Andrew S.
Canada
Toronto
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I loved Monopoly growing up. It was right up there with Hero Quest. Sadly, my family rarely wanted to play it with me.

If he loves Monopoly, play Monopoly. Playing any board game with him is far better then watching him descend into the pit of video games such as Fortnite etc.
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Kevin Young
United States
Los Angeles
California
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My kids love money games also and we all love Raccoon Tycoon.

It has high quality paper money, stock market pricing, auctions. Super fun.
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Robert Doolan
Australia
South Australia
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Board Game Basics Podcast please give us a listen. A father and 9 yo
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I also remember playing Monopoly often as a child. My now 10 year old son also loved playing it which made me happy, but he now really loves other games.

We even make a small podcast together about a few games, old and new for families. Check us out if it interests you.

Machi Koro is a fun game, the legacy edition is out, might be a good story to follow along for a while?
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Germany
Mannheim
Deutschland
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Be happy that you got him invested in boardgames. Many Boardgame Geeks forget that the dreaded Monopoly, Munchkin, Risk got them into the hobby in the first place.
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Trace
United States
Memphis
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+1 for Power Grid. I've heard it being compared to Monopoly before. Paper money. You build "houses" and get more money. I think it's good for learning simple math too. BGG says age is 12+, but it's something to think about.
 
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Nathanael Robinson
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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oatesatm wrote:


If he likes the theme and interaction, get a good Ameritrash game that's heavy on theme (or look at themes you know he likes ... if he enjoys Star Wars, look at Imperial Assault, for example). You might include him on the research, watch the video reviews with him, find a few you know you'll like too and stick to those.

Theme can be an important factor that drives kids to learn games, even those that may seem to complex for their age. Luckily there are a lot of good games on numerous themes,including those drawn from pop culture.

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I thought a bit about what might make Monopoly feel fun and I could think of tactile element, the excitement and hope of trying to land on a good property or get a bit of a windfall, and maybe making deal.

I could see how a game like Kingdomino could seem comparatively boring. Maybe you need something pretty thematic or a bit of press your luck plus player interaction.

I haven’t thought too hard about particular suggestions but we played a really good three player game of Port Royal with our ten year old last night and she loved it. Theme is not too strong but it has press your luck, times when you pay your opponent, missions to aim to complete. And it’s pretty quick.
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Ravage Board Gaming
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Bristol
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Or just suck it up and enjoy spending time with him, Monopoly is just the enabler of that.
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Al Walker
United Kingdom
HANTS
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jhashton wrote:
I thought I was raising my son right.

When he was 4, my wife and I started letting him play Carcassonne with us. He was too young to score, so he just placed a tile on his turns. It added a fun random factor to our games--sometimes he’d lengthen my road, sometimes he’d add to my wife’s monastery, sometimes he’d inadvertently stifle a city by leading a road to an unfinished square. I noticed it was usually beneficial to build my features in the direction he was sitting. As he got older we gave him a huge point bonus at the beginning and let him score himself.

When he was 6, we let him play Catan. He got to start with 3 settlements instead of 2, and the robber was never (or rarely) played on him.

Soon after, we introduced him to other games, giving him a handy-cap or huge point bonus at the beginning: Alhambra, Small World, Kingdom Builder, etc. He was loving these great board games! Our family was loving life as gamers!

Then it happened… he saw a dusty box with bright red letters that had been sitting dormant for years on the bottom of our game shelf. Over the years, I had told my wife a couple times that we should get rid of it--give it away. I was trying to avoid this type of situation, or at least free up shelf space for a more productive use of game time... But each time she insisted we keep it--just in case we wanted to play it again. Well, “Happy Wife = Happy Life”: so it stayed around.

My son had found it: MONOPOLY. “Let’s play this one!” We busted it out. I thought he would lose interest of this "bored-game" (pun intended) after just one play, considering the other wonderful games loved. NOPE, it back-fired. After one play, he was hooked. Every week he demanded we play Monopoly on game day (usually Sunday afternoon).

After a few frustrating weeks/months (I’m not sure which, it was such a traumatic time in my life), I tried weaning him off: he could pick the game every other week (read: always Monopoly), and my wife or I got to pick the other weeks. Further, on his 8th birthday we gave him his first REAL board game (Candyland & Shoots-and-Ladders don’t count): Kingdomino. I was hoping he’d love playing his very OWN boardgame more than one of ours… but that only lasted a week or two: “It’s not as fun as Monopoly.” We were soon back to demands of Monopoly every week.

Well, the compromise for now is we play Monopoly once per month, and on other weeks we give him a few other options to choose from. Occasionally, when he’s feeling even more generous, he just lets my wife or I pick one straight-up.

But Monopoly once per month still feels way too often… that’s where I need YOUR help. How do I completely wean him off? I think that ultimately he loves Monopoly because of handling paper money (well, he loves handling real money too, don’t we all?), and dice rolling. Are there any other shorter and more interesting games out there that have paper money and dice? Any other game suggestions to pacify Monopoly’s monopoly on his addiction (emphasis on SHORTER games)?

I would recommend
Ticket to Ride
Munchkin
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I don’t want to get too off topic, but I don’t think we always have to spend time with our kids exactly on their terms. There are lots of ways to spend plenty of quality time with kids and it’s okay for them to learn that other people will sometimes set boundaries on what they feel up for. It’s a good people skill.

Sometimes my kids and I can’t agree on a game to play, so we don’t play and do something else. In the end it is probably better for everyone than me struggling through a game of Dixit.
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Evan Katz III
United States
Harrisburg
Pennsylvania
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Definitely play it and enjoy it with him. My son is 11 and I can't get him to play a board game with me and God knows, he has plenty of choices in our collection. He used to play Castle Panic with me when he was a little younger but has no interest anymore. I would be happy if he pulled out Monopoly and wanted to play (even though I loathe the game as well). Just enjoy the time spent together. Cheers!
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Frank McNally
United States
Andover
Massachusetts
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Monopoly played by the rules really isn't bad and windfalls are exciting. Much as I enjoy strategy games, getting the desired die roll is pretty fun.

Another upside is he is enjoying a game that runs rather long. As someone who finds games less 3h too short (ending feels abrupt), I'd find a kid tolerant of longer games promising.

Try old school stuff, Risk, Merchant of Venus, Samurai Swords.
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Henry Seymour
United States
SAINT LOUIS
MO
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Jakub Rozalski Did Nothing Wrong!
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I'm afraid he may be broken, check to see if it is too late for an exchange or refund.
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Mr Suitcase
Canada
Burlington
Ontario
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Learn Monopoly strategy: https://www.amazon.com/Monopoly-Strategy-Worlds-Popular-Boar...

Then crush him at it... over and over... that'll wean him off of it.

Meanwhile, break out Ticket to Ride and let him win here and there!

The "Good Cop, Bad Cop" routine will do the trick!

Oh, and never let him play the car. Make him play the shoe or the thimble.
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Ryan Feathers
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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There's plenty of good suggestions here for Monopoly alternatives.

I'm just going to chime in with my own personal experience though...

Growing up I played a lot of Monopoly. I have many cherished memories of playing games with my Grandma in the mornings before school, or playing with family. There was also a group of us in college who played regularly.

By the time I was in college I was pretty thoroughly into many other "better" games as well. We had and played Dominion, Ticket to Ride, Arkham Horror, Cyclades, etc. We enjoyed all of those but we still played a lot of Monopoly too. I don't get to play much anymore but am still happy to play once or twice a year.

Essentially what I'm trying to say is that I'm very much a massive gamer geek and play games often, I have never grown out of it really and I do still enjoy playing it. This may just be an outcome you'll need to live with...

Finally I'll just reiterate what some others have said though too--make sure you are playing by the real rules (no money on free parking, auctions, etc). Virtually every popular house rule or variant just lengthens the game and turns what should be a 60-90 minute reasonably fun experience into a really tedious experience.

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Olaf E
Germany
München
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If it has to be close to the theme of monopoly, try
Monopoly Deal Card Game
Hotel Tycoon

if it's about mechanics and money, use
Las Vegas

if it's about having fun, I suggest
King of Tokyo
Space Base
Rhino Hero: Super Battle
Mechs vs. Minions
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Marc Noneya
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If you really want to bond, bring Risk into the mix...
I played both Monopoly and Riak with the Kids - Now they'll never touch it!
DD

But the seed was planted - As my oldest boy is an avid BGer and introduced me to this new gaming genres.

Win! Win!
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C Bazler
United States
Bronx
New York
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Have you considered transitioning him to something milder, like methadone?

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Kathryn D
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Vermont
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While this post really has nothing to do with board gaming it has a lot to do with children so it might be helpful. Think about it from the child’s point of view. Your kiddo was told he could make a choice with pretty much free reign now your putting limits on that choice. It might not be Monopoly as much as the removal of choice.

My family had kids night out once a month. My parents basically divided us up and we had date night with one parent. We would switch each month, one activity and one restaurant of our choice. It was great when I was little and they could give me a couple choices. But once I got bigger my dad got mad that I was getting my way when it was my turn with him. I’d always choose a Mexican restaurant if I could (at some point a rule was placed that it was a new restaurant and the activities were removed). Turns to it my dad hated Mexican, which was ironic because his selfless act of taking a day off work to stand in line to get me enrolled in the Spanish Immersion school and then learning Spanish to go along with us on a class trip to Mexico fueled that love of Mexican food so it was only natural that we dine at a Mexican restaurant.

Given my one free choice activity was so limited and not really a choice anymore that tradition soon died. My dad got mad nobody wanted it to be their turn with him and that was that. I don’t know about my brother it was my dads desire to try and get his own way all the time by manipulating the choice process that made him no fun in my eyes. Just a reminder kids need opportunities to make their own choices. It might not be monopoly itself as much as a loss of a choice feeding his all monopoly every family game night desire. (Or if he is around 6, just his age they tend to be really focused on the same favorite activity and out grow that stage) What you may be teaching him is he can choose as long as it is what you want and that may not be the best lesson for him to learn. Make sure your finding small ways for him to be able to choose for himself in other ways if your taking away the ability to choose any game every week.
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J Ashton
United States
San Dimas
California
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Thanks all for the game suggestions, and more importantly, great parenting advice! I do need to appreciate game time with him, even when playing games more to his tastes.

Will definitely look into Machi Koro, Monopoly Gamer, and Hotels (Hotel Tycoon). My son is 8, so some of your other suggestions are still above his level. Although he does play some advanced games with us: we recently introduced Castles of Burgundy to him, which he likes, just not nearly as much as Monopoly. Plus I feel bad crushing him too much at advanced games, and he's smart enough to know when I'm not really trying. Fortunately he has started liking chess a lot too, so that's a nice alternative he sometimes picks.

We usually play Monopoly by the rules (e.g. No Free Parking bonus), but to keep it competitive I give him a handicap: either he gets Boardwalk at the beginning, or I start with $500 less than him. We definitely do auctioning, as in my opinion that's the main strategic portion of the game (especially since manipulative trading with young kids can be mean and a little to easy...). The only other modifications we sometimes use are:

1. 1 or 1.5 hour time limit (whoever has the most cash + assets wins)
2. Everyone starts with $500 less than standard--this mitigates luck and increases strategy through auctioning, but I'm not sure yet if this shortens or lengthens the game because often it's played with the 1.5 hour time limit.
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Ravage Board Gaming
United Kingdom
Bristol
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jhashton wrote:
My son is 8, so some of your other suggestions are still above his level.
You say that, but around here it's a regular occurrence for someone to post a thread on what to buy their 3 month old next who's just mastered Twilight Struggle.
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gene velasco
United States
Robbinsdale
Minnesota
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Why do you feel the need to impose your tastes on someone else? You hate Monopoly--I get that. He loves Monopoly--what's wrong with that? Maybe some day he'll find some games that he likes better; maybe he will remain a Monopoly fan into adulthood. (There actually are normal people who lead who lead satisfying and fulfilling lives and who like Monopoly.)

Sometimes a parent's job is to interact with your child in activities that he enjoys more than you do. It will help him to learn to interact with others in many different situations. So keep a variety of games around and teach him the joy of playing with you, and you learn to cherish the joys of bonding with your child over the Monopoly board.
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Dan
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Auckland
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Chicago Express
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Morgan Riley
United States
Richmond
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I sadly cannot comment on the "problem" with any authority, but as others have said, may you value the time you have together, as it will be a memory before you know it. If you are lucky, something new will catch his attention when he reaches the limits of the game.

If you want a shorter game of more limited duration, you can use the rule from Lord of the Rings Monopoly, and every time a given (marked) die rolls a one, advance a token one space. When it reaches Boardwalk/back to start, the game ends ("Trust-busting time").

That said, if you are also seeking recommendations for alternatives: it doesn't have dice or dollars, but if the fondness for the game could be because of the love of buying and collecting properties underneath others' noses and building on them in Robber Baron fashion, you might consider New York: 1901, which is substantially shorter (and better looking).
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Chris in Kansai
Japan
Otsu
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Hating Monopoly is definitely a thing round here, although I get the feeling a lot of it is people just buffing their gamer cred.

Monopoly has money, set collection, randomness and the ability to inflict major pain on other players, all things that kids love. Rather than looking for a game to replace Monopoly, use it to teach him about auctions, how to trade and manipulate, and dealing with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune - all skills which he can put to good use in other games (and possibly the playground too).
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