T'was a rainy half-term day and as we sought something else in Argos, I spotted this game on offer for £14.99. I'd been dreaming of an afternoon playing board-games with the family and couldn't resist buying it. We already had a Monopoly set, but it's a second-hand set and missing some cards & the dog. Monopoly's not monopoly without the dog...
The children were really excited, so as soon as we got home, it was out of the packaging. There's an extensive instruction leaflet provided so we pored over this a while, before just deciding to go ahead and play, consulting it as necessary.
Monopoly is the "fast dealing property trading game" where players try to accumulate properties & wealth while bankrupting their opponents. The idea is to raise the value of your properties by building on them and when your unlucky rival lands on one of your squares, charge them enormous amounts of rent for the privilege. It's a game well-known for going on for hours and can get very competitive!
Monopoly City is a re-working of the traditional game, with modern buildings like skyscrapers and factories. It's for 2-6 players, for ages 8 and over. My son plays it with us very happily, although he's six. He couldn't play without some prompting and assistance with the strategy and money aspects, but playing this board-game is very much family time, so it's no problem.
*** What's in the box? ***
# 1 x Game board
# 1 x Trading unit
# 6 x Movers
# 22 x Title Deed Cards
# 25 x Chance Cards
# 6 Reminder Cards
# 1 Rent Dodge Card
# 80 Buildings
# 1 x Money pack
# 2 x Dice
*** What's different? ***
The board looks pretty much the same at first glance, but folds twice into a square instead of once into a half.
The Strand, Mayfair et al of the traditional UK version are replaced by less recognisable names. I'm not sure whether places such as 'Fortune Valley' and 'Harbour Heights' are US places or whether the makers have gone for a more universal approach since Riverside and The Wharf seem as though they could appear in any country.
The middle of the board which once was fairly blank with spaces for the 'Chance' and 'Community Chest' cards, is now used for building. Each property space has a number and a building zone with that number is located nearby in the middle of the board. This is where the skyscrapers and other buildings are placed as you develop your property empire.
'Go', 'Jail', 'Free Parking' and 'Go To Jail' are the same, but 'Community Chest' has gone and so have the train-stations and the Utilities. In their place are 'auction' squares, (where if you land on it you can pick an unowned property to put up for auction) and 'planning permission' squares, (where you can build something good for yourself, such as a park, or something bad for a rival, such as a rubbish dump).
'Chance' remains, but the cards have new instructions, where you might have to put up one of your properties for auction or build something, as well as 'advance to go' or 'get out of jail' cards.
The money has also been updated, with million notes and 100K notes more in line with current financial realities.
Another of the new things is the "electronic trading unit", (which looks a bit like a retractable tape-measure). It requires 2 AAA batteries. This is used in three ways:
~ 1. to remind you how long you've been playing, so you can play a timed game instead of playing to the bitter (or sweet triumphant) end,
~ 2. to time an auction of a property
~ 3. to decide how many blocks you can build on a turn.
The timed auctions of properties I'm not so keen on, possibly because I'm really bad at it! You press the middle button on the trading unit and it flashes for a random time while everyone shouts excited prices for the auctioned property, up until the lights go out and it tweets a final time. Last highest price gets the property. (Never mine, wah!)
Building in Monopoly City can be done almost straight-away. In traditional Monopoly, you had to acquire all the properties in a colour set before you could build, which could take a long time - several journeys around the board and often being thwarted by your competitors buying up land cards you wanted. Here, as soon as you own a property you can start building on the attached building zones. This is really good for the children, as they always wanted to get going with houses and hotels as soon as possible. The variety of new buildings is nice, with 1, 2 or 3 block versions. Your reward for acquiring all properties in a set is now the possibility of building a skyscraper or even the Monopoly tower.
To build, you press the 'build' side-button on the trading unit and it randomly selects how many blocks you can build. Then you choose whether to go for industrial, which is more expensive but can't be affected by someone building a hazard on your area, or residential. Sometimes instead of a number, it comes up with station, and you can place these anywhere around the board to flit between, hopefully avoiding dangerous areas or getting back to 'Go' quicker. This is really handy!
As with the old game, if you knock the board all the buildings go flying and it's frustrating to work out where they came from. It's worse with Monopoly City because of the building areas being slightly disconnected from the property squares and all close together. I do find the building zones a bit hard to keep track of because they're irregular shapes and not necessarily right by the property square they belong to. It really needs to be played on a good-sized table or on the floor to avoid this toppling problem, which for us either means the kitchen table or living room floor, both of which have their inconveniences for us. Not least the Godzilla-like attack of the 50ft cat.
*** How good is it? ***
I prefer Monopoly City to traditional Monopoly because it has these new twists and it's quicker to get into building. We like the way you can sabotage your opponents by building hazards on their zones or you can protect your residential zones by building parks, and we like the new 'Chance' and 'Rent Dodge' cards. It's a fun take on the traditional game that keeps to the basic principles while adding a bit of speed and excitement. I feel it takes all the best bits of Monopoly and freshens it up.
The 'Reminder' cards are just to remind you of everything you can do during a turn, which especially when you're starting out playing this version, is very useful indeed.
I do find that the game timer function of the trading unit is a bit tiresome as we are not players who want to play for a set length of time, but will play on until doomsday, possibly. It beeps every so often after an hour and so we reset it, and all too soon it starts being pesky again. I guess that's testament to how much we enjoy the game.
Although the game has 80 buildings, which sounds like quite a lot, these include the numerous parks/stations/hazards, so the amount of revenue-raising buildings doesn't seem enough for a very lengthy game. I've looked at the possibility of buying spare ones, but the Hasbro site only seems to sell replacement pieces in the US and Canada. They possibly would send over extras, but I haven't contacted them to find out yet.
I think it's a good game to play with children for helping develop concentration spans, strategic thinking and maths skills, as well as being a bit of fun.
You can buy the game online from Amazon for £20.99 at the moment, although it's always worth looking around for cheaper prices.
*** But what about that dog? ***
Yes, it's there! The terrier - but in a carrier. And all is right with the world.
I got this for Christmas for my 8 yr son in the hope I could get him away from computer games and thankfully it worked. Monopoly city has brought together a touch of electronics but with still the play of the original game, it has modernised the player icons and you can now buy skyscrapers, stadiums and you make millions not hundreds and you get an electronic centre piece which you press when you want to build, the game play is very similar, pass go collect 2m, go to jail etc but the game play is not as long winded, you can use the timer on the electronic piece to set a playing time, it beeps every 15 minutes to let you check on time play. You get chance cards but not community chest,the centre button decides how you play, you press it tells you if you can build 1,2 or 3 houses, buy a station or you can bid on a unowned piece of land, the bidding is my least favourite part of the game, you can also get extras like sewage works, prison and rubbish dump which you can place on a other players land, this takes value from their property but you can counteract this by placing nice things like a park, school to protect your income on your land.
The money is the same quality but the skyscrapers and waterworks are not as good as the old monopoly, very plastic and quite naff to be honest.
Still a fab family game and it has got my son into board games, just the quality that has let it down a bit
I used to love sitting down and playing the original Monopoly with friends or family years ago. It was and still remains probably one of my favourite board games of all time. I know alot of people that enjoyed it too and others that thought it was too long. But make no mistake, it was popular in it's day.
A year or so ago now someone bought me this version which is the City 3-D version. It is definately different from the original but rather than that being a bad thing I think it injects new life into the game. You can purchase for around £25 now if you want to own this version.
There are a few similarities though in regards to the board and the playing pieces that we all knew and loved like the car and hat and dog for example. There is still a Go square and Chance and Go to Jail squares and the customary money we associate with the game.
So in the original game of Monopoly players used to take it in turns to throw dice and move around the board with their character. You would hope to avoid jail and also buy as many properties as you could and build houses and hotels on there to earn money from others that land on your square. Each property was on a famous street in London from Old Kent Road up to Mayfair and they increased in value as you went round. The aim was to win by making everyone else bankrupt, effectively.
The idea of this new game is exactly the same in that you have to become the richest player to win. One of the differences with this version is that you replace the houses and hotels with different types of property and buildings such as skyscrapers, stations, stadiums etc. I think at least with the addition of new types of buildings this makes things more interesting and varied with more choices available to the player.
Instead of the streets in the original version, in this city one you have seven districts that are varying colours. Each district is assigned a number and value.
Instead of community chests this time there are six chance areas and four planning permission sites on which is shown which type of building can be built. There are also sewage works which if placed on a plot of land devalues it, and then water towers which protect the property from being devalued.
There are two auction sites where you can choose an un-owned district to be auctioned. Also, in addition there are Industrial sites where you have to pay millions if you own an industrial building.
I think all the changes that have been made have enhanced an already popular game and if you get a chance you should get this version.
What a game! Monopoly is the ultimate family board game and after recieving this I didn't think this would be as good as the original. However, my opinions soon changed as I didn't know it was electronic, whicih caught my eye as it is a big change from the traditional game.
I found it very interesting with all the parts it involves as their looked like there was too many. I found that through playing the buildings occasionally fell down so it makes it much more frustrating to play the game. The basic rules are very hard to grasp as you keep having to refer back to the rules a lot, but once you get the hang of it, it is very fun.
The downside is is that it seems to last for a long time and the auctioning is un-organised and this is not a game for the younger children as it is a bit too complicated.