Let’s face facts, the classics never die, but they also never really improve to awesome. There’s only so many times you play 6 hours of Monopoly only to land on someone’s Boardwalk with like fifty hotels as they smirk and go “uh oh, I don’t think you’ll have enough” and all you want to do is punch them in their stupid face but you can’t because it’s your nephew and he’s like 5, which stings even more.
Well, as my continuing attempt to improve the world, I have come up with a few variations on classic games to make them, I don’t know… more… creative, I suppose. (Note: These are probably more enjoyable with booze)
Here it is. My List of Variations on Classic Boardgames (that there’s a Google line, yessir):
- Need: One copy of Monopoly (any variation), 4 or 6 players, two unclaimed game pieces (two different coins would also work)
- Summary: Players will form businesses and acquire property from a collective pool of money. A randomly controlled piece will represent the fluctuating nature of the economy, and ultimately screw some people over.
- Split into two/three teams of two.
- Divvy out the money as per the core Monopoly rules, giving each player the designated amount of bills, however each teammate’s money will ultimately be combined to form that team’s money pool.
- Come up with goofy team names, preferably representing your business name.
- Each player needs their own game piece despite being on a team. They will move across the board individually and be able to buy property and whatnot on their own. However, their money for these activities will come from their team money, meaning it would be important for them to discuss any acquisitions with their business partner.
- NOTE: This is why it is important for team money to be combined, despite players still moving and acting individually.
- Team order should progress so that one member of each team goes before the member of the other team. Thus, with two teams, the order would be ABAB, and with three it would be ABCABC
- The game proceeds like normal, going until only one business is not bankrupt or until players are bored and it’s 5 in the morning.
- There are three main rule changes:
- Jail- If one player ends up in jail, they are in there for some sort of corporate fraud or insider trading. As such, their teammate is an accomplice. The player in jail has three rounds to roll doubles with no option to pay a $50 fine to get out of jail. After those three rounds, their partner joins them in jail as an accomplice. Both players now have three rounds to get out of jail or can pay a joint ($50 x 2 = $100) fine. One player may not leave jail without the other, so if one player decides to skip the rolling, he must also post bail for his partner. If they fail to roll doubles after three rounds, they have to play the $100 fine.
- Swedish Bank Account- If a player lands on any space that provides them with money (I.E. Chance Cards, Passing “GO,” Free Parking, Etc.) They have the option to set aside any portion of this money as their “luxury fund.” Essentially, this money can come in and out of play at that players leisure and represents their personal bank account. All payments for property tax and whatnot will come directly from the company’s funds, but the players with private accounts can supplement their company’s account as they see fit. At the end of the game, if a player’s company goes belly up and she has more personal funds than her teammate, then she gets the pleasure of having lost less than her partner and can rub it in his face that he’s in the poor house and she is sipping pina coladas in Maui. There is little benefit to the private accounts except to help regulate funds, keep money from an over-eager partner, and to have some sweet bragging points to ruin a friendship. However, if a player’s partner feels that person is setting aside too much and not investing back into their company, they can have that person arrested for laundering. The whole thing goes to court, which is represented by both players rolling a D6. If the defendant rolls higher, they have to pay a $200 payment for lawyer fees, but ultimately get off scot-free. However, if the accuser rolls higher, then the defendant goes to jail for D6 turns and all their private account is dispersed, with half going into the bank and half going to charity funds (Free Parking). The company has to pay $100 to the bank for lawyer fees.
- Boom and Recession- These economic cycles are represented by the two unclaimed game pieces on the board. The Boom piece moves anytime doubles are rolled (even if rolled by a player in jail). It moves the amount rolled. If Boom lands on a space owned by a player it provides that player with 2D6 x 10 dollars (for example, if it rolls a 5, the company gets $50). On a roll of doubles, that player can chose to either A) take $$$, B) place a house on that space for half price or C) take a chance card. If Boom lands on a space with a player, that player receives $200, like passing GO. The Recession piece moves every time a 6 is rolled. Unlike the Boom, the Recession rolls a separate movement die, which is one D6. If the Recession lands on a place owned by a player company, that company loses 2D6 x 10 dollars (for example, if it rolls a 5, the company loses $50). On a roll of doubles, disaster has occurred and the space loses one house in addition to the amount displayed on the dice (if a space has a hotel, it is reverted down to four houses). If the Recession lands on the same space as a player, that player loses 1D6 x 100 (so, on a roll of 5, that player loses $500). On a roll of 6, the company is being audited and players can either A) pay the $600 or B) go to jail.
Jules Winnfield the Game:
- Needs: A Copy of Guess Who, 2/4 players, booze
- Summary: Players compete in a charades style game of Guess Who, where the only thing they can ask is “Does he look like a bitch?” with different body language and inflection to accompany.
- Game plays exactly like a game of guess who, where opposing players take turns trying to guess the character that the other player selected by asking relevant questions.
- However, these players are all taking the role of Jules Winnfield from Pulp Fiction and can thus only ask the all important question “Does he look like a bitch?”
- It’s up to them to use proper inflection and body language to relay what their actual questions is, and it’s up to the person across from them to understand it.
- Play continues until one player reduces their board to all but one character. They then shout “DOES Character Name LOOK LIKE A BITCH!” If they are correct, they win. If they are wrong, they lose.
- A 3rd and 4th player may be added as teammates who work as spotters to streamline the game a bit. These spotters will sit with the opponent of their team and watch. If at any point the opponent drops the tile for the character your team has selected, the spotter will call it out and the opponent automatically loses. The addition of the spotter is simply to end the game early if there is any miscommnication.
- This game will most DEFINITELY result in a lot of people not guessing correctly. It’s more fun for the rare chance that someone actually succeeds.
- With the above note, this would probably be more fun with alcohol involved.
- Needs: Two copies of Monopoly, 4-6 players
- Summary: Players compete with one person (representing the Big Corporation) has considerably more funds and resources than the others
- Decide who will be playing the Big Corporation; all other players will be the Small Businesses
- Divvy out the money to all the Small Businesses as per the Monopoly rules. The Big Corporation player will get X times the starting amount, where X equals the amount of Small Businesses (Thus, if there are 4 Small Business players, the Big Corporation starts with 4 times the starting amount). This is why you need two copies of monopoly, because you will probably need to let the Big Corporation player have his own set money.
- Remove all “get out of jail free” cards from the decks
- Each Small Business starts with one randomly selected property in their control. The Big Corporation player should be the one to shuffle and distribute these properties.
- The Big Corporation will always go first and the play order proceeds clockwise from that player
- Jail- if the Big Corporation goes to jail, they follow the same rules as found in classic Monopoly. If the Small Businesses go to jail, they have three turns to roll doubles. If they fail, they must give a property (randomly selected) to the Big Corporation. If they do not have any property, they are considered bankrupt and are out of the game.
- The Big Corporation wins if they own X complete sets of properties, where X equals the original number of Small Businesses. A complete set is when a player owns every card in a particular color, railroad or utility.
- If a player is knocked out of the game, the Big Corporation DOES NOT now have to collect one less complete set. The number is based on how many Small Businesses were present AT START OF GAME
- The Big Corporation CANNOT include the two utilities as their complete sets. They may still buy these, but they cannot win with them.
- The Big Corporation also wins if all Small Businesses are bankrupted.
- The Small Businesses win if they bankrupt the Big Corporation or if each Small Business owns a complete set and can hold on to them for three rounds. In other words, once the last Small Business to acquire a complete set purchases their last needed card, it must make it fully around the turn order to that person three times without a) a Small Business losing a property b) the Big Corporation gaining the required amount of complete sets. The person who was last to complete a set will be the last player to go.
- If one person is knocked out of the game, and the remaining businesses all have complete sets, this begins the win scenario. The three turns will begin with the next Small Business player to go after the player is eliminated.
- The Small Businesses CAN include the Utilities as their complete sets.
- If at any point a Small Business manages to meet the win condition for the Big Corporation, their business has become a Big Corporation and immediately defeats all other players (i.e. if a Small Business collects X complete sets, they have ousted the original Corporation as dominant and instantly win the game, screwing over the smaller, weaker businesses that once were their compatriots).
- NOTE: Though small businesses are technically on a team, they are still REQUIRED to pay when landing on another player’s property. They may be friends, but this is business, people…
Reflecting on Life:
- Needs: One copy of The Game of Life
- Summary: Now aged and resting, players reminisce on their lives leading up to their current situation.
- The focus of this game is more to be narrative and silly than have a defined winner and loser
- Players take on the roles of elderly people sitting around a table reminiscing about their lives.
- At the start of the game, each player selects a piece, randomly chooses an occupation, and selects how many kids they want or if they have a spouse, and randomly selects a house.
- Play proceeds as is usual in this game, except players will be moving backwards across the board, starting at what is typically the finish.
- Players need to be in character and narrate as things happen in their lives. All cards involving career or housing change happen in reverse (i.e. changing jobs, you will explain why you went from being a doctor [your new card] to being a plumber [your starter card])
- Any acquisition of large sums of money must also come with a story of how you lost that money in the past.
- Landing on marriage or child related spaces result in a loss of that family piece.
- The fun of this game comes from the stories you make up and the fact that INEVITABLY something won’t match up. Say, for instance, someone starts with only two kids, but then draws lands on ANOTHER kid space, having no kids to remove. This should be narrated with some sort of funny anecdote like “A yes, my eldest child, Bernie. I try to forget about Bernie. On account of his tastes in men. Or something to that effect.
- This is more a narrative, role playing type game akin to Fiasco and other freeform RPG’s. Players should feel free to go crazy and have fun with their characters.
I might have more at some point, but this is all for now. Get out there and play!