Monopoly has been reinvented. Yes, the classic 1934 real estate game has undergone a “redevelopment” of sorts that includes an electronic tower that sees all and knows all. The tower is so smart, in fact, that it has eliminated the need for dice, paper money, Chance and Community Chest cards, physical bankers and even counting – the tower will make sure you land on the appropriate space.
Hasbro premiered Monopoly’s newest iteration, called Monopoly Live, at the Toy Fair expo in New York. So far, critics are mixed on whether this tower is a welcomed addition or not. For seniors and younger children, the tower may very well be appreciated. Those who suffer from forgetfulness or who aren’t especially good with numbers won’t have to tackle banker duties anymore.
The tower also observes the pace of the game. If it senses the game has become too drawn out, it will initiate a random horse race or property auction. The quickened game play and official rule overseer (aka the tower) can make things more convenient. Plus, the addition of an electronic component may appeal to grandchildren.
The downside to this latest addition, of course, is that it takes the thinking and, to a large extent, the creativity out of Monopoly. Many families have cultivated their own sets of Monopoly rules over the years, but the tower will have none of it. The lack of dice and Chance and Community Chest cards also give the game a sense of banality. With nearly all activity filtered through the tower, it kind of seems like the tower controls every roll and negotiation.
Monopoly Live isn’t yet available to buy, but it should hit shelves this fall for the relatively reasonable price of $50. Until then, who’s to say whether Monopoly needed a 21st century facelift or not?
Click below for a demonstration of Monopoly Live.