Contents of the ACQUIRE.DOC file
A C Q U I R E
High Adventure in the World of High Finance
A computer game for 2 to 6 players
IBM version 1.1 by Bill Humphrey
Acquire is Copyright (C) 1966 by 3M Company, St.Paul, Minnesota 55101
1 - Description
Computer Acquire is a computer game designed for up to six players.
The game can be played with or without computer opponents. It requires an
IBM computer or compatible, color monitor, 128K or greater memory, and DOS
2.0 or higher. The game has two disk files - this documentation file
ACQUIRE.DOC, and the game itself, ACQUIRE.COM.
2 - How to Play Acquire
2.1 - Object of the Game, and Game Board
The object of Acquire is to have made the greatest amount of money by
the end of the game. This is done by creating hotel chains, buying,
trading, and selling shares in these hotels, and by acquiring minority and
majority holdings in these hotels. At the end of the game, the person with
the most money is declared the winner.
The game board consists of a 12 by 10 grid numbered from 1 to 12 on
the x-axis, and lettered from A to I on the y-axis. All the squares on the
board have corresponding tiles which represent the hotels the player will
use to create the hotel chains. Initially, all these tiles are removed
from the board and scrambled, their values kept secret from the players.
2.2 - Starting Out
At the start, each player is given $6000, and draws a tile. The
player whose tile is closest to 1A goes first. These tiles are placed on
the board, and then each player draws 6 tiles. Each player maintains six
tiles in their hand - at the end of each players turn, a new tile is drawn.
2.3 - The Hotels
There are seven hotel chains in Acquire. They vary in prices
according to their type and size. As hotels get larger, the price per
share in that hotel goes up. Each hotel chain has 25 shares - no more, no
less. No more than seven hotel chains can be active at once (this will be
2.4 - The Players Turn
Each players turn is divided into three parts: placing a tile, buying
shares, and drawing a new tile.
2.4.1 - Placing a tile
A player must place one tile from his hand during every turn,
unless none of his tiles can be legally placed. The tile you choose will
be placed on the corresponding position on the board. One of four things
will occur when you place a tile: the tile will not be part of any chain;
the tile will start a new chain; the tile will be added to an existing
chain; or the tile will merge two existing chains into one larger chain.
18.104.22.168 - Tile not part of any chain
If the tile does not connect vertically or horizontally
(NOT diagonally) to any other tile, the tile does not become part of any
chain. However, it can be part of a chain later if another tile is placed
adjacent to it (see 22.214.171.124, etc).
126.96.36.199 - Starting a hotel chain
When the tile you place connects to another neutral tile(s),
the newly connected tiles will form a new chain. The player chooses which
chain to start, from the hotels chains that are not yet active. Also, the
player who starts the hotel gets one free share. Note, however, that if
all seven chains are already active, you cannot place a tile that would
start a hotel.
188.8.131.52 - Adding to a hotel
If you place a tile adjacent to a hotel chain that is
currently on the board, that tile becomes part of that chain. The size of
that chain then goes up, and so does the price per share of that chain.
2.4.1 4 - Merging hotels
If the tile placed is adjacent to two or more hotels,
those hotels are merged together into one larger hotel chain. (See 2.6,
Merging Chains, for more info on this.)
2.4.2 - Buying Shares
After you place a tile, you can buy shares in any hotel chain
that is currently active (including ones you just started your turn). Up
to three shares can be bought during a turn. However, you can only buy if
you have enough money - no credit allowed!
2.4.3 - Drawing a New Tile
When you turn is over, you draw a new tile from the scrambled
tile pool to replace the one you placed.
2.5 - Merging Hotels
When two or more hotels are merged, these three things happen:
majority and minority bonuses are awarded; shares in the mergee chains are
handled; and all the chains except for the one chain that is remaining are
moved to the pile of inactive hotel chains.
2.5.1 - Majority and Minority bonuses
The first thing that occurs when a merger occurs is that you
determine which hotel will remain. Normally, the largest hotel chain will
remain; however, if there is a tie for largest, the player who placed the
merging tile chooses which remains. Then, all players with shares in the
next largest hotel announce how many shares in that hotel they have - the
person with the most gets the majority bonus, and the person with the next
largest amount gets the minority bonus. If there is a tie for majority,
the majority and minority bonuses are added, and split between the
shareholders. If there is tie for minority, the minority bonus is split
between minority shareholders. This process continues for the next largest
2.5.2 - Handling shares in mergee chains
Players holding shares in the hotels which are being merged into
another must decide what to do with them. The players handle this in this
order - majority holders first, minority holders second, and simple
shareholders last. The players may:
1) Trade in some shares for shares in the largest hotel. This is
done on a 2-for-1 basis. However, if no more shares of the
largest hotel are available, you cannot trade for them.
2) Sell some shares. The selling price is determined by the size
of the merging chain, and which chain it is. The price list
shows the selling prices and the majority and minority bonuses.
3) Keep some shares. If the chain is started up again, these shares
will have value, but if the game ends and you have shares in
a chain that is not active, they are worthless.
2.5.3 - Making Chains Inactive
After bonuses are awarded, and shares handled, then all the
chains except for the one that will remain are made inactive; that is, they
may be started again by the same method as 184.108.40.206 (starting hotels).
Also, the size of the hotel that is remaining is increased by the size of
the mergee chains, and any tiles added by the placing of the merging tile.
2.6 - Dead Tiles
When a hotel chain becomes larger than 11 tiles, it is permanent.
A permenent chain cannot be merged into another larger hotel chain. A
tile which connects two permanent chains is called a dead tile. If you
have any dead tiles in your hand, you can throw these away and draw new
ones. This can be done at the end of your turn, before you draw a new
tile to replace the one you placed during your turn.
2.7 - Ending the Game
The game ends when either 1) any chain gets larger then forty tiles,
or 2) the last tile has been draw. In either case, the winner is determined
by awarding majority and minority bonuses for hotels active at the end of
the game, and selling all the shares in these active hotels. The person
with the most money is declared the winner.
3 - About Computer Acquire
3.1 - Screen Characteristics
The computer screen is divided into several windows in Acquire. The
largest window is the game board, which occupies the top 3/4 of the screen.
Below this is the player window - here is displayed info on the current
player, and where you are prompted for what to do. Below this is the help
line - a listing of what the function keys do (see 3.3).
3.2 - Initial Startup
When the game starts, you will enter how many human players there are,
and their names. Also, you can have as many computer opponents as you want,
up to having a total of six human and computer players. The computer scr-
ambles the tiles, and shows the inital draws, determining who goes first.
3.3 - Function Keys
Whenever you are asked to enter some values (i.e. which hotel to
start, what shares to buy, etc) you may press any of the function keys to
perform whatever function they have. Here is what each function key does:
F1 - Displays a listing of prices of shares, majority, and
F2 - Displays a status report on the hotel chains (size, etc.)
F3 - Diplays what the player has in his hand (tiles, shares)
F7 - Saves a game
F8 - Restores a saved game
F9 - Displays this help text
F10 - Ends the game (displays the winner at that point as well)
3.4 - How to Place a Tile
The tiles in every players hand are given a number, from one to six.
When you are asked to play a tile, DO NOT enter the value of the tile -
enter the number assigned to that number. By pressing F3, you get a list
of the tiles and their associated numbers in your hand. For example, if
this were your hand (as shown by pressing F3):
1) 5G 2) 12D 3) 1C 4) 9F 5) 2I 6) 5E
then to play the tile 12D, you would enter 2 when asked which tile to
3.5 - Color codes for the game board
When a tile placed on the board is not part of any tile, it appears
as a light blue on a black background. Every hotel has been assigned a
unique color, and when a tile on the board is part of a hotel chain, it
appears as black numbers on a colored background corresponding to which
hotel it is in.
4 - About the Game
This program was written in Turbo Pascal, version 3.0. Any comments,
bugs, suggestions, complaints, or questions, but preferrably not insults,
lawsuits, or pipe bombs may be addressed to:
2506 Evergreen Road
Fargo, ND 58102
Please enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope if a reply is requested.
Special thanks go to R D Ostrander, author of the PTOOLENT and
PTOOLWIN Turbo Pascal tools. These two sets of include files helped im-
mensly with the development of this program. Any questions about these
two and other excellent programming tools by Mr. Ostrander can be sent to:
R D Ostrander
Ostrander Data Services
5437 Honey Manor Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46241