U Build Monopoly
U Build Monopoly is an interesting and unique new edition of the classic Monopoly board game. Hasbro did not tamper with the official rules of Monopoly. They improved on a game that can take hours to play by making it a game where players can configure the board to determine length of play time. Players can make some house rules as well that will affect length of game.
The play is basically the same, but the board of the classic game of Monopoly has been replaced with tiles that can be configured to build several versions of the game. Players can choose from a short game on a Starter Track, the longer Classic Track, the ultimate challenge of the Pro Track, or they can design their own Freestyle Track.
The U Build Monopoly game improved on the properties by adding skyscrapers and factories to the traditional houses and hotels. The game comes with 91 buildings, 4 bridges, 6 movers, 2 dice, 22 district, 4 reminder and 17 Chance cards, 1 pack of money, and 2 railroad , 12 double district and 4 single tiles plus of course the official instructions.
The hexagonal property spaces snap together to build the game track. The track built determines how long the game will most likely take to complete play; ranging from 30 to 90 minutes in most cases. The Pro and Freestyle Tracks can take longer. Each game can be a new and unique game experience.
Setting up the board takes a bit longer than the traditional game. The instructions come with the three set layouts. Directions indicate where to put the start and chance spaces. Property spaces are then placed randomly between the set tiles. One of the new additions to the game are tiles of blue, orange and green. These tiles change the value of the properties by protecting them, doubling their value, or making the properties worthless. The money has changed values to include million dollar bills.
Along with the official rules are sets of house rules players may implement. A common house rule is establishing a kitty of cash at the Free Parking space. Players who land on the Free Parking collect the money and the kitty starts from scratch. It is built by several methods that include jail fines, fees and fines from Chance and Community Chest cards, and luxury taxes.
Some house rules dictate when players can begin to acquire properties. Players may have to wait until they have passed Go or until all players have passed Go one time. Other house rules increase the amount of money collected when landing on Go to $300 or $400 instead of $200. Some house rules allow a player to choose between drawing a card or sitting freely on the square when landing on Chance. One version of house rules gives a player a large bonus of money when “snake eyes” are rolled.
House rules include a mercy rule whereby the game is ended when a player reaches a level of wealth that has been predetermined by the players. Yet another house rule is based on trades and negotiations of properties. For example, trading of properties is not allowed until there are no more available properties to buy. Trading and negotiating is allowed only when it is the turn of the player who wishes to trade.
Adding houses and hotels bring other house rules. Players may choose to play with rules that allow building only when all of the properties of one color are owned. Other versions require building equally across the properties in a particular color group.
Short versions of the game may set up house rules whereby players are only required to have three houses on their properties before adding hotels. Players may choose to have the banker shuffle the deeds at the start of the game and hand out three to each player at no cost. Setting a flat fee for the income tax can shorten the game as well as requiring a player who has landed in jail to exit on the next turn by paying the fine, rolling doubles, or using a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. Some games are ended once one player declares bankruptcy.
U Build Monopoly is an exciting and engaging way to play the classic game of Monopoly. The game is designed for 2-6 players and is appropriate for ages 8 and older. The game retails for $19.99 and can be found in most department stores and online retailers that sell games and toys.