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When it comes to classic games that are fun for the whole family, and make for a great game night with friends too, Monopoly is of course one of the most popular. It’s all about buying the right locations, building the most properties, and making the most money possible.
It’s a really fun game, but yes, it can get a bit old. There are of course plenty of other board games out there that you can play, some of which are very similar to this legendary game, and some of which are not. Today, let’s take a look at the 11 best alternatives to Monopoly.
If the buying property aspect was what you really liked about Monopoly, then you will love the game of Chinatown. This game features a very large and open map that everybody can take advantage of. The aim of the game is to negotiate with the other players to gain as many properties and to make as much money as possible.
Players can swap shops, money, vacant lots, and more, all with the aim of generating the most money within Chinatown. Unlike Monopoly, Chinatown does not use a dice or any moving components. Each turn is all about making trades to gain as much leverage over your opponents as possible. When it comes to strategy games, this has to be one of the very best ones out there at this time.
#2: Snakes and Ladders
Here we are going in a different direction from the Chinatown game. Whereas the previous alternative was all about making deals and buying properties, all without any moving parts or dice, Snakes and Ladders is the exact opposite.
This game involves a board with a number of squares or spaces that players must get past to get to the finish line. If you hit a ladder you can advance further, and if you hit a snake, you get sent back down. It’s a very simple game because it just involves rolling the dice, moving to the designated square, and playing until somebody hits the finish line.
It’s a good game for kids and families to play, and it does allow for some long-lasting fun and high-paced action. There’s really no strategy involved, which is nice for some people because the pace is quite fast and you don’t have to think too much.
#3: Camel Up
If you want to play a game that is somewhat similar to Monopoly, but doesn’t last for a full hour, is much faster-paced, and has some great comedic aspects to it as well, then the game of Camel Up could be right for you. The neat part here is that when you roll the dice, instead of moving a small piece, such as in Monopoly, you actually move your racing camel.
The point here is to race your camel to the finish line and to bet on it, with the aim of being able to make as much money as possible via camel racing gambling. It’s a pretty neat concept, and what makes it so fun is that there are a bunch of funny rules and actions that players can take. Some of these include booing camels to slow them down, picking up slips to increase your betting amounts, and more.
It’s like Monopoly, just a bit faster, a little more fun, and with more things that players can do.
Splendor is another great alternative to Monopoly, and while it doesn’t seem very similar at first glance, the aim of the game is total economic domination. Here, the aim is to use your gem tokens to buy gem cards of various tiers, and the more gem cards you get, the better your purchasing power becomes.
The better your purchasing power becomes, the more of the higher tiered gem tokens you can buy, with full sets of gem tokens from certain types of gems allowing for the greatest purchasing power, just like when you buy all of the properties of the same color in Monopoly.
Here, instead of causing your opponents to go into full financial bankruptcy, the winner of the game is the first player to get 15 points. It’s a great game that involves both risk and strategy, and if you like holding physical components in your hands, you will really like the poker chip-like gem tokens.
#5: Monopoly Deal
If you like the classic version of Monopoly, but you want to play something much faster-paced, then you might like Monopoly Deal. This is a really fresh take on the classic game, one that is much more portable as well.
Here, instead of a full-sized board with moving pieces and properties to buy, it’s actually more of a card game. As the packaging itself indicates, a single game can be played in as little as just 15 minutes, instead of taking well over an hour to complete like the original game of Monopoly.
This particular version focuses only on the buying and selling of properties, and nothing else, thus also leaving much less up to chance because there is no dice to deal with.
#6: The Game of Life
If you are looking for something very similar to Monopoly in the sense that you get a very large game board or playing field, one where you get your own piece to move, with a path to follow, then the Game of Life is a good one to consider. Here, instead of buying properties like in Monopoly, the aim of the Game of Life is to work your way around the board and to complete as many of the goals in life as possible, such as getting married, having kids, paying taxes, and more.
There are many spaces to land on, some of which are neutral, some of which are good, and some of which are bad. The aim here is not only to achieve all of those milestones but also to finish the game with the most money. Whoever finishes the game with the most money is the winner.
If you are looking for a great board game that involves tons of thinking and strategizing, much more so than Monopoly, yet is also a bit higher paced and more exciting than Monopoly, you might really like the game of Catan.
The aim of Catan is to build up an empire on the so-called island of Catan, with the end goal being to allow your empire to take over the island while eliminating the other players from the equation. There is a dice to roll, squares to move onto, and many different cards to pick up with many curveballs being thrown at the players.
Keep in mind that while this game does feel like Monopoly, there is a lot less risk involved in terms of rolling the dice, and it’s much less about short-term strategy. Catan is all about creating a long-term strategy that will take you from the start to the finish. For this reason, Catan is best played by older children, as it is probably too complex for young kids.
For more information, read my detailed comparison of Monopoly and Catan.
#8: Ticket to Ride
Now, if you are looking for a game that is super similar to Monopoly, almost the same thing, but just a little faster-paced and a whole lot more cutthroat, then Ticket to Ride could be right for you. Just like in Monopoly, players roll the dice and then move to the designated square. In the beginning, players get two cards, which are the two destinations that they must link up by building train routes.
The winner of the game is the first person to connect their two destinations. It is easiest if you can get a direct route, but the route options are limited, and if other players claim the easiest routes, you must then find alternative routes.
It’s quite an intense game as players fight over the best routes, and you can also focus on guessing which routes your opponents need and blocking those off before they can get to them. There are actually a number of versions of this game, with some of them being more compact and kid-friendly.
#9: Power Grid
Some people don’t like Monopoly because a single game can take a full hour to complete. However, some people really like this, because it’s not over in just a few minutes. If that sounds ideal to you, then you will really like Power Grid, a game that can take well over two hours to play.
The aim of Power Grid is to supply as many of the cities with power as possible. Here, you have to buy things like power plants and other things to supply municipalities and cities with power. That is just the basic explanation because, in all reality, this is one of the most strategy-heavy, thought-requiring, and intense games around.
It takes a lot of brainpower to win this game, and there are so many different factors and aspects involved, that you really do need to be great at strategizing. That said, if you love strategy and you need to kill a few hours, then Power Grid is definitely a good option, although it’s not overly kid-friendly.
One of the older and yet still more popular games around is Risk. The premise of risk is quite simple. The board takes the shape of the world with various countries, you start out in one specific area, and the aim is to grow your empire and eventually to conquer every single country on the map.
Just like Power Grid, Risk is another one of these super intense and strategy-heavy games that can take well over two hours to complete. This is one reason why people love it, because you get to roll a dice, just like in Monopoly, but unlike Monopoly, there is also a heck of a lot of planning and strategy involved. You also get a ton of action cards, attack cards, and more.
This is a perfect board game for a long family game night and for people that love strategy games. Now, it is a long game, but it’s not overly hard per se, and is, therefore, something that relatively young kids can learn to play.
If you look at the game board from Payday, you will notice that it looks kind of like a combination between Snakes and Ladders and Monopoly. Here, the aim of the game is to get to your payday with the most money possible. You roll the dice and progress through the game board as indicated, there are many actions that take place, like loans that can be made, taxes that need paying, and so on and so forth.
This game is a bit simpler than Monopoly, and a bit faster paced too, thus making it ideal for people of all ages and skill levels.
A Notable Mention – So Many Monopolies!
What we do want to mention here is that yes, the classic Monopoly game is a bit old and outdated, but don’t forget that there are many new and modern versions of it too, with different versions having different themes, and some even having slightly different aspects of gameplay.
You can find Pokemon, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Trailer Park Boys, Nintendo, and dozens of other versions too. If you like the gameplay of Monopoly, but not the boring classic theme, then you should check out the dozens of versions available.
People, even if you are bored of Monopoly, don’t give up on board games just yet, because there are hundreds upon hundreds of them out there, some of which are similar and some of which are very different.
Whatever the case may be, choose wisely!