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Series: Generation 1
Categories: Merchandise
Year: 2003

Remarks: I'm hoping I don't have to explain to anyone reading this how the basic Monopoly game is played. If yes, sorry, can't help you there. I just want to take a look at the changes made for the Transformers edition and the play value in it.

This edition of Monopoly is based on Generation 1, mostly the original cartoon and the Dreamwave era comic books. The streets have Transformers-themed names, of course, such as the Boardwalk (or Mayfair for the British version) now being Cybertron or New York Avenue (or Vine Street in the UK) becoming Dinobot Island. The railroads have been renamed transports, such as the Ark, the Space Bridge, etc., while the electric and water companies are computers Teletraan-1 and Vector Sigma. Houses are called Energon Cubes, hotels are called Antimatter (but both look the same as in the original game). Only the corners remained unchanged, Go, Go to Jail, the Jail, and Free Parking are the same as always. It might have been fun to change these with Transformers themes, too, but it's also kinda nice that they remain classic.

There are six game pieces, representing Autobots Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Jazz, as well as Decepticons Megatron, Soundwave, and Starscream. The money is still dollars, but with pictures of Transformers on top:
1 Dollar = Bumblebee
5 Dollars = Soundwave
10 Dollars = Ultra Magnus
20 Dollars = Starscream
50 Dollars = Prowl
100 Dollars = Megatron
200 Dollars = Optimus Prime

The event cards are divided by Autobot and Decepticon cards. Each has a picture of a Transformer on it, as well as a text that can only be read via the red decoder old-school fans remember from the G1 techspecs. With some difficulty you can read the text without the decoder, but using it is easier on the eyes. The events are also Transformers-themed, but with pretty much the same consequences, positive and negative, as in the classic game.

There are some additional rules you can use, involving special events when you roll doubles. Double 1 gives you Transwarp drive, for example, allowing you to move your piece to a place of your choosing. So far we left those rules out, deciding to play the classic version.

As for play value, well, the game manages the difficult balancing act between offering lots of fun to the Transformers fan without ruining the game itself by adding too many special rules. Monopoly is a great game and doesn't really need any changes, so there are none except for the look. Sure, you can use the special rules if you want, but you don't have to, and even if you do they are few enough in number not to change the game play too much. So the bottom line is, if you're a Transformers fan and like to play Monopoly, there is really no reason not to get this great game.

Rating: A-

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