This game is in essence just one more version of the exact same game that has been played the exact same way for years. Parker brothers has sold dozens of these games and every single time a video or television show comes out that makes money they change the names on the board to cash in.

The character playing pieces are not the most detailed, but they have been given features that make then easy to distinguish (bow, axes, pointy hat). The game has also attempted to give them correct proportions. Frodo is slightly smaller than the rest and with the exception of Gandalf (due to his hat) Galadriel and Legolas are the tallest characters. However, the characters are fairly poor quality and bend easily so you may have to bend Aragorn’s sword back the right way before playing. In the center of the board is a fairly decent map of Middle-Earth that (to me at least) helps you to get into a LotR mood. The set-up of the board is the same as in all monopoly games, with unified color categories that are of progressively greater value. The squares are labeled in a linear way with Bag-End at the beginning and Mount Doom at the end. Each square also has a small drawing of the place it is to represent.The chance “people” and community chest “events” spaces have movie stills on them but to corner squares (jail, free parking) are no different then the original version. The “money” has been changed to “power” and on the bills are drawings of leaves. The “houses” and “hotels” are made of plastic and do not (in my opinion) resemble anything LotR. The people and events cards do nothing more then chance and community chest did but instead of it saying “Get out of jail free” it would say “Gwahir rescues you from the Tower of Orthanc. Get out of jail free”.

Set-up usually only takes 5 minutes but monopoly can be one of the longest games you can play if played exactly by the rules as the game only ends when all players but one have gone bankrupt (lost all their power). I once played for 7 hours straight and we still had not finished. This game does however come with a “shorter” version which is played using an imitation “ring”. In this manner the game ends once the ring reaches Mount Doom. The ring is moved one square every time “the eye” sees it (which is essentially rolling a painted eye on one of the dice that also represents a 1 for movement purposes). Other than the one “quicker” version of play the game is played exactly in the same manner as all other monopoly games before it.

Monopoly is a great game to play in a large group as it comes with six playing pieces, you can however take small items to use as extras and play with as many people as you like (One of my friends often plays as the ring that comes with the board as we usually have 7 people who play at once.) While the game is extremely fun at the beginning when everything starts to happen is does start to become boring closer to the end. However, you can quit anytime during the game and still have a clearly defined winner if your group of friends is highly competitive. It is mostly a game of luck and therefore does not give unfair advantages to any one player, there is, however, just enough of a strategy element to keep it from being a game that requires no thought. They game also does not have to be played according to all the rules. So long as they are clearly laid out at the beginning, the group may change then every time they play to make it more interesting.

Overall, if you do not have a version of monopoly I highly recommend that if not this version, you at least buy one but if you already have one or more versions then the only reason to buy this particular one would be if you collect LotR memorabilia.

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