Bunker Project Log

17 Feb

Monopoly Express

The Spread

During the Christmas season, Target had the “Express” version of three popular boardgames: Scrabble Express, Sorry Express, and Monopoly Express. I picked up Scrabble Express right away because it looked good. Sorry I had no interest in, and I have an intense hatred of Monopoly. (Mainly from getting savagely beaten at it by my dad in my tender years.)

However, when Target did their usual clearance thing, and priced these games at $2.50, I had a hard time stopping myself from buying it for two fiddy. I immediately took it to lunch and gave it a test run.

I was hooked.

Basically, this a “press your luck” game. Each player rolls the dice and decides which to place on the circular board.

The Board

There are three kinds of dice.

The Cop Dice (the other faces are blank, or has a “Pass Go” face.)

The Cop Dice - Cop side

The Property Dice

Colors

The House Die

The House die and houses

You start with the Cop and Property dice, and receive the House die when you complete a color set (just like in real Monopoly, where you can build houses once you own a complete set of properties.)

Each time you roll the dice, you must first place any Cops onto the board. If you place three, your turn is over and you lose everything. (I’ve seen a player’s turn ended on the first roll.) You can roll as many times as you want, as long as you have less than three.

After your roll, you may place any of the dice that you like on the board. However, each dice on the board is removed from play, narrowing the number of properties you can complete. Certain dice also have the “Chance” question mark, which serves as a wildcard and allows you to complete a color set. You must carefully choose which dice you will use and which you will leave behind.

Once you are satisfied with your rolls, you tally up the score and pass the dice to the next player. The first person to $15,000 wins.

Here is an unusually high scoring (and game winning) turn:

A good round

The Green section counts for $3000.
The Blue counts for $3500
The incomplete Pink counts for $300
The Houses are counted at $1000 each, for $4000
The Hotel roll is worth $5000, but only counts if the player already has 4 houses.
Total: $15,800

I have only seen one person successfully roll a Hotel, this was Mrs. G (of course… she of the demonic luck.)

Here is an example of a standard turn sequence:

Roll 1

Roll 1

I first place the Cop. I decide to keep the high scoring Green die, and the cheap Brown. I would have preferred Blue, but the goal is to get the House die in play as soon as possible.  

Roll 1 placement

Roll 2

Roll 2

Another Cop. At this point, I am one Cop from losing everything this turn. Luckily, I got the second Brown, completing the color and allowing me to roll the House die.

Roll 2 placement

Roll 3

Roll 3

This is a useless roll. The house die has netted me a “Broken House”. Luckily, I have no houses to be broken. I have already placed a partial color set (the Green) so I would rather keep the dice to complete that. I end up placing nothing.

Roll 4

Roll 4

I have rolled a House on the House Die. I take one of the four house markers and place them in front of me. I also decide to take the Waterworks for the Utilities set.

Roll 4 placement

Roll 5

Roll 5

Another House, as well as the Electric company. My Utilities are now complete.

Roll 5 placement

Roll 6

Roll 6

Boo! A Broken house! The booby prize is another Green for the set.

Roll 6 placement

Roll 7

Roll 7

Another useless roll. I can’t claim the Hotel because I only have one House.

Roll 8

Roll 8

Oops… there’s that third Cop. 

Roll 8 placement

And here’s how much I score for the turn… a big fat Zero.

Roll 8 Aftermath - BOO! 

Had I stopped at roll 7, my total for the turn would have been:

The Brown section counts for $600.
The Utilities counts for $800
The incomplete Green counts for $800
The House counts for $1000
Total: $3,200

This isn’t the deepest game around, but perfect for lunch. I think it has just enough choice to keep it interesting, and just enough luck to make it fun. (It’s as much fun watching your opponents roll as it is to roll yourself.) I keep it in my car just in case.

Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find it anywhere, and am assuming it is a seasonal product. If you happen to see it somewhere, and are intrigued, make sure to pick it up. It is rare!

One Response to “Monopoly Express”

  1. 1
    Markus O'Reallyus Says:

    Having played it at Gangrene’s desk I can supply a ‘readers review’ and say that this game is only a tiny bit like the real monopoly which i think will be appreciated by both those who love and those who hate monopoly. the game play is completely different and could even be played as a single player game. i would buy this game myself if i came across one. its fun!

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