Compared to the modern board games that fill shelves these days, Monopoly, while one of the most popular board games in the world, doesn’t get much acclaim, even if it is a classic. Despite this, Hasbro continually reinvents the game, as the core game mechanics are evergreen and it is still able to maintain its essence as a property trading board game even after adapting to the current trends and transforming itself somewhat
Monopoly has had multiple themed sets such as Fortnite, My Hero Academia, and Super Mario, and the board game does not shy away from taking inspiration from big franchises as well, including Stranger Things and Games of Thrones.
This means it’s not going the way of the dinosaur, even if it technically is, with Hasbro releasing a Jurassic Park Monopoly set that brings players back to the Mesozoic era.
What makes this set different from the other themed Monopoly sets is that the Jurassic Park Monopoly set is inspired by the 1993 film of the same name, and comes with some new gameplay, because after several million years, what’s another 28-year wait after the movie is released, to develop a inspired board game?.
Although the objective of the game remains the same where players are expected to buy, sell or swap property until only one man is left standing, some features and rules have been added to reflect the theme of the board game.
And what is Monopoly without its unique tokens? The Jurassic Park edition comes with six movie characters to choose from – Dr Ellie Sattler, Dr Alan Grant, Lex Murphy, Tim Murphy, John Hammond and Dr Ian Malcolm. At first glance, it might be hard to differentiate them due to their similar build and colour, but when looked at closely, they all have their unique features.
A big difference with the Jurassic Park edition is the electronic gate that greets players. It’s a palm-sized piece that sits near the GO space and every time a participant passes or lands on the GO space, the player has to activate the gate by pressing the Jurassic Park button and if the movie’s theme song is heard, players may collect $200 from the bank. Alas, if a dinosaur roar is heard, only $100 can be collected.
The most unique piece from this edition would be the rampaging T-Rex token. It might look like a normal character token that you would take a dibs on but it holds a large role in the game. Other than moving your tokens, players will need to move the T-Rex as well with every turn. If the T-Rex passes or lands on the same space as any participant’s token, they would need to pay $50 to the bank. If the T-Rex lands on any property, that property is immediately damaged, unless it has been protected by a fence.
If the damaged property is owned, the player would need to turn over their property card and disable rent collection until they are able to repair it. If the property is unowned, however, the player who is interested to purchase the space would need to pay for both the repair and land cost.
One thing to take note of is that the T-Rex piece does not follow the rules of board space. Players are not able to put the destructive piece to jail nor expect it to pay property.
So how does the game determine the movement of the T-Rex? That’s where the eye-capturing amber dice comes in. It’s no different from the regular six-sided dice but this amber one is rolled with the normal white dice that it comes with. The amber dice determines how far the T-Rex moves first, while the combined roll of both dice determines how many spaces a player’s token needs to take.
Unlike the classic Monopoly board game, this edition does not come with houses or hotels either. Instead, players have the choice to purchase protective fences. Once a player owns a property, they may build a fence to offer protection from the roaming T-Rex. If the T-Rex lands on a fenced property, only the fence is destroyed while the space remains undamaged. Additionally, it is another means to charge more rent against players who are likely to land on the space. Players are eligible to purchase only one fence per property. If property loses its fence to the T-rex, players may then buy another one to safeguard their territory.
In conjunction with the Jurassic Park theme, properties that players can buy have been changed to Dino Paddocks instead of street roads, which still comes in colour sets, and Park Roads instead of railroads and Utilities. Rather than having Chance and Community Chest cards, the set comes with Impact Tremor and Cold Storage cards that tell players what to do, may it be by rolling the amber dice again, activate the electronic gate or simply put them in jail.
Once players have owned a whole set of Dino Paddocks, these coloured properties are then immune to the destructive ways of the T-Rex and owners would not need to buy a fence. On the downside, players who land on these spaces will not be charged extra for rent and would pay according to the original rental amount without the fence.
Overall, the experience in playing the Monopoly: Jurassic Park edition has been quite interesting and somehow a breath of fresh air when compared to the original Monopoly. It keeps players on their toes, especially since they are not only competing with their friends or family, but also with the destructive T-Rex on the loose.
The Monopoly game is not at all new to the market, and with so many variations out there, it needs to remain relevant to its audience. With Jurassic Park, it looks like Hasbro has found its speciality in producing limited edition sets that can keep fans happy and satisfied.