Hasbro, the makers of perennial family favourite Monopoly, has released a ‘Credit Crunch’ edition of the popular board game to better reflect the realities of the current economic climate. ‘As players round the board, they will now have to bear in mind that property values will depreciate by 12% with every circuit,’ said a company representative. ‘And whilst whoever assumes the role of banker can look forward to a large bonus at the end of the game, other players need to be aware that they will be continually obliged to bail him or her out of financial ruin as and when the banker deems necessary.’
The whole board has been revamped in line with the economic downturn, with Free Parking now incurring a hefty congestion charge, the four railway stations randomly substituted with rail replacement bus services that will detain players for several rounds and the utility companies offering million-pound dividends to shareholders, but charging homeowners hundreds of pounds per quarter. ‘We considered the introduction of assorted wheelie bins outside each property, but no-one could remember what was supposed to be disposed of each round and all players were bankrupted by fines after the first three rounds,’ said the chairman of Hasbro, who has been forced to radically devalue Bow Street after an affordable housing initiative was built nearby.
But many of the new format’s additions have proved immensely popular with regular players, not least the Get Out of Jail Free card issued to every player regardless of the severity of their criminal activity. ‘I love that I can trade in my old metal terrier for a thousand quid and a new labradoodle,’ said Gavin Morris, who was unfortunate to lose all his money when he was mugged by gang of hoodies on Old Kent Road. ‘But it was a little disconcerting to have to play with real money once we discovered that Monopoly money now has a higher market value than pounds sterling.’
(With hefty cap-doffs to riesler, malgor, Ramblesid and Zadok)