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'Monopoly' : bigger, grander, and faster!

Board Game Review: ‘Monopoly: the Mega Edition’ from Winning Moves Games

Monopoly: The Mega Edition from Winning Moves Games takes a classic and cranks it up to eleven. Monopoly, which recently officially turned 80 and is considered by many over one hundred years old in its surprisingly political history, is perhaps the most famous board game of all time. Much of its fame continues today by comedians commenting on how long games are, some even claiming that “no one has ever really finished a game of Monopoly.”

MegaMonopolyAlthough it is a product of a more patient time, the core mechanics of Monopoly are solid: color collection, upgrading resources, and always hoping for the best with every roll of the dice. There is good reason people play it to this day. Monopoly: The Mega Edition takes all of these time-honored components that have made the game a classic and adds to them new mechanics that makes the game bigger, grander, and faster.

The most obvious change in Monopoly: The Mega Edition is the board. A new property has been added to each color, from the $80 Arctic Avenue to the $350 Florida Avenue. In addition, there are a few more squares, such as the Gas Company Utility and the lucky Birthday Gift near Luxury Tax. The four Railroads are the same, but now players may build Depots that double the rate. Speaking of improvements, all properties now have a Skyscraper that goes beyond Hotels for a maximum rent of $3000.

It may stand to reason that making the board bigger would only stretch out the game, but the addition of the Speed Die to The Mega Edition changes everything. The extra pips on the die allow players to move farther down the big board, but it also features two Mr. Monopolies and a Bus icon. The Mr. Monopoly allows players to go automatically to the next unowned space. Later in the game when all the property is bought up, the player must go to a rented space. Instead of lagging on, the game now kicks into a higher gear as people are constantly landing on rent and exchanging money. Bus Tickets become a key part of the game as players may spend one such card instead of rolling to go anywhere on their side of the board, potentially jumping over a stretch of bleak high rent, provided the player has built up a good supply.

As much as changed in Monopoly: The Mega Edition, the heart and soul of the game remain the old classic. It is certainly a family game based in luck, but a great deal of that luck stems from the planning and groundwork laid early in the game. Many players have their own strategies (buy the cheap properties and improve them; go for the most expensive ones then sit out the game in jail; get one of each color and barter, and many more) that still go strong in TME. For old-school Monopoly enthusiasts who are perhaps skeptical of tinkering with time-tested rules, a video demonstrating Monopoly: The Mega Edition shows the game in action.

Monopoly: The Mega Edition is an area-control board game for two to eight players aged eight and up. Games last about an hour, which is far shorter with its new, more exciting pace than the classic game of yesteryear. If players miss the more relaxing style of real-estate-hopping but love the grandness of the bigger board, TME is easily adaptable back to the original by not rolling the Speed Die. However, once players give the Speed Die a try, they will be hooked on the new, faster, bigger Mega Edition.

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About Jeff Provine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.

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