- Hasbro is releasing a voice-activated and cashless Monopoly on Monday, July 1.
- INSIDER can exclusively reveal the new board game, which will let fans play as one of four characters wearing top hats and hear Mr. Monopoly’s voice for the first time ever.
- Monopoly Voice Banking comes with Mr. Monopoly’s top hat, which keeps track of players’ cash and properties in the game.
- The game will be available for $US29.99 at most retailers. You can pre-order it at Walmart here. It’s recommended for ages eight and up.
- INSIDER tried out the game and it’s an efficient, faster version that’s simple to play. We prefer the Voice Banking version of the game over the regular Monopoly.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.
If you’re tired of holding onto all of your cash while playing Monopoly, this may be the version of the game you’ve been waiting for.
On Monday, July 1, Hasbro is releasing its first-ever voice-activated Monopoly where fans will be able to hear Mr. Monopoly’s voice for the first time.
Monopoly Voice Banking doesn’t come with any Monopoly money for you to hold onto. Instead, Mr. Monopoly himself keeps track of all of the money and properties you acquire. If you’re trying to sneak some extra cash from the bank, that’s a no go here. You should stick to the Cheater’s Edition of Monopoly.
This isn’t the first cashless version of the game. Hasbro has previously released an Electronic Banking and Ultimate Banking game, which kept track of transactions with an electronic banking unit and bank cards. But, this is the first time a version of Monopoly will be completely voice activated as well as cashless.
“Voice activated and voice recognition products are now part of our everyday lives and we’re excited to bring Monopoly into this ever-growing trend and give fans a new way to experience the classic game,” Jen Boswinkel, senior director of global brand strategy and marketing for Monopoly told INSIDER.
“Mr. Monopoly has always been a symbol of success in the real estate industry, but his personality has remained a mystery up until now,” Boswinkelcontinued.“We’re excited for fans to get to know his competitive and sometimes comical personality as they move around the game board and listen to his commands for a new type of gaming experience.”
How the voice-activated game works
The new edition of the game comes with Mr. Monopoly’s top hat, which you can easily assemble, and requires three “AA” batteries. The game comes with some test batteries included.
Each of the four players has a button which corresponds to their character and gets a command card which allows them to tell Mr. Monopoly a list of commands. When it’s your turn, you simply press your character button, wait for the top hat to light up, and say one of the commands that’s on your reference card.
The actions you can say include the following:
Train ride – ride the railroad.Buy [say property name] – allows you to purchase a property you may land on.Balance – Mr. Monopoly will tell you how much money you have.Auction Off [property name] – allows you to auction a property you don’t want to buy Pass Go – Mr. Monopoly will add $US200 Monopoly dollars to your balance.
You can also ask Mr. Monopoly certain questions like “Who is winning?”
What does Mr. Monopoly sound like?
Hasbro wouldn’t confirm to INSIDER who’s voicing the famous board game icon to preserve the magic of the game. He certainly sounds a lot younger than he looks.
You can listen to him below:
In addition to going cashless, fans will notice a few more changes from the original version of the game to speed the game along.
The new game is for two to four players instead of the usual six. You can play as one of four characters – the T. rex, cat, dog, or race car – and they’re all wearing Mr. Monopoly’s top hat.
“Developing the game with four tokens was purposeful,” said Boswinkel of why this game is for a maximum of four players. “We knew we wanted to use an interface where Mr. Monopoly knew which player was talking, which is why each player has their own button on the Top Hat. Six players would have made the experience too crowded.”
If it looks like there are less spaces on the board, you’re not wrong. There are six less properties here and there are no utilities or railroads for purchase.
Instead of the usual two “Get Out of Jail Free” cards, this iteration of the game features only one. In fact, it’s the only physical chance or community card the game features. Mr. Monopoly manages the other Chance cards through the banking unit. There are no Community Chest options here.
This time around if you land on a railroad, you don’t get to purchase it. You let Mr. Monopoly’s top hat know and he’ll tell you to head to a property. If it’s purchased, you pay rent. If unowned, you can choose to buy it or put it up to auction. Mr. Monopoly will host the auction himself.
This version of the game also has spaces which allow you to swap cards/properties with other players. If you land on one of the trading spaces on the board you can pay $US100 Monopoly dollars to trade one of your properties without houses or hotels for another undeveloped property from an opponent of choice. Boswinkel said this new feature helps speed up game play while making it more competitive and keeping players on their toes.
It sounds cool, but does it work?
INSIDER gave the game a test run Monday. There’s a little bit of a learning curve, but an easy-to-read booklet included with the board game gives you simple instructions to follow. The most difficult thing to remember was to hit our token button on the top hat before rolling the dice on our turn. It’s easy to forget if you’re not used to doing it, but necessary if you want Mr. Monopoly to keep track of your funds and property.
We found the game simple to use through a simple two-player game with the Scottie Dog and T. rex. Hasbro told INSIDER the technology incorporated into this iteration of the game required an “additional level of testing” to ensure everything worked seamlessly. One hiccup on our play-through was that Mr. Monopoly kept wanting to yell out that Scottie owned Ventnor (which we found pretty amusing). Otherwise, the tech worked really well and it was the quickest, most efficient game of Monopoly we ever played.
It is an abbreviated version of the game, after all. Since there are less properties to buy, you get to the wheeling and dealing of trading and paying your opponents faster. Because you don’t have actual money in front of you, you’ll have to consider how to spend it more wisely. Though Mr. Monopoly can tell you your funds at any time, unless you’re good at doing maths in your head, you may be more likely to go bankrupt first.
“Without the stack of money in front of them, even the best of Monopoly players will need to find new ways to strategize to own it all and win the game,” Boswinkel told INSIDER.
That was certainly the case when we tried out the game. We continuously checked our monetary balance and were still surprised when we had a low balance. It’s a lot easier to spend fake Monopoly dollars when you’re not physically holding onto it. Once you run out of money, you’re forced to hand over a property you own to another player to stay in the game. If you don’t have a lot of property, then it’s game over for you.
One surprise that also made the game faster was that the rents on properties were much higher when you landed on them. They were hundreds of Monopoly dollars instead of the usual $US10 – $US35 Monopoly dollars. That also made the game go by much quicker.
We did find the top hat to be a little overly sensitive at times, but there’s an “x” button on top to cancel out any command he may accidentally be prompted for. After trying the game out once, we prefer the Voice Banking version of the game over the regular Monopoly.
Monopoly Voice Banking will be available Monday, July 1 at most major retailers nationwide for $US29.99. It’s recommended for ages eight and up for two to four players. You can pre-order it at Walmart here.