Back in 2010, Fiona Borrelli and I created a free and simple expansion for the Monopoly™ board game called “Free Market Monopoly”.
The idea behind the board game expansion was to create a more stimulating game for players looking for more financial complexity, more strategy and less chance.
My favourite board game of all time remains Diplomacy by Allan B. Calhamer / The Avalon Hill Game Co, and whilst Free Market Monopoly is no Diplomacy, it is definitely an incremental step towards the Diplomacy experience.
Furthermore, a game of Free Market Monopoly can be completed in a palatable timeframe (less than 2 days, which is my shortest ever Diplomacy game), and doesn’t require 7 people to be fully functional.
Monopoly: Free Market Expansion improves and extends the gameplay for veterans of the original Parker Brothers Monopoly board game. Having played the original rule set for many years, we identified the following areas for improvement:
- Luck in early property acquisition creating an overly dominant player;
- No ability for property poor players to get back into the game;
- Difficulty in recording complex financial transactions between players;
- Utilities and railway stations become irrelevant in end-game;
- Gameplay is quite simplistic, often deterministic and doesn’t enable experienced players to capitalise on their experience;
The following items have been introduced into the Monopoly: Free Market Expansion
- A welfare system for struggling players;
- Formalised lending – bank to player and player to player;
- Regular property tax;
- Mining exploration rights on properties;
- A new set of chance and community chest cards with interesting and realistic scenarios;
The expansion is FREE and can be played by simply downloading and printing off the new chance and community chest cards, and a lending ledger.
t + 10 years
10 years later, I recently fired up Free Market Monopoly and have some further thoughts on how to enrich the game which I plan to release in the coming months.
Many people reached out to me over the years with praise and feedback for the expansion, including senior staffers from various departments of treasury. It also seems to have influenced other expansions including Ultimate Monopoly (2014) which I look forward to trying out. Stay tuned.
Monopoly is a trademark of the Parker Brothers.