There were many hot and summery days in Billings, Montana that Stacey and I played Monopoly. We played to the bitter end and the two of us learned how to master the game. The two of us played the “Money in the Pot” version of the game and Free Parking meant a huge paycheck if we were lucky enough to land on it.
For the last few years, I have become disgusted with the Monopoly over-saturation. At first, I enjoyed the different versions of Monopoly that had been licensed. I was excited about the Salt Lake City version of the game until I realized that it was just a huge advertisement for local businesses instead of an homage to my hometown. My breaking point was when I saw the SpongeBob Squarepants version of the game.
Going in a completely DIFFERENT direction, however, is Mega-Monopoly.
Phil E. Orbanes, the creator of Mega-Monopoly, describes what he did to enhance the game:
He talked about adding boards together, but he wanted something better:
Making the game play richer proved easy — a bigger board with 12 more spaces, including 8 new properties (one added to each existing group). Skyscrapers — to add a third level of buildings, plus Depots to improve the Railroads. $1000 bills–to help pay for the new properties and buildings. So far so good. But how to make the game play faster, to everyone’s satisfaction?
The Speed Die isn’t a new feature. It was a primary addition to the Monopoly: Speed Die Edition:
The Speed Die includes three normal sides, featuring 1, 2, or 3 pips. Rolling one of these merely enhances your regular move. But two of its other sides feature an image of Mr. Monopoly. Roll one and you not only make a normal move, you get a bonus move to the next unowned property, which you may buy. However, after no properties remain in the bank, Mr. Monopoly requires you to move ahead to the next rent owed. Ouch!
While using the Speed Die, you can earn Bus Tickets:
If you roll the Bus (on the final side of the die), you earn a Bus Ticket. You can use this on a future turn in lieu of rolling the three dice. Do so, you move ahead to any space on the same side of the game board. You can horde Bus Tickets if you like, but there is a risk, because a few of them have the message “All Tickets Expire Except This One.” This means all tickets owned by players are surrendered to the bank. And once a Bus Ticket is in the bank, it is out of play (there are 16 in all).
With the addition of these features that speed up the game, you should be able to finish a round of Monopoly in 60 to 80 minutes.
Hasbro has been tweaking Monopoly for years, trying to make another hit. Many of these tweaks, like the Monopoly: Speed Die Edition, are no longer available, so if Mega-Monopoly sounds interesting to you, you should buy it now before Hasbro pulls the plug.