Sometimes, we dare to dream of a better tomorrow—a brighter world, hope for the generations beyond us, of a happier and more just society that works for the good of all instead of a chosen few. Sometimes, we dare to dream that our licensed tie-in board games will be better than they probably will turn out to be.
Such is the case with the new announcement of a partnership between Toho, masters of all things rubber-suited Japanese monsters, and USAopoly, purveyors of endless licensed iterations of Hasbro and Parker Brothers’ beloved/hated family argument stimulator, Monopoly. The deal includes two new Godzilla-themed takes on beloved board games: Godzilla Jenga (duh), and, of course, Godzilla Monopoly.
But, wait! Before you sigh and prepare to mentally discard Godzilla Monopoly alongside that weird voice assistant one and the one where true Monopoly can only be experienced in the original Klingon! For a brief, tiny moment, Godzilla Monopoly almost sounds like it could actually be quite interesting!
For a moment. Maybe. Hear us out.
Here’s the description USAopoly gives for Godzilla Monopoly, or Godzillopoly as I’ve taken to calling it since I learned of its existence and have since said the suffix “opoly” out loud too many times [Editor’s Note: James works from home. -Jill]: “Demolish the competition in a city-terrorizing twist on the classic board game with MONOPOLY®: Godzilla. Begin the invasion by buying, selling and trading locations like Monster Island, Goro’s Workshop, and Kitakami Lake and take over the board with Facilities and Bases. Custom sculpted tokens of giants such as Mothra, Godzilla, King Ghidorah, and Mechagodzilla easily impose on anything in their path!”
For a brief moment, our hearts were aflutter, as if being vibrated by the stomping footsteps of the King of all Kaiju himself. This almost sounds like you’re building up the traditional spots on a Monopoly board as bases to be defended from Kaiju attack, replacing hotels and housing with research facilities and military outposts to combat the titanic threat. And maybe it is, we’re left with little else to go in—USAopoly hasn’t even released pictures of the set beyond the box art yet.
But, it’s probably just going to be…well, Monopoly. Your player tokens are the Kaiju, your spots on the board are just locations from over half a century of Godzilla movies. Hotels and Houses become Facilities and Bases; Chance and Community Chest cards are “UNGCC Cards” and “Godzilla Tower” cards, whatever the hell the latter is meant to be. It’s just Monopoly with a Kaiju skin. Monopoly, but in a big rubbery monster suit.
But man, Godzilla Monopoly could be so much more. Godzilla Monopoly shouldn’t just be property acquisition. It should be about that, yes. But also disaster relief. Government administration. Watching your capitalist empire laid low by giant monsters.
Imagine if you will, a Godzilla Monopoly where you don’t actually play as the Big G and his friends like Rodan or Mothra. You instead play as the most important people in every great Godzilla movie: the bureaucrats. You and your fellow government lackeys would still go about the board buying lots, and building them up with additions that could drain your rivals of their own departmental resources whenever they land on them. You’d still have that traditional property-management aspect of Monopoly, as well as the random events of landing on Chance or Community Chest spots, going past Go, and collecting your $US200 ($297).
But truly great Godzilla Monopoly would still have to involve the Kaiju on some primal level. After all, that’s what makes it Godzilla. So why not have these iconic beasts thrown in as an element of chaos, a neutral third party not controlled by any player but just as a random element of the board, attacks waxing and waning with the ebb and flow of the game? Imagine if Godzilla just randomly stomped in and leveled a few of your upgrade buildings, and then promptly wandered off, because that’s what he does. Just bought Boardwalk? Sorry, Ghidorah just gravity beamed the hell out of it.
There could be ways to safeguard at least some, if not all of your investments on a lot, a way to defend from the random chance of a Kaiju attack. You’d have to consider if it’s worth investing in rebuilding on prime territory in the wake of an attack, or swooping in when another player’s lots are laid low by Kaiju calamity. In a world where monsters roam the Monopoly board, Baltic Avenue could be just as valuable as Park Place. Alas, we’re probably just going to get yet another version of the same old Monopoly we all know and love to argue over with a new coat of branded paint.
Godzilla Monopoly will hit shelves in the U.S. this autumn and will cost $US40 ($59). There is no current word on an Australian price or release date.