With the premiere of The Walking Dead only a month and change away, I decided it was time to get reacquainted with the zombie apocalypse, and what better way to do that than by playing a rousing game of monopoly. Not just any Monopoly, though, as we have to keep it themed, so it's all about Walking Dead Monopoly.
Also, I think I’ve set a record for how many times I have used Monopoly in the opening paragraph of any post ever. If not, well then, Monopoly (I’m really competitive).
Okay, back to business. Since we all know how the core game plays, there is no need to go over it ad nauseam, so for things like this I’ve developed a different type of review, a 5 things review. Here are the 5 things that stuck out most about Skybound and USAopoly's latest venture.
1. The rules themselves are different in no way, shape, or form, and that is kind of a bummer. The main reason I play these themed boardgames is to play the game in a slightly varied way, or in some cases a completely different way, and I felt a little gypped here. Sure its good for a couple of playthroughs, but if you’re looking for more replayability, there isn’t really anything new to keep drawing you back. If you’re a Walking Dead fan, then there isn't any reason to not play this version when people come over, but that’s about it.
2. One highlight of this version was just how attached I became to owning certain properties. I couldn't care less about anything in the normal version that isn’t Park Place or Boardwalk, but here my wife and I were constantly fighting over locations like Rick's neighborhood, Woodbury, and Hershel's farm. This really did make the aspect of buying and selling property that much more meaningful.
3. The pieces themselves are all pretty good picks, including Rick's Hat, Michonne's Katana, Dale’s RV, a baseball bat with barb wire, the ominous telephone, and my personal favorite, a bucket full of zombie parts. The pieces are fine, but because they are dark grey they really mix in with the board, so numerous times we lost track of where our markers were.
4. Just one thing of note. It is not possible to watch Walking Dead while playing this game. You think it would add atmosphere, but it just ends up constantly distracting you. We tried, and by halfway through we had watched almost an entire episode and hadn’t moved our pieces in like 20 minutes. Not a good combination.
5. While the aethstics are right on, the gameplay variation is lacking, so here is my proposal for True Undead Mode.
True Undead Mode tries to evoke the constant tension that exists in the Walking Dead universe. There are always more zombies. Eventually everything will be taken over by the undead, you are just trying to make it as long as you can. The idea here is that after 10 turns, the zombie horde starts moving across the board and taking over territories. You have to fight them off of your properties with whatever money you've earned, as each bill corresponds to a different item (ones in the game are med kits, twenties are barrels of gas, hundred dollar bills are cartridges, you get the picture). After 10 turns are over and you've amassed all you can, you go into survival mode, using what resources you've gathered to outlast the other players. The game will wrap up in a couple of turns because of the scarcity, as every turn the zombies will attack another of your properties. Each property would have a defense value, and depending on dice rolls you can turn over a certain number of items to fend off the attack and last another round. While it would need a bit of tweaking of course, it could work really well, and be a fun alternative to the board and setup.
Well, there are my 2 cents. If you have any suggestions for True Undead Mode or just any comments in general, be sure to let us know.