Skip to Content

what earns a game the title of "monopoly clone"

5 replies [Last post]
Joined: 07/24/2008

hi all,

We held a play test of a roll and move Animal reserve board game I am working on. It is intended to be for players 8 - adult.

The "testers" made some good suggestions and constructive critisisms but ... I am so obsessed with not creating a "monopoly clone" that I think I could be over reacting in my refusal to try some of the players suggestions.

for example one of the testers felt it would it would be "wicked" to use a variety of objects to use different objects to represent the players. My immediate response was no because monopoly does this.

Dralius's picture
Joined: 07/26/2008
Having different peices for

Having different peices for each player is not an issue as i see it. Here are some mechanics that people relate with monopoly.

Roll and move the exact amount shown.

A mono-directional circuit track that the players travel on.

Ownership of the spaces of said circuit.

A Penalty for landing on the spaces owned by other players.

A random set of events triggered by a player moving to certain spaces on the board.

If your game has two or more of these elements it might get dubbed a Monopoly clone.

Rick-Holzgrafe's picture
Joined: 07/22/2008
Give them choices

Dralius's points are very well taken. In my mind, the biggest problem with Monopoly is that it gives the players so few choices. You roll, and go where the dice tell you to go; when you get there, you do what that space tells you to do. You mostly only get a choice when you land on an unowned property, or when you can decide to build houses or hotels.

Most roll-and-move games are Monopoly-like in this sense, but are not necessarily Monopoly clones. If you give your players more choices than Monopoly does, you'll be making a better game as well as differentiating it from Monopoly.

Joined: 07/26/2008
Although, in Monopoly's

Although, in Monopoly's defence (!) the game is somewhat balanced in terms of feedbacks, driving the game towards an inevitable conclusion by gradually removing the amount of finances in play, and as such is enjoyable under the right circumstances with the right people...

Which isn't to say it's a good game, just that it could be far, far worse...

Joined: 07/24/2008
Dralius & Rick thanks for

Dralius & Rick thanks for your comments. I was releived to read that "Most roll and move games are monopoly - like in this sense" as I had to answer yes to four of Dralius's points.

Initially the game had no money and no feature icons (there are no squares - the board has a mono circuit of icons) and was RUBBISH! Play testing led to features, ownership and money being incorporated into the game.

the testers arguments for these have been strong
- every one needs money
-life events occur to everyone and feature icons trigger these during game play.
-ownership was allocated to determine where a player would start - the board is unique in what it can be used for and does not have a single letter on it. The testers wanted a distinct starting place and I did not want this to be fixed.

out come of the game may be influenced by using individual starting points on a mono circuit but we haven't found this to be significant.

there is a mechanic that allows players to have a say over the dice roll - not a big say but it allows some choice.

there is a mechanic that allows players to increase their money by choice and not be dependent on a card or feature icon to get it.

there are several cards that breaks the "king maker" by involving all players.

I guess we will just have to wait until it is out there to see whether people think it is a monopoly clone - It could have been a trivial pursuit clone but I have never collected a single piece of cheese, to the point where one of the children gave me a box of camembert for my birthday. The game is not going to be a Q & A.

thanks again.

Rick-Holzgrafe's picture
Joined: 07/22/2008
Roll-and-move not all bad

"there is a mechanic that allows players to have a say over the dice roll"

Sounds good. Formula De is a roll-and-move game in which you have a racecar that is in one of six gears. Each turn, you select a gear (with rules about how far you can shift from the gear you used last turn) and then roll a die appropriate to that gear. Low gears get low-numbered dice; high gears get high-numbered dice. Together with a limited ability to choose your path (inside, outside, center of track) and to spend brakes to shorten your distance, this gives players interesting choices on nearly every turn. Formula De is an excellent game, and nothing like Monopoly.

Syndicate content

forum | by Dr. Radut