This game is what they call a “filler”. That boils down to its being something that fits nicely into a small space – it only takes about twenty minutes to play, and can be played several times in one session.

Apparently, it was around 1995 that Reiner Knizia created this game, and it’s been going strong ever since. There have been a number of different artistic styles over the years. The present cards use a delightful set of art nouveau designs, looking classy and posh: as they should, dear boy.

It appears that in real life high society, the acquisition of symbols of standing and status is quite a big thing. Players have to heave themselves up a level or two in social ranking, and pretend they’re High Society – well, sort of 😁

The simple idea is that, a bit like being on one of those TV antiques auction programmes, they must bid against each other for life’s luxuries. Every bon vivant gets the same amount of money to start out with, so it’s largely about who’s willing to pay what. Like actual auctions, the bidding may get a little out of hand at times, and people can end up paying rather more than the junk treasure is worth.

Most of the cards that are turned up during the auction are goodies of worth, and some are bonus cards that’ll enhance the value of the purchasers’ hauls. But not all: some are going to be as unwelcome as woodworm, bringing values down.

And people can be cornered into bidding badly !
It’s dog eat dog at a High Society auction house, I tell you!

Though reviewers recognise the game’s limitations (quite short, no extensive ‘theme’ or mechanics) there seems to be fairly universal regard for it as a good game to play.
They’re especially impressed by the fact that whoever has got the least money at the end cannot win. Quite rightly, anyone who’s too poor is out of the running entirely. 😆

The victory points will go to those who deserve.

A nice little venture into “society” perhaps.

  • can be learned quickly
  • no setting up
  • replayable
  • a little cunningness may not go amiss
  • some luck involved – and chances to push your luck

Want to rise in society?