Monopoly (Board Game)
Monopoly is a board game created by Elizabeth Magie in 1903 and currently published by Hasbro. Magie's original game was called "The Landlord's Game," but her idea was stolen by Charles Darrow who created a derivative version called "Monopoly" which he sold to Parker Brothers in 1935. In the game, players roll dice to move their pawn around the board. Each space that they land on is either a property that can be purchased or a space that requires special rules (like drawing a card, paying taxes, etc.). Players begin with an equal amount of money which they can use to buy properties they land on. Once a player owns a property, any other players who land on that space must pay rent to the owner. There are a lot of business transactions that occur through the game, and properties are often sold to other players. The objective of the game is to drive all the other players bankrupt.
As a child, I found the game to be a lot of fun, but these days I don't care for it very much, partially due to the simplicity of the game, but mostly due to the fact that very few people actually know how to play the game properly, and, when one player is preyed on by another, it tends to greatly destabilize the game.
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- The game is good for teaching younger players how to handle money.
- When playing with people who properly use the rules, understand the value of each piece, and each play to win, the game usually doesn't take too long.
- The pewter game tokens add a lot of charm to the game.
- Graphically, the game is very attractive with colorful properties and cute cartoons.
- Due to the high level of randomness in the rules, games can take hours to play to completion.
- There are several ambiguous problems with the rules, especially when it comes to jail, that have existed for decades, but they remain uncorrected. If they are not decided before starting, they often create arguments later in the game.
- The income tax square slows down the game because of the amount of time it takes to calculate the total value of a player's assets.
- While the cards are generally pretty stable, some of them heavily unbalance the game like the "general repairs" and "street repairs" cards which often knock a winning player out of the running.
- Those players who go bankrupt often have to find ways to entertain themselves while the remaining players keep playing, often for hours, without them.
- Playing with players who favor another player and don't understand the value of properties is extremely frustrating. In one game I played, a player kept accepting terrible trades from another player who they viewed as their friend, giving that player a major boost. Nothing in the rules prevent this from happening.
- Since the vast majority of players don't actually follow the standard rules of Monopoly (fail to auction purchased properties), and create lots of house rules (Free Parking jackpot, double money landing on Go, rent-free alliances, no buying until one full circuit, etc.), the already long game is usually prolonged for hours.