Earlier this decade, back when the Lord of the Rings was the biggest thing in cinema, a lot of people decided to cash in on this, and who better to take advantage of the massive world of Middle Earth but the Parker Bros company. The Lord of the Rings Monopoly is, like every other Monopoly game, the same "go around the board and buy property" kind of game, but, you know, with the added gimmick of being Lord of the Rings.
And, you know what, it's actually really cool. You get to play as one of nine characters from the film, with your playable pieces being made of pretty good quality die cast metal. In fact, each one is really well made and almost worth the price of the game. It also comes with a replica of the One Ring, which can be used for playing a special LotR-rules version of the game. Although personally I like to wear the ring on a necklace and pay the game ordinarily.
The game is played the same, otherwise, and the board features all the best places of Middle Earth which Frodo and his Fellowship travel to, starting at the old Shire and ending in Mordor and Mount Doom.
You play for power in this game, and not for money, and so you pay in power and receive power, which seems a bit strange but it's the sort of thing you get to. Also among the changes is the inclusion of strongholds and towers instead of houses and hotels, and the replacement of chance and community chest with Events and People. The stations are now different horses named in the story. I like how everything has been changed though, to accomodate the film (with instructions like "Fly, you fool! Return to Go" and the replacement of the taxes with being spotted by the Eye of Sauron), but the corner squares (Go to Jail, and Free Parking) remain the same. I guess it helps keep the old Monopoly charm.
For what it is, though, the LotR version of the game is great fun and really gets into the spirit of the books and films.
I absolutely love Monopoly and nobody else in the house does. The last christmas my mum bought my brother the Lord Of The Rings Edition. My brother does like this version so I get to play it alot. Unfortunately when we moved house, the instructions and money were lost so I spent ages making new money (coloured paper and felt tips). The experience is therefore not as good any more but I still love it.
The design on the box makes you think the game is for adults more than children.It says ages 8 years- adult which makes sense. It has a map of middle earth on it with a giant ring in the middle. I was quite impressed with the design.
The six character tokens are Aragorn, Frodo, Gimli, Galadriel, Gandalf and Legolas. We usually argue over who can be Gandalf. I think Galadriel was only put in there so there is a woman choice. The models are made of pewter but are not as strong as you would think. Our Gimli model had two axes and now only has one as it snapped off! The models look quite good compared to the characters in the film. Gandalf looks the best though.
The board has a map of middle earth in the centre which looks brilliant. It has a space for the People cards and the Events cards. The first square is Bag End and the last square is Mount Doom. We always try to be the first to buy Mount Doom! I like the way the events and people squares follow the storyline. The Events square between Bag End and Farmer Maggots has a picture of Gandalf and Frodo in Bilbo's house. The People square between The Gap Of Rohan and Helms Deep has a picture of Aragorn in battle. The cards themselves relate to the storyline. For example "Hide yourself in an army of orcs, Gain £10". This makes the game more fun as it ties into the film.
The strongholds and fortresses are also Lord Of The Rings themed. The strongholds look like little castles. I can't think of what these look like out of Lord Of The Rings but they do fit the theme. The fortresses look like Minas Tirith and look very cool on the little Bag End Square! The strongholds can get annoying in this game as only three seem to fit in the little rectangle. When you buy your fourth it gets very cramped. Also, when our cat decides to play god and walk across the board they end up everywhere! I think the notes look great. They look very elvish with leaves and vines all over them. They come in 1s, 5s, 10s, 20s, 50s, 100s and 500s.
We play this game a lot but it can get boring if it goes on for too long. You end up trying to get rid of all your money. The game can go on for hours.
The houses are now strongholds and the hotels are fortresses. The properties are all locations taken from Lord of the Rings, which now runs from Bag End to Mount Doom. The Chance and Community chest cards are now People and Events, no more bank errors in your favour, instead the cards are inspired by events from the story. There is also a special playing piece to represent the Ring, which moves around the board until it reaches Mount Doom and the games ends.