Scattered across Frisco! are Challenges. Some are single Challenges and some are group Challenges. The player will undertake the Challenge and be allotted Creds by the player or players assigned to such a duty. In some cases, failure to satisfactorily accomplish a Challenge will lead to a roll to regress along the path. Many of you men- and women-children will find this aspect of the game particularly accurate.

This return is actually a kind of reward. It allows you to retrace your steps, to re-experience the path that brought you to this decisive moment; it gives you the chance to try again. "Those who forget the past," etc.

On the other hand, winning a Challenge does not, or should not, precipitate a leap forward; better that it encourage quiet reflection upon the thing accomplished. All too soon, you'll be required to press on. Why not enjoy the moment?

The Problem with Board Games, Let's Be Honest

The astute player will notice that there is a programmatic progression from one Stage to the next, implying the tyranny of A Right Way to Do Things. The makers of Frisco! wish to disabuse you of that notion: It is not inherently better to be a partier than a tourist, nor is nudity necessarily the sign of being more evolved than someone who enjoys a good flogging (the two can even be related)! The Shortcuts throughout the game should suggest a flexibility of life's progression. For the game to approach the complexity of IRL, it would have to be a three-dimensional cube with a latticework of interconnecting Paths and Shortcuts. And it would have to have no discernible goal.

Better would be a 4-D version, a game which evolves in time, paths appearing and disappearing just as life's options coalesce and foreclose. The makers of Frisco! will get on this right away. In the meantime, enjoy this 2-D version of Frisco! and pretend that being a politician is preferable to anything.


The makers of Frisco! would like players to know that in a world increasingly dominated by electronic entertainment and handheld puzzles featuring candy, board-game makers have become overwhelmingly opportunistic, and so release to the market subsequent variations on their basic, simplistic platforms. Witness the endless iterations on the appropriately capitalist Monopoly ­— at last count, there were hundreds of versions.

So too with Frisco!, in which the latest version of the popular board game features "Tech Tundra" and "Fringe Forest" as nods to prevailing winds. The original version, the "Barbary Coast Edition," featured such Stages as "Red Light District," in which syphilis held you back and a fortuitous knifing could put you ahead, and "Gold-Panning," which was tedious. The most popular edition by far was our "Summer of Love Edition," with its "Hippie Corner" (landing on LSD spots could get you ahead or behind, depending on how much you trusted the guidance the player to your left, and how much you believed in mere abstractions like "ahead" and behind" anyway) and "Free Love," which occupied most of the board with anatomically intricate challenges. Fun fact: That version of the game led to a Supreme Court obscenity trial (Makers of Frisco! v. Midwestern Parents' Collective, 1969)! Already the makers of Frisco! are planning future versions, including the "Post-Atomic Catastrophe Edition" (due out 2019) featuring stages including "Scavenger's Row," "Farming in the Ruins," and, delightfully, "Red Light District."

Winning the Game

Whoever has the most Creds when all players have reached the end wins Frisco! The first player to finish gets a Bonus of 5000 Creds, because there is a premium on being the first one to do anything in Frisco!, especially if one makes sure everyone else knows it. So there is a strategy in taking all the Shortcuts and hurrying to finish.

Those who work their way through each Stage diligently, taking on the Challenges and gathering points, however, may earn more Creds and actually end up the winner of Frisco!, which the makers of Frisco! hope is understood as a statement on the ultimate value of experience over merely completing a task. It's an important lesson — though one probably lost on the kind of people who just want to be the first at the end no matter what, those goddamn strivers. (Whether the city of Frisco! is now more populated with those who desire completion or those who desire less-linear though perhaps more satisfying experience is a discussion better left to the philosophical treatise Living at the Speed of Frisco! A Meditation on Drive, Board Game Velocity, and Living the Good Life, by A. Q. Placard [Penumbra Books, 1996].)

The residential exchange value of Creds is as follows:

2000 Creds or Fewer: Exile from Frisco!

2001-3050: Curtained Off Dining Room in Marino Bro Apartment

3051-3100: Houseboat in Sausalito

3101-4000: Bike Storage Container at Walnut Creek BART

4001-4005: Hacker Hostel

4006-4500: 2 BD, FB HQ adj.

4501-5000: Zuckerberg's Slave Quarters

5001-5400: Danielle Steel's Hedges

5401-7000: One of Those Live/Work Places, Probably in SOMA

7001-9000: Rent Control!

9001-12,000: Fifth Closet in Willie Brown's Penthouse

12,001-13,000: Gorgeous Victorian with Faulty Wiring

13,000+: Captain's Quarters In Old-Timey Square-Rigger Ship Balclutha (Bonus! Monthly Chantey Sing!)

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My Voice Nation Help
Kelly Navarro
Kelly Navarro

And by regulate I mean yell at anyone and publicly humiliate them by saying it.

Kelly Navarro
Kelly Navarro

I guess there are to many transplants that there is no one left to regulate the use of the word "Frisco" :(

JoJo DeRodrigo
JoJo DeRodrigo

Your rent controlled apartment you had since 1994 is turning to condos, collect 5,000 but you have to move to Walnut Creek.

Maurice Rivers
Maurice Rivers

Where is the spot on the board for "Gentrify a neighborhood and drive out long-term renters, collect $1000"?

Nicola Caria
Nicola Caria

It looks horrible and filled with stereotypes!!

Brandon Martin
Brandon Martin

Is there a go straight to Bayview-Hunters Point, do not collect $200.00?

Dante de la Peña
Dante de la Peña

I would talk this down often and severely. Obviously, conceived by someone who is absolutely clueless.

Kimberly Pye
Kimberly Pye

If you want to win, don't call it "Frisco."


Clearly the creators of this game don't actually live in San Francisco, or they would know that only trash from the valley or tourists from the Midwest call it "Frisco".  Unless the game is actually about the pissant town in Texas with the actual name Frisco.

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