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The Deal with Monopoly

He won this hand.

The travel game is essential to life on the road, up there with the towel, a good book, and willingness to test the limits of your bowels. It provides easy adventure and competition during long train rides with good friends, an opener for making new friends, and a reason to look forward to those necessary moments of waiting around. I have yet to find the perfect travel game, but so far Monopoly Deal is as close as it gets.

Don’t let the name fool you, this card game is about as similar to the classic board game as Scrabble is to shouting random letters to a chinchilla, hoping it will win the spelling bee.

Gone are entire evenings spent watching sleazy negotiations between relatives and the long, painful wait for the obvious winner to finally crush the last person. You still hold cards in your hand and charge rent on property, but this fast paced game lasts about 15 minutes, and someone’s giant lead can be stolen in a single turn, only to be stolen back shortly after, repeating until someone plays a decisive blow.

Fun, always changing, and easy to pick up, this game is great to bring new people into. Each person can keep their cards in their own area, so no large table is required. Perfect for mass transit. Best of all, the short, intense matches lead to fun rivalries, making unexpected downtime a chance to even the score. The only thing that could make this a better travel game is if it took less flat space to lay out cards. As it stands, many of my friendships have started with this game, and I’ve lost track of how many I’ve given to new found friends at the end of a journey as a keepsake and conversation starter to continue the rivalry with the next people they find themselves stuck with in a train car.

If you liked this article, please tell your friends and buy through the link in the article. It’s the cheapest I’ve seen, and helps me get the next game to review.

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  1. […] year, I’d just met some Aussies on an overnight train and we became friends, playing games of Monopoly Deal. When we arrived at our city late, they discovered they’d missed their train to Romania. We […]

  2. […] nights in a new place. Card games are tiny and infinitely replayable. I’ve already written a full article about how awesome Monopoly Deal is, and I’ve played it countless times in the year since. […]

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