Regular Monopoly got you feeling overly nostalgic? Try these pandemic-based house rules!
If you’ve been giving quarantine its due diligence, at some point someone has suggested you upend whatever solace you have been able to carve out of the situation and play a board game. And if you are one of the 1 billion people who own a Monopoly game, there is a one in seven chance the slumlord simulation is their game of choice.
Despite being a game buff, I don’t play Monopoly too often. It smacks of Americana naïveté, what with its $60 properties and $14 rents. It’s a fine distraction, but in a time when 20 million people have filed for unemployment under the pall of a pandemic, its escapist charms come up a bit wanting. I could, however, be swayed to play with a few COVID-19 style house rules:Everybody starts with half the money of a regular setup. Furlough life is real. Due to quarantine, each player has to choose one street to move back and forth on. Conversely, you only roll one die for movement. If you wish to go to another street, you have to let everyone around the table cough in your face first. COTA buses are still free (though you have to wear masks to ride), so in that spirit no one can buy any railroads, nor do they charge rent. Community Chest is now Curfew. Go directly to jail for breaking the Stay at Home order. Get The Other Columbus delivered to your inbox: Sign up for our daily newsletter If you somehow end up on GO, nothing happens. You certainly don’t get paid. The banker has to wear an orange toupee and threaten everyone to say nice things about him or he won’t change out their bills. Luxury Tax is doubled due to all of the stores rationing toilet paper. (Also, none of the post-apocalyptic films mentioned anything about toilet paper rationing. I need to speak to the manager.) Burn the “Get Out of Jail Free” card. You should have done that before quarantine, honestly. You can build houses on your properties, but not hotels. The bottom is falling out of hotels right now, so just keep those in the box. If you land on a utility, you don’t have to pay the bill now, but keep a tally, because at the end of the game you will have to deduct all of the times you should have paid from what you have left. Players cannot share the same space. Also, if a player needs to pass another player on the board they must do so at a distance of 6 dice lengths. Forget whatever rumor you heard about free parking meters. Columbus will turn you upside down for them coins. If you land on Free Parking, you have to pay. If you go to jail the game ends for you.