Last year, Monopoly celebrated its milestone 80th birthday, and the classic game just keeps getting better with time. On March 19, the game night staple turns an impressive 81, and what better way to blow out the competition… I mean, candles, than with Monopoly Empire, Hasbro Gaming’s latest version where players can beg, barter, sell, and do whatever else it may take to become the title-holding brand typhoon (because, bragging rights, obviously).
The big game-changer in this Monopoly edition is rather than collect property to bankrupt opponents, players collect billboards of the biggest brands in the U.S., including Hasbro, Spotify, Xbox, Coca-Cola, and beyond, in a race to be the first to fill his or her tower. While official trades may not occur, there are cards and game spaces, such as the Rival Tower Tax, that force players to swap billboards or to take away from an opponent.
Monopoly Empire trades in the usual house and hotel pieces for towers and brand tiles. These items, as well as the typical Chance Cards and pretend money, must be set up on the flashy skyscraper game board. Once friends are ready to turn into foes—for the sake of their empire at least—they must choose a banker and each pick a gold token to play as while they move across the board on a mission to acquire billboards.
After each player carefully carries out whatever superstitious and dramatic dice-rolling technique they may have, he or she rolls both dice on their turn. In most cases it will instruct the player the number of spaces to move, however, they may also roll on a handshake symbol, otherwise known as the “sneaky swapper.” The player should then prepare to play a little dirty, as he or she now has the power to switch the topmost billboard in one tower with any other player’s, including his or her own. If the player doesn’t want to get Monopoly blood on their hands, they can opt out of the sneaky swap, and move the number of spaces on the other die.
As players make their way across the board, they’ll land on spaces with a specific brands that no one owns, which they then may buy, collect the tokens for, and add them to their tower. If a player lands on a brand that they do not want to buy, it’s up for grabs and the banker auctions it off to the highest selling bidder. Going once, going twice, sold!
Another new addition to the classic game is the Empire space. If a player lands on one, he or she must draw an Empire card and their billionaire fate rests in its hands. Every time a player makes their way around the board and passes “Go,” they collect the current value of their tower. To get you to the Winner’s Circle even sooner, earn a free office tile to add to your tower after you collect a full color-coded set of companies.
Monoply Empire is, quite literally, a race to the top. With brands like Nerf and Chevrolet, both parents and children will have all the incentive they need to put their brand-buying strategies to work. While it stays true to the Monopoly legacy, the new rules and additions, along with the vibrant game board, add a totally modern take on a classic game night staple. Take chances, make deals, and find out if you have what it takes to be the brand-holding Monopoly mogul.