In celebration of Monopoly’s seventy-fifth anniversary, Hasbro and Parker Brothers decided to “redesign” the American classic by eliminating the signature aspects of the game. In 1999, The Guinness Book of Records awarded the game for being the most-played board game of all time, but very few of the 750 million fans could recognize it now.
A favorite pastime of Monopoly players is choosing the piece that will represent themselves as they travel around the board (which, by the way, is now round, not square) for what is sure to be a two or three hour game. Long gone are the classic metal pieces, which traditionally included a tiny top hat and miniature terrier puppy to keep track of your place on the board; now, tiny, engraved, rainbow-colored plastic pieces are all that an eager player has to look forward to.
What really perturbed me about “Monopoly: Revolutions” is the lack of classic Monopoly’s signature feature: the various pastel hues of colorful play-money. The position of “Banker,” the player who sells real estate and issues payments from the bank, has been eliminated entirely!
Anyone who has played Monopoly knows the advantages obtained when you become the Banker. Whether a little kid smuggling a few extra hundreds out of the bank to beat his older sister, or a father who is convinced he should be in control of the money, eliminating the job of “Banker” is sure to break hearts, and ultimately make the game more boring.
So forget organizing your money in neat little color-coordinated stacks; from now on, you can hand your preschoolers a plastic credit card, which are meant to replace the now-old fashioned crash, and teach them to swipe a card and electronically transfer money rather than count their cash and pass it to their “landlord.”
At least Hasbro claims to have left the rules alone and kept the essence of the game, leaving the green “GO,” “Go to Jail,” and “Free Parking” spaces intact
While I won’t be going out to purchase a replacement for my classic Monopoly board, circa 1993, I am happy to know that Hasbro promises to leave the traditional, square board with cute metal pieces on the market, even as more anniversary editions are released.