Monopoly sucks. It’s not a controversial opinion. It takes too long and despite its origins, it glorifies property hoarding. Why it sells as well as it does, even to this day, I have zero clue.

In answer to the length issue, Hasbro offers you Monopoly Bid. A 2-5 player card game that can be played in as little as 5 minutes (I’ve seen it claimed this takes 15-20 minutes, but I knocked out my first three games in that time, and that includes reading the manual).

Set up is as simple as dividing the blue backed property cards and red backed money cards, shuffling both decks and dealing five of the money cards to each player. Money comes in denominations of 1-5, but amongst these cards are four types of action cards: Wild cards complete sets of properties, Draw 2 cards allow you to draw more cards from the money deck, Steal! allows you to steal a property from an opponent’s incomplete set, and Nope! cards are used to cancel any action cards (including other Nope! cards).

On your turn, you will host an auction (youngest hosts first). Everyone draws a card from the money deck, the host flips over the top property and then plays as many action cards as they wish (with opponents using Nope!s if they wish to prolong the agony), and finally everyone starts to bid for the property. Players secretly select the amount they’re willing to pay and reveal on the count of three. If there’s a tie, the tied players may keep bidding. The winning bidder puts their money in a discard pile and places their new property in front of them, everyone else keeps their cash, and play moves to the next round. If no one bids, the card goes to the bottom of the property deck.

Each property set is clearly identified by colour (though I don’t know how good this would be for colourblind players) and has a number in the bottom-left corner. Until you have all the cards in a set (filled in with Wild cards or not) players are allowed to use Steal! cards to have them away from you.

Once someone gets three full sets, they are the greatest hoarder of property and win at capitalism. This is a terrible lesson to teach children.

Now, you might be thinking that there’s more than luck to this game, clearly there’s a degree of memory in the bidding, knowing what other players have shown in previous bids. Maybe, but it’s imperfect knowledge as everyone is picking up a new card before each auction. As such, it’s really all guesswork and luck of the draw on cards.

In one game I started the game with five cards worth one money each. My opponent apparently had a hand full of draw two cards and before the first auction even started, had managed to pick up half of the money deck. I didn’t win a single auction that game and couldn’t stop any cards being played as she had managed to get a fistfull of Nope!s as well. As such, I would warn everyone that this is not a game, it’s a meaningless, colourful distraction that is a complete waste of cards and ink.

I’ve posted my copy to a family member who regularly has young grandkids over, that way I’m not immediately putting it in the recycling bin. At least Uno feels somewhat substantial, get that if you must.

Pros:

  • The colour choices on the cards are vibrant
  • It’s not the Monopoly board game
  • I don’t believe it’s murdered anyone

Cons:

  • Entirely luck-based
  • Less fun than the Monopoly board game
  • Waste of resources

Final Score: 0/10

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