Monopoly Empire is the latest release in the Monopoly game series by Hasbro, and is probably the biggest change in the formula of the game since it first released in around 1936. Monopoly Empire takes a completely different approach, aimed towards a modern audience and is a lot more faced paced than the original. Read on for our opinion on the new direction this version is taking…

The game focuses around buying brands, rather than properties. You can now buy companies like Coca-Cola, Nestle, Samsung, EA, Xbox and even Hasbro themselves (who have very modestly put themselves in one of the lower value sets). As you travel around the board, buying brands, you add their ‘token’ pieces to your tower, or empire, to build its value. There is a series of numbers printed on the tower, and if you look at the one above where your tokens currently sit, that will tell you the value of your tower.

When you pass go, or another player lands on ANY of your properties, you are paid the value of your tower at that time in the game. A few of the traditional elements of the game have been replaced by new concepts. Community Chest (which has been increasingly absent in recent versions of the game) has been replaced by Empire cards, which are kept until necessary. Usually, they will allow you to do things like steal another players company, stop a player from buying a company or forcing them to pay you rent when you land on one of their spaces. Chance does make a return, with altered cards to suit the new play style.

Jail follows the same system as ever, however, free parking has also been given an overhaul. You can choose to stay on free parking, as you always would, or, you can pay 100K in order to move to ANY space on the board. It adds an extra element of chance and luck to the game, and can allow you to get the best companies before your opponents. Although the game has been radically altered in concept and rules, it is very, very easy to get the hang of, especially if you are familiar with original Monopoly.

The game is very fast paced compared to traditional Monopoly, and suits a modern generation more than the original game. The game can be over in as quickly as 20 minutes, or it could last as long as a traditional Monopoly game. The addition of the empire cards, the overhauled free parking system and a new altered chance cards all help to make this game a far more fast moving system. As you buy companies, you slide their token into your tower. The token sizes vary according to the set (and price bracket) they are in. If you own all brands in a colour group, you get a bonus token.

The pieces have also been updated with a more modern feel. The six playing tokens are now: a Coca-Cola bottle, an Xbox 360 controller, a car, a motorbike, McDonalds fries and a director’s clapperboard. These, again, are more suited to younger players.

Overall, I feel Monopoly Empire is a fantastic overhaul to the traditional system and is a great way to introduce a more fast-paced and modern variant of the popular classic game. I really enjoyed playing this alternative-style Monopoly title, and I definitely recommend it for a family or group of young friends. It is a great new take on Hasbro’s Monopoly! It is available now for around £17 on Amazon UK.