Board Game Review

Bid, Bluff, Bluster and Bid (Buy The Vote Review)

The election was wild, wasn’t it? From across the pond on our little island, we watched the scenes of candidates requesting votes, rallies taking place and the drama that unfolded. It’s the same every time there’s an election. We have no where near the level of excitement the US do! In fact, I dare claim no one does elections like Americans do them. So how can you have all the excitement of an election at games night? Easy! Buy The Vote by Coozies Games is the perfect way to be declared the number one person of interest. It’s for 2-5 players and runs in exactly 15 minutes!

This game was sent to us by Coozies Games for an unbiased review. We received no payment for this review.

How to Play

Buy The Vote is a timed game of bidding and buying votes in states. The objective of the game is to have the most votes after 15 minutes. Players will simultaneously and secretly allocate funds to states before revealing how much they bid to claim them. Whomever has the most is the winner.


To kick off, all players receive a player board, a guard to hide their board, and $10 million dollars. These dollars come in denominations of $1 millions and $5 millions. The game is split into rounds. Each round will signify how many states are up for grabs, but not how far through the game you are. This is dictated by a 15 minute timer, by the remaining cards in the deck or by how close any player is to 270 votes. When either of these expire, or someone attains the necessary votes, the game ends. Initially, players will only have a small amount of cash. How you spend this is up to you, and players receive further funds in rounds four and round seven.

Playing a Round and Winning

Each round, new states are added to each specified round spot. Round one has three states, round two has four, and so on. Players bid on these available states simultaneously and reveal when all players signify they are done. Then, whomever has bid the most on a state takes it. If two players tie for the highest bid, no one wins it and it remains in play during the next round. However, another state is still added to that spot during the set up of that round, meaning some spots may have multiple states up for grabs!

The states come in three colours and varying values. The value shows how much weight the state carries towards the owners score, and the colour shows whether the state is generally democratic or republican supporting. Yellow states are swing states and the only ones with unique effects. Winning a swing state allows you to steal the last claim state from another player, making them much more valuable despite their score. Once all cards are used or the timer goes off, players count up their scores. Whoever has the most points is declared the victor and is the (unofficial) President of the Game!

How It Handles

Intense. Intense, nerve wracking and exciting are the words I’d use to describe Buy The Vote. But mostly intense! Watching the states roll out, revealing the bids and jeering or being jeered at are part and parcel. But there’s no easy way to describe the feeling of being the recipient or deliverer of said jeers!

Nobody Knows More About Bidding Than Me.

Buy The Vote has a wonderful way of making placing bids feel exciting and terrifying. It’s unlike anything I’ve experienced! Having your bids secret makes it a real balancing act, as don’t have to bid on everything nor do you have to use all your money at once. What you bid on throughout the game will improve your score. No brainer right? Well, bidding on those big scorers is what everyone else will do. And there’s no guarantee you’ll bid more than your competitors! Do you bid small on the scraps, or go heavy on the big hitters? It’s a balancing act. And often it’s all about timing.

What’ll make your blood race is the grand reveal. The moment your bids come to fruition or get flushed away. You bid heavy on the one you think everyone else will, but no one else even bid on it. You spend $13 million on a score of 25 and sit pretty whilst everyone else argues over the 12s and 16s. But then, someone takes a swing state and steals your 25. You’ve now thrown millions at nothing. In an instant, someone’s taken your only scorer and amassed a superb lead, all for the low cost of $3 million. And then you load up some more states, hide your board and bid again. Learning your opposers tactics and being extra sneaky. And extra vengeful…

15 Minutes is NOT Fake News

It’s rare a game runs to its time allocation. Often, those 45-60 minute games run in an hour and a half, and some two hour games don’t explain that that’s per player. Buy The Vote runs to its claims. 15 minutes on the nose. In fact, if you tie in the learning time as well, you could have set up, played and packed away in 20 minutes. In reality, you’ll set up, play, play, play again, then pack away. The game’s addictive and hits hard in its fun factor!

I can’t deny how enjoyable the game is to play, and it hurts to make such claims. However, I adore the fact the game is enjoyed from start to finish. Simultaneous play is such a risk with any game, and bidding games aren’t for everyone. This here’s a game that plays excellently because of its time constraint. You’re continually playing from start to finish. Zero downtime. 100% engagement. An astounding feat achieved fantastically within some excellent mechanics.

The Best Theme. Period.

American politics aren’t an overly unique theme. However, the election is arguably one of the more exciting elements of it! And, contextually considering the most recent elections, it makes it all the more exciting due to the dramatics and excitement that occurred. Call me naive, but I feel this game will hold its thematic success’ credit to the events of the most recent elections and its exuberance to its candidates and their campaigns. Voting is important, and politics are something I feel everyone should be involved in in some capacity. But the meat and bones of it is dry. Buy The Vote plays on the most exciting element and gives you a slice of it in the the most effective way.

The final bit to note is the educational aspect of the game. It’s minor, but somewhat integral to those with an interest in American politics, states or general knowledge. Interestingly, the game states accurately the weighting of each state on the voting outcome as dictated by the Electoral College. Not necessary, but the attention to detail gives the game an education weighting. Something we feel all games should do beyond the social skills and tactical approaches it encourages.

Final Thoughts

Buy The Vote is a fast paced, tense experience. It’s over and done with in no time at all and you’ll definitely be up for a second game! There’s some true depth to the amount of tactics available to players, and because the game is wholly centred on player interaction and bidding, you can never be sure what will happen! It’s our current top choice for bidding games, based wholly on the social interaction that occurs. We thoroughly enjoyed Buy The Vote and loved how easy it is to teach, access and play. Excellent fun and lots of exciting occurrences. So much so that we’d recommend you check this one out on Amazon!