Monopoly is getting a techno overhaul this fall, trading paper money for bank cards and exchanging guess-work and simple arithmetic for a computer tower that rolls the dice, manages the money and demands the rent.
Those of us who rely on bartering skills rather than financial know-how will now have to stick to the rules of the game. Using infrared light and cameras, the tower watches each player’s piece, reminding whose turn it is – complete with a spoken bank statement. Cup your hand over your piece and the tower rolls its electronic dice and watches to make sure you land on the right spot.
Once you land on a spot, the computer tells you how much you have to pay to the owner or to be the owner, with an optional utilities upgrade to green your new property.
Hasbro has also added a few random events such as a horse race and auctions, plus a gas tax.
And the computer never makes a mistake, says Hasbro designer Leif Askeland. But if you’re not looking to give up the nostalgic old-style paper game, the cheating and bartering; the creatively-twisted or twistedly-created house rules, the traditional version will still be in stores for $15. The new Monopoly will cost $50 this fall.