Photos by Jennine Cusimano
Calling Monopoly Empire the Jay Z of monopoly games sounds like a hyperbole, but it’s more accurate than you’d think. HOVA changed the rap game and made it more fashionable for rappers to be entrepreneurs rather than gangstas. Empire is changing how you play Monopoly and making it so you can buy up corporations rather than real estate … because, let’s be real, who want to deal with real estate after the housing bubble burst?
What’s everyone biggest complain with Monopoly? It takes way too damn long. I remember getting my first Monopoly set, playing it with my dad and loving it. However, my dad refused to ever play with me again. Took too damn long. Cut into his golfing time. The board game collected dust for years before being sent to Goodwill.
Monopoly Empire fixes that by speeding the game up significantly. We played two games in an hour. The most annoying thing is the set-up and figuring out the new rules, but once you get that down, it flies. But, don’t just take my word for it.
Chris Moeser – Producer, MTV Digital
The game moves super quick and gives the players so many ways to double cross and dirty deal each other — way more rewarding then those old school monopoly nights as a kid spent bankrupting grandma or sneakily stealing money from the banker during family shouting matches over the rules.
Monopoly Empire only allows four players, so Brandon and Chris had to team up. They still lost.
Brandon Freeberg - Senior Producer, MTV Digital
– It took a while to get a sense of the rules, mainly because you’ve been trained to play Monopoly one way your whole life. But once you did and you could start applying strategy it’s surprisingly a lot of fun.
– Making snarky comments about the lesser valued companies like Spotify or Beats By Dre was one of my more favorite aspects of the game. Made me feel like a real corporate a-hole.
– Was sad to find out that when you purchase Coca-Cola their secret recipe isn’t included (rip-off).
Alex Zalben – Producer, MTV Geek
I’m a huge Monopole (which is what we Monopoly fans call ourselves not really at all), so I was a little hesitant to approach a brand new take on the game. And I say brand new take, because it was all about brands, which was making me hesitant. But, if you can get past the McDonalds’ and Coca-Cola of it all, it’s actually a fun game that makes Monopoly way more accessible to people who DON’T want to sit and fight with their family for four hours.
My favorite part is the new level of strategy it brings to the game. Rather than pure endurance, there’s brand new ways of psychologically beating down the other players, particularly through sneaky swaps and auctions. It all still comes down tot he basic strategy of “buy as much as you can, as quickly as you can,” but its still a fun take on the game. I hope they release a version of this without the brands, because depression era real estate choices are still relevant to today’s millennials! What’s that you say? I’m fired from MTV? All right then.
Marty Beckerman – Associate Editor, Guy Code Blog
When Ryan started reading the rules, I blurted, “Ryan, I’m Jewish — I know how to play Monopoly.” But this new version actually has a significant learning curve; you’ll spend half an hour adjusting to the reworked game-play.
Stick with it, because Monopoly Empire is way more fun than the original: A faster pace (for the Twitter generation) and more cutthroat strategy (for the Bernie Madoff generation). Although it probably won’t have the original’s 110-year lifespan, because many of the featured companies won’t exist a century from now. Sorry, Beats, but by then, motherf**kers will have forgot about Dre.