American Board Games on Google Maps

A few of my friends sent me links to Hasbro joining up with Google Maps to do their World Monopoly thing. I don’t have the link handy, but I’m sure you can find it. I know that the site has been pretty much down all day, so I’m pretty sure noone has even seen how it works. It doesn’t really sound like Monopoly to me. Of all the Classic American Board Games, I’d have to say that Monopoly I enjoyed the least.

There was too many house rules, too many rules ignored (specifically auctioning of titles) and losers take 6 hours to get knocked out of the game. Now sometimes Risk isn’t much better at that, but at least if everyone teams up they might be able to dislodge the person in the lead. In Monopoly, there really isn’t any player interaction besides “you landed on my square.” So there you have it. I’ve never really liked Monopoly.

Back to the mashup: obviously I always thought using the actual globe as a playground for board games was a good idea. A lot of people complained that you couldn’t zoom in and do the type of things that it sounds like World Monopoly is going to do. But that wasn’t Risk. I wasn’t trying to turn a global domination game into Hearts of Iron. Sure it’s possible, but I don’t know if that would be considered a board game anymore. And besides sharing names, the links to the original game seem slim at best. In general I think this experiment is a good idea, as long as there servers can handle it, which so far haven’t proven that they can. Hasbro is such a large company that it can always benefit from some type of buzz generated by pulling this off well.

Now I guess I’ll answer the question that first came to my mind when I was saw the Monopoly thing on Reddit the other day. How would you do it differently? Well firstly, this feels more like Sim City to me than Monopoly. I still am unsure how the system works besides streets having costs and everyone having seed money. Do people move around the world? Do you make more money? Anyways, I’d start classic Monopoly as the first try. Don’t open it until Multiplayer is playable. Drop it in the original location: Atlantic City, NJ. Try to keep the board as recognizable as possible, even though it won’t be a square. Allow options for turning off auctions, and enabling a few of the most popular house rules. The only one I can think of is the Free Parking = Money Square rule. Once you get it fleshed out, make it esy to transport. Allow the data to be created on the fly, allowing people to jump into a map, mark it up with everything that’s required. Then be able to save it out and use it in their own games. Maybe even have a community map supported system too.

One other option I might add is making your character choice worth-while. I always like the idea of unqieu, balanced characters. So maybe the car could get a +1 movement once per salary loop. That is, after you roll the dice, you may add 1 to your roll. This doesn’t cause you to have doubles. Or maybe the dog can choose to stop (losing the rest of her movement dice) on any street where you already own a property. [Eg. You may stop at Marvin’s Gardens if you already own Atlantic Avenue]

This is obviously just a rough idea, and would need to be balanced out to make sure it’s not broken. But it might be a fun way to include the different tokens.

Well I guess that’s all I have about that. For those curious, I did look into Atlantic City debating how well GMMonopoly would have worked. I also considered Stratego as a possibility. Monopoly came before the papers, Stratego afterwards.

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