Monopoly Millionaire Game Review

The Basics:

  • For ages 8 and up
  • For 2 to 4 players
  • Variable game length

Geek Skills:

  • Active Listening & Communication
  • Counting & Math
  • Logical & Critical Decision Making
  • Pattern/Color Matching
  • Strategy & Tactics
  • Risk vs. Reward
  • Hand/Resource Management
  • Auctioning, Bidding, & Trading
  • Area Control

Learning Curve:

  • Child – Easy
  • Adult – Easy

Theme & Narrative:

  • It’s all about the bling in this game as all the players race to be the first millionaire!

Endorsements:

  • Gamer Geek rejected!
  • Parent Geek approved!
  • Child Geek approved!

Overview

Personal jets, mansions (yes, plural), decadent parties around the world, and all the other exciting opportunities available to a millionaire are up for grabs. The goal of this game is to attempt to be the first player to be worth a millionaire dollars! Easy? Not so much. Along the way, you’ll host your own parties, give gifts, and of course, pay others for the privilege of renting their properties. Turns out, it costs money to make money. It’s all in fun, but in the end, the one who spent the wisest is the one who will win the game.

Monopoly Millionaire, by Hasbro, is comprised 1 game board, 22 Title Deed cards (the properties), 4 sets of Movers (3 per player, for a total of 12 Movers), 22 Fortune cards, 14 Millionaire Lifestyle cards, 14 Chance cards, 32 Houses, 12 Hotels, 2 six-sided dice, thick cardboard Money (yessssss!) in values of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 thousand dollars, 1 Bank Tray to hold all that money in, and 4 Reminder cards used by the players to help them remember what steps they need to take and the victory condition.

Example of what is included in the game

Game Set Up

To set up the game, first unfold and place the game board in the middle of the playing area.

Second, place the Title Deed cards, House, and Hotel pieces to one side of the game board and within easy reach of all the players.

Third, shuffle the Chance and Millionaire Lifestyle cards, and place (face-down) on their designated spots on the game board.

Fourth, place the Bank Tray in the middle of the game board and hand each player $372,000 worth of money. The actual breakdown of what is handed to each player is very well illustrated in the game rules, making it easy for the Child Geeks to help set up the game.

Fifth, have each player select one of the four sets of Movers. A complete set is of three Movers that are all the same color. They include (from smallest to largest), a blue rowboat, motorboat, and yacht; a go-kart, a car, and a limo; a paper airplane, a single-prop plane, and a jet plane; and a push scooter, a motor scooter, and a motorcycle. Once selected, the players place their smallest Mover on the Go space on the game board. The other two are kept by the player until needed.

Sixth, shuffle and place, face-down, one Fortune card on each of the property spaces.

You are now ready to play! Hand the two six-sided die to the first player and begin!

Playing the Game

On a player’s turn, they will roll the six-sided dice and move their Mover piece around the board that many spaces, going clockwise. The player’s next action will depend on where they land. The player’s turn will then end unless they rolled doubles on the dice, which allows them to go again.

Land On a Fortune Card

If a player ends their movement on a Fortune card, they immediately take it and read it out loud, completing the action the card says. Some Fortune cards award the player with more money, getting out of jail for free, and free houses. Others will force them to swap or trade properties with other players or even pay other players, giving them money as “gifts”. Unless stated otherwise by the card, the player immediately completes the action and continues their turn by either buying the property or auctioning it off.

Buying and Auctioning Properties

If a player lands on a property space, they have the option of either buying it or auctioning it off. If they want to buy it, they simply pay the amount of money it is worth to the Bank Tray, making change as needed, and collecting the Title Deed, placing it in front of them. If they want to auction it off, they start the bidding at $1000 and go up from there. Players who initiate a property auction can also participate in the auction. Once the price is settled, the winner pays the amount to the Bank Tray and takes the Title Deed, placing it in front of them.

An Owned Property

If the property is owned by the player who lands on it, no other action is taken. Welcome back home. If the property is owned by an opponent, the player must pay that opponent an amount equal to the property’s current rent value. This is listed on the property’s Title Deed card and increases depending on the number of houses and hotels it has. The one exception is if the property is mortgaged. In which case, no money is traded; however, the player can offer to purchase the mortgaged property from their opponent for the price listed on the Title Deed.

Go and Jail

Whenever a player lands on or passes the Go space, they will collect money from the Bank Tray. The amount of money they collect will be based on their current Mover. The basic Mover (the smallest) awards the player $150,000, the second Mover awards the player $200,000, and the third Mover awards the player $250,000. The players can either collect the funds awarded them (based on their Mover) or upgrade their Mover by paying the difference to the Bank Tray. Once they do, they immediately swapped out their old Mover with their new Mover.

If the player lands on the Jail space, they simply end their turn. If, however, they are sent to Jail, the player must wait until their next turn to leave. The player has 3 chances to escape for free. This is done by rolling doubles with the six-sided dice or using a card that allows the player to leave for free. If they cannot roll doubles or do not have a get out of jail for free card by their third turn, they are released and fined $50,000. They can then move as normal.

Millionaire Lifestyle and Chance

If the player lands on either of these two spaces, they draw the top card of the corresponding deck and read it out loud. Some of the cards will have different outcomes depending on the player’s current Mover, awarding higher prizes to those players who have taken the time to upgrade their Movers. Put another way, the bigger and better the player’s Mover, the better the odds of them winning much more cash. But there are some cards that will cause the player to lose money, too. It’s all a gamble, as the cards would suggest. Once played, the card is placed at the bottom of the deck unless otherwise stated by the card.

Money, Mortgages, and Bankruptcy

Throughout the game, the players will earn and spend their cash. All money spent either goes to the Bank Tray or to opponents.

If at anytime a player cannot pay the Bank or an opponent, they are considered bankrupt and must mortgage their properties to make ends meet. First, the player sells off any houses and hotels for half the price they paid for them. If they still need cash or cannot sell off any houses or hotels, the property is mortgaged. The Title Deed is flipped over to the mortgage side and the amount of money it is worth is collected by the player. Optionally, the player can sell their properties to opponents. The price is negotiated by the players and not set by the game. Anything can be used to pay for the property, such as money, other properties, and cards. If an opponent is buying a previously mortgaged property, however, they simply pay for the price listed on the mortgage.

At anytime during the game, a player can pay the mortgage for their property, flip it over, and begin to collect income from it

Ending the Game

The game immediately ends when a player has one million dollars or more in cash (not total value of properties) in front of them. This is often triggered with the player passing Go, collecting rent from another player, or being given a cash award via a card.

To learn more about Monopoly Millionaire, see the game’s official web page.

Prediction

Most of my family and friends are not into Monopoly. It’s an old game that has long since run its course on our collective game tables. Lack of interest will be my biggest hurdle as the game itself is very straight forward and exceedingly easy when we consider the much more complex and dynamic games we usually put in front of our players. Still, every game deserves a chance to be played and our group of players are always up for a game. I can only hope they look past the brand name and standard game play to enjoy the new elements this version of Monopoly provides.

Or maybe they won’t.

Teaching the game didn’t take long as everyone we played the game with already knew how to play the original version of Monopoly (my little geeks collectively know how to play at least 10 different versions, including the card and video game). To make things a little more exciting, I only introduced the new game elements and rules so as not to bore them with an explanation on how to play a game they already understood. My primary focus was the Fortune cards and the Movers, explaining how they could influence the game and game play. This was sufficient for everyone and all our test groups were ready to play within minutes.

And so, as I set the game up for our first family play, I asked my little geek’s and my wife their thoughts on the game so far.

“Looks like just another version of Monopoly, Dad.” ~ Liam (age 8)

“I want to be the motorcycle, Daddy!” ~ Nyhus (age 5)

“Sure, I’ll give it a shot.” ~ Wife

The family is ready to go. Note that this is a game that does require reading and math, but assisting another player does not reduce the level of game play or enjoyment for others. In fact, Monopoly is an outsanding game to further strengthen reading and mathematics. Do give it a try with your younger little geeks when you are tired of Candy Land. In the meantime, our family is going to give this game a try. Let’s see if Monopoly Millionaire is a good investment or leaves us feeling broke.

Final Word

The little geeks rather enjoyed themselves while playing this game, but I think most of the enjoyment came from playing with the family and eating snacks. My 8-year-old did great and was able to play the game without issue. My 5-year-old needed help reading and doing the math, but he was able to identify the different values of currency, travel the board, and make his own choices. However, he said he didn’t like the game halfway through and opted to sit out. He had no further interest in playing the game after that. As such, we cannot recommend this game for Child Geeks any younger than 8-years-old.

The Parent Geeks also enjoyed the game. They were mostly excited about the Movers, which gave the players better chances to win more prizes and money during the game and also served as a visual representation of the player’s wealth. They also highly enjoyed the increased speed in game play, where the only objective was to quickly make money instead of trying to bankrupt opponents. It was the racing element and drive to make as much money as possible that was the real winner. When the game was over, they all agreed they’d play the game again, but not right away.

Gamer Geeks turned their nose up to this one and only played it with the family when dragged to the table, bolted to the chair, and forced to roll the dice. In short, they didn’t care for it.

My wife gives the game another “thumbs-up” after winning…again. I now call her the “Monopoly Maven”.

Gamer Geeks, this is just a faster version of Monopoly and not much else. The new focus on making money changes the game from a long roll-and-move affair to a quick roll-and-move experience. But not necessarily a better one. From what we observed and based on the comments we collected, this is not a game for the Gamer Geek elitist because it doesn’t bring enough challenge or anything new of real interest to the gaming table. The one big upside to this game, that all Gamer Geeks might want to consider, is the short game play length. Of course, all the Gamer Geeks hailed Hasbro as “geniuses” when it came to the money. All the paper currency has been replaced with thick cardboard, making them easy to handle, stack, and throw at other players in frustration.

Parent Geeks, this game was well-loved by your test group for its improved speed in game play and a few other areas of improvement that made the game feel more interesting and less redundant. There were a few Parent Geeks who didn’t like the game at all based on its goals of being greedy. Other Parent Geeks argued that this wasn’t a game about greed but about opulence. Still, other Parent Geeks argued that this was just a game and couldn’t we just get on with it? That argument seemed to win and everyone did “get back to it” and had fun. Playing with the family was the biggest success, especially with the teenagers who were suddenly very interested in a game that showcased jet skies and parties. Non-gamers had no problem with Monopoly Millionaire and kept asking why everyone didn’t like this “really great game”. My heart ached for them…

Child Geeks, this is a fast and fun game of collecting money and buying property. Doesn’t that sound interesting? No? Consider two very important things. First, as you collect the properties, you can build on them, which is visually represented by adding little House and Hotel pieces. This proved to be a lot of fun for your test group as it was exceedingly rewarding to see individual properties grow. Second, it is a lot of fun to collect money from the family and friends when they land on your property! And, yes, it’s not much fun when you have to pay them, but the game moves fast, gives you the chance to upgrade your Mover for more rewards, and never feels difficult or too long. We think you’ll enjoy it, especially if you’ve never played Monopoly before.

I am personally not impressed with Monopoly games anymore, but I won’t say they are bad games, either. I’ve played them a lot, learned a great deal from them in regards to game play, and will never turn down a game if someone wants to play it with me. But I won’t be going out of my way to bring it out, either. For any Gamer Geek who says that Monopoly is a “bad game”, I always wonder where their lack of love is coming from. In my opinion, Monopoly is like baby food and every game after it is just an improvement on the theme. Does that mean that baby food is horrible? Well, yes and no. It tastes horrible now and does not appeal to me on any level, but at the time when I was young, it was the most perfect thing in the world. The same can be said about Monopoly. It was good to great back in the day, but has since lost its luster. Remember your roots, folks, and don’t forget how far you’ve come and what games helped you get to where you are at now.

Personally, I don’t think this new version of Monopoly is a great improvement on the old formula that I was raised on, but it isn’t horrible by any means. It is faster, has better game components, and does seem to have focused the game play to make it feel crisper. That’s all pluses in my book and leads me to believe I would put this version of Monopoly on the table before an older version, even though it lacks much of the strategy and tactics the old game required to win. For those who have never played Monopoly before (yes, there are many who have not) and for our growing Child Geek population, Monopoly Millionaire is sure to please and be an excellent game from which to further grow and enjoy the table top gaming hobby. Really, you couldn’t ask for more out of a game that is meant to be casual, fun, and quick, but most of all, a start to an entertaining experience in the wonderful world of games.

If you enjoy Monopoly, have not yet played Monopoly, or are looking to upgrade your older versions, do take a look at Monopoly Millionaire. While we don’t think it’ll richly improve your gaming life, we do think it’ll be well worth you family’s and your time.

This game was given to Father Geek as a review copy. Father Geek was not paid, bribed, wined, dined, or threatened in vain hopes of influencing this review. Such is the statuesque and legendary integrity of Father Geek.

About Cyrus

Editor in Chief, Owner/Operator, Board Game Fanatic, Father of Three, and Nice Guy, Cyrus has always enjoyed board, card, miniature, role playing, and video games, but didn't get back into the hobby seriously until early 2000. Once he did, however, he was hooked. He now plays board games with anyone and everyone he can, but enjoys playing with his children and wife the most. Video games continue to be of real interest, but not as much as dice and little miniatures. As he carefully navigates the ins and outs of parenting, he does his very best to bestow what wisdom he has and help nurture his children's young minds. It is his hope and ambition to raise three strong, honorable men who will one day go on to do great things and buy their Mom and Dad a lobster dinner Cyrus goes by the handle fathergeek on Board Game Geek. You can also check him out on CyrusKirby.com. Yes, he has a URL that is his name. His ego knows no bounds, apparently....
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13 Responses to Monopoly Millionaire Game Review

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  3. Cyrus says:

    It amuses me that this remains one of our most popular posts…

    • Jason says:

      Just finished playing this with my kids. I like your review. I think the biggest problem is the salaries… Start with 372K, go around,Upgrade, +100, repeat +150, repeat +200, repeat +250, if calamity strikes which isn’t likely at this point in the game you repeat once more +250.
      So 5 times around and you have 1.25 M. I just don’t like a game that encourages the strategy of do nothing. I think the salaries need to be dropped by at least 50K and you have a more challenging game. Of course longer, but at least it encourages strategy. In the end we are talking about Monopoly here, he he, but I think they made the salaries too high. There are other mistakes too, but I won’t bore everybody. Seems like they rushed through this version a bit.

    • Cyrus says:

      Excellent points, Jason, and thanks for taking the time to read.

      It’s odd that they took the tried and true formula from Monopoly and changed it. Even more odd that they somewhat broke it. Monopoly isn’t a complicated game, and many would argue, not a great one. And yet, with this new version of the “classic”, they fuddled with it enough to make even Monopoly zealots a bit miffed. That’s not an easy thing to do.

      It would appear that the primary focus of this version of the game is to capitalize on Western Culture’s insatiable appetite for the “rich and famous”. Of course, to be rich and/or famous, you need a really big bank account. This is reflected nicely in the game and is the leading cause of what you have identified as a concern. Lots of money without doing much to earn it. I really don’t see how the game creators could avoid this, however, as the entire premise of the game is based on extravagance and a lifestyle that only 1% of the world’s population could possibly afford.

  4. sheppy says:

    I had great interest in the new things they did but I felt the Fortune Cards ultimately broke the game well beyond normal “that’s monopoly” standards. Then again, I played on iPhone where the dice rolls are suspicious to say the least.

    • Cyrus says:

      Hmmm…but you bring up a good point. Can one determine the overall experience of a board game based on a video game version? I would suggest they could, but only to a point.

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  6. Andrew Martin says:

    Enjoyed the game with 2 contradictions which rose for debate.
    1. Another player lands on an owned property, rent is due. however; Rule book says if a player lands on an owned property rent must be payed.
    2. Fortune card (Sly Deal) to steal the property, is played by the player who has landed on the property. “Use when Required” fortune card

    The argument is: Is rent still payed as the player has landed on the owned property from the roll of the dice, or is all forgone as it is stollen out from you by the use of the fortune card??

    • Cyrus says:

      YOU BROKE MONOPOLOY!!!!

      This particular c-c-c-combo is a fun one. It can go either way depending on how the players interpret the order of events. Do you pay first and then use cards or can cards be used and interrupt movement results? The right answer is the one where all the players agree to the rule interpretation.

      Personally, I interpreted the wordage “Use When Required” to be so open-ended that is was equivalent to stating “use whenever you the heck you like and let the rules be damned.”

      Finally, it’s Monopoly. Don’t over think it.

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, Andrew, and the best of luck with getting your rent money for your recently stolen property.

  7. Andrew says:

    lol….. So we need to establish a house rule as such. If a sly deal and you steal I would agree. This would include a forced deal also

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