Monopoly (game)

Monopoly (game)
Monopoly Logo 123.jpg
The Monopoly Logo
Designer(s) Elizabeth Magie
Louis & Fred Thun[1]
Charles Darrow
Publisher(s) Hasbro
Parker Brothers

Some Versions 2–6

Other Versions 2-8
Setup time 5–10 minutes
Playing time 60–180 minutes (1–3 hours) [average]
Random chance High (dice rolling, card drawing)
Skill(s) required Negotiation, Resource management

Monopoly is a board game published by Parker Brothers, a subsidiary of Hasbro. The game is named after the economic concept of monopoly, the domination of a market by a single entity.



The history of Monopoly can be traced back to 1904,[2] when an American woman named Elizabeth (Lizzie) J. Magie Phillips created a game through which she hoped to be able to explain the single tax theory of Henry George (it was intended to illustrate the negative aspects of concentrating land in private monopolies). Her game, The Landlord's Game, was commercially published in 1924.[3]

10 years later, in 1934, Charles Darrow presented his own version of Landlord's Game, now called Monopoly, to Parker Brothers executives as well as to Milton Bradley. However, both game manufacturers rejected the game. Attempting to produce the game on his own, Darrow hired a friend who was a printer in order to get 5,000 sets to the Wanamakers Department Store in Philadelphia for the 1934 holiday season. Once all 5,000 games had sold out, Parker Brothers reapproached Charles Darrow and struck a deal, and began selling the game under the Parker Brothers label in 1935.

In 1941, the British Secret Service had John Waddington Ltd., the licensed manufacturer of the game outside the U.S., create a special edition for World War II prisoners of war held by the Nazis.[4] Hidden inside these games were maps, compasses, real money, and other objects useful for escaping. They were distributed to prisoners by secret service-created fake charity groups.[5]

By the 1970s, the game's early history had been lost, and the idea that it had been created solely by Charles Darrow had become popular folklore. This was stated in the 1974 book The Monopoly Book: Strategy and Tactics of the World's Most Popular Game, by Maxine Brady, and in the instructions of the game itself.

Because of the lengthy court process and appeals, the legal status of Parker Brothers' trademarks on the game was not settled until the late 1970s. Ralph Anspach won a lawsuit over his game Anti-Monopoly on appeals in 1979, as the 9th District Court determined that the trademark Monopoly was generic, and therefore unenforceable.[6]


The Monopoly game board consists of forty spaces containing twenty-eight properties (twenty-two colored streets, four railroads and two utilities), three Chance spaces, three Community Chest spaces, a Luxury Tax space, an Income Tax space, and the four corner squares: GO, (In) Jail/Just Visiting, Free Parking, and Go to Jail.

US versions

There have been some changes to the board since the original: the colors of Mediterranean and Baltic Avenues (which changed from purple to brown), the adaptation of a flat $200 Income Tax (formerly the player's choice of 10% of their total holdings or $200), and increased $100 Luxury Tax amount (upped from $75). Similar color and amount changes are used in the U.S. Edition of the "Here and Now: World Edition" game, and are also used in the most recent versions of the McDonald's Monopoly promotion.

In the U.S. versions shown below, the properties are named after locations in (or near) Atlantic City, New Jersey. Atlantic City's Illinois Avenue was renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd! in the 1980s. St. Charles Place no longer exists, as the Showboat Casino Hotel was developed where it once ran.[7]

Marvin Gardens, the leading yellow property on the board shown, is actually a misspelling of the original location name, Marven Gardens. The misspelling was said to be introduced by Charles Todd and passed on when his home-made Monopoly board was copied by Charles Darrow and thence to Parker Brothers. The Todd board is on display in the Forbes Gallery in New York City. It was not until 1995 that Parker Brothers acknowledged this mistake and formally apologized to the residents of Marven Gardens for the misspelling.[8] Another change made by Todd and duplicated by Darrow, and later Parker Brothers, was the use of North Carolina Avenue, which was substituted for South Carolina Avenue on the board.

Short Line is believed to refer to the Shore Fast Line, a streetcar line that served Atlantic City.[9] The B&O Railroad did not serve Atlantic City. A booklet included with the reprinted 1935 edition states that the four railroads that served Atlantic City in the mid 1930s were the Jersey Central, the Seashore Lines, the Reading Railroad, and the Pennsylvania Railroad.

The Baltimore & Ohio was the parent of the Reading. There is a tunnel in Philadelphia where track to the south was B. & O. and track to the north is Reading. Perhaps this is a reference to that.[citation needed] The Central of N.J. did not have track to Atlantic City but was the daughter of the Reading (and granddaughter of the B. & O.) Their track ran from the New York City area to Delaware Bay and some trains ran on the Reading-controlled track to Atlantic City.[10]

The actual "Electric Company" and "Water Works" serving the city are respectively Atlantic City Electric Company (a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings) and the Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority.

UK version

The board cover of the standard British version.

In the 1930s, John Waddington Ltd. (Waddingtons) was a firm of printers from Leeds that had begun to branch out into packaging and the production of playing cards. Waddingtons had sent the card game Lexicon to Parker Brothers hoping to interest them in publishing the game in the United States. In a similar fashion, Parker Brothers sent over a copy of Monopoly to Waddingtons early in 1935 before the game had been put into production in the United States.

The managing director of Waddingtons, Victor Watson, gave the game to his son Norman (who was head of the card games division) to test over the weekend. Norman was impressed by the game and persuaded his father to call Parker Brothers on Monday morning – transatlantic calls then being almost unheard of. This call resulted in Waddingtons obtaining a license to produce and market the game outside of the United States. Watson felt that for the game to be a success in the United Kingdom, the American locations would have to be replaced, so Victor and his secretary, Marjory Phillips, went to London to scout out locations. The Angel, Islington is not a street in London but an area of North London named after a coaching inn that stood on the Great North Road. By the 1930s, the inn had become a Lyons Corner House (it is now a Co-operative Bank). Some accounts say that Marjory and Victor met at the Angel to discuss the selection and celebrated the fact by including it on the Monopoly board. In 2003, a plaque commemorating the naming was unveiled at the site by Victor Watson's grandson, who is also named Victor.

The standard British board, produced by Waddingtons, was for many years the version most familiar to people in countries in the Commonwealth (except Canada, where the U.S. edition with Atlantic City-area names was reprinted), although local variants of the board are now also found in several of these countries (see Licensed and localized versions of the Monopoly game).

The original income tax choice from the U.S. board is replaced by a flat rate on the UK board, and the $75 Luxury Tax space is replaced with the £100 Super Tax space, the same as the current German board. The U.S. Edition now also uses the flat $200 Income Tax value and the upped $100 Luxury Tax amount since 2008.

In the cases wherein the game was produced under license by a national company, the £ (pound) was replaced by a $ (dollar) sign, but the place names were unchanged.

For a list of some of the localized versions, including the UK "Here and Now" edition, and the names of their properties, see Licensed and localized editions of Monopoly.

Post-2005 variations

Starting in the UK in 2005, an updated version of the game, titled Monopoly Here and Now, was produced, replacing game scenarios, properties, and tokens with modern equivalents. Similar boards were produced for Germany and France. Variants of these first editions appeared with Visa-branded debit cards taking the place of cash – the later US "Electronic Banking" edition has unbranded debit cards.

The success of the first Here and Now editions caused Hasbro US to allow online voting for 26 landmark properties across the United States to take their places along the game board. The popularity of this voting, in turn, caused the creation of similar websites, and secondary game boards per popular vote to be created in the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and other nations.[11]

Hasbro opened a new website in January 2008, for online voting of the Monopoly Here and Now: World Edition. The colored property spaces are worldwide cities, as determined by the same vote/popularity formula as established for national editions.

In 2006, Winning Moves Games released the Mega Edition, with a 50% larger game board and revised game play. Other streets from Atlantic City (eight, one per a color group) were included, along with a third "utility", the Gas Company. In addition, $1,000 denomination notes (first seen in Winning Moves' Monopoly: The Card Game) are included. Game play is further changed with bus tickets (allowing non-dice-roll movement along one side of the board), a speed die (itself adopted into variants of the Atlantic City Standard Edition; see below), skyscrapers (after houses and hotels), and train depots that can be placed on the Railroad spaces.

This edition was adapted for the UK market in 2007, and is sold by Winning Moves UK. After the initial US release, critiques of some of the rules caused the company to issue revisions and clarifications on their website.[12]

Monopoly Here and Now

In September 2006, the US edition of Monopoly Here and Now was released. This edition features top landmarks across the US. The properties were decided by votes over the Internet in the spring of 2006.

Monetary values are multiplied by 10,000 (e.g., one collects $2,000,000 instead of $200 for passing Go). Also, the Chance and Community Chest cards are updated. The houses and hotels are blue and silver, not green and red as in most editions of Monopoly. The board uses the traditional US layout; the cheapest properties are purple, not brown, and the "luxury tax" (replaced with "interest on credit card debt") is $750,000, not $75. Despite the updated luxury tax space, this edition uses paper Monopoly money, and not an electronic banking unit like the Here and Now World Edition. However, a similar edition of Monopoly, the Electronic Banking edition, does feature an electronic banking unit, as well as a different set of tokens. Both Here and Now and Electronic Banking feature an updated set of tokens from the Atlantic City edition.

It is also notable that three states (California, Florida and Texas) are represented by two cities each (Los Angeles and San Francisco, Miami and Orlando, and Dallas and Houston respectively). No other state is represented by more than one city (not including the airports). One landmark, Texas Stadium, has been demolished and no longer exists. Another landmark, Jacobs Field, still exists, but was renamed Progressive Field in 2008.

World editions

In 1998, Winning Moves procured the Monopoly license from Hasbro and created new UK city and regional editions with sponsored squares.

Winning Moves struggled to raise the sponsorship deals for the game boards, but did so eventually.[citation needed] A Nottingham Graphic Design agency, TMA, produced the visual design of the Monopoly packaging. Initially, in December 1998, the game was sold in just a few WHSmith stores, but demand was high, with almost fifty thousand games shipped in the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas. Winning Moves still produces new city and regional editions annually. Nottingham based designers Guppi have been responsible for the games' visual design since 2001.

Monopoly Here and Now: The World Edition
Monopoly Here and Now: The World Edition
Publisher(s) Parker Brothers
Players 2–6
Setup time 5–15 minutes
Playing time About 1.5 hours
Random chance High (dice rolling, card drawing)
Skill(s) required Negotiation, Basic Resource management

In 2008, Hasbro released Monopoly Here and Now: The World Edition. This world edition features top locations of the world. The locations were decided by votes over the Internet. The result of the voting was announced on August 20, 2008.[13]

Out of these, Gdynia is especially notable, as it is by far the smallest city of those featured and won the vote thanks to a spontaneous, large-scale mobilization of support started by its citizens. The new game uses its own currency unit, the MMono (a game-based take on the Euro; designated by M). The game uses said unit in millions and thousands. As seen above, there is no dark purple color-group, as that is replaced by brown, as in the European version of the game.

It is also notable that three cities (Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver) are from Canada and three other cities (Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai) are from People's Republic of China. No other countries are represented by more than one city.

Of the 68 cities listed on Hasbro Inc.’s website for the vote, Jerusalem, was chosen as one of the 20 cities to be featured in the newest Monopoly World Edition.[14] Before the vote took place, a Hasbro employee in the London office eliminated the country signifier “Israel” after the city, in response to pressure from pro-Palestinian advocacy groups.[15] After the Israeli government protested, Hasbro Inc. issued a statement that read: “It was a bad decision, one that we rectified relatively quickly. This is a game. We never wanted to enter into any political debate. We apologize to our Monopoly fans.”[14]

World Championship

Hasbro conducts a worldwide Monopoly tournament. The first Monopoly World Championships took place in Grossinger's Resort in New York, in November 1973. It has been aired in the United States by ESPN. The current world champion is Bjørn Halvard Knappskog who won the title in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 22, 2009. 41 players competed for the title of Monopoly World Champion and a cash prize of $20,580 USD, which is the total amount of 'Monopoly money' in the current Monopoly set used in the tournament.[16][17]

List of world champions

Date Location Winner Nationality
1973 New York City * Lee Bayrd USA
1975 Washington D.C. John Mair Ireland
1977 Monte Carlo Cheng Seng Kwa Singapore
1980 Bermuda Cesare Bernabei Italy
1983 Palm Beach, FL Greg Jacobs New Zealand
1985 Atlantic City, NJ Jason Bunn United Kingdom
1988 London Ikuo Hyakuta Japan
1992 Berlin Joost van Orten Netherlands
1995 Monte Carlo Christopher Woo Hong Kong
2000 Toronto Yutaka Okada Japan
2004 Tokyo Antonio Fernandez Spain
2009 Las Vegas Bjørn Halvard Knappskog Norway

(*) Due to the championships only being held between players from the USA and Britain[18], Lee Bayrd was arguably not a true world champion. See the history for further information.


All twelve tokens from the U.S. Deluxe Edition Monopoly.

Each player is represented by a small metal token that is moved around the edge of the board according to the roll of two dice. The twelve playing pieces currently used are pictured at left (from left to right):

A koala is also added in the Australian version of the game.

Many of the tokens were created by companies such as Dowst Miniature Toy Company, which made metal charms and tokens designed to be used on charm bracelets. The battleship and cannon were also used briefly in the Parker Brothers war game Conflict (released in 1940), but after the game failed on the market, the premade pieces were recycled into Monopoly usage.[19] Hasbro recently adopted the battleship and cannon for Diplomacy.

Early localized editions of the standard edition (including some Canadian editions, which used the U.S. board layout) did not include pewter tokens but instead had generic wooden pawns identical to those in Sorry!.[20] Parker Brothers also acquired Sorry! in the 1930s.

Other items included in the standard edition are:

During World War II, the dice in the United Kingdom were replaced with a spinner because of a lack of materials.
  • A pair of six-sided dice. (NOTE: Since 2007, a third "Speed Die" has been added for variation—see ADD-ONS below.)
  • A Title Deed for each property. A Title Deed is given to a player to signify ownership, and specifies purchase price, mortgage value, the cost of building houses and hotels on that property, and the various rent prices depending on how developed the property is. Properties include:
    • 22 streets, divided into 8 color groups of two or three streets. A player must own all of a color group (commonly mistaken for being called a monopoly) in order to build houses or hotels. If a player wants to mortgage one property of a color-group, not only must any houses or hotels be removed from that property, but from the others in the color-group as well.
    • 4 railways. Players collect $25 rent if they own one station, $50 if they own two, $100 if they own three and $200 if they own all four. These are usually replaced by railway stations in non-U.S. editions of Monopoly.
    • 2 utilities. Rent is four times dice value if player owns one utility, but 10 times dice value if player owns both. Hotels and houses cannot be built on utilities or stations.
  • A supply of paper money. The supply of money is theoretically unlimited; if the bank runs out of money the players must make do with other markers, or calculate on paper. Additional paper money can be bought at certain locations, notably game and hobby stores, or downloaded from various websites and printed and cut by hand (one such site has created a $1,000 bill for the game; it is not one of the standard denominations). In the original U.S. standard editions, the supply generally starts with $15,140. The winner of the quadrennial Monopoly World Championship receives the same amount in United States dollars.[21] [NOTE: This base money amount has changed—see below.]
  • 32 wooden or plastic houses and 12 wooden or plastic hotels (the original and the current Deluxe Edition have wooden houses and hotels; the current "base set" uses plastic buildings). Unlike money, houses and hotels have a finite supply. If no more are available, no substitute is allowed.
  • A deck of 16 Chance cards and a deck of 16 Community Chest cards. Players draw these cards when they land on the corresponding squares of the track, and follow the instructions printed on them.

Hasbro also sells a Deluxe Edition, which is mostly identical to the classic edition but has wooden houses and hotels and gold-toned tokens, including one token in addition to the standard eleven, a railroad locomotive. Other additions to the Deluxe Edition include a card carousel, which holds the title deed cards, and money printed with two colors of ink.

In 1978, retailer Neiman Marcus manufactured and sold an all-chocolate edition of Monopoly through its "Christmas Wish Book" for that year. The entire set was edible, including the money, dice, hotels, properties, tokens and playing board. The set retailed for $600.[22]

In 2000, the FAO Schwarz store in New York City sold a custom version called One-Of-A-Kind Monopoly for $100,000.[23] This special edition comes in a locking attaché case made with Napolino leather and lined in suede, and features include:

  • 18-carat (75%) gold tokens, houses, and hotels
  • Rosewood board
  • street names written in gold leaf
  • emeralds around the Chance icon
  • sapphires around the Community Chest
  • rubies in the brake lights of the car on the Free Parking Space
  • the money is real, negotiable United States currency

The Guinness Book of World Records states that a set worth $2,000,000 and made of 23-carat gold, with rubies and sapphires atop the chimneys of the houses and hotels, is the most expensive Monopoly set ever produced.[24] This set was designed by artist Sidney Mobell to honor the game's 50th anniversary in 1985.

The distribution of cash in the U.S. version has changed with the newer release versions. Older versions had a total of $15,140 in the following amounts/colors:

  • 20 $500 bills (orange)
  • 20 $100 bills (beige)
  • 30 $50 bills (blue)
  • 90 $20 bills (green)
  • 40 $10 bills (yellow)
  • 40 $5 bills (pink)
  • 40 $1 bills (white)

The newer (September 2008) editions have a total of $20,580, with 30 of each bill denomination. In addition, the colors of some of the bills have been changed; $10s are now blue instead of yellow, $20s are a brighter color green than before, and $50s are now purple instead of blue.

Each player begins the game with his or her token on the Go square, and $1,500 (or 1,500 of a localized currency) in play money. Prior to September 2008, the money was divided as follows in the U.S. standard rules:

  • Two each of:
    • $500 bills
    • $100 bills
    • $50 bills
  • Six $20 bills
  • Five each of:
    • $10 bills
    • $5 bills
    • $1 bills

Since then, the US version has taken on the British version's initial cash distributions of:

  • Two x $/£500
  • Four x $/£100
  • One x $/£50
  • One x $/£20
  • Two x $/£10
  • One x $/£5
  • Five x $/£1

Pre-Euro German editions of the game started with 30,000 "Spielmark" in eight denominations (abbreviated as "M."), and later used seven denominations of the "Deutsche Mark" ("DM."). In the classic Italian game, each player receives ₤350,000 ($3500) in a two-player game, but ₤50,000 ($500) less for each player more than two. Only in a six-player game does a player receive the equivalent of $1,500. The classic Italian games were played with only four denominations of currency. Both Spanish editions (the Barcelona and Madrid editions) started the game with 150,000 in play money, with a breakdown identical to that of the American version.

All property deeds, houses, and hotels are held by the bank until bought by the players.


Players take turns in order, with the initial player determined by chance before the game. A typical turn begins with the rolling of the dice and advancing their piece clockwise around the board the corresponding number of squares.

If a player lands on Chance or Community Chest, they draw the top card from the respective pile and obey its instructions. If the player lands on an unowned property, whether street, railroad, or utility, he can buy the property for its listed purchase price. If he declines this purchase, the property is auctioned off by the bank to the highest bidder. If the property landed on is already owned and unmortgaged, he must pay the owner a given rent, the price dependent on whether the property is part of a set or its level of development. If a player rolls doubles, he rolls again after completing his turn. Three sets of doubles in a row, however, land the player in jail.

If a player is in jail, he does not take a normal turn, and may either pay to be released from jail, or attempt to roll doubles on the dice. If a player fails to roll doubles, he misses his turn. If he fails to roll doubles three times, he must automatically pay the fine to be released. While a player is in jail, he can still buy and sell property and buildings, and collect rents. If a player does roll doubles, he may immediately move according to the roll, but he cannot roll a second time after exiting jail.

During a player's turn, that player may also choose to develop properties, if the player has a "monopoly" of ownership of that property's color. Development involves the construction of houses or hotels on properties, for given amounts of money paid to the bank, and is tracked on the board by adding plastic houses and hotels to the square. Development must be uniform across a monopoly, such that a second house cannot be built on one property in a monopoly until the others have one house.

Although houses and hotels cannot be built on railroads or utilities, the given rent also increases if a player owns multiple railroads or utilities.

Properties can also be mortgaged, although all developments on a monopoly must be sold before any property of that color can be mortgaged or traded. The player receives money from the bank for each mortgaged property, which must be repaid with interest to unmortgage. Houses are returned to the bank for half their purchase price. Property may not be given away to another player.

A player goes bankrupt, and is thus eliminated from the game, if he cannot pay what he owes. If the bankrupt player owes the bank, he must turn all of his assets to the bank. If the debt is instead to another player, all the assets are instead given to that opponent, but the new owner must still pay the bank to unmortgage any such properties received. The winner is the remaining player left after all the others have gone bankrupt.[25]

House rules

Parker Brothers' official instructions have long encouraged the use of house rules, specific additions to or subtractions from the official rule sets. Many casual Monopoly players are surprised to discover that some of the rules that they are used to are not part of the official rules. Many of these house rules tend to make the game longer by randomly giving players more money. Some common house rules are listed below:

  • No Auctions: Should a player choose not to buy an unowned property they landed on, no auction is held, and the turn passes to the next player. This lengthens the game by increasing the amount of time necessary for all properties to be bought and developed, and by reducing the speed at which money is exchanged.
  • Free Parking jackpot, which usually consists of an initial stake (typically $500, or $5 million in the Here and Now Edition) plus collections of fines and taxes otherwise paid to the bank. A player who lands on Free Parking wins the jackpot, which may then be reset with the initial stake (if any). The jackpot is usually put in the center of the board. Since the jackpot forms an additional income for players in this set of house rules, games can take a much longer time than under normal rules.[26]
  • A bonus for landing directly on Go by dice roll (commonly an additional $200 or $500). This may or may not include cards that send the player to Go.[26]
  • A bonus for rolling snake eyes (a pair of ones), often $500, $100, or $686 (which is one of each bill used in the game.)[27]
  • In trades, players may offer "rent immunity" from their own properties (someone does not have to pay rent for landing on that property) as part of a deal (this can be good for a certain number of landings or the entire game).[26]
  • In the Monopoly City game, if someone lands on the chance space and draws the "Steal" card that allows them to steal a district from another player, the Steal card may be played right away or kept to be played later in the game. The player may also decide to attach a fee to this card if kept and played at a later time (e.g. $10,000,000 plus current rent value of stolen district is due when card is played at a later time).

House rules, while unofficial, are not wholly unrecognized by Parker Brothers.

From 1936, the rules booklet included with each Monopoly set contained a short section at the end providing rules for making the game shorter, either by setting a time limit, or by ending the game after the second player goes bankrupt. As well, an additional rules booklet or sheet[28] was included giving the rules for a short variant with several changes, such as starting each player out with two properties selected at random. A later version of the rules[29] included this variant, along with the time limit game, in the main rules booklet, omitting the second bankruptcy method as a third short game.

Video game and computer game versions of Monopoly have options where popular house rules can be used. House rules that have the effect of randomly introducing more money into the game have a side-effect of increasing the time it takes for players to become bankrupt, lengthening the game considerably, as well as decreasing the effects of strategy and prudent investment. House rules that increase the amount of money in the game may change the strategies of the players, such as changing the relative value of different properties- the more money in the game, the more one may wish to invest in the higher value properties.


According to Jim Slater in The Mayfair Set, the Orange property group is the best to own because players land on them more often, as a result of the Chance cards Go to Jail, Advance to St. Charles Place (Pall Mall), Advance to Reading Railroad (King's Cross Station) and Go Back Three Spaces.[30]

In all, during game play, Illinois Avenue (Trafalgar Square), New York Avenue (Vine Street), B&O Railroad (Fenchurch Street Station), and Reading Railroad (King's Cross Station) are the most frequently landed-upon properties. Mediterranean Avenue (Old Kent Road) and Baltic Avenue (Whitechapel Road) are the least-landed-upon properties.[31]

The end game

One common criticism of Monopoly is that it has carefully defined, yet almost unreachable, termination conditions. Edward P. Parker, a former president of Parker Brothers, is quoted as saying, "We always felt that forty-five minutes was about the right length for a game, but Monopoly could go on for hours. Also, a game was supposed to have a definite end somewhere. In Monopoly you kept going around and around."[32] However, the problem of time can be resolved by playing with a time limit and counting each player's net worth when the time is up. In fact, tournament play calls for a 90-minute time limit.[33] Two hour time limits are used for international play.[34] The Lord of the Rings edition gives players the option of creating a random time limit using the included One Ring token and specialized dice. The SpongeBob SquarePants game board includes a Plankton piece that moves every time someone rolls a 1 with the dice (if a player rolls two 1s, the Plankton piece moves two spaces), and the game is over when it reaches the end of the board.

Hasbro states that the longest game of Monopoly ever played lasted 1,680 hours (70 days or 10 weeks or 2 1/3 months).[35]


Numerous add-ons have been made for Monopoly, both before its commercialization and after. Three such official add-ons are discussed below.

Stock Exchange

The original Stock Exchange add-on was published by Capitol Novelty Co. of Rensselaer, NY in early 1936.[36] It was marketed as an add-on for Monopoly, Finance, or Easy Money games. Shortly after Capitol Novelty introduced Stock Exchange, Parker Brothers bought it from them then marketed their own slightly redesigned version as an add-on specifically for their 'new' Monopoly game and it is known that the Parker Brothers version was available in June, 1936.[37] The Free Parking square is covered over by a new Stock Exchange space and the add-on included three Chance and three Community Chest cards directing the player to "Advance to Stock Exchange".

The add-on also included thirty stock certificates, five for each of the six different stocks, differing only in the purchase price (or Par Value), ranging from $100 to $150. Shares, like properties, are tradeable material, and could also be mortgaged for half their purchase price. Shareholders could increase the value of their shares by buying up more of the same company's shares.

When a player moves onto Free Parking/Stock Exchange, stock dividends are paid out to all players on their non-mortgaged shares. The amount to be paid out to each player is determined based on the number and kind of shares owned. Specifically, a player receives dividends from each stock based on the following formula:

(par value of share / 10) × (number of shares owned)2

Example: Owning one share of "Motion Pictures" (par value $100) pays dividends of $10. Owning two shares pays $40 ($10 x 22), owning three pays $90 ($10 x 32) and owning four pays $160 ($10 x 42). A player owning all five receives $250 ($10 x 52).

The player who lands on Free Parking/Stock Exchange can also choose to buy a share if any remain. Should the player decline, the share is auctioned to the highest bidder by the Bank.[38]

The Stock Exchange add-on serves to inject more money into the game, in a similar manner to railroad properties, as well as changing the relative values of properties. In particular, the Red and Yellow properties are more valuable due to the increased chance of landing on Free Parking.

The Stock Exchange add-on was later redesigned and rereleased in 1992 under license by Chessex, this time including a larger number of new Chance and Community Chest cards.[39] This version included ten new Chance cards (five "Advance to Stock Exchange" and five other related cards) and eleven new Community Chest cards (five "Advance to Stock Exchange" and six other related cards; the regular Community Chest card "From sale of stock you get $45" is removed from play when using these cards). Many of the original rules applied to this new version (in fact, one optional play choice allows for playing in the original form by only adding the "Advance to Stock Exchange" cards to each deck).

A Monopoly Stock Exchange Edition was released in 2001 (although not in the US), this time adding an electronic calculator-like device to keep track of the complex stock figures. This was a full edition, not just an add-on, that came with its own board, money and playing pieces. Properties on the board were replaced by companies on which shares could be floated, and offices and home offices (instead of houses and hotels) could be built.[40]


Playmaster, another official add-on, released in 1982, was an electronic device that kept track of all player movement and dice rolls as well as what properties are still available. It then uses this information to call random auctions and mortgages that are advantageous for some players and a punishment for others, making it easier to free up cards of a color group. It also plays eight short tunes when key game functions occur; for example when a player lands on a railroad it plays I've Been Working on the Railroad.[41]

Speed Die

In 2007, Parker Brothers began releasing its standard version of Monopoly with a new addition to gameplay—the Speed Die.[42] First included in Winning Moves' Monopoly: The Mega Edition variant, this third die alters gameplay by allowing players to increase their move up to 3 spaces (rolling one of the 3 numbered sides); move immediately to the next unowned property OR to the next property on which they would owe money (rolling one of 2 "Mr. Monopoly" sides); "Get Off The Bus Early" (rolling the "Bus" side), allowing the player the option to use the total of just one die to move (i.e. A roll of 1-5-BUS would let the player choose from moving 1, 5 or 6 spaces); or even move directly to any space on the board (rolling a triple—all three dice showing the same 1, 2, or 3). The unofficial "Nutmeg" Speed Die innovation, developed and play tested in February 2011, enables players to direct the Bank to seize opponent properties using the power of eminent domain in limited circumstances.[43] Usage of the die in the regular game differs slightly from use in the Mega Edition (i.e. Players use the Speed Die from the beginning in Mega; players can only use the Speed Die in the regular game AFTER their first time going past GO).[44]


Other games

Besides the many variants of the actual game (and the Monopoly Junior spin-off) released in either video game or computer game formats (e.g. Windows-based PC, Macintosh, Game Boy, Super Nintendo, Game Boy Advance, Satellaview, Sega Genesis, Commodore 64, etc.), two spin-off computer games have been created.[45]

Parker Brothers and its licensees have also sold several spin-offs of Monopoly. These are not add-ons, as they do not function as an addition to the Monopoly game, but are simply additional games in the flavor of Monopoly.

  • Monopoly Junior board game: A simplified version of the original game for young children.
  • Advance to Boardwalk board game: Focusing mainly on building the most hotels along the Boardwalk.
  • Express Monopoly card game: Released by Hasbro/Parker Brothers and Waddingtons in the UK in the 1990s, now out of print. Basically a rummy-style card game based on scoring points by completing color group sections of the game board.
  • Monopoly: The Card Game: an updated card game released by Winning Moves Games under license from Hasbro. Similar, but decidedly more complex, gameplay to the Express Monopoly card game.
  • Free Parking card game: A more complex card game released by Parker Brothers, with several similarities to the card game Mille Bornes. Uses cards to either add time to parking meters, or spend the time doing activities to earn points. Includes a deck of Second Chance cards that further alter gameplay. Two editions were made; minor differences in card art and Second Chance cards in each edition.
  • Monopoly Deal: The most recent card game version of Monopoly. Players attempt to complete three property groups by playing property, cash & event cards.[46]
  • Don't Go to Jail: Dice game originally released by Parker Brothers; roll combinations of dice to create color groups for points before rolling the words "GO" "TO" and "JAIL" (which forfeits all earned points for the turn).
  • Monopoly Express: A deluxe, travel edition re-release of Don't Go To Jail, replacing the word dice with "Officer Jones" dice and adding an eleventh die, Houses & Hotels, and a self-contained game container/dice roller & keeper.[47]
  • Monopoly Express Casino: A gambling-themed version of the above game, that adds wagering to the gameplay.
  • Here and Now Electronic Edition: Eliminates the need for money, using credit cards instead.
  • Here and Now: The World Edition: Same as above, but based on the whole world (thus needing to use "Monopoly Dollars"), also available in a tin.
  • Monopoly City: Gameplay retains similar flavor but has been made significantly more complex in this version. The traditional properties are replaced by “districts” mapped to the previously underutilized real estate in the center of the board. Once owned by a player a district may be developed with up to eight blocks of residential or industrial buildings. Possession of a complete color suite is not required to build but the number of blocks that may be built during any turn is limited to 1, 2 or 3 by the outcome of a button press to a battery powered gadget (and by the amount of cash to hand). A skyscraper may be built when a full color suite is owned, doubling the rent payable for all districts of that color. Even better is the “Monopoly Tower”. The gadget may also allow the building of a station, now the only building that may occupy a district’s color bar. Once two stations have been built a player landing in a district with a station may choose to end their move at another station. The gadget also times auctions of unowned property initiated by landing upon an auction square. Chance cards remain (and must be stacked off – board) but railroad squares have been replaced by four planning permission spaces. Each of these offers binary choice to build anywhere either a specified hazard (prison, sewage plant, rubbish dump, power station) that makes an opponent’s residential blocks unrentable, or a bonus building (school, park, windfarm, watertower) that prevents placement of a hazard in that district.
  • U-Build Monopoly: A variant of Monopoly City using separate game tiles that allow for construction of custom game board configurations.
  • Monopoly City Streets: An online version, using Google Maps and Open Street Map.
  • Monopoly: The iPhone game designed by Electronic Arts.
  • Monopoly Millionaires The Facebook game designed by Playfish.

Game show versions

A short-lived Monopoly game show aired on Saturday evenings from June 16 to September 1, 1990 on ABC. The show was produced by Merv Griffin and hosted by Mike Reilly. The show was paired with a summer-long Super Jeopardy! tournament, which also aired during this period on ABC.

Three contestants competed by answering crossword puzzle-style clues to acquire properties and earn money in attempt to build monopolies. After the properties were acquired, players used the money earned to improve them with houses and hotels that would further increase the value of questions when those properties were landed upon. The player with the most money at the end of the game won and played the bonus round for a chance to win $25,000 or $50,000.

Currently, The Hub airs the game show Family Game Night, where teams earn cash in the form of "Monopoly Crazy Cash Cards" which is inserted to the "Monopoly Crazy Cash Machine" at the end of every episode, although Monopoly is not actually one of the games played on the show. In addition, starting with Season 2, teams win "Monopoly Party Packages" for winning the individual games.

Gambling games

Many Monopoly-themed slot machines and lotteries have been produced by WMS Gaming for land-based casinos. WagerWorks, who have the on-line rights to Monopoly, have created online Monopoly themed games.

London’s Gamesys Group have also developed a bingo-based online game called "Monopoly Snap!" for the Jackpotjoy online bingo site.

The British quiz machine brand itbox also supports a Monopoly trivia and chance game, which, like most other itbox games, costs 50p (£0.50) to play and has a £20 jackpot.

There was also a live, online version of Monopoly. Six painted taxis drive around London picking up passengers. When the taxis reach their final destination, the region of London that they are in is displayed on the online board. This version takes far longer to play than board-game monopoly, with one game lasting 24 hours. Results and position are sent to players via e-mail at the conclusion of the game.[48]

Commercial promotions

The McDonald's Monopoly game is a sweepstakes advertising promotion of McDonald's and Hasbro that has been offered in the United States, Canada, Germany, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, United Kingdom, France, Romania, Australia, Singapore and Taiwan. The game mimics the game of Monopoly. Originally, customers received a set of two tokens with every purchase, but now tokens only come with certain menu items. Tokens correspond to a property space on the Monopoly board. When combined into color-matched properties, the tokens may be redeemed for money or prizes. There are also "instant win" tokens the recipient can redeem for McDonald's food, money, or other prizes.


In November 2008, Ridley Scott was announced to direct Universal Pictures' film version of the game, based on a script written by Pamela Pettler and Alex Hyner. The film is co-produced by Hasbro's Brian Goldner, as part of a deal with Hasbro to develop movies based on the company's line of toys.[49][50] The story is being developed by author Frank Beddor.[51]

The 2010 documentary Under the Boardwalk: The MONOPOLY Story, covering the history and players of the game, won an Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Anaheim International Film Festival. The film played theatrically in the US beginning in March 2011 and is scheduled to be released in stores in February 2012. The film is narrated by Zachary Levi.[52][53]


Because Monopoly evolved in the public domain before its commercialization, Monopoly has seen many variant games. Most of these are exact copies of the Monopoly games with the street names replaced with locales from a particular town, university, or fictional place. National boards have been released as well. Over the years, many specialty Monopoly editions, licensed by Parker Brothers/Hasbro, and produced by them, or their licensees (including USAopoly and Winning Moves Games) have been sold to local and national markets worldwide. Two well known "families" of -opoly like games, without licenses from Parker Brothers/Hasbro, have also been produced.

Several published games are similar to Monopoly. These include:

  • Anti-Monopoly, one of several games[54] that are a sort of monopoly backwards.[55] The name of this game led to legal action between Anti-Monopoly's creator, Ralph Anspach, and the owners of Monopoly.[55]
  • Blue Marble Game, a Korean game based on monopoly created in 1982.
  • Chômageopoly, "Unemployment Monopoly", a board game created by the Lip factory in the 1970s.
  • Dinosauropoly, a version using prehistoric motifs and rules.
  • Dallasopoly,a version replacing properties with various locations in Dallas, Texas.Sold by the Dallas Arboretum(which is actually one of the properties one can buy).
  • Easy Money, published by Milton Bradley, also in the 1930s.
  • El Estanciero, an Argentinian boardgame with the same basic mechanics, although the board is six-sided and the properties are Argentinian provinces. The name means "the rancher" in Spanish.
  • The Farming Game is a board game in which the goal is to run a financially successful farm, and like Monopoly the heart of the game is economics. The game's website draws comparisons to Monopoly.
  • Fast Food Franchise is a board game by TimJim games, which shares Monopoly's core mechanics, but through careful design guarantees it will actually end.
  • Federal Reserve Monopoly,[citation needed] created by Goldstein, Patrick, & Speeduh in 2009, mocks the money-as-debt monetary system and incorporates many of the financial instruments that caused the 2008 Wall Street crash, like "Credit Default Swap" and "Purchase Options".
  • Finans (and Nya Finans), a Scandinavian board game from 1949 which adds stocks and bonds to the basic Monopoly-style property trading.
  • La gran Capital, published by several Chilean factories, is a Chilean version of the game, with neighborhoods from Santiago de Chile. The title means "the big capital", other versions are even named "Metropolis".
  • The Fascinating Game of Finance, later shortened to Finance, first marketed in 1932 by Knapp Electric, and later by Parker Brothers.
  • Go For Broke, the exact opposite of Monopoly, has the players trying to spend all their money before anyone else. Bad bets at the casino, real estate, stock market, race track, and giving to the poor house lowers your account balance. This was a Milton Bradley game originally published in the mid-1960s.
  • Ghettopoly, released in 2003, caused considerable offense upon its release. The game, intended to be a humorous rendering of ghetto life, was decried as racist for its unflinching use of racial stereotypes. Hasbro sought and received an injunction against Ghettopoly's designer.[56][57]
  • Greekopoly, a college-themed version using fraternities and sororities as properties.
  • Potopoly, A marijuana-themed version, using a five-sided board, and bags instead of houses.
  • Itadaki Street, a series of board games for video game consoles from Enix.
  • Poleconomy, a board game designed in New Zealand incorporating real-world companies as well as political and economic strategy.
  • The Mad Magazine Game, a Mad Magazine themed board game in which the object of the game is for player to lose all their money, play is counter-clockwise, and the dice must be rolled with the left hand. Released by Parker Brothers in 1979.
  • Saidina, a Malaysia localized version.[58]
  • Solarquest, a popular space-age adaptation, was released by Golden in 1986.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants™ Edition by Hasbro
  • Totopoly, created by Waddingtons in 1938, is based on horse racing.
  • Strictly Pittsburgh, a variant based on the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In addition to properties being replaced with local Pittsburgh sites and businesses, it contained a somewhat different board layout and replaced houses and hotels with skyscrapers.
  • Dostihy a sázky, a variant sold in Czechoslovakia. This game comes from the totalitarian communist era (1948–1989), when private businesses were forbidden and mortgages didn't exist, so the monopoly theme was changed to a horse racing theme.
  • Petropolis, a copy of Monopoly based in buying into the oil industry, using oilfields. The game uses 'telex messages' instead of Chance cards and the playing board snakes round into the middle before continuing round the edge.
  • Turista, a Mexican copy of Monopoly made by Montecarlo board game manufacturer. It is based in buying Mexican States. In each state it is possible to build gas stations and hotel to increase the rent amount.
  • NFL Version – Where properties are NFL teams (order based on results of that season, with the Denver Broncos being the most expensive property) and the die are shaped like footballs.
  • My Monopoly.
  • Business, an Indian version of a Monopoly like game not associated with Hasbro. In this version the "properties" to be bought are cities of India.
  • Kissopoly is a KISS-themed version of the game where players buy songs in the band's catalog as well as various merchandise in the place of properties. The game also uses gold and platinum records in the place of hotels and houses. Game play is no different than standard Monopoly.
  • Matador – a Danish variant in which the board is shaped as circle and with some minor variations in the rules and design of the game.
  • Millionaire's Game – a variant of the game used in the Philippines created by Mabuhay Boardgames.
  • København – a spin-off themed after Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Pokémon Monopoly


Wired magazine believes Monopoly is a poorly designed game. Former Wall Streeter Derk Solko explains, "Monopoly has you grinding your opponents into dust. It's a very negative experience. It's all about cackling when your opponent lands on your space and you get to take all their money." Most of the 3 to 4 hour average playing time is spent waiting for other players to play their turn. Board game enthusiasts disparagingly call this a "roll your dice, move your mice" format.[59]

See also


  1. ^ Burton H. Wolfe (1976). "". The San Francisco Bay Guardian. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  2. ^ "google patents". GAME-BOARD LIZZIE J. MAGIE et al. 
  3. ^ Brewer, E. C. (1991) Brewer's Dictionary of 20th-Century Phrase and Fable. London: Cassell; pp. 408–09
  4. ^ Brian McMahon (November 29, 2007). "How board game helped free POWs". Mental floss magazine. Retrieved December 7, 2007. 
  5. ^ Ki Mae Heussner (September 18, 2009). "Get Out of Jail Free: Monopoly's Hidden Maps". ABC News. Retrieved September 18, 2009. 
  6. ^ How a Fight Over a Board Game Monopolized an Economist's Life, Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2009
  7. ^ Kennedy, Rod (2004) Monopoly: the story behind the world's best-selling game; text by Jim Waltzer. Salt Lake City, Utah: Gibbs Smith; p. 35
  8. ^ "Monopoly, Present at the Creation". NPR. Retrieved June 10, 2009. 
  9. ^ Kennedy (2004); p. 23.
  10. ^ "The Route of the Blue Comet" published by the West Jersey Chapter of the National Railroad Historical Society.
  11. ^ "Calgary vies for Monopoly real estate". CBC News. January 13, 2010. 
  12. ^ Rules clarifications for Monopoly: The Mega Edition.
  13. ^ "Montreal top property in new Monopoly game – Retrieved 2008/08/20 01:14 pm UTC". August 20, 2008. Retrieved June 10, 2009. 
  14. ^ a b Monopoly Contest Stirs Up Jerusalem Conflict, Associated Press, published February 21, 2008.
  15. ^ Monopoly Jihad, Dailymail Blog, published February 23, 2008.
  16. ^ "Norwegian teen wins Monopoly world championship". AFP. October 23, 2009.,27574,26249271-23109,00.html. 
  17. ^ "World of". World of Retrieved April 12, 2011. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ Passing Go: Early Monopoly 1933–1937 by "Clarence B. Darwin" (pseudonym for David Sadowski). First edition, revised, pp. 207–208. Folkopoly Press, River Forest, IL.
  20. ^ Passing Go: Early Monopoly 1933–1937 by "Clarence B. Darwin" (pseudonym for David Sadowski). First edition, revised, p. 206. Folkopoly Press, River Forest, IL
  21. ^ Details of the 2004 Monopoly World Championship, held in Tokyo.[dead link]
  22. ^ Orbanes, Philip (1988). The Monopoly Companion (First edition ed.). Bob Adams, Inc.. p. 20. ISBN 1-55850-950-X. 
  23. ^ Archived article from Business Wire, stored at Retrieved 1 January 2006.
  24. ^ Most Expensive Monopoly Set world record.[dead link]
  25. ^
  26. ^ a b c Orbanes, Philip (1999). The Monopoly Companion: The Players Guide (Second edition ed.). Adams Media Corporation. pp. 140–142. ISBN 1-58062-175-9. 
  27. ^ Romer, Megan (2006). "Monopoly House Rules and Variations" (in English). Retrieved October 3, 2006. 
  28. ^ Poland, John. "Monopoly History - Rules 1940-1951" (in English). Retrieved September 10, 2011. 
  29. ^ Brady, Maxine (1974). The Monopoly Book. David McKay Company. pp. 143-144. ISBN 0-679-20292-7. 
  30. ^ Google Video The Mayfair Set – Episode Two (Adam Curtis, BBC), 44:30–45:55
  31. ^ Collins, Truman (1997). "Monopoly Square Probabilities". Retrieved May 28, 2006. ; the page includes detailed analyses of expected income from each property and discussion of the strategic implications.
  32. ^ Brandreth, Gyles (1985). The Monopoly Omnibus (First hardcover edition ed.). Willow Books. p. 19. ISBN 0-00-218166-5. 
  33. ^ US Tournament Guide, PDF file.
  34. ^ Tournament rules for Canada, from 2003. PDF file.
  35. ^ ""Fun Facts" page at". February 13, 2009. Retrieved April 12, 2011. 
  36. ^ "1936 Stock Exchange Game". Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  37. ^ wikibook link to Stock Exchange
  38. ^ "Stock Exchange rules (1936)" (PDF). Hasbro. Retrieved November 12, 2008. 
  39. ^ page for the original Monopoly Stock Exchange add-on. Retrieved January 1, 2006.
  40. ^ page for the Monopoly Stock Exchange edition that came with a specialized calculator. Retrieved January 1, 2006.
  41. ^ page for the Monopoly Playmaster electronic accessory. Retrieved 1 January 2006.
  42. ^ "Speed die instruction manual from Hasbro" (PDF). Retrieved April 12, 2011. 
  43. ^ "Nutmeg Speed Die Innovation," Monopoly Horizons weblog entry, February 25, 2011.". Retrieved February 26, 2011. 
  44. ^ "entry for the new Speed Die Variant Edition". Retrieved June 10, 2009. 
  45. ^ "Monopoly for GEN". GameSpot. 2006. Retrieved December 23, 2006. 
  46. ^ page on Monopoly Deal
  47. ^ entry on MONOPOLY EXPRESS[dead link]
  48. ^ "Monopoly Live". Retrieved May 25, 2006. 
  49. ^ Ridley Scott to direct 'Monopoly' By MARC GRASER, VARIETY, Nov. 12, 2008 (retrieved September 27, 2009)
  50. ^ 'Monopoly' has electric company The Hollywood Reporter, Nov. 12, 2008 (retrieved September 27, 2009)
  51. ^ "Bedder Reveals Monopoly Story Details". November 11, 2009. Retrieved April 12, 2011. 
  52. ^ Under the Boardwalk – The MONOPOLY Story Official website
  53. ^ Under the Boardwalk – IMDB
  54. ^ Anti-monopoly on boardgamegeek [1] Retrieved March 13, 2011.
  55. ^ a b How a Fight Over a Board Game Monopolized an Economist's Life. The Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2009, Mary Pilon [2] Retrieved March 14, 2011
  56. ^ Story on the October 2003 lawsuit filing, from USA Today
  57. ^ Decision from the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island, dated May 18, 2006. PDF file.
  58. ^ [3] SPM Games – a Malaysia games company that created the local variant version.
  59. ^ Curry, Andrew (January 4, 2009). "Monopoly Killer: Perfect German Board Game Redefines Genre". Retrieved June 10, 2009. 

55. Pre-Parker Brothers Capitol Novelty Stock Exchange game

  • Monopoly as a Markov Process, by R. Ash and R. Bishop, Mathematics Magazine, vol. 45 (1972) p. 26–29.
  • Anspach, Ralph (2000). The Billion Dollar MONOPOLY Swindle (Second Edition ed.). Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 0-7388-3139-5. 
  • Brady, Maxine (1974). The Monopoly Book: Strategy and Tactics of the World's Most Popular Game (First hardcover edition ed.). D. McKay Co.. ISBN 0-679-20292-7. 
  • Darzinskis, Kaz (1987). Winning Monopoly: A Complete Guide to Property Accumulation, Cash-Flow Strategy, and Negotiating Techniques When Playing the Best-Selling Board Game (First Edition ed.). Harper & Row, New York. ISBN 0-06-096127-9. 
  • Moore, Tim (2004). Do Not Pass Go. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-09-943386-9. 
  • Orbanes, Philip E. (1999). The Monopoly Companion: The Player's Guide (Second Edition ed.). Adams Media Corporation. ISBN 1-58062-175-9. 
  • Orbanes, Philip E. (2004). The Game Makers: The Story of Parker Brothers (First Edition ed.). Harvard Business School Press. ISBN 1-59139-269-1. 
  • "Monopoly launches UK-wide edition". BBC. September 24, 2007. Retrieved February 8, 2008. 

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