If you happen to be the one person on the planet who has never played Monopoly, then bad luck because we are not going to explain the rules or review Monopoly itself. In this review, we are going to explore why Monopoly Mega Edition is the superior way to play the game.
There are three ways to play Monopoly. Here's the thing, the major benefit this game has is speed. The true signs of a utopia are universal free health care, peace from war and the ability to complete a game of Monopoly in under 3 hours without killing someone.
As with the classic game, Monopoly: The Mega Edition is best played with 4 players, but you can play with just 2 or 3 and the game works fine. However, do not be fooled by the box and its deceitful boasts of ‘six-player fun,’ these are outright lies. Because of the changes to the rules, a 6-player game of Monopoly: The Mega Edition devolves either into a stalemate with no one owning enough to eliminate other players or people getting steam-rolled out of the game by the runaway winner.
The New Way To Pass Go
There are 9 additional properties, and you can start to develop once you own all but one of the colour sets. For example, if you own Old Kent Road & Whitechapel, you can start building houses even if someone else owns Elephant and Castle. However, owning the complete set allows you to triple the rent on your undeveloped properties.
This really helps to encourage player interaction as there are even more benefits to trading properties, just try not to get taken to the cleaners by your opponents. Further to the properties, there are a further 3 other tiles. ‘Birthday gift’ gives a player either £100 or a bus ticket. ‘Auction’ either sends a player to an unowned property they want OR to the property with the highest rent on the board and ‘Bus Ticket’ gives you a free bus ticket.
Speaking of developments, we should mention the addition of Depots and Skyscrapers. Just when you thought it was safe to go into hotels again, Hasbro adds another 45 stories and triples the rent. Dom has personally won 2 games with Old Kent Road. Which is the worst place on the board. But with a skyscraper, the rent goes from £2 to £750! Just a minor increase of over 35,000% and it is still the worst card on the board! Rent on Knightsbridge with a Skyscraper will almost certainly eliminate any player from the game. As with most game-winning items, whether you like the skyscrapers in Monopoly: The Mega Edition or not will likely come down to if you are collecting or paying the rent.
The third major addition to the game comes in the form of bus tickets. Which can be used by a player instead of rolling the dice to move forward to any point of their choice on the lane. If a player finds themselves on the Community Chest just before Park Lane, they can choose instead to skip directly to ‘Go’ and avoid a potentially game-ending bill.
Big Red One
The fourth and biggest change Monopoly: The Mega Edition brings to the table is the big red third dice. Whenever you roll, you now roll all three. The familiar six-sided dice do what they have always done but there are 3 possible outcomes for Big Red.
1) You get to move a further 1 – 3 additional spaces.
2) You get a free bus ticket.
3) You get “The Monopoly Man”
We cannot tell if Hasbro intentionally made Monopoly: The Mega Edition into a two-stage game, but this dice literally completely changes the play of the game.
In the first half of the game, where there are still properties available for purchase, whenever you roll on the generous and kindly moustached monopoly gentleman. Essentially, this can allow a player to nab 2 properties in one turn and chances are they will be in the same colour group. As we explained earlier, if there are only 3 properties in that colour, that player can potentially start developing those properties.
Second Half Of The Game
Where all the properties have now been purchased, whenever you roll the vicious and devilish old codger, he will drag you to the next property you have to pay rent on. Suddenly, the dice that seemed such a blessing only moments ago has become your curse. This can be particularly brutal if you land on one property owned by another player. Having paid rent, immediately move onto their next property, and pay rent all over again. Landed on Park Lane and rolled a “Mr Monopoly” as well? By the time you finish counting the money in Mayfair, your rent bill could be as high as £5,000.
We feel the dice is the most important change, because of the massive impact it has on the game. Not only does the dice guarantee all properties will be sold, but it also ensures they will be sold quickly. Trading opportunities are created by getting all the properties into player’s hands, and the game quickly ramps up the tempo. More player-owned properties mean more rent, which means more developments, which means more rent. The additional dice feels like a breath of fresh air into a classic, beloved, and extremely tired game. Monopoly: The Mega Edition is the first time we would have ever used the word “dynamic” to describe a game of Monopoly.
Go Directly To Jail
As much as the changes in Monopoly: The Mega Edition refresh the well-worn feel of the game, it is still Monopoly. He may be wearing a fancy new suit & hat, but Mr Monopoly is still the same money-hungry weasel he has always been. You can plan your big property empire and have the houses & hotels to win only to watch everyone sail past them every time whilst you land on one skyscraper after the other and watch your empire crumble.
Like Uno, one of the best aspects of Monopoly is that everyone has their own rules for play. Land on Go means £400. Free Parking means you get all the tax money. pay £50 to get out of jail and roll again on the same turn. We have all heard different variations on the rules. However, Monopoly: The Mega Edition does work best when played by the actual rules.
An issue unique to Monopoly: The Mega Edition is the lack of uniform scaling across the game. When you think this version comes with £1,000 notes and rent can be up to £5,500, it feels underwhelming that passing go still gets you £200. Not to mention that winning £20 in a crossword competition does not help much when facing a £2,000 rent bill. Our friend Chris suggested that once all the properties have been sold (pushing the game into the second half) the rewards from community chests & chance cards could increase to keep them relevant. So rather than £10 for a beauty contest, it could be £500 for a fashion line.
Close The Deal
Dom’s final thoughts on Monopoly: The Mega Edition: I enjoy how quick moving the game can be. Even with new players because which adult doesn’t know how to play Monopoly? You just need to teach/agree on the new rules and you’re off. Arguably, the game most responsible for people being turned off the board game hobby no longer has to be boring.
Andy’s final thought on Monopoly: The Mega Edition: I feel the game can be summed up best by looking at The Office. Classic Monopoly is The UK office with David Brent. It was alright, sometimes really fun, but alright. The Mega Edition is the new, higher budget US Office with Michael Scott. Same premise but bigger, faster, and ultimately more fun.
If you are a more seasoned gamer and are looking for a surprise, we recommend you give Monopoly: The Mega Edition a try.