Sunday, 5 April 2009

Star Trek Monopoly review, and competition!

Those nice people at USAopoly decided to send me a copy of their new "Star Trek: Continuum Edition" Monopoly game, which is out this month in the US and Canada, to have a play with. As a huge Star Trek and Monopoly fan I can’t say I was anything less than very excited by this. To the best of my knowledge there have been two Star Trek Monopolys before; a TOS one, and a TNG one, so this is the first time we get the entire Trekverse in one Monopoly game, good stuff.

The thing that I first wanted have a look at when I opened the box was the counters, so I shall start there. We get six; A Vulcan lute, a TOS shuttlecraft, a TOS movie-era hand phaser, a TOS communicator, Kirk's command chair, and a blood wine goblet. My very first thought was to question why they didn't go for more starships, however on thinking my thought through I have concluded the selection is actually quite a nice homage to the classic Monopoly tokens, in that we get a nice random assortment. My favourite is the lute, which I would have lost if they had done ships, and these are a huge improvement over the little figurine tokens that came with the previous Trek Monopolys. My only real complaint about the token selection is that it's very TOS-centric.

The board is good fun, with a few exceptions (such as Starfleet Command and the Chin'toka system) each property is a planet, grouped into clusters; for instance the red properties are all Klingon worlds, the light blues are the Federation founders. Train-stations are replaced with starships and utilities become Delta Vega's lithium cracking station and the Argus Array. The only possible improvement that occurred to us while playing was that the jail could have been renamed the brig, and free parking maybe starbase. Though it did also occur to us that those four corners might never change on any version of Monopoly so we forgave that one. Also unchanged are the houses and hotels, text all over the game rules and cards refers to them as starships and fleets but the design of the actual pieces is your standard house and hotel.

The cards for each of the properties are your standard Monopoly layout on one side, with a little factoid on the other about the subject. While playing we developed a little sub-game based in Star Trek geekery by trying to guess what the factoid might be...

The box of the game also provided some little factoids, on subjects such as the timeship Relativity and Species 8472. When I opened the box I thought this was a somewhat obscure collection of facts, but as we progressed through game-play and found references to these we decided it was actually a good backup on information more casual fans might not know so well, clever.

Community Chest and Chance cards have become "Sensor Readings" and "Subspace Transmissions" and have appropriately Trek-based results. I found myself particularly irked to have to pay Dr Phlox to cure me from the Klingon augment virus!

Money in the game takes the form of gold pressed latinum bars (translated into the usual paper slips).

The game-play is your classic Monopoly set-up, ie, a very enjoyable way to gobble up a couple of hours. The instructions also have suggestions for optional Star Trek rules, which we played with and had even more fun. Rolling a double six for instance gets you a Borg attack! In which (using a dice role-off) you can assimilate another players property - I blame this for my losing of the game!

In conclusion, if you enjoy Monopoly and are a Star Trek fan you can't go wrong here. The design of the game is quite well balanced between all the series and films, the elements customised for this edition of the game are done so effectively and are quite fun and the extra Star Trek rules easily double the enjoyability of a very enjoyable game.

COMPETITION - Now closed

And if you'd like a copy of the game (you could buy it, or) USAopoly were kind enough to send me another copy of the game to give away to one of you lucky peoples. So just send an email with the subject "Monopoly competition" to for your chance to win, and start buying up the entire Star Trek Continuum! (competition closing 11:59pm (GMT) Saturday the 18th of April)

1 comment:

Bernard said...

Sent you an email. Thanks for the article. Been looking forward to this as well as the Scene It game.