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Subject: Monopoly City - A Review rss

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Ryan
Canada
Mississauga
Ontario
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In some circles, it's a little dangerous to admit this, but I'm a Monopoly fan. I'm willing to acknowledge some of the problems that the game has, especially with regards to its length, the fact that players get eliminated, and the role that luck plays in the endgame. I realize all those things, but I like it all the same – it's the game that I first cut my gaming teeth on, and as such I'll always love it. So, when I heard there was a new iteration of the game called Monopoly City that came out, I had to give it a play.

If there's a dominant theme in Monopoly City, it's that the game is always attempting to place itself equally in the present as in the past. While some would cynically say that doing so is an attempt to appeal to the widest possible base, it serves to provide a robust alternative to those critical of many of the mechanics of traditional Monopoly, whole not trying to alienate fans of the old game.

This theme becomes obvious even before one starts playing the game. The playing pieces are still shiny and metallic, but are all new shapes – no dogs or thimbles here. Likewise, there are still plastic buildings cast in two differing colours, but this time they're divided into residential and commercial properties rather than merely houses and hotels. Similarly, the board itself is ringed with sets of colour-grouped properties, but they've all been renamed and the centre portion of the board has been filled with blocks to match the outside squares.

Gameplay starts off similarly to traditional Monopoly; roll the dice, move your piece, buy properties you land on, and auction off those you don't buy. The main difference is that you don't need a full colour set to build, but can start doing so right away. While there are certain strategic advantages to collecting within a group, it's not required to do so. This speeds the game up a little, and also prevents the game from getting too one-sided early on.

Property development is now done in terms of 'blocks', rather than house and hotels. Commercial blocks cost twice as much to develop, but are immune to the effects of hazardous buildings others can place on your properties. This leaves players with an interesting dilemmaay the extra cost upfront, or hope that you'll be able to develop ways to protect your properties later to stop others from blocking you?

If anything, property development has become too simple compared to the original game. Players can easily build properties up to the level of charging $20-$30 million dollars, without engaging in as much of the quid-pro-quo and horsetrading that regular Monopoly is so well-known for. As the game goes on, this means that luck can end up playing a larger role in the endgame, with certain squares becoming instant game-enders due to the amount of rent on them.

It's a truism of fan communities that that which is popular is rarely loved; critics lists and award ceremonies aren't filled with summer blockbusters, just as best-selling novels are often trashed in praise of those that are more “literary”. Boardgaming is no different in this regard, with mentions of Monopoly often being met with scorn and derision among more zealous gamers. Despite that, Monopoly City offers some unique play elements and a fair amount of opportunity for strategy, so even the most jaded Eurofan should give it a chance.
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PO
Australia
Strathfield
NSW
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I'll give you a thumb for your bravery in confessing yourself a fan.
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Orlando Ramirez
United States
Round Rock
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I'd like to give this a try. Sounds like it fixes my biggest gripe, the "too long to ever actually finish a game..." problem.
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Ron Olivier, Sr.
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North Smithfield
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While I would no longer consider myself a ‘fan’ of the Monopoly empire, I also grew up playing a lot of that game and it does hold a soft spot in my gaming heart. The saddest thing, however, is how Hasbro (whose home office is just about 5 miles away from where I grew up) has bastardized the game with scores of special editions. (My heart sank even more when they acquired Avalon Hill!)
The ‘commercial block’ part of the game sounds a lot like part of a game my son and I had tried to develop that was real-estate based. (They did NOT steal the idea from us, though. No one ever saw our game besides us). We ended up trashing the idea because despite victory points, extending credit, and action cards – you guessed it – it played too much like Monopoly.
Back to Monopoly City. The phrase “As the game goes on, this means that luck can end up playing a larger role in the endgame...” jolted me back to reality. I enjoy having certain aspects of luck - especially in lighter games. But when a game depends TOO much on the roll of the dice or the draw of a card to hand out a crushing defeat, I lose interest really quickly.
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tom moughan
United States
Rochester
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ahh....I love the smell of a stack of sketchily placed animals in the morning!
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MONOPOLY DEAL!!!!! best monopoly version ever. the end.

I am very intrigued by "City" and will have to give it a closer look.
 
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Ryan
Canada
Mississauga
Ontario
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Quote:
my biggest gripe, the "too long to ever actually finish a game..." problem.


Standard Monopoly has also started coming with a special "speed die" designed to make games play faster; it's nice to see that they're trying at least trying to respond to people's concerns about the game.
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Alex N
United States
Metuchen
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Is the new "speed die" now an accepted variation that can be officially used in every Monopoly edition instead of being just a "house" rule?
 
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Ryan
Canada
Mississauga
Ontario
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chiefsachem wrote:
Is the new "speed die" now an accepted variation that can be officially used in every Monopoly edition instead of being just a "house" rule?


That is my understanding.
 
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Hastings
United Kingdom
Bristol
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"In Veritae Victoria - In Truth Lieth Victory"
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Often people will slag of monopoly for its long games and dishonest play, but I have come to be fan of it, a combination of the speed die, credit cards and the game of monopoly city has turn the ugly, long war into quick sharp battles. It is possible to end in 45mins but most games last 60-75mins tops.

You may be surprised. The speed die makes an incredible difference and the variation of monopoly is a much better aspect of play.
 
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