Monopoly: Here and Now Edition is a whole new twist on the classic property trading game.
The back of the box poses the question, "What would the Monopoly game be like if it were invented today?" One could sum up most of the difference in one word: inflation. If you're used to playing the traditional game, you might feel a little woozy handling Monopoly money denominations that start at $100k and top out at $5 million. Players are no longer vying for control of Atlantic city but now the entire U.S., from sea to shining sea. Entry level properties like Baltic and Mediterranean Avenues, which sold for $60 back in the day, have been replaced by Texas Stadium in Dallas and Cleveland's Jacobs Field, each selling for $600,000. The most disturbing piece of property for sale in this game is the White House--one can only assume it's someone's subtle political humor. Railroads have been replaced by airports like O'Hare and JFK. Utilities have been supplanted by cell phone and Internet service. And, of course, the game pieces have all been updated: laptop, cell phone, hybrid car, commuter coffee mug, jumbo jet, super size fries. Gameplay, however, is still the same. The idea is to buy properties, build houses and hotels, and charge other players rent when they land on your land. Thankfully, transactions are still handled in cash and not by some convoluted electronic banking scheme. There's a lot of changes here that will make cynics and traditionalists sour. That's okay. The original game is still available to them. What's interesting about this edition is that it brings back a kind of jaw-dropping thrill--one that made this game a household word in the middle of the Great Depression, when people dreamt of becoming a millionaires. This game will let you dream of becoming a billionaire. --Porter B. Hall