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Subject: Monopoly City Review rss

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I'll begin this review with a quote I read on another review


Being a fan of all things Monopoly, I was excited, ran out and grabbed a copy.

I believe Hasbro's replies would be:
That's what we were counting on. We appreciate your $35.

Now you might think I have a negative bias towards monopoly...
Nothing is farther from the thruth. If a boardgame brings people together around the table and they are having fun, it is a good game in my account. Sure, monoply doesn't bring every kind of person around the table or give them a good time, but that's allright, that doesn't make it a bad game. 1830 is not everybody's game too.
Monopoly is aimed at the lowlevel gamer who hasn't much experience in games or doesn't know many other games. It's sort of an entry-level game for people who really aren't interested in boardgames as such, but want to do something while they are sitting around the table with their friend, although others might enjoy it too, if they keep their expectancies about a game to a certain level. In those situations you could be playing a simple cardgame as well, but I guess a boardgame has more substance to it.
Another demographic for this game would be kids. As long as their parents don't know any more 'engaging' games. If you want your kids to step away from the PS3 and Xbox for a while and have fun with their friends, this game is ok. If you want your kids to grow into serious games, don't buy this game. It'll only give them a really frustrating first experience in boardgames...
Ok, I got to the limit of honest positive things to say about this game.

Monopoly is a game made up by marketeers. I won't even argue about this. I know this, you should know this. If you buy this (PROTIP - preferably somebodies $5 copy from ebay, it won't be that much used), you'll definately need to know this.
The people behind monoply asked their target demographic what they liked about games and then, based on those findings, constructed something that resembled a game. They probably asked 100 families what they most enjoyed about it while playing and the answers were: good times with the family/friends (check), having a slight kick about handling lots of money (more check with the added three 0's in this one), feeling important about having property (again check), disliked the poor visuals of a boardgame compared to videogames - a strong competitor for boardgames in that demographic (check, because fixed in this version). Great! So we have a vehicle that allows you to have fun with family, allows you to handle money and makes you feel important for 2 hours (if you're winning) and it looks good. Great boardgame. Unironically, I agree.
They even added a cool sound making gizmo for the 8-year olds. If you buy this game for the upcoming holidays, and you have kids around that age, look carefully what they'll first do after opening the box. Marketeers know their stuff.

But it's still made up by people with very little experience in boardgames. Somebody with an actual idea about how to make games would take those elements and turn it in something good.
Monopoly still suffers from the same (fundamental) flaw. Runaway player (althought somebody on the boardmeeting had a few nice ideas this time), closed economy, and it becomes boring for all the losing players real quickly. And then it becomes a frustrating experience that teaches us who amongst our friends and familymembers is a bad winner or a sore loser. And this will steer us away from other boardgames, some of them who actually got around seemingly easy-to-fix problems like turning a game into a bore-fest for all but one (or two) players after half an hour (luckily much quicker in this version) until the end of the game (still two hours later).
At least half of those people swear to never play boardgames again because they suck and are boring(sic).
I wouldn't thing a boardgame is terrible unless it failed to live up to the condition to entertain people. I wouldn't care to call it bad, even though it entertained me as well as a $35 cheaper pack of cards. But is half of the table asks to quit the game before the rules says it finishes, it's not a very good game. And I was playing with my 20-something friends.

Brings us to the second demografic, the kids.
The rulebook says there is an option to finish the game earlier at a designated time. Ok, the basic version of the game is not that good, but at least there is an option to make it fun again!
Two problems with this: one, as a kid you don't care about the options, you want to play the real thing. Second, this needs kids to think ahead and agree about something with their friends. Not very likely, unless there is a responsible adult closely supervising their play. I hope that kind of adult would give them a different game, really. So the optional 'good' game is rarely going to be played. Furthermore, if the basic version needs to be rescued by a fix with an 'optional game', I would call that sloppy design. But Hasbro already has your money.

I tried to give a reasonal review, so it took me some time to bring out some good nuances and this made this review a bit lengthy. But we haven't even got to the part that made me write this review. If it was only this bad, I would gladly make you, dear reader, to find out yourself, there's no harm in that. You just resell your game for $5 and no big money lost. (you did buy this from e-bay, did you?)
No, the real devil in this game is the little things they probably added in the last board meeting. The one under the title 'how do we make this uneventful game interesting again?'
One of their solutions was the unnecessary noisy roll-up ruler shaped 4way die. Why for? - Dunno, but it looks hella cool.
Second solution was to make the board more complex than it needed to be. Now it looks like a city building computergame! Wow.
Third thing was to fix the chance cards. If you played the game, you probably asked yourself the same question: 'why is that f***ing card doing in this game? (again, sic)'. I would let you find this our yourselves, but there is something about unexpectedly having somebody to give his only (green) district (fully built) district to opponent just because a card says so that leads up to having to pick up every (very well crafted btw) piece of the gameboard from floor at the corner of the room. And this was a game with adults. Imagine this in a game with 8 year olds. You have been warned. Don't buy this for your kids!
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Kendahl Johnson
United States
New Mexico
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Thanks for the review. This is one to skip, although I am sure that I'll pick it up at a garage sale or thrift shop some time down the road.
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