How the UK’s Favourite Board Game is Much More Than Paper Cash and Meeples Now
Originally published in 1935, Monopoly has been the cause of billions of hours of fun – and a fair few disgruntlements – for 87 years now. With Christmas around the corner, it’s a guarantee that households around Yorkshire and the rest of the country will be pulling the classic board game out from the cupboard. It won’t come as a surprise that Monopoly consistently ranks among the best-selling games in the country.
Two years ago, Monopoly ranked as the best-selling board game at the UK’s largest online retailer, with the spin-off Monopoly Deal ranking sixth. At the time of writing, a fair bit before the Christmas rush, the standard version of Monopoly held firm in fifth, with Monopoly Deal in seventh and Monopoly Junior in 19th. That said, if all of the editions were counted as one, Monopoly would undoubtedly reign supreme.
Monopoly has evolved far beyond the confines of its box, though, expanding into new properties and themes and into completely different forms of entertainment. From its many variants to appeal to the residents of Yorkshire to living the game of Monopoly, here’s how the UK’s favourite board game has evolved into a cultural icon and an ever-appealing brand.
Monopoly for the people of Yorkshire
From Jurassic Park to The Lord of the Rings, Spider-Man to Friends, Monopoly has a new board and even some new rules for just about any major entertainment property that you can think of. Monopoly also has a long tradition of adapting its classic layout of properties to suit different locations, with this being true of Yorkshire. The Yorkshire Edition of Monopoly features properties for Tadcaster Brewery, Castle Howard, and Skipton.
You can now get Monopoly Leeds Edition, York Edition, Sheffield Edition, and Huddersfield Edition, with each with an RRP of £29.99 and having all of their properties specific to those locations. The York Edition is particularly interesting, with its depiction of the horse racing and Saxon warriors in the middle of the board, as well as the Treasurer’s House, York Maze, Jorvik Centre, and York Minster as available properties.
Winning combinations with a fast-food giant
If there’s one thing that can get even the more health-conscious people into a fast-food joint, it’s the McDonald’s Monopoly scheme. The aim of the game is to collect the free Monopoly tickets that stick on the side of most boxes of McDonald’s food and try to get a whole row of one colour, as well as some instant-win prizes along the way. While Christmas is a big time of year for the word “Monopoly,” so too is whenever the fast-food goliath decides to run its promotion.
Each year, the glut of the Monopoly tickets delivers instant wins of free food, drinks, or desserts. Then, there are online prizes to be secured like gift vouchers, cash, and even electric cars. For the most part, if you want a big prize, you need all of one colour. Browns will usually net you a meal, while Oranges offer consoles like the Nintendo Switch, and the two Dark Blues hold the key to the jackpot prize of the whole promotion. Usually, it’s Mayfair that’s the rare property, with there only five or so available.
A whole new suite of games
The Monopoly brand now makes more than just board and card games. While the new creations certainly draw from the classic brand’s well-known products, the games of chance are distinct. One of the top slots sites in the UK for this year is the Monopoly Casino. Its “Spend £10, Get 30 Extra Spins” aims to draw players to its extensive selection of slots including the Monopoly-licensed games.
In slots, it’s all about Monopoly Paradise Mansion, which features the card-picking Community Chest and Property Card Bonus games. There is another themed slot machine on offer: Monopoly City Spins immerses the player in Monopoly action in the slot format and is loaded with features like Wild Reels, Moving Reels, and a Multiplier. Of course, Monopoly’s first casino venture was with the wildly popular Monopoly Live. In the live casino game, you bet on a number to be landed on with the wheel spin, and cash in when your note comes up, called out by a live dealer.
Play a colossal form of the board game
Whether you want to imagine it as a giant board or that you’re a tiny meeple, Monopoly Lifesized puts you on the classic board to play the game with friends. Tickets are from £49, with the real-life board game taking place at 213-215 Tottenham Court Road down in London. On the 15m x 15m board, you complete a series of challenges to try to land properties, including building iconic landmarks, staging a Mayfair heist, and solving a murder mystery. Over the course of 80 minutes, you’re very much immersed in the unique Monopoly experience.
While we’re all looking forward to – or perhaps dreading – the Monopoly boxes coming out over the next couple of months, the game has grown far beyond its original board. You can get editions for just about anywhere or anything, play to try and get prizes, enjoy its new casino variants, and even jump onto a colossal board yourself. So, which kind of Monopoly will you play next?