Monopoly City Edition
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109 of 119 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2010
Disclaimer: I believe there are two types of Monopoly players. There are those who understand the balance of luck and strategy, who actively trade early in the game, desperately haggle for monopolies, aggressively but calculatingly build houses, greatly enjoy the game and finish almost every game around an hour and a half. Then there are those who refuse to trade, rolling around the board until all property have been purchased from the bank, slowly if ever build houses, don't particularly enjoy the game and *shockingly* can't ever seem to finish a game UNDER three hours. This review is primarily for the former group, if you are from the latter hopefully you will still find this review helpful, but please take things with a grain of salt.

A few thoughts:

1. The money conversion was a horrible failure. Monopoly "modernized" this version by inflating every $100 to equal $1,000,000. While players will adjust to the difference after several rounds there are lasting pitfalls, the money system doesn't seem to "connect" to anybody except Donald Trump and Oprah. For some reason calling rent for $240,000 doesn't connect with people the way calling for a legitimately large sum of $700 did in the original.

2. There is no need for cash management. Spend, spend, spend. Another monetary shortcoming of the game - you start with almost $4000 in original monopoly terms! While I know consumer Americans (I myself am one of them) don't like to be restrained by limits, and the creators wanted to allow players to begin to build immediately, this is an obscene amount of money and destroys the need to wisely manage you cash. In fact, they had to create a stupid randomizer to LIMIT how much property people could buy because money is no longer an object.

3. There is a fatal flaw with the game mechanics. In the game you have the option of building two different types of buildings that contribute to your property's rental value: industrial and residential. Industrial costs twice as much but has the *benefit* of being immune to the negative affects of bad buildings being built by another player in your property. Unfortunately these negative affects can be removed immediately for less than the price difference then ONE building block of residential versus industrial. In fact, the game has transformed all taxes into "industrial tax" which only affect those with industrial bulidings whih further discourages industrial blocks. Not surprisingly the industrial tax is more expensive than the cost of removing the negative buildings. Because both industrial and residential add equally to the rental value, there is literally no reason for anybody to ever build industrial.

4. Strategy is scaled WAY WAY down. While admittedly the original monopoly is no Puerto Rico or Axis and Allies, there was certainly a bit of calculated strategy. Not so in this game. Every turn you build the maximum allowed by the randomizer, you never run out of money and there are a host of crazy rules. There is a chance card which lets a player steal one property from other player, there is a chance card which forces a player to lose one piece of the property to the bank, the railroad system allows players to bounce around the board in an entirely unpredictable manner. While many feel these changes "freshen" up an aging game, I feel that they turn this into the game of LIFE where you spin the wheel until the end of the game and see who won.

5. Trading is greatly discouraged. Because players are allowed to build without monopolies they invest in their properties immediately. This discourages trading in two ways. First, this gives players the ability to win without a monopoly because even one single property can be built up to dangerously high rent levels. Second, as players invest in the properties right away this becomes an impediment towards trading as players are much less likely to trade away properties that already give them significant rent.

6. The game lasts much much longer than the original. Contrary to many reviews, this game will last forever. Admittedly, if you are the type of player described above who refuses to trade until all the properties are out, this game MAY be faster due to the numerous factors which distribute properties. However, for the vast majority of people the game is nightmarishly long, which is probably why the little randomizer gizmo has an internal timer which beeps to let you know you have played an hour and you should just pack up the game now because you will never finish... Because everybody builds on almost very turn (money is not a limiting factor - only the randomizer is) EVERY SINGLE TURN has wait while each player ponders his or her building options. In the original game, the first twenty turns of so were quick dice rolls followed by obtaining properties. Now from turn one, every player has to think about what to build and where, making EVERY single turn last about 5 minutes. This length issue is causes by several of the game problems described above. You have a massive amount of money which allows all players to build significant rentals, this leads to trading money back and forth but never really getting anywhere. Trading is greatly discouraged making monopolies even harder to trade for.

In conclusion, the "trading game" aspect of Monopoly has been neutered, the strategy has been eliminated, gimmick functions are fatally flawed, players are given gobs of cash to blow with no regards to planning, and the game lasts forever, despite the misguided attempts by Hasbro to shorten it. If you are the Monopoly player who just wants to roll the dice and be entertained by the outcome with no thought needed, MAYBE this is the game for you. If you are a Monopoly fan stay away, this game will frustrate and disappoint.
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53 of 59 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 21, 2009
after many years of Monopoly play, the old version has become tired & somewhat boring. this update & makeover makes Monopoly interesting again. at first, the new pieces seem complicated, but once u get into the game, u can see the basic Monopoly game in there.

the ability to buy houses/hotels which are now buildings & skyscrapers right away without owning the whole color group makes the game start up quicker. the new hazards & bonus buildings add an extra dimension for play as well as the new twist for railroads.

the new beeper/timer also adds fun & the expanded layout & taller buildings add a nice new visual element to gameplay.

my only gripe is the print on the deed & chance cards is rather small.

but overall, a great make over of an old favorite.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
Hasbro has spammed a new Monopoly game: Monopoly City. Much of what you love (or hate) about Monopoly is still here; but be warned: this is not traditional Monopoly. The game play and strategies are quite different.

The goal of Monopoly City is to make your opponents go bankrupt or to have the most money when a predetermined time has been reached. Thus, the objective of Monopoly City is identical to its predecessors. But how you achieve that goal will differ substantially.

Players can still pass "GO" to collect M2 million. {Yes, I said, "M"--that's the iconography for Monopoly money.} Also players can still go to jail or land on free parking. Landing on free parking gains you a "get-out-of-rent-free" card. The two tax spaces (luxury and income) have been replaced with two industry tax spaces. You wil have to pay if you own any industry buildings.

Note that the board is also different. Not just the names of the properties (which is really just chrome), but the center of the board is now a playable development region.

There are several color coded squares in the center of the board. This is where you will be placing your fancy-dancy new buildings.

And those new buildings are definitely fancy! To improve a lot, you will need to erect a few industrial or residential buildings.

The amount of rent a property is worth is based upon how many of these buildings you have developed. But there are more buildings than just the residential and industrial!

There are the hazard buildings.

Placing a hazard on a development area renders the residential buildings to be worthless. Who wants to live next to a dump or a prison? You can protect your investments by building special buildings.

Once you've built a school, park, wind farm or water tower, that development zone is protected from hazards!

The buildings have different shapes and sizes. Some buildings are worth 1 block, 2 blocks or more. The value of a property is based upon how many blocks are developed, up to 8.

Players can also double their rent by buying skyscrappers or the Monopoly Tower. You are allowed to build in any property without the normal limitation of having to own all the properties of that color. But if you happen to get all the properties of a color, you can buy a skyscrapper to double your rent. If you get all the properties in two colors, you can buy the Monopoly Tower to double your rent for all your properties. There is only one Monopoly Tower so you will have to hurry!

So far so good...

The action in the center of the board looks interesting. You must purchase property then develop it with your choice of buildings. But the long term planning has been sucked out by the game desinger(s)! You may only benefit from having 8 or fewer buildings in a district. And the skyscrappers, hazards and special buildings DO NOT COUNT TOWARDS THIS! Thus, you can have 8 industrial buildings, a dump and a skyscrapper and be good-to-go. There is no need to plan your developments long term. There is no need to decide where to place the buildings. Some buildings are shaped differentl so they can fit on the squares: some are L shaped, some are square, etc. But this doesn't matter! You can simply move them around within a distict if the district gets too crowded. The different industrial and residential buildings are simply "denominations" not really long term investments. You may swap them out for different values at any time!

The board layout is completely counterintuitive.

Where your token lands could be a long way from where you have to look to see if the property is developed. This can cause a great deal of confusion. Before, when you landed on a property, you could instantly see the 3 houses on it; now you have to see the identification color and number and locate that district in the center of the board. I like the districts, don't get me wrong. But the board layout could be more robust. For example. the spaces on the board where your token travels needn't be the same uniform size. You could redesign the board so that the districts are intuitively located next to where your token lands and thus ending any confusion.

Then there's the trading unit.

Has there ever been a more useless piece of chrome? The trading unit requires two AAA batteries WHICH ARE NOT INCLUDED! The purpose of the trading unit? To randomly determine how many buildings you are allowed to build. If the buzzer lands on 1, 2 or 3, you may build that many buildings. If the buzzer lands on "railroad", you may build a railroad stop (which allows you to move between other railroad stops, skirting the need to pay your opponents rent). The trading unit also acts as a timer for auctions or for game end. I really see no usefulness in this trading unit. Maybe I'm blind...

The pieces are pretty to look at. They are made of a styrene plastic that can take some abuse. The board is quite colorful and is better than most Hasbro games (but inferior to Rio Grande or FFG games). The game play is still Monopoly-istic enough to not reach serious gaming tables. The bits are nice! It would be cool if someone made their own Euro-style rules for this!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2009
Our family loves regular Monopoly. We don't even mind how long it usually takes because we have a dedicated game table and can leave a game out for days. We were intrigued by Monopoly City. We've played it several times now. It took two "practice games" before we felt comfortable with the rules - most of which are an improvement over the regular game. City moves much quicker than the regular version. We've just completed a 3.5 hour game which ended when only one player was liquid. That's pretty quick, for Monopoly.

However, some tweaks are still needed. City includes new pieces, called Bonus Buildings (red pieces) and Hazards (black pieces - seriously, must the "bad" pieces be black?) that impact the value of one's buildings and rent charged. There are two additional pieces (stadiums and railroads) that are also red. IMO, they should have been a different color as it does get confusing (the railroad, the bonus wind farm and bonus water tower are very similar in shape and identical in size and color but only two of them impact rent). Also, in City, improvements are built in the middle of the board so players must roll the dice outside of the board. Ok, fine, we could manage that - but some of our taller buildings still toppled from time to time. Also, the properties are located in the middle of the board. In some occasions they are not close to their corresponding place on the outside of the board. This will take some adjustment on our part.

We also find the electronic buzzer (used to determine how many properties one may buy on one's turn and to time auctions) to be annoying.

We are positive on the game but feel that these issues will be noted quickly and a new version of City will be out soon!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2009
Even though this only a 2-star review, I still think this game is worth considering. It's an interesting, if not well thought-out, update of the classic Monopoly game.

Glaring problem #1: As the front of the box exclaims, there are 80 3-D buildings included with the game. Those buildings are easily toppled and moved. On one occasion, we had to abandon a game because the board got knocked a couple inches and we couldn't reconstruct where everything was supposed to be. The pieces should snap into the board somehow.

Glaring problem #2: The buildings are in the center of the board in numbered, colored areas. The actual property space on the gameboard has name, color and number. But, the property cards have only the color and name. Evaluating your properties is a multistep process, look at your card, find that space on the board to get the district number, find that district number and color in the center. And the farther you get into the game, the longer this process takes. Do yourself a favor if you get this game - take a Sharpie and write the district numbers on all the cards.

Glaring problem #3: You can build (black) hazards and (red) bonus buildings in your and other players' districts. You can also build a (red) stadium under certain conditions. But, despite being red, the stadium does NOT function as a bonus building. Did they really think that was never going to be confusing? Railroads are also red but they are not supposed to play in the same place on the board as the other pieces. Too expensive to include one more color I guess.

Glaring problem #4: There are red, black, blue and grey pieces plus skyscrapers, property cards and 7 different denominations of currency. However, the plastic insert tray does not give adequate bins and slots to organize everything. If you get appointed the banker, count on it being a real hassle.

We played the game 4 times to discover these problems. Many of the other reviews mention these same problems. It makes me wonder whether Hasbro did any consumer testing and if so why they ignored it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2011
i have searched every where for the usual monopoly , but my search has stopped when i saw this one
it has all the great features that the old classic monopoly has , plus new features to enjoy the game really more

pro's
1) new game style and look
2) new features such as the skyscrapers , hazard buildings , bounus buildings , deal/build electronic button
3) now you can finish this game in a maximum of 3 hours instead of the very long classic one

con's
1) i still think if they just change the money quality it will be a nice touch
2) the buildings are still plastic , even though they are designed well they could've made the skyscrapers like the rest of the buildings ( they are plastic and wrapped in paper to show the design of a skyscrapers , instead of molded into the shape and look of one )

final thought's

i really love this new version over the old classic one , and every one who wants some change in his - monopoly life - he should consider this as a great option , its fun and its for the whole family ( considering im 21 and i still play it )

hope this helps
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2010
Based on reviews I bought this version of Monopoly. I have a 10 year old who loves playing the classic version. However I found that it was more complicated than the old style monopoly, takes longer to play.As mentioned before the layout where you put the buildings etc on areas of the board that are not neccessarily near the district you own makes it very counter intuitive. We find the fun of monopoly is having to work towards building hotels and collecting sets of street cards.

I prefer the old style monopoly, it's more straight forward, it's still a lot of fun even if you have played it a lot of times before. Can't really add much more than what other reviewers have said.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2010
This version of Monopoly uses a timer to limit game play time. Brilliant move!

Endless play-time to finish the original version of the game had discouraged me from playing; 3+ hours on one game was way too long for me. The timer limits you to one hour and gives you warnings when you are getting close. I don't dread the thought of starting a game anymore.

Thanks to the manufacturers for making Monopoly enjoyable for me again!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2013
Monopoly City has a more complex strategy and game play than the original. One major flaw is the ambiguity in the rules. It's like they made it but never played it to realize the issues. I have included some house rules we came up with to eliminate some of the issues with the rules and make game play as fair as possible. Overall awesome games just make sure you have 3 hours or more to play.

Monopoly City House rules (Rev - 2 Jan 2012)
Stadiums - They are not considered bonus buildings and do not protect the property from hazards. The owner of the district that contains a stadium gets the additional salary when they pass GO in the clock wise direction.

Skyscraper & Monopoly Tower - If you have a skyscraper and the Monopoly Tower you cannot double the rent twice.

Railroads - You must place a railroad on your turn if supply is available. Available being that they have not yet been placed. Only one Railroad can be placed per district. Taking a ride on a rail road does not automatically allow you to pass GO, however you can use the railroad to position directly before GO. When using the railroad to move from one district to another, you must pay rent, if owed, on the source district as well as the destination district, if owned. Railroads do not count towards the 8 block maximum. You cannot building a train station on your current turn and used the train station you just built. You can however use any other train station that was built by you or other players on previous turns as rules permit.

Bonus / Hazard building - Only one bonus/hazard building can be placed per property. In the event of an earthquake only one bonus building is removed. This also applies to hazards.

With only 2 players properties cannot be auctioned. The two auction spaces are the same effect of just visiting the jail and do not effect play.

Passing Go Backwards - Money can only be collected when passing the normal clockwise position, however if a player went backwards through Go, if on the next turn they pass GO in the normal clockwise position they will be paid.

Inheritance Tax - Only paid if there is an un-owned district available to buy.

Skyscrapers and Monopoly Tower - If a district is taken or removed through a chance card and a skyscraper or monopoly tower existing on one of district sets then it remains. If the Monopoly tower is taken the new owner gets the benefits and the previous owner loses the benefit. For a skyscraper the building remains and benefits all the colored districts on it. The skyscraper bonus applies to all districts in the same color group, regardless of the ownership of the district.

Mortgage - Mortgage Value is the value excluding the monopoly tower (this is to prevent confusion)

Repossession Chance Card - If a property is reposed and has a train station on it the train station (Rail Road) IS reposed with the repossession chance card. If the property has a stadium, the stadium remains on the property as bank owned property. If the property is later purchased by landing on it the stadium comes with the property at no additional charge.

Steal - If a property is stolen though the chance card and is mortgaged the new owner takes over the mortgage.

Player is bankrupt with Mortgaged properties - When a player bankrupts another and takes over all of their property, mortgaged properties are?????
They shouldn't have to pay full amount but they should not get more than was owed either.
Maybe pay the land value only with debt forgiven up to amount owed.
Maybe pay 50% of value with debt forgive up to amount owed.

Mortgage and un-mortgaging properties in same turn for the purpose of having the mortgaged properties in front of a players next turn.
If this becomes an issue new rule that you cannot mortgage and un-mortgage properties on the same turn.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2011
My friends and I have played this on multiple occasions. So far I think we all agree it's much more fun than the regular monopoly. It is really nothing like monopoly other than the look and that you are charging rent for properties. It has an obvious learning curve but after playing through a game you'll have it down.

It says for 8+. I think it's a little complicated for an 8yr old to pick up and really enjoy.

The only two problems I found with it are:
1) There aren't enough buildings to have a really long drawn out mega-game. Right when it's nearing the end you run out of buildings and whoever is in the lead pretty much wins by default because you can never catch up. I'd like to get my hands on a second set to beef up the numbers.

2) The auctions are ridiculous. Waiting until the buzzer sounds to scream out numbers as fast as possible isn't very fun. We scrapped the gizmo auctions and just do silent bids. Get 2 to 3 turns to write a price on a sheet of paper. At the end whoever has the highest number gets it.

Other than that, it's a great game.

EDIT: Apparently you can order replacement parts directly from hasbro. [...]
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