Monopoly has been a board game staple since the 1930s, and now thanks to USAopoly wrestling fans can enjoy the classic property trading game with a WWE theme.
I’m sure at this point that WWE is none to pleased that the new game has CM Punk prominently featured on the box cover as well as being a big part of the actual board’s design, but that’s what happens when products are designed, printed, and getting ready for market when a superstar abruptly walks out on the company.
Monopoly WWE Edition has the same standard (2008-present) rules of Monopoly, which was admittedly a little confusing for someone who hasn’t played a 2008 or later Monopoly. Who thought it was a good idea to change the starting denominations to just one $5, one $20, and one $50? Speaking of money, it shares the design of the WWE Championship and features Vince McMahon’s face on the bills.
The game sports six WWE themed tokens: WWE Championship, a ladder, Money in the Bank briefcase, a microphone, a boot, and a simple circular token with the WWE logo (I call it a ring bell, even though it isn’t). Houses have been renamed to Mezzanine Seats although they’re still houses. Hotels likewise have been renamed Ringside Seats.
Railroads have been replaced by WWE pay-per-views: WrestleMania XXX, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, and Summer Slam. An opportunity was missed here in that the board could have been positioned as a year in WWE. After “Go,” WrestleMania is the first PPV players can land on. After that though, it’s Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, and Summer Slam. I think it would have been better had it been WrestleMania, Summer Slam, Survivor Series, and then Royal Rumble. That’s not a complaint; it’s just how I would have done it. The two utilities have also been replaced by Pyro and Titantron.
Chance and Community Chest have been replaced by RAW and Smackdown respectively. The cards have your standard Monopoly messages of get money, pay money, go to jail, get out of jail, or advance to some location. The cards can actually be pretty humorous; “Damien Sandow has bested you in a game of wits, pay $15” or “Zack Ryder tweeted about you, collect $10.”
The property in the game is made up of WWE Superstars (and AJ Lee as the sole Diva). Starting with the cheapest and going around the board to the highest, these are the Superstars you can buy in the game: AJ Lee, Dolph Ziggler, Kane, Mark Henry, Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, The Miz, Ryback, Big Show, Rey Mysterio, Brock Lesnar, Chris Jericho, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, Mankind, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Triple H, CM Punk, The Rock, and John Cena in the Boardwalk slot.
Why is Kane and Sheamus worth less than The Miz? Why is Chris Jericho more than Brock Lesnar? Beats me, but that’s how it is.
I understand not wanting to change Monopoly things for the game, but I can’t help but feel like some terms could have been changed. As is, you’re buying John Cena for $400 and charging people $50 rent if they land on him. Cena has a mortgage value of $200. I think the real estate aspect works when the game features locations, but not so much with people. Instead of property, why not make the stars be clients? Instead of paying rent, why not call it a booking fee?
There’s just a number of small terminology changes that wouldn’t have impacted the game from a playing perspective, but would have still enhanced the experience in my humble opinion. Instead of going to jail, why not simply be fired? After all, one of the get out of jail free cards does say “you have an iron clad contract.” These are all word changes that wrestling fans would have understood and wouldn’t be in conflict with standard Monopoly to any confusing degree. And since I can’t see non-WWE fans buying this game to play, I don’t get why the extra steps weren’t taken.
There’s a reason Monopoly has been around and popular since the 1930’s, so there really isn’t anything negative that can be said about this. It is Monopoly with a WWE theme; it’s a good game. The paper money is nice but as always is easily bent up (it annoys me), the cards are nice and if not for the mortgage value being printed on the back would almost make a decent trading card, and the board has a nice design. The board itself is one of those that folds over and back into a square. I guess that’s standard these days. Personally, I prefer the old style of folding over once and having a long rectangle.
If you’re a parent who has wrestling fans in the house, Monopoly: WWE Edition would be perfect to pull the kids away from a TV, computer, gaming console, or phone to sit down at the table and enjoy a family game night. And every family should have a weekly game night to sit down and spend time together.
Now then, WWE and USAopoly… how about a Clue: WWE Edition? It needs to happen, and it’s too bad one didn’t happen during the Attitude Era: It was Rikishi, with a car, in the parking lot… he did it for The Rock.
Monopoly: WWE Edition gets a four out of five: GREAT.
* This board game was provided by USAopoly for review.