Monopoly Sucks, Here’s Why

The world of tabletop gaming is extremely vast. There are board games and card games that can be goofy and fun at parties and some that are competitive and use a great deal of strategy. Most people start their tabletop journey by growing up with standard “family” board games like Battleship, Guess Who?, and Sorry! Games of that nature are fun enough for kids and are easy to pick up, but may not be the most entertaining for those looking for a more involved gaming experience. One classic board game, however, is terrible despite it being a household name, and that’s Monopoly

Here are all the reasons Monopoly actually sucks. 

It Takes Way Too Long 

The Monopoly Wiki page lists the game’s play time as 20 minutes to 3 hours. First off, that doesn’t give an actual idea of the amount of time needed. Second, anyone who says they played a full game of Monopoly in 20 minutes is a filthy liar. The game always drags on way longer than it needs to.

Being long doesn’t inherently make a game bad. Twilight Imperium and Arkham Horror can both take hours to finish. However, they both provide immersive gameplay, thought-provoking strategy, and an overall more fun experience. They may be long, but they’re worth it, unlike Monopoly and its hours of traveling around a board as a guy in a top hat happily takes your money. 

Even though the game is long, a player can be knocked out early, making them sit out while everyone else plays for the next few hours. Ironically, that may be even more fun. 

The Cheating Factor

Cheating has become a staple of Monopoly. Do you really trust the banker to not hoard cash for themselves? Players lie about how much the others owe them when they land on their properties every chance they get. 

In fact, Hasbro has even released Monopoly: Cheaters Edition to encourage cheating because they know everyone does it. If you have to cheat to enjoy a game, maybe the game’s not very fun or well-balanced. Plus, everyone being so willing to cheat shows how people just want to get the game over with. 

Is Real Estate Exciting For Kids? 

Monopoly is a game about buying properties and being a savvy investor. How is that something marketed as fun for the family? There are games about adventures, murder mysteries, battling monsters, and solving puzzles. There are even games that are made just to make players laugh. Why would anyone want to play a crappy board game version of Wall Street? 

There’s Always an Argument

This is obviously person-dependent, but Monopoly seems to cause way more arguments than other games. Perhaps it’s the cheating, the anger of getting sent to jail or losing money, or how long it takes for anything to actually happen, but Monopoly tends to end in a flipped game board and ruined relationships. Perhaps if the game provided more entertainment value, people wouldn’t be so upset after playing it. 

The Pieces Don’t Make Sense

The player pieces in Monopoly consist of seemingly random objects like a thimble, a race car, a top hat, a dog, a boot, and a wheelbarrow. There’s no way any of these things could buy property. Joking aside, the objects chosen were originally meant to represent the rich and the poor since they were based on objects that, at the time, were associated with wealth or lack thereof. The race car and top hat represented the wealthy while the thimble and wheelbarrow represented the working class. 

They were going for a “rich vs. poor” competition, which makes sense. However, it’s not a team game. It plays out more like rich vs. rich vs. poor vs. poor vs. rich. Plus, some of those things no longer have the same connotation. Anyone who enjoys sewing probably has a thimble. Most people have boots. On top of that, Hasbro has been changing some of the pieces. They’re getting rid of some of the classic pieces and replacing them with what they think people would like. For instance, there’s now a cat that’s playable. 

The player pieces in other games match the themes of those games. Now, Monopoly allows people to play as random household items that have sentience and can buy houses. 

Gives Tabletop Gaming a Bad Rap

Many people may feel discouraged to be a part of the tabletop gaming community because their main exposure to it has been games such as Monopoly. With Monopoly being one of the most well-known board games of all time, people associate it with board games in general. That’s pretty unfortunate since there are countless tabletop games that are much less boring or frustrating out there. Games like Munchkin, Ticket to Ride, Codenames, and Pandemic provide a much more fun and less toxic time than Monopoly does. 

If you grew up playing Monopoly with your family during the holidays and have fond memories of collecting $200 just for passing “GO,” I’m sorry to tell you this, but Monopoly sucks. It’s time to branch out and try the vast number of better and more entertaining tabletop games out there. 

2 comments

  1. Wow! Tough house! Hahaha!
    I’ll be honest, I’m of an age (which obviously means I’m friggin’ old) where Monopoly was one of the go-to boardgames to play in my house. However, having said that, I’m also an only child, so it’s one of the few board games I actually played growing up with any regularity. I mean, it just occurred to me that you usually need a certain number of people to play a board game effectively and that may explain why I never really played other classic board games as much or at all. Like, I’ve never played Risk or Stratego and I’ve only played Battleship at my friend’s house because he had it (and he had two other siblings). Other board games I had were Mouse Trap and we did play Scrabble a lot.
    Sorry, I seem to be going on a nostalgia detour…
    Anyway, I was intrigued by this post’s headline to throw down the gauntlet on such an acknowledged classic, but a lot of what you say makes sense. The game is definitely of its time, and whoever owns the copyright realizes it which makes the ubiquitous variations on Themed-MONOPOLY games available understandable as they try to figure out ways to make the game more relevant.
    Also, I have not really moved on to computer games or role-playing games, not something I’m proud of.
    Other than a dalliance with arcade games in the 80s when I went to Buff State and Pac Man, Centipede, Frogger, Missile Command, etc. were in the Student Union, and that eventually ended in the late 90s when my wife and I played Area 51 at Putt-Putt Golf on Sheridan. Since then, i haven’t played many board games, electronic games or etc.. since. Oh, wait, there’s Yahtzee, something my wife and played a lot during the summer and she always whipped my ass because she played it constantly as a kid in the summer.
    And recent, newer board games I have no real clue about.
    But there are definitely fans of board games. Comic book writer Gail Simone recently focused on board games on her twitter account and to her delight was exposed to a whole bunch of new games out there and was anxious to try them out. So, there are board gamers out there!
    Oh! Clue! I forgot about that! That’s a good one.
    Anyway, getting back to your post… I’m shocked to learn that cheating at Monopoly is a thing! Say it isn’t so! Seriously, I never did.
    Next time I see you, I’ll have to tell you the game my friends made up using a simply playing card deck called Murder at Midnight…

    Like

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