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Monday, 14 November 2011

Monopoly Goes High Tech!


Once upon a time there was a board game called Monopoly.  Players were represented by silver figures such as a shaggy dog or an old boot.  You could land on the Old Kent Road and pay your rent and still get change from a fiver!  Oh, how times have changed!


The new Monopoly Electronic Banking (London Edition) has brought the traditional game bang up to date with super high tech banking that deals in millions.  Gone are the old playing pieces...in their place are a  mobile phone, a burger, a Racing car, a Skate Board, an Aeroplane and a Skate.  Iconic items from the modern era.


The board itself has had a facelift and now has iconic city landmarks and locations.  Out are the Utilities...in are the airports.  Goodbye Mayfair...hello Kensington Palace.


The aim of the game is exactly the same as you go around the board buying properties, acquiring houses and hotels (now high rise buildings) and making as much cash as you can.  The amounts however are now all in hundreds of thousands and millions...we're talking big bucks!  To accommodate the huge sums of money in play, the traditional banker has been replaced with an electronic banking device and swipe cards.


All transactions are now by card...so paying rent, tax or fines, buying properties or collecting money from other players, are all done by the touch of a button.  Each transaction gives an electronic beep (satisfying or annoying?)  Not dealing with cash is on one hand a good thing and saves a lot of faffing around as notes are lost on the floor, pinched from other piles or disappearing under the game board.  Having no physical cash is easier, quicker and stops someone having to do all the maths!  It ups the pace of the game making it much more fast moving. But it also marks the end of something that was so integral to the traditional game of Monopoly, so it is a little bit sad.  But like everything, things move on and this version is much more relevant to a modern audience.


Chance and Community Chest cards and Property cards are still used, but the content is quite different.  Instead of winning £25 in a beauty contest, you are sued for £500K or you get a £2m West End contract.


The Free Parking, Jail, Go To Jail and Pass Go squares are still the same and I'm glad they kept some of the traditional elements making it instantly recognisable as Monopoly...only a brand new version of a timeless classic.


This family game is now bang up to date and still a lot of fun for the family. The kids enjoyed being 'millionaires' and although I missed the old boot, the new format works really well!  Great for Christmas!

3 comments:

  1. You say 'relevant to a modern audience' but I can't help but think 'dumbed down'. One of the great things about Monopoly was that it taught some maths skills.

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  2. I'd still prefer to play traditional red box Monopoly personally, it's a part of my history. Instead of teaching maths and money handling skills, kids are now learning how to think nothing of blowing thousands on a credit card. Definitely (and unfortunately) very relevant to a modern audience!

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  3. I still think the original game has a lot to offer - however, things change and the family may prefer something more sophisticated - it will be interesting to see if the electronic version supersuedes the original version.

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