By now you’ve probably played some form of Monopoly. Whether you’re a traditionalist and you like playing with pieces and a board, or you enjoy playing with a group of friends in your living room on a console or on your phone. It’s one of the greatest, most successful and well-known games in the world. So, of course, it would go hand-in-hand with the greatest, most successful and well-known TV show in the world.
Game of Thrones, based on the novels from George R.R.Martin, continues to break records and set trends and is pushing towards a new season in late April. To celebrate, Hasbro were commissioned to put together a Monopoly set that commemorates the journey of these incredible characters through such dazzling locations.
Before you even open it up, the box itself is striking with the four House sigils, all brightly coloured underneath the Monopoly logo. On the back, the lone Iron Throne beams prominently along with a sneak preview of the board and the beautifully detailed miniature figurines.
So, what’s different?
The principle rules are exactly the same, but there are some differences which make this set more attuned to the world of Game of Thrones.
For starters, and perhaps most obviously, you’re purchasing famous characters and locations from the world of Game of Thrones. Familiar places such as Winterfell, Qarth, Craster’s Keep and Castle Black are all available to purchase on the board, with King’s Landing earning the infamous Mayfair square.
Also, each of the travel squares are now adorned with the sigils of the four Houses, being Lannister, Stark, Baratheon and Targaryen. In addition, the Utility Squares are now The Wall and the Red Waste.
Players will also be able to pick up cards from two different sets: Valar Morghulis and The Iron Throne. The variety is pretty broad, from arranging a betrothal of your youngest daughter, naming a champion to fight on your behalf to having your house seat of power burned to the ground.
The best of which has to be the simply titled ‘Hodor’ card which nets you a 50 note. Can’t go wrong with that!
Though you’ll also have to watch the Master of Coin who likes you to pay taxes for the pleasure of collecting his card and staying on his space. How nice of him!
The currency remains the same as other Monopoly games, though the colour of each note makes for a beautiful, well-blended background for the insignia adorned on the front.
Also new is the design of the houses and hotels for placement on your purchased properties. Instead, they’re more appropriately designed villages and keeps which stay in line with the fantasy theme of the game, maintaining that medieval and mystical atmosphere which is so prominent throughout the series.
Last, but by no means least, the beautiful pewter figurines are the real highlight of this set and can be stored in a beautiful white cloth bag. There’s the Iron Throne, of course, which will probably require a dice roll on it’s own to see who gets to claim ownership of that for the game. But there’s also the beautifully designed crown worn by the King or Queen in King’s Landing and Daenerys’s golden dragon egg, which has a superb level of craftsmanship and finish.
Representing the animals, you’ve got a crow, appropriate for those who see a bit of The Watch in themselves, and, of course, the infamous Direwolf which is inescapably connected to the tragic Stark family.
Rounding off the set, we’ve got a lovely White Walker with a sword. Because we didn’t see enough of those things last season!
Seems it does everything right.
It does. Mostly. It’s a great set and really is an essential purchase for both Monopoly and Game of Thrones collectors. But I do have some very minor niggles.
My main one is the design of Free Parking. Now I know this is a main staple on all Monopoly boards and there is contention among those who say the square should never be changed, but honestly it just looks odd and out of place on this board. Not just because there are no cars in this universe, but also because it’s so bright and vibrant next to the duller colours on the board that it sticks out like a sore thumb.
They could have changed the car to something else – like a horse and cart, or a dragon. Yes, a dragon! There’s a distinct lack of dragon in this set, and, let’s face it, no one is going to tell Drogon or Rhaegal to shift up or move on.
Equally, I think the Go to Jail and Go signs could have been dulled down just slightly as well to blend in a bit with the rest of the board and really keep the theme prominent throughout. Again though, this is not a problem unique to Game of Thrones Monopoly, you’ll find it on all other custom-designed boards.
As I say though, these are minor niggles. The writing on the cards is great and really suits the world Martin has created. The figures are beautiful and wonderfully stylised. The board is great and the location options, as well as the buildings are well thought out and authentic.
This is an essential purchase for any collector and fan of the show, and will help fill up the time as you wait to return to Westeros later this year.
This set has been supplied by Hasbro for review purposes.