Critical Play: Is this game balanced?

Monopoly (game) - Wikipedia

Name: Monopoly

Creator: Lizzie Magie, Charles Darrow

Platform: board game

Monopoly is a challenge and fellowship type of fun multi-player board game, targeting everyone above the age of 7.

Since this is not a single player game, it does not adhere to the first type of game balance. It also does not adhere to the second type (asymmetry) as all players start off on equal footing. As for the third type, the game manages to be balanced due to not having one exact winning strategy. That said, there are general winning strategy tips/steps players can follow in order to maximize their chance of winning.

Running Out of Houses or Hotels During Monopoly Play

In regards to the fourth type (“whether different objects have the same cost/benefit ratio”), the game has many properties/estates that players can buy that vary in buying price and the fee other players would have to pay. There’s also the ability to add more objects to your property (houses, etc) which also cost money but end up increasing the fees your opponents would have to pay. In this case, I noticed that the longer the game goes on, the more unbalanced this mechanic becomes: one person almost always ends up owning most of the properties that people end up rolling to and that person creates, well, a monopoly over the other players. This was a pain point during my gameplay, and I wish there was some sort of shot-in-the-dark comeback mechanism.

The main way the game tries to combat the previous crystalizes in the transitive relationship between the cost-benefit of every property. The same cost “curve” is also present in any of the upgrades players choose to assign to their properties.

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