Game Time: 60 minutes +
Hello, my lovely Geeks and Geekettes! I hope everyone is doing well as we start to creep out of the winter months, moving ever closer to spring!
This week I’ve been up and gotten hold of a copy of Jurassic Park Monopoly. I suspect no one reading this is surprised that there is a version of Monopoly based on Jurassic Park, indeed there are hundreds of versions of this classic game. For the most part, many versions are replicas of the original, simply set in a different location. There is London classic, Las Vegas, and even a Lincoln-based game. But then there are the fandom games, we have everything from Walking Dead, Lord of the Rings, and of course, Jurassic Park.
The beautiful thing about the Fandom Monopolies is that they usually add in a little extra twist to the game, and the Jurassic Park edition is no exception.
The JP Monopoly features six of your main film characters as your playing pieces, which are expertly crafted and easily recognisable. Your main board consists of dinosaur paddocks rather than streets, your train stations are replaced by main roads, and Chance and Community Chest cards are replaced by Cold Storage and Impact Tremor cards.
There are no hotels to speak of in the park, but you can buy electric fences, and you’re going to need them because Rexy is stomping around looking to do some damage!
Tyrannosaurus Rex, King (or in JP’s case Queen) of the Tyrant Reptiles has broken up of her enclosure and is on the rampage. As each player rolls, they roll not just for their own movement, but for Rexy as well. Any space that Rexy lands on is damaged and must be repaired before players can reap the rewards from them. The electric fences I mentioned earlier can slow her down and protect your precious paddocks, but you need to make sure you get the fences repaired quickly or it’ll be crushed on Rexy’s next time around.
Rexy doesn’t just damage property, oh no, she’s on the hunt, players in her path must pay £50 to escape being trampled to death. If Rexy succeeds in destroying every paddock on the board then everyone loses.
The fabulous Queen Rexy also adds a new mechanic for the Pass Go function. As players pass Go they must press the Jurassic Park gates to determine if they collect £200 (indicated by the fabulous John Williams theme tune) or if they can only collect £100, on account of Rexy’s roar scaring them senseless. The gates are also used for some of the Tremor or Cold storage cards. Rexy’s roar is usually a bad omen, and one can never be sure which sound a player will hear when the button is pressed.
Winning is as with any of the classic Monopoly games, the last player standing ... so long as Rexy has left some of your park standing
Hasbro have really thought about the mechanics of this game. The paddock design, even the choice in dinosaurs for the game are ordered to those seen in the movie and book (starting with the ever fabulous Brachiosaurus). They’ve removed some of the mechanics for owning property, so players no longer get bonuses for owning all the same properties of the same colour, and you can no longer rack up the rent by building lots of Hotels. Paddock cards are double-sided making it easy to distinguish which paddocks have been damaged by Rexy’s Rampage.
The designs of the game pieces are stunningly detailed for their size, and each character is readily identifiable. Rexy has been given a slightly different finish to give her a more primal look. Even the box has had a lot of thought into it. This is the first board game I have personally come across which has no plastic insert, the game instead is protected by a clever card closure instead, making this a very environmentally friendly version of the classic games. And I particularly appreciate that the designers put in rules for the gates in the event the batteries die, which knowing me will be sooner, rather than later . . . I can’t help myself. if I have any fault with the game it is simply the fences, which are currently little cut-out card pieces, and very flimsy in comparison with the other parts of the game.
If you’re a fan of Monopoly then this is definitely a game for you. It’s a fabulous twist on a classic game to break players into more complex games, certainly a move away from the standard classics that most of us grew up with. This gets a high 6 on my dice rating. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.