Bootstraps is a board game created by Casey Jarmes, Keegan Milano, and Thomas Rohn. The game is centered around working-class life and seeks to capture the difficult, hopeless, often random experience of being a working American.
1: Each player takes 10 money and 5 joy.
2: Place three shop cards in the center and the Round Counter Token on the Round Counter.
3: Each player chooses an apartment and rolls for a job, starting with the player with the most money in their real-life wallet and going clockwise from there. Do not pay your expenses during set up. Your job and apartment will stay the same unless changed by a card effect.
4: Players take turns one by one, trying to stay afloat. After the last player takes their turn that round, move the round counter and begin the cycle again.
1: Pay Expenses – Pay the expenses written on your apartment box. If you are unable to pay your expenses, you are eliminated.
2: Draw Event Card – Draw an event card, do what it says.
3: Work – Do the work action written on your job box.
4: Optional Bonus Actions – Take a single bonus action.
Shopping – Buy 1 of the items in the center of the board, replace it with another shop card. Cards can be gifted to other players.
College – Pay 1 money and 1 happiness to take a college token. When 4 tokens are collected, take 2 extra money when you go to work.
Crime – Roll the die. If it lands on a 1 or 2, you are eliminated. Otherwise, take an amount of money equal to your roll.
Drink – Pay 1 money to gain 3 happiness. Roll the die. If you roll a 1, you must take an Addiction Token and continue to pay 1 money each turn, but no longer gain any happiness.
Help – Donate as much money as you would like to another player. Take 1 happy equal to one-third of the money donated.
Change Job – You are unable to work on your next turn. On the turn after that, roll for a new job.
In the event that you end a turn with zero money or end your second turn in a row with zero joy, you are eliminated.
At the end of round 7, any players with 15 or more money and at least 1 joy retire and win. All players without enough money or joy lose.