Three Monopolies, No Real Estate

Monopoly Pizza Game substitutes pies for property. Players collect slices while trading toppings, from traditional mushroom and pepperoni to contemporary pineapple. Monopoly Pizza comes in a delivery box with player tokens that include a cheese grater, rotary slicer, and delivery bicycle.

The depressing box-cover slogan on Monopoly for Millennials is: “Forget real estate. You can’t afford it anyway.” Instead of cash, players collect experience points by visiting such exciting destinations as a vegan restaurant or their friend’s couch. The tokens in this one include sunglasses, a bicycle, and a pound or number sign (also known as the hashtag symbol).

Monopoly Cash Grab drops all the pretense, along with random dice rolls, negotiation, board, and extended game play. It’s a battery-operated toy gun that shoots Monopoly money, with some interspersed Chance cards, rapid-fire in to the air. The Chance cards may allow players to do such things as exchange their wad with another player but, otherwise, the goal is simple. Grab as much as you can.

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Monopoly Mario Kart

Today, Hasbro releases a second Nintendo-based Monopoly game, Monopoly Gamer: Mario Kart. Property spaces include Rainbow Road and Bowser’s Castle. Player tokens include Mario, Princess Peach, Luigi, and Toad. In this version, landing on or passing the Go space starts a race between players for the Grand Prix card.

The Mario Kart edition of Monopoly Gamer is available today at GameStop for $25 and will find its way to additional retailers this summer. Power Packs with player tokens for Bowser, Rosalina, Shy Guy, Metal Mario, Donkey Kong, and Yoshi (each with unique special powers that trigger on a Power-Up Boost die roll) will release in the fall.

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Toy Fair 2018—Winning Moves

First up on my tour of the Winning Moves Toy Fair booth was a classic brought back to print by the company, Pente ($20 retail, available now). Reminiscent of Go, the goal in Pente is to either line up five in a row of one’s own pieces or capture five pairs of an opponent’s pieces.

Next was Monopoly: The Card Game ($11, now). This is neither the same as Monopoly Deal, nor the last Monopoly card game produced by Winning Moves. Instead, it’s more like a cross between Monopoly and Gin Rummy. Players can trade cards but to go out their hand must include at least one complete property color group. Card sets have a dollar value based on the properties in the namesake and the first player to a set dollar amount is the winner.

After that, Winning Moves was showing Classic Rummy Tiles ($15, now). It’s the company’s generic version of Rummikub with stadium-style tile racks.

Finally, there was the new Rubik’s Tower ($17, now) a 2x2x4 non-symmetrical version of the cube puzzle.

Hasbro Takes on Board Game Cheats

According to Hasbro, in a recent survey of 2,000 people, almost half reported incidents of cheating during games of Monopoly. So to combat this problem, the company has launched the Monopoly CheatBot on Facebook Messenger. Answer a few questions about the problem player and how they cheated and Mr. Monopoly will generate a penalty card. For example, a player who steals from the bank may be sent to the Monopoly jail or someone who fails to pay rent will have to pay a $200 fine.

Cute. But Purple Pawn’s recommendation on how to deal with cheaters is simply not to play with them.

Pathfinder enters the mobile CCG market with Pathfinder Duels, a new head-to-head battling game with simultaneous turns and cards decks built around the iconic characters of the Pathfinder RPG. Available now for Android and iOS.

Dire Wolf Digital has added a solo scenario for Clank! In Space! to its Renegade Game Studios Companion App (Android, iOS).

Hasbro has launched a game-show style version of Trivial Pursuit played with Amazon Echo Buttons.

Metro, Queen Games’ tile-laying title about Paris rail-lines, has arrived on iOS and Android, with AI opponents and online play.

The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game materialized recently on Steam. Evil Hat and developer Hidden Achievement say that mobile versions will follow on the 7th.

Asmodee Digital put out a new version of Carcassonne with a 3D look to Steam and Android.

There’s also a new version of Catan in the electronic game space. Catan Universe is available for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android and allows cross-platform play. Previous mobile versions of Catan have been renamed Catan Classic and owners of those versions are eligible to receive certain content in Catan Universe for free.

Set in the “Catan universe” but not the traditional board game, Catan Stories is a new scenario-based text adventure game from Asmodee Digital (Android and iOS).

APBA Go, the online version of APBA Baseball, has added solitaire play.

Referring to it as “everybody’s favourite board game,” Ubisoft announced the release of Hasbro’s Monopoly on Nintendo Switch. The game includes three themed boards (Classic City, Amusement Park, Haunted) and dice rolls that players can feel with the Switch’s HD Rumble.

Also now on Nintendo Switch from Ubisoft is the card game Uno, with themes derived from video games, Rabbids, Just Dance, and Rayman.

Kinkajoo, which already produces a Rummikub game app, now has out a free Rummikub score tracker and timer (Android and iOS).

Other cardboard-to-computer ports:

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Stranger Things Board Games

In time for the second season, Hasbro has three new Stranger Things board games exclusively at Target.

In the Stranger Things Eggo Card Game (“Fortified with Eleven’s vitamins!”) players try to get rid of all their Eggo cards before the Demogorgon attacks. Depending on the card they play, they may switch between the Right Side Up and the Upside Down, cause other players to draw cards, reverse the turn order, or summon the Demogorgon.

Stranger Things Monopoly has players buying, selling, and trading locations and vehicles from the town of Hawkins while searching for Will Byers. It comes with two sets of tokens, one Right Side Up and one Upside Down.

Ouija: Stranger Things Edition links players to the Upside Down with letters highlighted by Christmas lights.

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Just revealed by Hasbro is Monopoly Gamer, a variant on the classic with Nintendo Super Mario characters for playing pieces—Mario, Princess Peach, Yoshi, and Donkey Kong. Instead of buying properties and earning money, this version of the board game has players completing levels, collecting coins, and rolling a special die for power-up boosts. Each character piece also provides its player with a unique power-up ability triggered by certain board spaces.

The standard edition of Monopoly Gamer will hit general retail in August at $25, along with additional character game pieces—Wario, Luigi, Toad, Boo, Rosalina, Diddy Kong, Fire Mario, and Tanooki Mario—each sold separately in Power Packs for $4. However, a Collector’s Edition is available already from GameStop with a Bowser figure for $40.

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Fans across the globe have spoken, and the eight tokens set to “pass GO” in the next generation of the MONOPOLY game are… the Scottie dog, top hat, car, battleship, cat, T-rex, rubber ducky, and penguin tokens!

That means the thimble, boot, and wheelbarrow are being removed from the game.

The new tokens will be in the new version of MONOPOLY arriving this fall.

During the MONOPOLY Token Madness vote, January 10 – 31, fans across 146 countries selected the eight tokens they hoped to see in the next generation of the game from a list of 64 contenders – drawing more than 4.3 million votes. The breakdown of votes is as follows:

The highlighted tokens are those found in the current version of MONOPOLY.


Toy Fair 2017—WS Game Company

The folks at WS Game Company were busy with buyers from store chains large and small at Toy Fair this year and it’s no wonder. The company makes high-end versions of classic boardgames. These are games that put presentation above all else, whether it’s something as inexpensive as their $25-$30 Nostalgia Tin line or their top-of-the-line Franklin Mint Collector’s Editions of Scrabble and Monopoly (both available now, $500).

Yesterday, we showcased the Monopoly Miami Edition with art from Romero Britto. Next to that game was a Scrabble set, featuring the artwork of Charles Fazzino. This set, the Scrabble 3D World Edition (available now, $500), features layered elements creating a 3D piece of artwork below the playing surface. The glass letter tiles are larger than your standard Scrabble set. Like the Monopoly set, this art edition of Scrabble is limited to 2000 copies.

Perhaps you want a simple “luxury” edition of Scrabble, Monopoly, or Clue? On April 15th, they will be available for $250 apiece. Both Monopoly and Scrabble come with gold foil-stamped play elements (the outer path, houses and hotels, and tokens in Monopoly, the raised grid, sand timer, and tile holders in Scrabble). Monopoly has the central area sunken for dice rolling on a faux-leather surface while Scrabble has faux-ivory letter tiles. Of this line, the one that really caught my eye was the Clue edition with sunken, three-dimensional mansion rooms beneath the glass surface. The murder weapons and the bases of the suspects are gold foil-stamped as well.

But then there’s the glass versions of Monopoly and Scrabble that will be available in August at a price point yet to be determined. The game art on these is printed on tempered glass. The Scrabble set’s board rotates and the tiles have non-slip coatings to keep them in place. The Monopoly board has more glass elements: not only is the board glass, but the houses and hotels are as well. These are sharp-looking games, even though they come with rounded corners.

The Monopoly Transformers Edition appears to be a piece of artwork featuring Generation 1 Transformers, but the frames swing open to reveal the themed outer track. Instead of properties, you’re purchasing transforming robots that… you place houses and hotels on to collect rent? Okay. Unlike most licensed Monopoly games, there is no Go! space — here, it’s ROLL OUT! (and collect $200). To be released in August, the price hasn’t been determined yet, but you can mortgage Megatron for $160 to help save up.

WS Game Company’s line of vintage bookshelf games did amazingly well for them last year. At a $40 price point for Monopoly, Scrabble, and Clue, these games in book-like boxes is inspired by vintage graphics. Coming out later this year (August, again) at a price point that’s unknown (but probably $40 like the currently-available batch) are Yathzee’s 1956 edition, The Game of Life’s 1960 edition, Trivial Pursuit’s 1981 Genius edition, and Scattergories’ 1988 edition.

Twister joins the Collectible Tin line, alongside Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, Scrabble, Monopoly, Clue, Sorry!, and Mystery Date. Twister, available in August as well, will retail for $30, like the majority of the line. Candy Land and Chutes & Ladders are the only outliers at the $25 level.

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We need to talk about my favorite game I saw at Toy Fair New York 2017.

I love hard, crunchy games that have a lot of pieces and elements that take a whole afternoon to play. I love some light and fluffy games that take fifteen minutes to play. I like games of all sorts, except those games I was forced to play when I was a kid. You know, back when there were only four or five games in the world and every family had them. Games like Monopoly. Scrabble. And pretty much everything this manufacturer offers.

But I want everything WS Game Company has to offer this year. Especially this.

My favorite game at Toy Fair was an edition of Monopoly.

Look at this Monopoly Miami Edition game, featuring the art of Romero Britto. It’s…beautiful.

It’s limited to 2000 copies.

It’s available on April 15th.

It’s five hundred dollars.

WS Game Company — formerly Winning Solutions — had two of these on display, one set up as if in the middle of a game state, and one mounted and framed on the wall like a piece of art. Oh, I would love that mounted version hung in my living room.

Each limited edition piece is numbered and signed by the artist, and includes a wooden frame and glass top. Foil and glitter adorn the vibrant artwork inspired by Britto’s adopted home of Miami. The card and money elements are redesigned for the edition as are the die cast player tokens.

This is, in short, an amazing piece of art.

Oh, and yes, this wasn’t the only amazing thing at WS’s booth this year. We’ll post more insanely gorgeous editions of games you remember from your childhood — or perhaps love today — in the next few days.

A copy of Monopoly Miami Edition featuring the artistry of Romero Britto was not provided free for review by WS Game Company, but we wish it was.

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