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Another of the board games I was lucky enough to own when I was younger (and I still own now) was Monopoly Stock Exchange.
About the game
Released by Waddingtons in 2001, the aim of this game is to buy and sell company shares to increase your wealth and become the winner. The game comes with an electronic calculator-like device which helps you keep track of the complex figures in the stock market.
Much like the original game you start from the GO space, but instead of buying London streets you float companies to become their President. Throughout the game you can buy shares in other's floated companies, and if you buy more shares that the owner you become the new President. When you land on a company square, you pay your rent to the bank (unless you are the President of the company).
You can build offices and head offices on the company squares as opposed to the traditional houses and hotels, which raises the price of rent, and if you need to raise money elsewhere you can sell your shares to the bank or trade them with other players.
The other change is that instead of chance and community chest cards, you have Bull and Bear cards, which are obviously themed around stock markets. The cards are similar to their predecessors in content, in that they could send you to jail, or earn or lose you money.
The issue most people find with Monopoly is that it can go on forever and ever. For this version of the game, it is suggested that you win when you are the only player left in the game who isn't bankrupt, or alternatively, if you are the richest player after an agreed time limit you win.
*The colours and set up of the board are very similar:
*Gilette and Unilever are represented in the brown squares
*KLM, Swissair and British Airways are represented in the light blue squares
*United Colors of Benetton, Swatch and Marks & Spencer are represented by the pink squares
*T.G.I. Friday's, Pizza Hut and Burger King are represented by the orange squares
*MG Rover Group, Peugeot and Daimler Chrysler are represented by the red squares
*Electrolux, Mitsubishi and Toshiba are represented by the yellow squares
*Alcatel, Siemens and Nokia are represented by the green squares
*Telefonica and BT are represented by the dark blue squares
*Powergen and British Gas are in the utility spaces
*Tesco, Woolworths, The Body Shop and Sainsbury's are in the train station spaces
Playing the Game
It's important to note that most moves in the game need to be recorded via the stock exchange calculator-type device. You still have the paper money, but if the stocks aren't recorded properly then the game won't be accurate.
If you land on an unfloated company you can buy it or it goes to auction if you pass on it, and if you land on a floated company you must pay your rent to the bank. If no bid is made, you get the company for free!
If you roll a double you move your token as usual and then roll again. If you roll three doubles in succession, you have to go to jail just as you do in the original Monopoly.If by the end of your turn you haven't become the President of a company (unless it was through a trade), you can do one of three things:
*Buy up to two available shares from the bank from the floated company your token rests on
*Buy one available share from the bank in any one floated company
*Or decide not to buy any shares from the bank.
During your turn you can adjust the amount of offices/head offices you have, sell shares to the bank, trade shares and companies with other players.Outside of your turn you can collect rent from utilities and retail spaces, sell utilities and retail spaces to the bank, trade with other players and bid in auctions.
The game is extremely complicated. Due to the fact that everything must be recorded on the calculator-type thing, it is essential to remember to input the things that occur during the turns otherwise things won't be recorded and the game won't work out properly.
There buttons are all easily identified as they are labelled by either symbol of the token or by the action it carries out. However, I would suggest that an adult takes on this role as it is a bit much for a child.
As you might have guessed, it is very lengthly if you don't set a time limit as the game suggests. For this reason it means a lot of time goes by before you can muster the enthusiasm to play it again together.
As I've mentioned on other reviews I do take more care than perhaps some others might take over their possessions, but I have to say it has lasted well.
The box is strong and sturdy and is only just starting to show wear in the corners, but even so it is not going to split any time soon.
The board itself is also made of strong cardboard, and there are no tears in the joining sections as yet. The Bear and Bull cards are all in good condition, and the calculator is still using the original battery that came with it!
Waddingtons states that this game is for people aged 12+, and I think I would have to agree with them. Younger children will lose interest pretty much straight away as there is a lot to take in, particularly because there are so many figures to deal with in the stocks, and unless they were incredibly bright and good at maths, they might find it a bit dull.
I got this when I was 12 or 13, so I was able to pick up on what was going on, but I still did find it a bit hard to get my head around all of it, and remembering to input all the game moves in the computer device. I still got enjoyment out of playing the game with my friends and family, but some of the joy was lost on having to explain it over and over and also having to go back to the instruction manual several times over.
It is also a bit out of date now, as I know some of the companies (Woolworths in particular) are no longer around in the capacity they used to be, so this is the only place I'd ever consider buying shares in some of them! It'll probably make you feel old as the kids start asking you what Woolworths was!
I used to really like this gaem, but I would say that this probably won't be quite the hit it was ten years ago as kids these days are usually more entertained by electronics and gadgets, so if you are able to get hold of one for a decent price you might be better keeping it in good condition and selling it to a board game collector!
Another shocker - I've looked online to see if this game is available, and it appears that you're most likely to find it either direct from a board game collector or from eBay, where one is currently being auctioned starting from £59.99!
Also published on Ciao