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Subject: Evidently the "Most Exciting Real Estate Game Ever"...well maybe in 1976! rss

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Robert Zitzelsperger
New South Wales
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Ah, Metropolis..not the Fritz Lang 1927 original movie by the same name, but the 1976 real estate game version and seems to be the first board game to have this famous title. Someone can correct me on this fact, if they know of an earlier version or game with the same moniker.

The title of this game aptly describes its main purpose; that is to build a city. Not just any city, but one using miniature 3 dimensional plastic pieces crafted into various buildings so that veritable metropolis is formed over the game play. The purchase and development of property gives it a "monopoly" like feel, overlaid on a Manhattan style city plan. Interestingly, the version of I have was made in Australia and has the usual 70's feel about it; colourful, plastic and simple. Back in those days any game with a three- dimensional feel to it (think of Mousetrap) was exciting and a possible precursor to the more familiar and popular Sim City games of the 90's.

Although I think Metropolis looks good for a 1970's Aussie game, the play can be frustrating. To purchase then develop properties you must land on the right spot by dicing the correct number. This is okay at the start where there are plenty of opportunities but as the game progresses, a player can find themselves going endlessly around a block to revisit a property for development or purchase a specific type of property. The road arrows also prolong the frustrations, forcing players to go in directions often far from the intended destination. Perhaps this reflected and still reflects the usual frustration of trying to find a parking spot in a city CBD. Lack of money can also be an issue and players often return to the expressway to gain extra cash.

To avoid the tedious requirements of completing the metropolis outright, we usually ended the game when the first player had developed their colour quota of building development.

As an Australian manufactured game (when Australia still made things like the Leyland P76!) it's not bad! Since this is also the first review and no one else has yet place images of this game up before, I take it that this version of Metropolis is either rare or simply forgotten.
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