Parents' Guide to

Monopoly Junior

By Christy Matte, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Kid-sized classic adds creativity, loses strategy.

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This kid-sized version adds more creativity and reduces the competitive vibe of the original, but it also loses any sense of strategy. Monopoly Junior offers some fun features for introducing kids to the franchise, the best of which is probably the ability to customize the products sold on your spaces. It's simple, but cute. It's also a fast-moving game without a lot of waiting and competition -- two things that young kids notoriously don't handle well. Unfortunately, they also deny kids the option to make any purchasing decisions. If you land on a space, you buy it, whether you can afford to or not. In doing so, they not only turned it into an entirely luck-based game, but removed the opportunity for kids to learn the basic skills that would allow them to move on to the full version. And instead of kids starting to understand that they might wait to purchase something until they have the cash to do so, they simply keep buying until they run out of money and have to restart the game. There's some math involved as kids help count cash for sales, but double-digit addition and subtraction might be too advanced for the target audience. The other drawback is a lack of multi-player. Sure, it's nice to not always have to sit through someone else's turn, but it's confusing to find out that various spaces on the board have been claimed when you weren't looking. So while Monopoly Junior has some entertainment value, it misses the mark by leaving out some key elements of the more mature version of Monopoly.

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