Monopoly for the 2010s?
August 6, 2012 12:19 PM   Subscribe

What are some board games that are like a modernized version of Monopoly? Specifically: games that simulate the existing U.S. or global economy, with all the dynamics of lending rates, inflation-deflation, economic cycles, and so forth, and which help give some food on real-world issues for thought during play. The less "dry" and fun, the better, though I know that's a tall order. We have games like Agricola and Settlers of Catan, which are great but those are more in the realm of resource management. Also if there are any computer or console videogames worth considering, that's fine too, but board games would be better.
posted by crapmatic to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (14 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: As an aside, back in 2005 there was a guy on the Internet selling add-on rules for Monopoly for a $2 Paypal fee that introduced economic cycles and special rules during each cycle. I can't find the site for it anywhere... I think it might have been on Geocities, and of course that ship went down like the Titanic a few years ago. We do own it already and it's really broken the monotony of a Monopoly game, so if anyone is actually curious about it I'll dig into the game tonight and post the info.
posted by crapmatic at 12:23 PM on August 6, 2012

I think SimCity is like Monopoly in some respects.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:27 PM on August 6, 2012

It's not the primary focus of the game, but in Airlines Europe, if the bank runs out of money, money is taken away from all the players and given to the bank.

(However, the use of stock in the game doesn't reflect economic cycles. The stock for each airline can only go up, never down.)
posted by RobotHero at 12:42 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I don't have a specific recommendation, so I'll be watching the thread with interest, but here are some places to look:
posted by RogerB at 12:47 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Power Grid is an interesting one based on resource availability and power generation. It's kind of odd, but lots of fun! And there is play money too. BGG link.
posted by Calzephyr at 1:17 PM on August 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

Ever see the board game Junta? The players are the most powerful people in Republica de los Bananas and compete to see who can steal the most foreign aid money before the whole place collapses.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:37 PM on August 6, 2012

I liked Trump, though I don't play it often. A bit more simplistic than Monopoly.
posted by tilde at 1:42 PM on August 6, 2012

We love Acquire.
posted by hungrybruno at 1:43 PM on August 6, 2012

Not nearly as complex as you are probably looking for, but Pit is supposed to mimic the floor of the stock exchange.
posted by eralclare at 2:33 PM on August 6, 2012

There is also Anti-Monopoly. It does rather seem to require even "teams" though.
posted by Feantari at 2:36 PM on August 6, 2012

I don't know of a working "everything" game, but Power Grid is a great economic game about the interplay of prices in several different markets
posted by grobstein at 4:20 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Another good list from BGG: The Economic Eight
posted by sad_otter at 5:29 PM on August 6, 2012

That top ten list from BGG is pretty strong.
I'd also highly recommend Black Friday, the rules are particular but it is a pretty good simulation of trying to ride a bubble market and escape into metals at the right time.
If you are into the obscure you could try to track down a twenty year old copy of Fast Food Franchise. This one is distinctly modeled on Monopoly but makes a great game out of trying to build a connected franchise network. It also has some spectacularly cheap and gaudy components. Despite this it sees play several times a year in our house - with a couple hundred other options sitting on the shelves.
posted by meinvt at 6:58 PM on August 6, 2012

We love Acquire.

This. A million, billion times. It doesn't have anything like economic downturns or lending rates, but you will learn how quickly the value of a company can go up or down simply based on the players (i.e. market forces) involved. This is "soft" knowledge that goes a long way toward understanding why stock markets around the world work the way they do.
posted by Doleful Creature at 2:49 PM on August 7, 2012

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