The board game Monopoly is a true classic. It is by far the most well known boardgame ever published, even if it may not always be the most popular.
While many gamers may instantly dismiss Monopoly as a bad game, there are some versions of Monopoly that are significantly better than others.
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Before you discredit Monopoly make sure you are actually playing by the right rules.
As I discussed in my article about house rules, Monopoly is one of the most house-ruled games of all time. Over the years learning to play Monopoly has become an oral tradition. It’s a game that parents teach their kids, or kids teach other kids, and during all of that pretty much no one reads the actual rules.
This tradition has lead to a number of house rules that actually make the game worse. These include things like putting money on Free Parking, allowing players to build houses and hotels on one property instead of having to spread them evenly, getting a reward for landing on Go, or completely avoiding the auction phase of the game.
Yes, Monopoly is meant to be an auction game.
The point is before you discredit a game make sure you are playing it by the proper rules. This goes for all games, not just Monopoly.
There are a ton of versions of Monopoly out there, which is the best?
While I haven’t actually confirmed it I’m almost certain there are more versions of Monopoly than any other game ever published. Besides a ridiculous number of printings of the base game there exist an insane number of themed versions of Monopoly. If a licence is popular enough there’s a Monopoly game based on that licence.
In addition to these re-themed versions of the original, there also exist a number of games that change up the basic gameplay. Some actually alter it completely, while sticking to the property management theme.
Below I’m going to list of the top five versions of Monopoly that you can buy. Versions that promise to be better than the original game, even when played with the right rules.
Monopoly Deal – Pretty much any time I see someone bash Monopoly online, someone will join the conversation and point out Monopoly Deal as an example of a really good Monopoly game. Similarly, whenever I share a deal on this card game through Tabletop Gaming Deals, I get multiple people replying and sharing it commenting that “this is actually a good game”.
Monopoly Deal is a two to five player quick playing card game that plays in about fifteen minutes. It’s a set collection game where players are trying to be the first to collect three full property sets of different colours. It features multi-use cards that can be used to take actions or as money.
Each turn players draw two cards then play up to three cards. Cards can be played as property, as money or as actions depending on the cards. Actions let you do things like collect rent, receive money and acquire properties from other players.
Bosses come up every time a player passes go. To fight a boss, players need to spend coins and then roll a die to see if they win the fight. If they win they get a reward, if they lose then the next player can challenge the boss if they wish, going around the table until the boss is defeated or everyone has had a chance to fight.
The game ends when the final boss in the deck is defeated. What this end condition does is remove player elimination from this version of Monopoly.
Other changes include the ability for players to drop bananas to slow down other players and boost pad spaces on the board which makes getting around the board faster. Similar to the original game you can pick up additional characters separately.
Another significant change is that some of the property sets have been expanded to four properties, but you only need to own three to be able to build. When building you also have a new option of building a Skyscraper after all of the properties already have hotels on them.
Each turn a player rolls all ten dice. Dice that show a policeman must be set aside. Players select a number of dice to keep from what is left. They can then re-roll the remaining dice. They can continue to roll until they are happy with their results or they roll a total of three policemen.
Players place the dice they kept onto the player board and score points. If they complete a set they score points for all completed sets. If they haven’t completed a set they add up the values on their dice.
There are also rules for houses and hotels as well as rolling a “Pass Go” symbol on any die.
It’s worth noting that Monopoly Express is an update to an older dice game called Don’t Go To Jail. That version has slightly different rules like having the words “Go”, “To” and “Jail” replace the policeman, and not including rules for houses or hotels.
Do you enjoy Monopoly? What is your favourite version of this classic game?