MDA & 8 Kinds of Fun: Monopoly Deal

Monopoly Deal is a game that I have played for the longest time. I used to play it with my friends from back home (Mauritius) and I introduced it to a lot of my Stanford friends. The basic mechanics of the game is that each player can 3 cards per turn and can have a maximum of 7 cards in their hand, which creates the dynamics of more aggressive play than normal monopoly, as in most scenarios you benefit from playing more cards. Each card can be an action card (e.g. Rent, Birthday, Forced Deal, Sly Deal, etc), or a property card, or a money card. A player only needs 3 full sets of properties to win the game, which also makes the game more fast-paced than normal Monopoly. Furthermore, there are special cards like “Just say no” and “Dealbreaker” (allowing a player to steal a full set of properties), which creates dynamics different from normal Monopoly since those cards can easily help a player overturn a monopoly in a single round – this keeps everyone including those who are poor interested in the game. The fact that action cards can be targeted towards a particular player of choice (a clever game mechanic) creates another game dynamic which I like about Monopoly Deal: players can team up against the richest player (e.g. by making them pay rent, debts etc through action cards) which also helps keep the game in balance. The aesthetics of the game is mostly competition and fellowship. I personally really enjoy the competitive aspect – overthrowing my friend’s monopoly to eventually win the game is a very rewarding and fun experience. The game also involves a fellowship as you can partner with your friends against someone and steal each other’s cards, and that also makes the game really fun to play either with strangers or friends.


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