses so that they can escape their boring job at Supercorp forever! To that end using their Supercorp salary of $4500 over three moves, kids can buy businesses or rental properties and earn money as they fix up, pay off, sell, or even franchise the properties they own. Just as in real life though, the game can bring kids bumps and/or bonuses.
First, kids choose the color and kind of vehicle they’ll be using for their entrepreneurial endeavors. Then kids take a turn. Each turn gives kids three moves. This three move turn is a great asset when playing against each other on different devices, it allows for almost simultaneous gameplay. Each move begins with kids swiping a finger to determine the number of spaces they’ll move. At the beginning of each turn, kids can see their Cashflow, Additional Income, Expenses, and Take Home Pay details.
Kids need to be always on the lookout for the properties with the lowest cost to cash flow ratio. You can still buy a property without any cash left, but where do you get your cash flow? The deal will most likely to put you in the hole, taking all of your cash and even a small monthly expense to pay. As in life, kids may learn that maybe it would be wise to skip the next move or two of your turn in order to get out of debt. Kids will need to decide for themselves whether it is worth their cash and/or the loan expense for the potential cash flow. However, taking a chance on the right property might change everything.
When kids find themselves in the center of the board it is good to utilize as many of the service buildings as they can. Kids can go to the Bank to pay off loans or cash in stock options, sell cash drains at the Pawn Shop, fix up a property for rent at the Hardware Store, or sell a property at the Real Estate Agency. Kids can always just go to the bank and pay off their loans or other expenses as well.
The other key game board spots are the four corner Life Events. Life Events can come in the form of bonuses, babies, stock options, charity donations, viral videos successes or unfortunate internet game addiction purchases . You can get each event multiple times or not at all and some accrue over more than one turn, like the babies for instance. The first player to generate a cash flow that is higher than their expenses wins.
Capital City reminds Monopoly, but it is more in depth with more educational content than monopoly. The game offers very comprehensive gameplay strategies in the Digital Manual under the help button on the Menu screen if in case entrepreneurial math isn’t your thing or simply explaining it gives you the shivers. I love playing against my daughter on our different devices mostly because I know she doesn’t hold back and likes to take quick actions.
Capital City is available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It is $4.99 on the App Store.
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Looking for more apps teaching kids finance responsibility? You will like the Free App Green$treets, Teaching Kids about Money Management.