I spent several happy wet-weekends playing long and unfinished games of Monopoly, when I was young. Then at the age of 45 I learnt about tournament Monopoly. By sheer good luck, our nine-year-old son won our Island's Monopoly Championship, the prize for which was a trip to the next World Championship in New York. I won't bore you with the whole story; it's told in a blog-post of mine in January 2013. Suffice it to say that we all frantically swotted up the rules and tactics of tournament play, in which games are limited to 90 minutes and as often as not there is only one player left solvent at the end! (No, he didn't win in New York, but came a respectable 10th out of 20.)
I like Clue, but yes, Monopoly was boring! I was one of those people who kept quitting, Sheryl! My son kept an unfinished game for years hoping that we would return to it, but we haven't ... yet. Maybe it's time for me to finally wrap up that loose end. Thanks for the tip on tournament Monopoly, Gordon!
Lane. Your family games will be much more fun, with the 90-minutes rule. The time-limit virtually forces players to cut deals to exchange properties, because without a deal (of *some* kind) it's plainly impossible to win. Once an exchange has been made, the trick is to manipulate the buying of houses - bearing in mind that there is only a limited number of houses. Sometimes it pays to "corner the market" in houses, to keep an opponent from upgrading to hotels.
I found Monopoly exciting when I was a kid, playing with my little sister and parents. But, when I've tried to play similar Monopoly games with my kids I found I couldn't get into them...I think my life got too busy to just relax and enjoy...not sure.
We still play board/box games in our house today - my twins are 12 and they and friends bring games over. I think that is important. During that time they are playing, nobody touches a cell phone or a computer or has the tv on!
It's often difficult playing board games with kids, because they are so keen to win! So the *long* version of Monopoly - the one that takes all weekend - is usually best, because almost nobody ever goes bankrupt. This summer, my son and we grandparents decided to show his daughters (aged 14 & 12) how to play the 90-minute version, under tournament rules. They found it all but impossible to adapt to the fast-paced action, resented being hustled by the old folks, and clearly disbelieved that their laid-back Dad could ever have survived an actual public tournament. When they visit us at Xmas, we'll set a 48-hour time-limit, I think!
I'm really inspired to finish that game now! We've just moved back and are now living in the same city as our son again, and he has accepted the challenge. So, as soon as our shipment arrives, we are definitely going to see who can stay solvent in 90 minutes.
Oh dear! What have I let you in for?! No, no: I'm sure you'll have lots of fun. We grandparents made a mistake with our girls of allowing one of them to be the banker. It would have been quicker and more peaceful if we had appointed a non-playing banker. It's the banker who controls the speed of the game - pays and receives money, properties and houses, keeps track of all mortgages, and gives consent to all deals between players. Good luck!
Bella won't let me publish the direct link to the "2015 World Monopoly Championship", but if you Google those words it is the first one that comes up. It includes a narrative of the final game, which is mildly interesting!
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