Thursday, December 16, 2010

Monopoly Analysis

After sorting through all of the games yesterday Jared was in the game-playing mood today.

After sorting through all of the games yesterday I was tired today.

But I was also sort of curious.  So I said, yes, let’s play Oceanopoly. 

After all, Oceanopoly combines two of my favorite things.  The ocean with a game.  So perhaps that could overcome the fact that it was an “opoly” game.  I figured it was time to put the game to the test and figure out once and for all how I felt about these “opoly” games.

I even made it easier on myself and proposed we play the short version.  The rules suggested that the short version have a time limit of 60 minutes. 


Thirty would have been plenty for me…

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I remember the exact moment our game-playing lives changed.  We had played a wonderful game (still a favorite) called “Clue Master Detective” with my friend Susan.  We really loved it and wanted a copy, but it was out of print.  One day I saw a guy set up beside a road in Utah, with a big sign that said “Used Games.”  On the hopeful chance that he might have a copy of “Clue Master Detective” I pulled off.  I looked through all of his games with no luck.  And then when I explained what I was looking for, he handed me a flier and told me that the company on the flier might be able to help me.

When I called the company,, and explained what I was looking for the employee was sympathetic.  He told me that because “Clue Master Detective” was out of print, copies were rare and usually sold for (gulp!) $50!!!

And then he said the magic words…

It sounds like you’re looking for a thinking game.  You need to try the German games.

Up until that moment I’d never considered whether or not Germans even played games.  I was certainly surprised to hear how strong the game-playing (vs. tv watching) tradition was in Germany.  Before I got off the phone with him I’d purchased two german games, Cleopatra (still not sure what I think about it) and Bhonanza. (The Bean Game) (Still a favorite.) 

As I played Monopoly earlier today I reflected on how far game play has come.  Monopoly takes way too long, is far too repetitive, and is just kind of boring. 

I decided the deluxe Monopoly game in the fancy game tin had to go (before it sits for another year, even) and listed it on craigslist.  (Turns out that special anniversary version is out of print, and worth something!)


And then Jared and I played another game.

Monopoly Deal.

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This time there was no boredom, the game moved fast, I figured out a new strategy, and it took less than 20 minutes.

Oh, what fun!


It’s nice to see that Parker Brothers has also learned from the German game makers.  Monopoly Deal includes a lot of characteristics of the German games, and has lost the boring game characteristics.


Do you think they’ll ever make an Ocean version???


P.S.  Just to satisfy your curiousity (cause I know you’re burning with it!), we were eventually given a Clue Master Detective game by a nice guy Russ worked with.  It’s been treasured and played often!

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