by The Beast!
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Monopoly Town is a perfect board game for your preschool kids. It’s bright, fun, easy to learn and doesn’t last too long.
Monopoly Town effectively bridges the gap in the Monopoly market between Monopoly Junior and your youngest family members.
The game and gameplay
The board is set up in a circle, with a plastic track running around the edge. Mr. Monopoly, in a very fancy sports car, is your host during this game, which should last 15-25 minutes depending on how many players there are any how many of them need help.
Everybody starts with six $1 bills, a heap of ten green building blocks, four coloured rooves and one golden roof. You set Mr. Monopoly’s car at GO and take turns pressing his head.
He will tell you how many spaces to move him forward. He even counts them off as you push him along! Drive too fast and he’ll tell you to slow down and how far back to move him. When you arrive at the space on the track, you place one green block on the peg in front of the space.
If you complete the building, for example placing the second block on a space with the number two in front of it, then you add your coloured roof. This identifies the building as yours.
Future players landing on it will have to pay you one dollar per green block the building consists of. The values echo those from the real Monopoly game, with brown and pale blue being worth one block and the most expensive, green and dark blue, needing four blocks to complete.The exception is FREE PARKING, which in Monopoly Town, like the original, is a safe space, and CHANCE, where Mr. Monopoly will read out an instruction. These are simplified versions of the cards from the adult version, including street repairs and contest wins.
If you run out of blocks, you have to buy more from the bank. However, the money supply is fairly generous, because anytime anybody passes GO, everybody receives two more Dollars.
Play continues until somebody has used all four of their coloured rooves. Should they complete a fifth building, they add their golden roof to win the game. If this doesn’t happen, then the person with the most money when all the buildings are complete is the winner.
Pros and cons
Monopoly Town is a cute, well-made game with bright colours, snappy sound effects and an entertaining voice of Mr. Monopoly. The components are chunky and easy to handle and use. The car does sometimes get hung up on some of the joins in the track, but this is a minor point and can be fixed if you worry at it a bit.
Mr. Monopoly can get a bit confused about which space you’re supposed to be on, but he resets every time he passes GO, so the confusion doesn’t last for long.
The best part about Monopoly Town is it’s educational. The whole game is based on counting in units of one. Mr. Monopoly counts along with your kids, all the money is $1 bills, you need to recognise the number on the spaces and work out when you have completed a building. This is very good for developing math skills for preschool-age children.
Replay value will be quite strong until your child or children hit age six, when the simplicity of the challenge will no doubt turn them off. But by then, they’ll be onto Monopoly Junior.
Monopoly Town is a great little game. It’s been well designed, well made and can be a superb teaching tool for your little ones. And at the time of writing, the price of check price on Amazon is a bargain.