COMMENTARY: USAopoly Gives Classic Games a Licensed Twist

You may love Monopoly, but it’s okay to admit that sometimes you get a little tired of playing the same game over and over again. Games become classics because they span generations, and they’re well-designed and challenging. In a way, they can become timeless. But you can only force your grandma to mortgage all of her properties and hand over all her piles of pastel-colored money so many times before enough is enough. Her little thimble token—and your interest and passion for the game—has been defeated.

USAopoly has solved this problem by taking our favorite classic games and slapping a license or five on them, making each edition more appealing and unique to the players. Properties include The Smurfs, The Wizard of Oz, My Little Pony, and many, many more, to appeal to all generations, collectors, and fans. The great thing about these licensed games is that they give your traditional family favorites a big twist—and turn it into a whole new game! So if you’re tiring of the same old games in your closet, these would be some great additions to your next family game night.

drwho_mn_3dbt_webI’m not one who’s all about sci-fi shows and aliens and such, but I have to admit that I find BBC‘s Doctor Who series highly addicting—and The Doctor has quite the cult following that will back me up on that. Now fans can travel through time and space with their favorite Doctor with USAopoly’s Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition of Monopoly.  Two to six plays ages 8 and up can buy, sell, and trade iconic episodes, spaceships, and landmarks, spanning billions of years across the Doctor Who universe. The Poison Sky, A Good Man Goes to War, The Daleks, and the Arc of Infinity are all able to be purchased by time travelers.

The game is really cool because of the unique tokens that are included: The Seventh Doctor’s umbrella, The Second Doctor’s recorder, The Fifth Doctor’s celery, The Eleventh Doctor’s bow tie (I know which piece I’ll always be!), The Fourth Doctor’s scarf, and the Sonic Screwdriver. This anniversary edition celebrates many regenerations of The Doctor, so fans of each one can have something to enjoy. Plus, it’s the perfect edition to any Doctor Who fan’s collection or game closet.

plants_vs_zombies_ri_3dbt_webGrowing up, my brother and my dad would play Risk for days. Their war map would be strewn across the dining room table (much to Mom’s dismay) for days on end as they entered into the strategic battle game and tried to conquer the world. Me? Well, I just liked the little figures on horseback—and usually I’d lose about four minutes in after one invasion from an opponent. It’s probably better off, because as a young kid, I probably would not have had the attention span or dedication to make it through the entire war. 

However, kids these days are getting a little help with their attention span problem with the new Risk: Plants vs. Zombies Collector’s Edition. This two-player version of the classic game introduces brand new ways to enjoy the action. Players ages 10 and up can unearth all the excitement as a mob of fun-dead zombies are invading the quaint town of Brainsborough, while the pea-packing plants brand out for a battle of suburban domination. Sure, conquering the suburbs is not equivalent to world domination, but the fun, familiar Plants vs. Zombies property makes the battle all the more exciting.

The game includes three ways to play: Mission Objective, Total Domination, and Tower Defense, so you don’t have to play the same game over and over again. The game includes more than 160 game pieces and a double-sided game board.

SuperMario_ch_3dbt_web_1The Super Mario Bros. cast of characters are classic and lovable. Everyone has a favorite. (And don’t pretend that you don’t always need to be Luigi when you’re playing any sort of Nintendo video game. I get it—he’s your good luck charm and you can’t win without him.) USAopoly has combined the famous Italian brothers and their friends in a new version of an old favorite: chess.

Super Mario Chess Collector’s Edition finds Mario and Bowser battling it out once again, but this time in a strategy game. Kids ages 7 and up can pick a team and take control of the 32 hand-painted playing pieces. Mario’s Heroes include Mario as king, Luigi as queen, Princess Peach and Daisy as bishops, Yoshi as knights, Toad as rooks, and Coin as pawns. Bowser’s Troop includes Bowser and Bowser Jr. as king and queen respectively, Magikoopa as bishops, Birdo as knights, Goomba as rooks, and Green Shell as pawns. This game is fun to play for two or more players, but it’s also just as fun to collect and display.

Adding your favorite characters, games, properties, and so forth to a classic game can give it new life. With these games, plus many more from USAopoly, you can enjoy your favorite board games over and over—without really playing the same game twice!

For more commentary from Ali, check back often. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!