Super Mario Bros. Monopoly Review - A True Collector's Piece
Everything seems to have a Monopoly game these days. Any license they can get whether it be sports teams, cities, cartoon characters, or just animals. Monopoly is perfect for this, because the game isn't drastically changed by adding a new set of graphics, and being done with it. I remember when the first version of Nintendo Monopoly came out, I was so excited to rip it open and check out all of the cool Nintendo related characters that were scattered around the board. It was serviceable, but ultimately I put it back into the box and on the shelf to collect dust.
The first thing you have to know about Monopoly, is that people play the wrong way. I don't care what your house rules say, they're wrong. As you read the manual, you will find out that no money is supposed to go in the middle for Free Parking, and you can pass on a property and let it go free until someone lands on it. Typically Monopoly should only take around 45 minutes max. The goal is to acquire properties the fastest, and bankrupt your opponents as fast as possible. It's a game that people both love and hate, and has to be the number one board game to cause arguments between players (and friends!) With that all being said, I feel like the best part of the game is making up rules, sometimes as you go along! This allows for variations in gameplay, making the game more interesting.
USAopoly has done a wonderful job with this license. Instead of focusing on the newer Mario artwork which is plentiful, they decided to go for a retro approach and focus on the original Super Mario Bros. 8-bit Nintendo video game. Speaking of which, the gang is all here! The spaces on the board all represent levels, obstacles, and items from Super Mario Bros. On the "? Block" and "Warp Pipe" cards (Chance and Community Chest) the cards have been modified to feature Mario and friends for a bonus or setback.
The graphics on the board are brightly colored, and it looks really sharp. The houses and hotels have been replaced with end level green flag poles and brown castles respectively. Players can pick from avatar tokens of their favorite characters like Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, a Super Mushroom and a 1-Up Mushroom. The properties are based on various levels throughout the Super Mario Bros. game, sporting a real in-game scene from that particular level. The cards for each property are beautiful, with the same image on the back of the card for when it is mortgaged. Almost everything in the game has been modified or changed in some way, with the exception of Jail, Free Parking, and Go to Jail. Easily this could have been phoned in, replacing properties with Mario characters with art supplied by Nintendo. However this is not the case. The attention to detail will make any retro gamer or Super Mario Bros. fan joyful! I can see this game doing exceptionally well this holiday season as the perfect gift for that gamer in your life. Overall, USAopoly has done a wonderful job with this license and I look forward to see what other tabletop games they can come up with using video game properties. Check out our unboxing and review video below: