Product Type: Hasbro board games
Newest Review: ... a lot, these include the numerous parks/stations/hazards, so the amount of revenue-raising buildings doesn't seem enough for a very le... more
Monopoly City 3D
Member Name: Mephit
Monopoly City 3D
Date: 07/03/11, updated on 07/03/11 (217 review reads)
Advantages: Fast-paced, quick building monopoly
Disadvantages: buildings a bit prone to earthquake, I'd like more buildings for lengthy games
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.
Summary: A fresh take on a traditional board game