Review of "Hasbro Monopoly Empire"

published 02/01/2018 | elfbwillow
Member since : 07/02/2007
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About me :
Returned to see ciao has been lost :( so sad. Added a review before i realised. Let that be a parting gift. Where is everyone going now? So sad :(
Pro Short playing time, fun for everyone, easy to learn
Cons None!!
Value for Money
Playability & Enjoyment
Design & Presentation


The classic Monopoly game with a difference

The classic Monopoly game with a difference


Having just had Christmas, my ten year old daughter finds she has been very lucky with gifts from Santa. She is at that middle age where, although she still loves toys, she also loves 'older' games and items (such a difficult age to buy for!!), One particular game Santa brought her this year was MONOPOLY EMPIRE.

Monopoly itself is not a new game. Most of us have played a variation of this over the years since it originally began back in the early 1900's, whether it be the most well known version of London street names, or a personalised version with photos (see my other review on MY MONOPOLY), or a stylised version in the shape of your favourite television programme. Most follow the same rules to a large degree, though EMPIRE changes the rules entirely in many ways.

MONOPOLY EMPIRE actually came out in 2013 from what I can see, and since then there have been (I believe) three different versions. Whilst these versions stay the same in terms of rules and layout, the brands and tokens for each variation change. This version I am reviewing is the latest 2016 version.


The box and contents, although a very different version to the original Monopoly, is immediately recognizable from the Monopoly series, with Mr. Monopoly standing forefront on the packaging. In this version, he is standing in what could be a road in a city with all the brand names within the version shown clearly as billboards around him. The playing tokens are displayed in a clear plastic surround to the right of the box. The back of the box matches the front perfectly with the red and black colour scheme with a brief outline of the game rules complete with images of the game board and playing pieces.

Included within this game is the following;

The gameboard is set out the same as the most well known Monopoly games, with the square card base presenting a ten by ten gameplay image. Within the centre is a colourful square area which houses the playing cards as well as the four towers. (These will be explained more further on in my review). Around the outside you will find the different branded spaces in which the players move around throughout the game. Unlike the more well known game, there are no streets or railways, but instead brand names which act as billboards. There are twenty two of these spaces which, in this version, cover brands as Yahoo, Nickelodeon, Ebay, XBOX, Transformers, Candy Crush and more. You will also find the well known electric and water companies and Chance card space and special Emprie card spaces. There I also two tax spaces with a difference (again, this will be explained later), and the four corners which actually stay relatively the same as other versions (Go, Jail, Free Parking and Go to Jail).

The game board is folded into quarters to store and is relatively sturdy, though any real force will break it. If scraped too much, the top picture layer may also come off, though this should not happen by accident.

There are four black plastic towers (one for each player) which act as each players persona display tower. This is an essential part of the game as the billboards you collect with stack upon these. Each tower slots into the centre of the gameboard and contains a run of different values. Each tower is plastic and relatively sturdy though may break if trodden upon.

There are six metal playing pieces included in the game. In this version, the pieces are gold in colour and cover the brands Transformers, Wilson, CAT, Puma, Ford and XBOX. Each are very well made and can not be broken (unless you decide to melt them for some weird reason!)

These little plastic tiles are opposed to street cards in other Monopoly games, each with a different brand sticker upon them and different colours representing which area/cost they belong to. The office tiles are the same and are used if you collect all the same colour brands. Each are well made and reasonably sturdy.

The chance cards are as you would expect in a Monopoly game, with both good and bad rules written upon them, such as 'Go to jail' or collect money from the bank. The Empire cards are the new addition with this game. These are all well sought after cards in the game, each with positive outcomes for the holder to aid them in their game. These can range from basic instructions to move certain spaces, to enabling the holder to get rid of certain tiles from other peoples towers. The cards are as usual, made of this card which bends easily.

This version includes only 500, 100 and 50 note forms which makes it a lot simpler. All the money is easily ripped so do play with caution.

There are two dice in black and gold. Both are six sided, one with the usual six numbers, the other has 2-6 with the other side containing a hand instead of the number 1. This is used as an option during game play to swap two tower billboards around.

Now that I have covered the basics, let me take you into the MONOPOLY EMPIRE game...


Unlike the traditional game of monopoly, this game does not take hours and hours to complete. A typical length will be between 20 and 30 minutes give or take, and between two to four players can take part. It is recommended for children aged eight and above, though as usual, this all depends on the child. It is a very simple game, much more so than the typical Monopoly game, so some younger children may be able to play this. I believe my daughter played it when she was seven or eight and picked it up really well. Now that shes ten, she wipes the board with us!!

The aim of the game is simple. All you need to do is fill up your tower with billboards. Thats it! Of course, nothing is ever that simple, and there is many twists and turns along the way, as well as a whole lot of fun and evilness!

The basic rules are simple too, begin on the start square, roll your dice, move clockwise around the board, follow instructions for spaces (outlined below) and thats it!

So where are all the twists and turns?

At the beginning of the game you are handed a specific amount of money, and sometimes more importantly, two Empire cards. These Empire cards can be your lifeline in many ways. They can stop a player from winning and take them right back to the start, they can help you move around the board easier, get brands you havent brought and so much more. It may look as though the game is going one way, but one play from one of these cards can change everything. Not only do you have the two at the beginning, but with two Empire spaces on the board, you are always able to pick more up!

As already stated, to win the game, you need to fill your tower with billboards. So how do you get these?

As with other games of Monopoly, if you land on the right spaces and have the money, you simply buy them and add them to your tower. This is not the only way, though. Empire cards can of course help you steal or swap billboards from other players, but there are also other ways. Some Chance cards allow you to get the utility boards, and as there is four to each space, that can soon add up. The special hand icon on the dice also allows you to choose whether you wish to swap one of your billboards with another players, or even mess with two other towers which are not yours. If you do not wish to swap, you simply move the number on the other dice only. If you land on a brand space and do not have the money, you have to put it up to auction for the other players to buy. This is a rule that can be bent. We often play without the auction option as the game plays so quickly anyway, though this is up to you.

What other things should you know about the game play?

Some spaces work the same as other Monopoly games, whereas others differ slightly. I have already covered the branded spaces above, though there are other rules and spaces which also come into play. As with other games, if you land on a branded space that belongs to someone else, you must pay them, though instead of a set value, this varies as it goes on the value on the persons tower. So if their tower is only up to 50, that is all you have to pay them, though the towers go up to 800 so it could become rather expensive! If you can not pay, then they take the top most billboard off of your tower and add it to theirs. The 'GO' space also works alongside the value height on your tower. Every time you pass 'GO' collect the amount shown on your tower height.

Jail, of course, is a familiar feature and this works the same as in other games. If you get sent there, you must not pass go. You have three options to leave jail. You may own a get out of jail free card in which you can then use on your next go. If you do not own this, you can choose to either pay 100 or roll for doubles.

There are two tax spaces on the board; Tower tax and Rival tax. If you land on tower tax, you must return your top most billboard onto the board. If you land on the latter, then you return a player of your choices top most billboard.

There is also a Free Parking space. Here you can land here and either choose to simply wait there, or choose to go on a trip. If you go on a trip, pay 100 and move to any space around the board up to the space before Free Parking. If you pass go, you collect your earnings, and whatever space you choose to land on, follow the instructions as normal.

And that, folks, is the game in a nutshell.


The best thing about this game opposed to other Monopoly games is the length of time it takes to play. Although my daughter loves playing Monopoly, it becomes apparent with each game, that after a while, she becomes tired of playing as it becomes too monotonous and long for her. We do finish the games eventually, but sometimes it becomes less fun and more effort to do so. With MONOPOLY EMPIRE, the game is not only short in length, but also very fast paced so there is little to no time for younger ones to become bored. Of course, the fast pace of it all could also frustrate younger ones too much, so it all depends on how your child is as to whether this game would suit them or not.

The gameplay itself is so simple, and my daughter picked it up extremely quickly. Only today, we played four games and I lost every single one of them! She can be very evil! There is a decent game guide included in the game if you need to refer to instructions, but trust me, you will not need to after your first game – it is that easy (but at the same time, certainly not boring).

Overall, this is a game which all the family love. Since getting it for Christmas a little over a week ago, we have played it so much, and still, are not bored of it. Although the premise of the game stays the same, each game is different and every single moment is fun!

This game retails around £26 at its top most cost, though Santa managed to get it reduced from The Entertainer for just over £10. Now, we absolutely love this game, though I am always against paying too much for board games, so when I saw it for the lesser price I grabbed it. Is it worth the higher price? I would say yes, though it all depends on what you would want to pay.

So, would I recommend this game?

Without a single doubt! One of the best games we have played in a long time.

Thank you for reading and hope you all have a wonderful New Year 2018!

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Comments on this review

  • Soho_Black published 10/01/2018
    This may be ideal for us, as my wife enjoys Monopoly, but I don't have the patience for it, so if this is a quicker version, it could suit us both perfectly.
  • LiveMusicLoverLyn published 06/01/2018
  • Secre published 04/01/2018
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Product Information : Hasbro Monopoly Empire

Manufacturer's product description

Board Game

Product Details

Long Name: Monopoly Empire

EAN: 5055851246058

Type: Board Game

Age: 8 Years +

Manufacturer: Hasbro


Listed on Ciao since: 03/12/2013