4:09 PM

To celebrate my last night of freedom (my classes commence tomorrow, i love ya tomorrow), I decided to spend it by playing a healthy game of Monopoly Empire with my 10-year old cousin Kelly who lives next door to where I temporarily stay while I'm in college (ew).

Monopoly Empire is my cousin's newest Monopoly boardgame. She is addicted to Monopoly and owns everything that has to do with Monopoly; I've never seen someone love Monopoly as much as her (not even me). In any case, Monopoly Empire is the newest addition to her Monopoly collection, and we both had a hell of a time playing the game.

This will be my first boardgame review - I've never actually written one before, mostly because the last time I played a decent boardgame was when I was... probably 8 years old (and the boardgame I'm talking about is also Monopoly - just the Classic one).

So here's my attempt to write a review on a boardgame.

Boardgame: Monopoly Empire
Publisher: Hasbro
Year Published: 2013
Number of Players: 2-4
Suggested Ages: 8 and up
Playing Time: 90 minutes (or less)
My Rating: 3.5/5

I've always loved the classic Monopoly ever since I was a child because it gave me the chance to pretend I had money and a house and that cash was easily accumulated just by passing by the GO SIGN. Now, Monopoly Empire is a little bit more different. With this new Monopoly boardgame, you are able to own (yes, own) all sorts of bigtime brands like Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Nestle, Xbox, Samsung and more!

The rules and mechanics are quite simple and similar to the Classic: You start the game with cash, you roll the dice, then move your token around the board, and hope to land on properties to buy. The difference however is that the objective of Monopoly Empire is to collect as much properties as you can - brands, which are represented by billboards. As your purchase each billboard, you place it in your own plastic tower.

When a player lands on your property, he/she has to pay rent to you, according to the height of your tower. So for example, the tower value of this is $500, so you earn $500 of rent if someone lands on your property. 

 Whoever reaches the top of the plastic tower wins the game.


Easier Instructions
I remember when I used to force older people to play Monopoly with me but they almost always refused because they found the instructions too confusing and overly complicated. And when they did oblige to my demands, I would explain the instructions to them at the beginning of the game but they'd just forget how to play once the game started. And so, it wasn't competitive at all. But with Monopoly Empire, it was very simple and easy! I didn't even have to remind the old people about the rules!

Nice Design
You gotta admit it, black is looking good. The design is quite hip and modern, and the Monopoly Classic pales in comparison when put side to side.

Brand Recall
We really had fun with the brands since everything was so familiar, and we'd compete with each other to own our preferred brand. Kelly actually used the fries token because she loves McDonald's so much, and she even made it a point that she was the one who got to purchase the McDonald's billboard. She even hesitated a bit, when she got the "swap" option (more about this below) and thought of swapping her McDonald's billboard with my Coca Cola one, in which case Coca-Cola is obviously worth more, but she decided to keep her McDonald's billboard.. 

You have a lot more power in this game. For instance, the "swap" option, which is an option you can do to trade your topmost billboard with another player's topmost billboard. You can get this option if you are able to roll the "swap" face of the die. There are also the Empire cards, which sometimes give you the option to steal another player's billboards, or reverse rent - meaning when you land on a person's property, he/she has to be the one to pay you their rent, not the other way around. There are a lot more sneaky options, and you even get 2 Empire cards at the beginning of the game, giving you more player power.


Less Strategy
Well, lazy thinkers might list this on their pros - as Monopoly Empire relies more on a streak of good luck, instead of actual strategic planning. The game is actually a dumbed down version of the Monopoly Classic, and though the rules and mechanics are definitely easier to explain to people, I don't like it how we don't really have to think anymore to play. Monopoly was always about strategy, and I just don't like how this game encourages people to become lazy thinkers. You're even given 1000 dollars at the beginning of the game and the properties are so cheap, like 50 dollars at the least, so you just tend to buy everything you land on. You don't even have to think about it.

Less Players
Only a maximum of 4 people can play in Monopoly Empire, which is a huge problem in my family as there are 6 of us - which means 2 people have to be left out, or rather 1 of them could be the banker. But who wants to be the banker anyway? That's not really counted as a player cause all you do is hand people the money.

Cramped Boardgame
2 dices, 4 towers, 6 tokens, 30 Billboard tiles, 6 Office tiles, 14 Chance cards, 14 Empire cards - all in one boardgame. Imagine. Not fun if you're playing with a hyper 10 year old who likes knocking things down.

Faster Game
I'm not really sure if I should put this in the pros or cons. On one hand, you can finish a game in just 30 minutes (before it gets boring), but on the other, everything is so fast, you're left wondering "That's it?" when the game ends. In Monopoly Classic, it's never ending, until everyone goes bankrupt. In Monopoly Empire, there is no such thing as going bankrupt because you have different options like just giving away your billboard. The main objective is of course is to be the first one to finish the plastic tower. When we did play, I won, and we all looked at each other like, what do we do next? When we realized that, oh the game's over. But then at least in Monopoly Empire, the game actually ends.

Overall Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

What boardgames do you like to play? Tell us in the comments below! :)

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  1. My family just got this for Christmas and we played it a lot on New Year's. I think that the faster game keeps things exciting. It is a bit sad that a lot of the strategy is taken out of the game, but it is nicer that I understand the game so much better.

    1. Yes! I totally agree. I like that it ends faster before the game gets boring, but I really do prefer the Classic.

  2. Haven't heard much on this book, sound interesting!... IF JOHN GREEN QUOTED IT, it must b good :)haha

    ps. OMG! I love your bloggg! so cutteee<3 followed u gals on twitter :)

    1. Aww thanks so much Diana! ;)

      But I think you commented on the wrong blog post though. :) thanks anyway!

  3. Hi, thanks for this review. My 8 yr old son loves his monopoly collection. Do you still play the game? I'm thinking of getting it for him. Lisa


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2015 Reading Challenge
Kimi has read 3 books toward her goal of 100 books.