Why I don’t play Monopoly anymore and what you should play instead
Let me honest with all of you reading today I really don’t like monopoly anymore. That is my opinion, but it’s not only my opinion. It has been reviewed by more than 15,000 users of the website Boardgame Geek and gets an average score of less than 4.5 out of 10.
A score of less then 50% thats not a pass if this was your 10th Grade science project you would have just failed and would be getting ready for a long stint in summer school.
However this game has books written about its popularity Monopoly: The World’s Most Famous Game (Amazon Link) and is cemented in popular culture as one of the most well known games of all time.
Now some may say that the Board Game Geek users are snobs that don’t like anything that is absent of dragons, but a more logical reason maybe is that this user group has been given more options and played some amazing games?
Whatever you think here are three reasons why I think you should put away that old copy of monopoly and try something new even if it means just adding some new games to your collection.
“Please Note: This article is about the classic version of the game and does not include updated versions, e.g. Cheaters & The Parody Monopoly for Millennials “
Monopoly is a Very… Very Old Game
The first copy of Monopoly was first published in 1935 that makes the game over 80 years old, and because of this, we have had a long time to improve the hobby of boardgames to come up with new and engaging games to play on a rainy afternoon.
A lot of modern games have used these games to improve and create new and exciting experiences we should be moving along with them not playing the same game over and over.
I know everybody today loves a bit of retro nostalgia, but due to its age, this game has morphed over time causing mass confusion over-rules even tho each version does contain a rule book, let’s be honest nobody really reads the rules when everybody thinks they know them.
We also have the issues found with some dated mechanics that grandfathered some of the more advanced mechanics we have today (Like the robber mechanic found in The Settlers of Catan a solution to the problems when players are rolling two dice which leads us to our next point Dice)
The Statistical Issue of two Dice
Dice you say lots of game have dice how is this a problem with a boardgame Yes a lot of games have dice, but monopoly fails to fix a core dice issue that most other games have solved since Catan
You get a strange statistical issue when you are playing a game that involves rolling two dice the odds for the numbers you roll are different causing some numbers to appear more often (See Below)
odds for 7 6/36 =0.167
odds for 6 and 8 5/36 =0.139
odds for 5 and 9 4/36 =0.111
odds for 4 and 10 3/36 =0.083
odds for 3 and 11 2/36 =0.056
odds for 2 and 12 1/36 =0.028
What this means is a player is more likely to Roll the number 7 over every other number available so much so that it is its own statistical category.
Catan solved this by giving the number 7 a different action to the other dice.
This may not seem important but when you are playing a game that lasts 4 – 6 hours (Depending who you play with) Building a gameplan around the number 7 and key locations may result in changing the odds in a “Luck” Based game.
The other reason why this matters is it allows players to create something called a heatmap nobody knows the power of this quite like the 2009 Monopoly World Champion Bjørn Halvard Knappskog Norwegian business student was a completely unknown entity within the Monopoly community, but during the final, he finished his opponents in less than 40 minutes. Using this heatmap and math-based strategies earning a cool 20k in the process.
The heatmap show’s that the orange block is the most valuable in the game because of their choice position 7 squares away from Jail.
This shows the real power of the dice in Monopoly and those Orange Spaces together that can leave players wondering what happened and experts breaking the game.
Modern Boardgames have worked to fix issues like this and tho these tips will have you besting all your friends and family each time the game comes out this can get very old very fast and like me, you will be looking for something new to play.
This Game takes too Long!
Finally, there is a time issue with this game, It takes way too long to play.
I still remember taking days to finish a game with my little brother and these memories are fantastic I can still remember the fact that we never actually finished playing. Now, this may have been done by design to stop us from fighting about the winner and is some conspiracy but the truth is it just takes too long to play this board game.
There is a generation of gamers that grew up playing this game and finding this issue so a lot of games now are designed to be quick to keep the attention of today’s generation.
Good old monopoly takes too long with a standard match going 4 hours and some people playing it over multiple days with no clear end in sight, and this can be dishearting to players that have been eliminated or don’t have the time to play a boardgame all day.
This time issue creates one last problem this is called a kingmaker complex.
A Kingmaker is when a player is eliminated from the game or chooses to leave early and is able to transport resources or hold resources that advantage one player over another. Making them the king of the game, the trade rules that are so very often forgotten or I am going home you can have my property’s deals tho not apart of the rules have made it into the culture as a norm.
This is an issue due to length and many have their own solutions but so what now?
There are heaps of great games out that you and your family and your friends will love and this website is dedicated to it check out the posts below for some suggestions for what to try next.
Our hope, however, is not that you will never play monopoly again but that you would try a new something new.
Games to try
Ticket to ride
Settlers of Catan
and there are so many more