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Monopoly Empire Game
Price:$24.74+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon September 1, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is such a cool game! It's a scaled down version of Monopoly, and each game only takes 5-15 minutes to play, instead of the hours of a regular Monopoly game. So you'll hear something with this Monopoly game that you won't hear with any other Monopoly game, which is "Want to play again?"

It still captures the essence of Monopoly, so it still feels like a Monopoly game. It's more of a social game than a strategy game, but that will make it more fun for more people.

They've taken out the property cards, and replaced them with little tiles and a tower. The number of tiles, not the original value of the tile, determine how much that you pay when you land on someone else's property. The old Community Chest cards are now Empire cards, and you get a couple to hold on to at the start of the game, and you can use these strategically, and do various combos with them.

It's very fun, and I liked it a lot. If you get just one game this year, this should be the game you pick.

Pros:
+Excellent instructions
+Extremely well designed
+Has cool brands like Fender, Nerf, and Coke
+Quick version of Monopoly (I never thought I'd ever use quick and Monopoly in the same sentence.)
+They did an awesome job of play testing this game. It's very balanced and very fun. Whoever worked on the team that made this game should be promoted.

Cons:
-Less strategy than regular Monopoly, but it is more fun for more people
-Because it's subsidized by advertising, they really should be giving this game away. But, the advertising isn't as annoying as in other games.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Monopoly Empire is faster and easier to play than the original but loses most of the strategic game play of the original. A fun addition to our Monopoly collection, Monopoly Empire earns a regular rotation in our family game night lineup that includes Clue, Payday, Uno, Battleship, Risk and Stratego.

PROS

* Fast Game: Our family of four finishes a game in less about 30 minutes, a huge difference from the original edition. We can play multiple games during one family game night.

* No Bankruptcy: This version removes the brutally slow attrition from the original Monopoly, so no one sits on the sidelines waiting for the game to end.

* Player Power: This version makes it easier to break up and move opponent's monopolies and topmost billboard. There are three methods to prevent or steal a monopoly: the "sneaky swapper" side of one die, the empire cards (each player gets two at the start of the game), and chance cards.

* Brand Recognition: My sons (ages 10 and 9) recognized more than half of the brands instantly. My oldest son chose the game controller token and triumphantly threw his arms in the air when he landed on the Xbox brand and added it to his tower.

CONS

* Crammed Board: With the game board covered with four towers, four game tokens, billboard tiles, and empire and chance cards there's no room to roll the dice without knocking something over. We finally settled on rolling in the box lid after scattering billboard tiles and tokens around the board.

* More Luck, Less Strategy: With so many wild cards built into this version, there's far less strategy involved in the game play. For example, one empire card is labeled "Stock Market Crash: Take the topmost billboard from all players' towers and return them to the board." When you are one billboard away from winning the game, this card's appearance is as aggravating as someone slamming their fist into the game board.

Monopoly Empire reminds me of Sid Sackson's board game "Acquire." Monopoly Empire is much simpler as Acquire is recommended for ages 12 and up. The object of Acquire was to earn money as you developed and merged hotel chains, the names of which changed with each new edition.

This brings me to the most controversial issue surrounding Monopoly Empire: parent groups concerned about exposure to corporate brands. My sense is that the Luxor and Continental hotel chain brands in Acquire (first released in 1962) didn't have a detrimental effect on kids, so why expect exposure to the jetBlue and Ducati brands would cause damage today? Actually, my sons asked some really great questions about the game's assertion that it includes the world's greatest brands: "Where's Honda?" and "How come there aren't more Japanese brands?" After several games neither of my sons requested a trip to McDonald's or a Coca-Cola to drink, much less access to Yahoo.

On a side note, I thought the description for the Paramount token was hilarious because I can't imagine an 8-year old reading it: "Based in Hollywood, Paramount Pictures is a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. For over 100 years, the Paramount studio has entertained audiences around the world with award winning classic films such as "The Godfather," "Sunset Boulevard," "Breakfast at Tiffany's," "Grease," "Top Gun," and "Forrest Gump" as well as popular movie franchises including "Transformers" and "Mission Impossible."

I don't think I could get my sons to watch "Breakfast at Tiffany's" if I tied them down to a chair.

Rating: Four stars

DISCLOSURE: My review is courtesy of the Amazon Vine program, which provides products at no cost in exchange for my independent and unbiased feedback. My objective is to test the product and provide a helpful review that improves your shopping experience. This review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf.

ADDENDUM: We are a Monopoly family. My wife and our two sons, Kai (age 10) and Kou (age 9), regularly have a family game night and play board games.

We own four other versions of Monopoly:

Monopoly -- The Classic Edition
Monopoly Family Championship -- This version provides the comfortable feel of the original game in addition to a rulebook, speed die and game pieces that allow you to play a faster game.
The Muppets Monopoly -- We purchased this version after the 2011 movie release of The Muppets. This game plays exactly like the classic version but the novelty of swapping out Boardwalk and Park Place for Kermit the Frog's Swamp and Miss Piggy's Dressing Room wears off quickly.
Monopoly the Android App -- This would be handy in waiting rooms for doctors, dentists and opticians if not for the loaded dice afforded to the AI and the need for bug fixes. I don't recommend buying this version.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 4, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
What are the main problems with Monopoly? Well, really, there's only one: that the game takes so. Freaking. Long. With classic Monopoly you could wind up spending hours upon hours, or even days, trying to finish a game. How do you solve this?

Say HELLO to Monopoly Empire!

The biggest difference between Monopoly Empire and Classic Monopoly is that you aren't playing to earn property, you're playing to earn brands. What type of brands? Anything from XBox to Spotify to Coke and everything in between. Also, unlike Classic Monopoly if you land on a space that someone owns you do not pay them the price of the space - instead you pay them the price of their "tower".

The tower attaches to the board and is where you put your brand billboards. The first person to get enough billboards to get to the top of the tower wins! It's as simple as that!

Empire cards, and chance cards, as well as a few spots on the board, can definitely screw you up, but even if you hit tons of glitches the longest this game has ever taken us is around 30 minutes. We even had one game end in under 10 minutes!! yet while the gameplay can be short, that doesn't make it any less enjoyable! In fact we love this game so much we played it almost every night for 2 weeks straight!

The only glitch we found is that the towers don't attach very well to the board. It's very easy to knock a tower free, especially if you have a pre-teen who likes to chuck the dice rather than gently toss them. But all in all this is definitely a fantastic update to the Monopoly collection of games and is something that I see being extremely popular both with Monopoly purists as well as newcomers to the game!
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2013
Disappointed. The "tower" drives the game, unlike property values in traditional Monopoly. This means that all brands (properties) on one side of a board are equal, despite their variation in price. Furthermore, it appears that rent for any brand is set by whatever height your tower is at...or maybe it's whatever point that brand is at (the instructions are unclear). This means that a high-priced brand will /may fetch either the same or less rent then a low-priced brand. In the end, the tower has removed all meaning of brand (property) price, and this game is primarily a game of luck rather than strategy. With two people, the game takes about 15 minutes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The first time my wife, daughter (10) and I sat down to play this version of Monopoly, we were curious how it would measure up to the original. On the plus side, games are MUCH shorter. One player can easily dominate with the luck of the dice roll and a few well-placed Empire card uses (these replaced "community chest" cards and you get two to keep secret from others until the timing is right to drop a load of hurt).

That gets me to the minus side. Other than blatantly being a giant commercial barrage of brands that likely paid Hasbro a handsome sum to be included (some companies were already owned by Hasbro), some of the things you can do to other players is really brutal. It's okay if you're playing with teens or adults, but for younger kids, it can hurt their feelings easily. One moment, you could be half-way to building your "tower" of brands by buying them up. The next minute, you're broke and another player drew a "Empire card" that allowed them to take your most prized brand…essentially causing you to swap places with the lowly of players.

If you're into that kind of thing rather than strategizing, this game is for you. There are no hotels or motels to increase the value of a particular property. Instead, it's all about the value of your tower full of billboards. In some cases, other players have to pay you the value of your tower (which can bankrupt you in one turn). Fortunately, the rules keep players in the game, as losing all your money doesn't kick you out. You can just give up a billboard to someone when you run out of money. And if you run out of money and billboards, you still are in the game (instructions say, "you've been through enough already"). Of course, with nothing, means you can't really earn anything, so I don't see the point to that.

I wanted to give this 4+ stars. But the soul and strategy of Monopoly is lost here. In its place is a corporate money-grab and a luck-driven, ruthless behavior encouraging board game.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2013
you could complain that this game goes really fast, but personally I found that a huge relief. My nephew is 7 yrs old and there is no way he would complete a full monopoly game (even if he wasn't crushed by losing). The instructions are very well laid out for ease of understanding the first time you play, with helpful boxes and picture symbols. If you're looking for an introduction to monopoly (the spirit, many rules are the same, 3 doubles sends you to jail, collect money when you pass go, chance cards) that won't bore or frustrate kids, this is a good game. tokens are very sturdy heavy metal painted gold.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2013
The "tower" drives the game, unlike property values in traditional Monopoly. This means that all brands (properties) on one side of a board are equal - despite their variation in price - because they are all exactly the same size. Furthermore, it appears that rent for any brand is set by whatever height your tower is at...or maybe it's whatever point that brand is at (the instructions are unclear). This means that a high-priced brand will /may fetch either the same or less rent then a low-priced brand. In the end, the tower has removed all meaning of brand (property) price, and this game is primarily a game of luck rather than strategy. With two people, the game takes about 15 minutes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 27, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It's a new age, kids. Famous landmarks are not what we play with these days, it's corporate logos! I recognize the appeal of this to this new generation where almost everything has to have a logo, but somewhere deep down, I don't like it.

OK,editorial over.

What I noted as my grandson (7) and his uncle, aunt, and dad played while I watched the baby, talked to his mom and other uncle and Papa, and made dinner:
*The packaging is extremely effective - eye catching and makes you want to open it. The grandson was immediately curious and wanted to play. Well done.
* The box seems pretty sturdy which, if this becomes a family favorite, will be important. Inside is a sturdy plastic tray (no more cardboard!) to hold all the necessary pieces, each in their own spot. There is also a rack for the money (no denomination smaller than $50. It's the 21st century!)
* The play pieces are "gold" and there are no shoes or little cars. You'll recognize things like a bottle of
Coke, a bag of McDonald's fries, a game controller.
* The "object" of the game is a bit different, although anyone who has played Monopoly will recognize immediately how it's done. And the strategy of play seems similar (buy, buy, buy and find ways to sabotage your opponent.) But there are no more houses and hotels. Now its billboards!
* Play is faster. Gone are the days, I believe, of endless Monopoly marathons. In this day and age, that's probably a wise decision on their part.
* It looked like a fun game; the participants were engaged and having lively exchanges with lots of laughter... and groaning.

One BIG CON: Only four can play at a time!! Oddly enough, we had just been playing Monopoly when the family was at the beach in July and everyone who wanted to play, could play - at one point there were 7 of them! I think this limitation is too bad. However, it occurs to me that, if this does become a family fave, I could get a second game and perhaps combine the pieces, cards and money. I'll have to think about that... although I suppose there is still old-fashioned Monopoly! It's still fun and can be had for just 8 bucks.

Note to Amazon: I think it's a shame that we can't upload photos with notes any more. I've got a great picture of three adults and a child having fun with this game and showing it in actual use.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 25, 2013
I grew up playing classic Monopoly with my parents and, like most people, have owned several "versions" of this timeless game. When I received Monopoly Empire as a Christmas gift, we were all ramped up to play with the modern "properties" (now major brands in American culture) and promptly set up the board on Christmas day. There are several new twists, such as the inclusion of a tower of wealth (the brands you own) and a wild card dice roll that gives players a chance trade properties. The excitement ended pretty quickly, however, when it became apparent that the game neither rewards skill nor cunning. Its really just a game of plain old roll of the dice luck. At the end of the day, the pure luck component isn't the absolute deal breaker for Monopoly Empire. Rather, the real problem I have is the fact that they have stripped the game of every bit of educational and strategic value. Even the money is fouled up! For example: the dollar bills read "50", "100" and "500" but they actually stand for $50,000 or "50k" as the game board indicates and so on. You start out with so much money, that theres almost no reason to not buy absolutely anything you land on. Within 10-15 minutes, the game is over and the person who went first or got the best rolls wins. We also had problems with the fact that you can just pillage through the board with reckless abandon... you can't lose if you go bankrupt and you can't lose if you can't play another player rent. What kind of game has Monopoly become?! I just can't recommend this-- not for kids, not for adults and most definitely not for anyone who wants to sit down for a nice game of Monopoly. Two thumbs down.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
. . . as is my brother, and we both have a number of iterations of the game. This one looks flashy and "hip" (and, I suppose in one sense, it is) but I note a number of detractions. For one thing, only 2-4 players can play the game rather than 6 (or even more, in some editions.) For another, at least to my mind, the game has been "dumbed-down". There is more luck involved than merely two six-sided dice. And the game seems designed to run more quickly than the standard edition (and yes, I realize that this may NOT be a detraction for all!) This edition will also need to be updated regularly, as certain "brands" come and go in popularity (though I'll freely admit that Coca-Cola and Pepsi are likely here to stay!)

Look, to my mind, it's hard to improve on a classic -- and the original game is a classic. In my view, Hasbro has seriously damaged the board game market; absorbing Milton Bradley, Parker Brothers, Selchow and Righter and Avalon Hill, but not noticeably improving the product or developing new games.

I've been playing the original game since I was five. I think I'll stick to it.
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