If you go into most homes in America and locate the family boardgame cupboard, the one game that you can be sure to find is Monopoly. It is a slow paced game where players accumulate wealth by buying, trading, and developing properties as they move around a game board based on Atlantic City. It is as American as apple pie and farm subsidies, but it lives up to its name even in the international market. Monopoly is the best selling boardgame in the world. Since being patented in 1935, it is estimated that 750 million people have played Monopoly at some point in their life. The game has a rich and interesting history that has included a fair amount of scandal. FYI – The funny little Monopoly guy is now called Mr. Monopoly, but was originally known as Rich Uncle Pennybags.
It is customary for many players to have a particular set of special or “house rules” that are used when playing monopoly. There is an excellent WikiBooks site on the subject and here are two of the miscellaneous house rules that I find most useful:
- Traveling Railroads: Whenever a player lands on a railroad, the player may choose to move his or her token to any other railroad owned by the same player. The player must pay rent even if he or she does not choose to travel. A player may travel on his or her own railroads for free. A player may not travel on unowned railroads. Travel is across the board, so a player does not get $200 for passing Go when he or she travels from Short Line to Reading Railroad. The owner of the railroads may not prevent the player from traveling. A player may travel to or from a mortgaged railroad. (NOTE: If a player travels from a mortgaged railroad to an unmortgaged railroad, he does not have to pay rent.)
- Borrowing Money from the Bank: At any time a player may borrow $500 from the bank. Until the loan is paid off, the player will only receive $100 when passing Go, as interest. A player may not pay off the loan until he has passed Go at least once since borrowing the money. If you go bankrupt the creditor inherits your debt. Anyone who inherits a debt cannot pay it off until he has passed Go once since inheriting that debt.
I understand that there is now a version that has a “speed die” that somehow makes the game move along a bit faster. I have not played that version, but it bears looking into.
You can find many different versions of Monopoly. There is a Monopoly Deluxe Edition that’s available for folks that really love the game and want some better accessories like wooden houses and hotels, gold-tone tokens, a Title Deed carousel, and a Banker’s tray. If you get tired of the classic Atlantic City version of the game, you can find one that is based on a particular city or region, like New York City Monopoly. Chances are there is a version based on your home town, unless your from somewhere like Kathmandu or Pixley. There are many versions of Monopoly that are based on movies or television programs, like The Simpsons Monopoly. I’ve never played anything but the classic version, so I can’t tell you if this enhances the overall play experience. I can’t see much difference between landing on Park Place or Jabba the Hut’s floating barge if the rent is the same, but that’s just me.
This game gets a five out of five stars because, well, it’s Monopoly and you just have to have it in your house. It’s an American tradition. If it wasn’t for that, I would give it two or three stars.
|PLAYERS: 2 – 8|
|AGES: 8 to adult|
|TIME: Very Long [More than 2 hours]|
|PRICE: Cheap [$1 – $10]|
|Gameguy’s rating 1 star = don’t bother ~ 5 stars = must have|