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"Where did my money go???"
on 31 July 2006
Having not played a board game with my family in years, I thought this new electronic Monopoly edition would be a fun way of reliving old family memories of this classic game. A variant of last years 70th anniversary "Here and Now" edition, Monopoly "Electronic Banking" takes another leap into the present day by scrapping the cash element of the game altogether and replacing it with pretend credit cards and an electronic cash console developed especially for this game by Visa.
On first play, the results of this update appear to be a timely reminder of modern life: it is now more difficult to keep track of how much money you are actually spending since your credit is kept in check solely electronically, you can no longer see exactly how much cash you have in front of you compared to your opponent. In this game I found I was more willing to splash out on the more expensive properties and hotels purely because there was less physical evidence of my funds.
While this update is a mostly fun (or frightning??) reminder of modern living, my family found the old fun of sitting with wades of £100 and £500 notes while your opponents were slowly going bankrupt was mostly gone and it was often harder to keep track of who was actually winning at any given time. That said, the credit cards and electronic console are very well made and can easily handle transactions between two players, transferring cash between cards instantly.
Also, it appears that the game makers have opted to display a more suburban/residential London on the board this time round. Apart from Oxford Street, London's mighty commercial thoroughfares are all but absent this time around, replaced by uber-chic residences for the ultra-wealthy such as Kensington Palace Gardens (home to the world's most expensive mini-palaces), Knightsbridge, Kings Road and St. Katherine Docks. Fans of the original game may be disappointed that London's traditional West End locations are less-well represented this time round.
Otherwise this is still classic Monopoly, the rules and gameplay remain exactly the same. Traditionalists may find the lack of hard (play) cash a big-miss but there's much fun to be had in the comparisons with modern life this update exploits to the full.