Buying Christmas 

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Some gaming concepts and ideas do not die, instead they undergo a make-over and reappear with a name change.

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When you toss a pebble into a pool you can watch ripples as they emerge outwards from the pebbles original entry.  In a similar manner we sometimes can see that following a popular game's launch,  number of other titles, based on the first game's concept begin to appear.  This type of ripple effect could be said to be responsible here.

Step back in time to 1903 and nobody would have expected that the ripples emanating following the launch of Lizzie Magie's "The Landlord's Game" would still be taking place in today's environment.  Even when this board game metamorphosed into the Parker Brother's Monopoly title in 1935 who would have thought, that nearly 90 years later, ripples would still be appearing in the form of Christmas-Opoly.  This is a board game for 2 to 6 players, aged 8 and older, who venture into a Winter Wonderland as they secure festive properties.  Thanks to the ripples started so many year ago we have Christmas-Opoly which is the subject of this review.

Developed by Cheatwell, the Christmas-Opoly kit is build around a 48 cm square board providing the playing field.  When not in use this board conveniently folds up into a 24 cm square for more compact, easy storage.  This board displays a Monopoly style arrangement whereby street locations and utility facilities have been replaced by appropriate festive activities.  These properties can be purchased and developed in order to charge others when they land there. 

Accompanying the board element are a pair of white dice, seven tokens based on a Christmas scene, symbols representing presents and Christmas trees, 28 deed cards, 14 cheer cards and 14 humbug cards plus a wedge of play money.  These elements all have their part to play in this Christmas take on the Monopoly concept.  Rather than the properties and utilities found in Monopoly, you buy and develop activities so that you can earn money from other players as they progress around the board depending upon the results of dice throws.  You also get a set of rules just in case players are tempted to follow the example of a recent Mrs Brown's Boy episode whereby players made it up to suit themselves.

In keeping with its Christmas theme, elements of the game have undergone a change of appearance in certain aspects.  Chance and Community Chest cards are now called Cheer and Humbug cards which deliver tasks such as singing Jingle Bells, advance to a certain location or miss a turn in order to make cookies.  The board's corners on the board are now referred to as Naughty and Nice or Ho, Ho, Ho! and Free Cookies to enhance the Christmas spirit.  Also Houses and Hotels have been replaced with Present boxes and Christmas Trees.

As usual with other offerings based on the Monopoly concept theme, this title might reveal early indications of any family members with domination tendencies but it does provide an opportunity for less energetic activities during the festive period.  Attractively packaged, with its own storage capabilities, Christmas-Opoly is available from Amazon priced at £25.00.  This game will make a useful present that can be put to use for Christmas gamers.

Christmas-Opoly Board Game | Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas-Opoly : Outlet

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OverallCheatwell Christmas-Opoly rated 64 out of 100

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