There are some games that simply every household has to have to be able to call it a home. Chief among them is a copy of Monopoly. It’s been around for over a century and comes in a whole heap of forms these days, but owes its perpetual popularity to its accessibility and ability to inspire competition.
Still, very few other board games of the hundreds made since Monopoly’s inception have enjoyed anywhere near as much staying power. You could name Scrabble, Risk, chess, Battleship, Game of Life, and Trivial Pursuit, but none are quite as appealing to all ages and strategic abilities as the fast-dealing property trading game.
Spanning decades of tweaks and changes, this is how Monopoly continues to evolve to remain among the most popular board games.
From Landlord’s Game to Monopoly
The precursor board game launched in 1906 and featured the square set-up, properties lining the outside, but many, many other tiles, including the “Poorhouse,” “Absolute Necessity Shelter,” and “Oil Fields.” Do you want to see the original board? Follow that link to see it in its first form as The Landlord’s Game.
Originally created by Elizabeth Magie, what would eventually be called ‘Monopoly’ was designed to present the perils of monopolies that come from land grabs. Now, it’s upheld as a fun way to promote and engage with capitalism. Either way, the simple structure and straightforward gameplay have always been a key piece of its draw.
In the 1930s, it transformed from the Landlord’s Game to Monopoly under the ownership of Parker Brothers – which would eventually be eaten up by Hasbro. It was in 1933 that the game we’re all familiar with now entered circulation.
Evolving the game
Monopoly remained as it was for a long time, sometimes adjusting tiles but regularly changing the properties to suit new countries that it’d be sold in. In the 1990s, themed Monopoly sets really caught on, which were essentially just a different coat of paint with some new tokens.
Originally, the tokens were based on the charm bracelets worn by the new developer’s niece, as you can read about right here. Now, in these themed Monopoly games, you can find the World’s Best Boss mug in The Office Monopoly and even a Plumbus token in Rick & Morty Monopoly.
More recently, major changes to the gameplay have been infused in the Editions. The Lord of the Rings Monopoly, for example, has a Ring of Power that protects you from rent, but if dropped, you need to pay hefty fees. Then again, you can win by making it to Mount Doom with the One Ring rather than via property dominance.
A step into digital and non-board gaming
Most board games have a digital version these days, and Monopoly was certainly one of the early movers into video gaming, but the classic property dealing game has evidently made the most drastic leap of all. Now, Monopoly is a leading brand in the drastically different entertainment space of iGaming.
In fact, among all of the best new online casinos, it’s the officially branded Monopoly site that ranks among the best. If a Monopoly-themed casino sounds like your kind of thing, why not look into these? Importantly, it’s not just a branded platform. Monopoly is now the name of 20 live casino, slot, and free gambling games online.
Of course, video gaming is the more accessible format of digital play. Regularly ranking among the best premium apps, Monopoly on the App Store boasts over 160,000 ratings to average a 4.7 out of 5.0 score and has been downloaded well over one million times on the Play Store.
Monopoly would have remained a household staple even without its recent evolutions, but branching out tremendously to new themes, rules, and platforms cements it as one of the biggest gaming brands in the world.