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I love playing board games with my son because I really think it helps to promote a feeling of closeness and fun as well as fond memories which you can carry with you through your life as well. As such whenever my son has a birthday or Christmas comes along I often buy him a couple of new games for us to play and this year one of the games I purchased was Monopoly crazy cash and whilst I appreciate we haven’t had it all that long we have played it every single day since Christmas, sometimes a couple of times a day and so I do feel I am equipped to review the game now.
I bought the game from toys ‘r’ us on a promotion where if you spent £20.00 on games you got connect 4 free and so it seemed a good deal. The game cost me just short of £15.00 which I believe is a pretty average price for the game. The game comes packaged in a cardboard box which is pretty sturdy and holds all of the game parts in well. Monopoly crazy cash is made by Hasbro and this game is suitable for players aged five years and older so it is much more manageable for the younger end of the family that the original game of monopoly. I do feel the age guidelines on this game are about right because my son has taken to the game easily at six years of age and I feel younger children could be guided through the game and would soon pick up the rules. Up to four players can play this game at any one time.
In the game box you receive a game board, four coloured playing pieces, the property cards, paper money, houses, hotels, a dice, the cash machine and two cash cards as well. You need two AA batteries for use in the cash machine which are not provided. When you open up the game board you will notice that it looks similar to the original monopoly board in its design in that you have familiar spaces such as the go space, jail and free parking. Around the game board there are coloured properties but there are only two per colour making it much easier to complete a set and to be able to charge double rent! The properties all have different names to those on original monopoly and so we have things such as Rainbow Road and Elephant Street to name a couple. What is good with this game is the properties have a maximum purchase value of £5.00 and so there is no huge numbers for a child to get bogged down with or anything which may put them off the game.
Playing the game is easy enough really in that a player rolls the dice and if they land on a property space they must purchase it if it is not already owned by someone else. Once they have paid the banker for the property they should put a house on the space so other players know it is owned and place the property card with their money so that they know how much rent to charge. Once a player has been all around the board once they can make the decision whether to add a hotel to their property for the charge of one extra pound but there are only eight hotels in the game and so competition for those is fierce! Obviously a player must be quite wise and place hotels on their most expensive properties too to gain the most rent. As you go around the board there are also cash machine spaces and again this is quite different to the original monopoly game. Here you insert the cash card and the machine will spit out four things be it chance cards or cash which is then the players to keep. With chance cards if the machine gives you more than one you must choose just one to play and then put the rest to one side. My son just loves to use the cash machine and so far we have only had a few minor niggles with the machine in that occasionally a note will get stuck in the machine or it will go a bit mental and throw out notes when nobody is touching it! We have found the best way to combat this is to take the cash card out of the machine after each use.
As players go round the board much like with the original monopoly you are expected to keep your eye on when players land on your properties and to shout rent loudly when they do! This is something that my son loves to do but he can often be caught snoozing and miss us on his spaces! I will allow him so many reminders before I just carry on play as normal and always remind him if he snoozes he will lose….sounds harsh but I want him to learn how to play games properly!
The game ends either when somebody loses all of their money and so cannot carry on anymore or when the cash machine runs out of money, whichever comes first. The winning player is determined by whoever has the most money at the end. I would say a game lasts around half an hour or so which I think is a good amount of time as there is no boredom when playing it because it doesn’t drag on for too long.
As I said we have played this game a lot over the Christmas and New Year period because my son really loves it. However, my eighteen year old sister seems to love it too demanding rematches should she get beat in the game and so I do feel it is a real family game which is suitable for all. I like how my son has to use his brain with this game as he counts up the one, two and five pound notes throughout the game and how he doesn’t see it as work at all as he is just having fun with it. He does sometimes get a bit emotional and have a strop if someone ends up landing on the best properties before him or if he spends forever in jail which is what he seems to do most games for some reason but I guess that is part and parcel of being a child and learning you don’t always win.
This game has most definitely been a hit with my son and I and I would totally recommend it to anyone with young children to be honest. My only slight niggle with the game is that the money provided is very small and thin and feels pretty flimsy and I wonder if it will last all that well in the long run although looking back to my own childhood monopoly money has never been particularly thick and was always playable! The game board is thick and glossy and folds up neatly after play and so I feel this is a game that will be popular for another few years to come until my son is old enough to have a go at the original monopoly game.