Monopoly Here and Now
by The Beast!
(Boardgame Beast HQ)
Monopoly Here and Now World Edition
Board game manufacturer:
Number of players:
Monopoly Here and Now World Edition is a really fun take on standard Monopoly, especially if you have never played with electronic banking before. Many of the world’s great cities are notable by their absence, which will raise eyebrows in certain corners of the globe!
The game and gameplay
It’s Monopoly, Jim, but not as you know it. The board, tokens and houses and hotels have all been given a funky makeover, with cities instead of streets and tens of thousands and millions changing hands instead of single dollars.
Electronic banking makes Monopoly Here and Now World Edition a really different experience. You each get a credit card at the start of the game with $15m worth of credit. Each time you make a purchase, pay a fine or rent to another player, you insert your card into the debit slot on the electronic bank and type in the amount. The bank debits your card.
If you receive money, the process is similar, except that you put your card into the credit slot on the bank. If the credit is coming direct from another player, their card goes into the debit slot and a few seconds and some helpful sound effects later, the transfer is made.
Say goodbye to dodgy hidden hundreds under the board and the common house rule where fines and taxes go in the middle, to be claimed by the next person landing on FREE PARKING.
The bank also has a say in property auctions. If a player lands on a space that he doesn’t want to pay full price for, the banker presses the DEAL button. Now a noise begins the property auction. Red lights puls around the DEAL button and the faster they move, the less time there is left. The winner is the highest bidder when the red lights stop pulsing and the siren sounds.The time available to deal varies from 13 to 50 seconds, so this places pressure on the players to strike a deal before time runs out on them.
The winner of the game is the person with the most money at the end of an agreed period. There are many ways to play Monopoly and this version is no different. The rule book helpfully suggests several short play options.Pros and cons
Monopoly Here and Now World Edition is, as you’d expect, beautifully executed. A lot of thought has gone into the components. Tokens are a random selection of 20 themed to each city on the board, while houses and hotels are a mix of landmarks and home styles from across the globe. Very neatly moulded and fun to look at and handle.
The tokens are a little cheap though, compared to the old style. They are slippery, some are top heavy and all have the look of something given a shiny coat of paint that is going to wear off in time rather than a classic piece of pewter (or more likely lead alloy in the days before lawsuits).
If you didn’t hear how they chose the cities for this game, it was a very interesting idea. Internet users voted for their favourite cities and the cities with the most votes were boosted up the rankings.
This results in a very strange configuration of cities, where the relatively thrifty Montreal and Riga occupy the Park Place and Boardwalk slots, while the likes of London and New York are way down the pecking order in the red zone. Tokyo, Athens and Barcelona are in the pale blue street and how’s this for a list of missing greats: Venice, Vienna, Moscow, Munich, San Francisco, Dubai, Washington DC, Buenos Aires…
It certainly gives you something to talk about between turns. And if you thought Gdynia was something women took smear tests to check for, then you’re in for a bit of a surprise. It may be the cheapest square on the board, but it’s in ahead of dozens of cities that people have actually not taken penicillin to treat.
If you loved handling paper money in other versions, the electronic banking is a bit sterile and will take some getting used to. More than ever, you have to trust the banker not to make “bank errors” while handling the cards, as a simple typo could swing an entire game. For two players, it’s almost too fiddly to keep passing the cards back and forth every turn. Plus you have to memorize how much money you have left on your card.
Some of the Community Chest and Chance? cards are a bit flaky, but they’re mostly fun and all the classics are still here, like Get out of jail free. At the end of the day, it’s Monopoly and whether you enjoy Monopoly Here and Now World Edition depends a lot on whether or not the world’s greatest trading game is your cup of tea.
Monopoly Here and Now World Edition is a fun edition of the classic game. I find the board a bit too busy and some of the art a little on the cheesy side, but if you are seeking a new dimension for your property trading game nights, this version might kick-start things for you.