Boo-Opoly board game
by The Beast!
(Boardgame Beast HQ)
Board game manufacturer:
Late For The Sky
Number of players:
Boo-Opoly is a fun Halloween-themed board game based on the classic Monopoly. It's different enough to be funny at times and some of the art and writing is cute.
The game and gameplay
It's Halloween (or any non-seasonal scary evening) and you have to guide one of six suitably spooky metal tokens around a familiar, yet different-seeming board full of properties.
Two dice are thrown and you move the corresponding number of squares around the outside of the board.
In the Boo-Opoly board game, you have to become a landlord and purchase properties, which like Monopoly are themed into colour sets and get more expensive as you move around the board towards Dark Place and Gourd Walk.
Every time you land on a property, you may opt to buy it, or refuse, at which point an auction begins among the other players. The highest bidder becomes the new owner.
The two card piles become Trick and Treat for the Boo-Opoly board game. Some of the cards have some cringe-making puns and jokes on them, but it's all suitable to the theme of the game.
The flow of money to and fro continues, with fines being paid into the centre of the board. Whoever lands on FREE CANDY scoops the pot (this is interesting, because the FREE PARKING unofficial rule has become official in Boo-Opoly).
If a player owns a set of cards, the basic rent for those cards is doubled. The owner may now build haunted houses on the properties or, if upgrading from four haunted houses, buy a full moon (the equivalent of hotels in Monopoly). Landing on a bunch of houses or a full moon is seriously painful to the wallet of the unlucky player and great news for the owning landlord.
Running short of cash forces a player to consider mortgaging their properties back to the bank, selling haunted houses or full moons for half their original purchase price, or having to do a deal and giving property in lieu of debts owed.
The winner is the person who bankrupts the other players.
The manufacturer, Late For The Sky, has dozens of similar spin-offs from Monopoly on themes, including Horse-Opoly, Dino-opoly and Canadian Brew-Opoly.
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Pros and cons
For a life-long Monopoly games fan like myself, playing a twisted version of the game just doesn't feel quite right. I found myself comparing every detail of the Boo-Opoly board game to the game I have played hundreds of times.
The tokens are cute, but not quite big enough. The board, while attractive, with some fine artwork, is rather busy and it's hard to differentiate between some of the colours of the streets.
Then I began setting aside the comparisons and just enjoyed it for what it is, a good, amusing take on the classic game. Some of the cards are very nasty (one allows you to 'disappear' your opponent and move them to ANY square; another moves you back the number of spots on one die roll), others are amusing.
The designers did a very nice job of the artwork. Everything's suitably creepy and dark, though as previously noted, not everything stands out clearly as a consequence.
The components are of good quality, though the full moons look cheap and a bit unstable: perhaps a creepy castle would have made a more solid and substantial upgrade from four haunted houses?
You'll get tired of the jokes before you finish the first game, though a memory for detail will see you quids in the next time you play.
See our Halloween game ideas page for more great spooky games!
Boo-Opoly is a good, themed family board game that will cheer up your Halloween party. It's not really fair to mark it too highly, as it's obviously based on one of the greatest games ever created and owes too much to Monopoly to be considered really original. But it will pass a few candy-fuelled hours and the theme will probably appeal more to younger members of the family than the rather staid original game did.