Recently the makers of Monopoly launched a campaign to let players not only vote on which game tokens to keep but also which new one to add from such choices as a cat, a helicopter, and a guitar. But what Monopoly really needs are tokens that not only better reflect the game but also make it far more exciting or at least interesting enough to stare at a square board for eleven straight hours. Hence the following alternatives to a thimble that somehow can secure a bank loan to buy real estate…
The problem with Monopoly tokens is that aside from their designs it doesn’t really matter which piece you play since they all do the same thing—slowly move around the board while your family gets into louder and louder arguments. But with the wizard token you would actually get unique powers that could help you win the game, including causing everyone else’s houses and hotels to simply fly away, easily avoiding both jail and frankly any rules thanks to your fire-breathing pet dragon, and turning the middle of the board into a giant volcano that can immediately erupt whenever you don’t get to buy all four railroads.
How do you prevent a game of Monopoly from going on so long that you begin to hate the very sight of your friends or start using a pair of 20-sided dice in the hopes you can just zip around the board and buy all the remaining properties in three minutes? Well, mostly by just yelling “I hate this game! I hate it, I hate it, I hate it!” and walking away. Bt if you’re committed to seeing it through, the Mogwai/Gremlin token is for you. At first in its Mogwai stage it seems like just another adorable piece. But when you’ve finally had enough, you can either pour some water on it or feed it after the game has gone on past midnight. Then the Mogwai turns into several hundred Gremlins who just destroy everything—opponents properties, their money, your kitchen table, your kitchen, the foundation of your very house—ensuring both the end of the game and the possibility that anyone will ever ask you to play Monopoly again.
80’s-Style Home Computer
For over 70 years Monopoly has pretty much used the same tokens over and over again, including such not-quite-up-to-the-minute pieces as a top hat, a non-electric iron, and a World War I howitzer. So clearly this is not a game that can just jump into the 21st century (especially when the game manufacturer’s idea of amazing modern technology is a “guitar”). Instead, Monopoly must be slowly led towards the new high-tech era with the baby step that is a 1980’s home computer token, featuring a green monochrome monitor, keyboard with no lowercase function, giant floppy drive, dot matrix printer, screeching modem with landline phone, and just enough memory to realize it’s a token in Monopoly.
Another way to deal with an unending game of Monopoly is to simply fast-forward. Whenever you feel things are moving too slowly or everyone is starting to lose focus or the will to live, simply press down on the time machine token and the action will suddenly leap ahead half an hour. Not only will this make the overall game move quicker but it will add an extra element of excitement and tension as players who were in the lead now find themselves in the poorhouse, those who only had a dollar to their name and no deed cards now find themselves laughing as you land on all their hotels, and everyone just stares in wonder as dinosaurs, our future ape rulers, and alternate realities of all the tokens now roam the board, because that’s what happens when you mess with the time continuum too much.
One of the new tokens Monopoly is letting players vote on is a “toy robot,” which sounds exciting until you realize it has the word “toy” in it. How does that differ from using a toy dog, a toy boat, or that briefly seen toy sack of money piece that looked like you were moving a vegetable dumpling around the board? What people really need to get that crucial advantage is a heavily-armed enforcement droid that can ensure you always win first—not second—prize in a beauty contest, that the bank doesn’t just make a $200 error in your favor but simply lets you walk off with its entire cash deposit, and that when you get bored you can simply launch an attack on the peg people in “The Game of Life.”
Mr. Burns Token for All Editions
When you get right down to it, the whole point of Monopoly is to control everything, destroy everyone, and find happiness and success strictly through money. (Which is why so many games end with people flipping over the board and screaming, “Mark my words! I will destroy you!” to startled grandparents.) So why not really hammer the game’s true evil nature home by making the Mr. Burns token from the “Simpsons Monopoly” edition official in all versions of the game, complete with releasable hounds and the ability to block out the sun so that the other tokens wither and die. Sure, this might at first seem a little excessive for the “Monopoly Junior Dora the Explorer” edition, but even five-year-olds have to learn that love or not, one day there moms will do everything in their power to make sure their precious bundles of joy never, ever get both Boardwalk and Park Place.
What token would you like to see added? Let us know in the comments!