Monopoly is the quintessential board game. It’s equally fun as it is grueling. Money does strange things to people, even if it’s imaginary. Wars have been fought for less. If you haven’t lost a friend from a game of Monopoly, you haven’t lived. Still, when a collector’s edition of the game featuring The Legend of Zelda was announced, I was all in. After all, what’s a few grudges when Zelda’s concerned?
While Monopoly is a constant, a few elements were added to make this edition unique beyond a coat of paint, though the paint certainly helped. Cosmetically, the board was revamped, with each property a locale from the many iterations of Hyrule, and beyond. The Temple of Time and Hyrule Castle replace Boardwalk and Park Place, respectively, while the railroads are swapped out for the many modes of transportation from the games, such as Epona and Loftwing. The utility companies are Bomb and Potions Shops, and the Sales Tax is now the Mask Sales Man. This thoughtful attention to detail, particularly on the properties, was baffling when compared to other design choices. The corners of the board, Go, Jail, Free Parking, and Go to Jail, all remained the same. Supposedly there’s some copyright rule or some such foreboding any change to their squares, though I couldn’t find anything verifying this. It was a miss opportunity, particularly with the Jail. As for the mid-board art, could they have used a design post-1998? I’ve seen desktop wallpaper with more imaginative design. Or at very least, busier.
The pieces were another mixed bag of quality. The game tokens were well done, including the Triforce, Ocarina, Bow, Boomerang, Shield, and Hookshot. The Boomerang was difficult to play with, as it was too flat, making it troublesome to pick up and move. Why no Master Sword? The
house and hotels Deku Sprouts and Deku Trees remained the same, though obnoxiously named, with the Trees now gold instead of red. Money was Rupees, with a fine design on the bills. Community Chest and Chance were replaced with Empty Bottles and Treasure Chests. The designers had a bit of fun with these, including inventive nods to correlate to established hallmarks. The ‘Get Out of Jail’ card featured Navi with her annoying quote. Hey, listen indeed.
Also included was an extremely detailed map, replete with Hylian markings. Not sure which iteration of the mythical land this is, as it seems to be a mix of many variations. Still, well done. And it came in a neat treasure chest folder.
The property deeds had an odd exclusion. In modern Monopoly, the price of rent for owning the color set, and the cost to unmortgage a property is included. Not so here. Strange, but not game breaking. FYI, it’s double rent and 10% interest to unmortgage.
The best addition to the Zelda Monopoly set is the item cards. Six are included, to be handed out at random at the start of play. One per person, one use per game. Each card, if employed correctly, could have game shifting effects. The cards are modeled after famous Zelda items; the Minish Cap, Wind Waker, Goddess Harp, Ocarina of Time, Phantom Hourglass, and Spirit Flute. For example, the Wind Waker can teleport an opponent to any spot on the board. Useful to take out a poor opponent after a hotel was just erected, on the Temple of Time. Or my favorite, the Spirit Flute, which forces an opponent to trade their most expensive property for your cheapest. If they complain, they must throw in 100 Rupees.
The Legend of Zelda Monopoly Collector’s Edition is a fun variation of the game. While the cosmetics are hit or miss, the inclusion of items fundamentally changes the game in drastic ways, adding a level of fun complexity. If you’re a fan of Zelda, I highly recommend.
What’s your favorite edition of Monopoly? Like the idea of items? Comment below!
Knew that board game category was a good idea.