There’s an old greedy knickerbocker for you.


PLAYERS: 1-10 alternating



GENRE: Board game

RELEASE DATE: 09/1988 – (US), 1988 – (EU)


America’s favorite board game of wealth, greed, and political imprisonment comes to the Master System. Want to build stacks of houses on Baltic Avenue? Only your limited bank account is stopping you. Aching to pass ‘Go’ and collect two hundred dollars? Only if your ass hasn’t been ordered to jail for tax fraud. Monopoly in its entirety has been represented here. If you don’t own the board game and are fiendin’ to manage the hell out of some properties, the game might be for you. As for the rest of us, well, it’s a way to pass the time.


Monopoly (USA)-04

“What’s that, boy? You want to be controlled by the computer?”


“It goes like this: bankruptcy.” This is an actual quote from the Monopoly manual. What the manual writers were trying to say: buy property, build houses/hotels, charge people a mint if they land on your property, don’t go broke, outlast the rest of your fellow real estate investors. Then hey, you win! If you’ve ever played the board game, you know what Master System Monopoly is about. You pick a weird token to represent you – a floppy detective hat, a child’s toy train, a Scottish Terrier – then roll the dice. Most of the areas on the board are properties you can invest in. Land there and you have the opportunity to buy the property and expand with additional houses and hotels. Or you can do nothing and pass the dice to the next player, you cheapskate. Other spaces on the board include Jail, Luxury Tax, Community Chests, and ‘Go!’ If you don’t know what these spaces mean and you’re actually interested, feel free to peruse “Monopoly”‘s Wikipedia page.


Monopoly (USA)-02

Oh, the places you’ll go.


The more players join in the virtual soirée, the more entertaining Monopoly is. This particular version of Monopoly supports up to ten players, which is stunning because only select versions of the regular board game even support eight players. If you’re going to play Monopoly, find nine additional people. The game might go on forever and you’ll have to pass the two controllers around ad infinitum, but at least you can say you successfully made nine people play Master System Monopoly with you. Be careful, though: if you make one mistake while setting up a large game, you’ll be sent back to the main menu and forced to start the process all over again.


Monopoly (USA)-03

Why pay off your mortgage? You’re a hat!


A couple additional points of interest: if you find the game is taking too long, you can save and come back to it later. Yes, Monopoly has battery backup, which goes to show how deeply committed Nexa was to its creation. After you roll the dice, the game switches to a brief cinematic that shows the game token traveling to its final destination. Watching the tokens flit about the board seems like it would grow wearisome after awhile, but it’s surprisingly entertaining, even after you’ve seen the stupid iron hover around for the fiftieth time. Where will they land? Only the invisible hand of the computer knows!


Monopoly (USA)-01

All aboard Reading Railroad, where shirts are never wrinkled and everyone gets a book.


According to, Monopoly was the first Master System game developed in the US “in an attempt to capture the mood of the American public.” There are no citations for this explanation, but if Sega was thinking Monopoly would turn the hearts of American children away from the NES, they were sorely mistaken. Worse still (and again, according to Segaretro), Monopoly took six months to develop. Nexa, the uncredited developers, were sent in to help “save” the project around the three month mark. All this for a board game video game! The 80s truly were a different era.



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0 thoughts on “Monopoly

  1. I must ask what on earth could be the difference between versions of monopoly? I’m stunned that anyone would buy a board game video game.

  2. I bought this game when it came out. I too was mesmerized by the moving pieces across the virtual game board. It was fun for a bit. But the truth of the matter is, nobody wants to play video monopoly with you. Especially if you have the real version in the closet. Verbal abuse and haggling is much more fun from a person across the table than choosing stuff from menus. (Our family was a competitive monopoly family) I may have for another person to play with me once. So a lot of solo time here watching pieces glide across the imaginary board. It’s a fine game though. It’s accurate.

  3. The problem with playing Monopoly on a console is that you can’t physically grab the board and flip it after your sister catches you cheating again. I suppose you could throw your controller but it’s not quite the same thing. You just don’t get to see all those lovely little pieces go flying everywhere.

    1. Hell, you can’t even cheat. Plus there’s something about hoarding your money close that can’t be replicated. And stacking your cash so only you have a real good idea of how much money you have at first glance. Then there’s house rules. How many people actually used the interest when taking a loan from the bank? House free parking rules? Your mom, (the most competitive monopoly player in my household growing up) interpreting the rules in strange ways to her benefit. I guess you can still technically rage quit.

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