April 14, 2003

Cosmic Monopoly

Posted in Recreational at 9:01 pm by Ian

This is the one that died last night.
So, this is the first time I’ve talked about games on this site, but I expect it’ll happen much more. Specifically, I’m likely to wax poetic about one particular game, Cosmic Encounter. If you’ve never played the game, you’ll just have to take my word that it is, hands down, the greatest game ever created. And I really mean that, because, odds are, you will not get a chance to play it. The game is, tragically, almost completely unavailable. It has been made by a half-dozen game manufacturers in the past 25 years, and is currently produced by Avalon Hill. However, their game is a limited and watered down version of the game that, at best, captures the nostalgia of old players and deceives new players into thinking that’s all there is.
The real game, the good one, was made by Mayfair Games about 10 years ago and routinely goes for over $150 on ebay. I’ve been looking for one for the last few months, and only 2 have sold for less than that. Both were missing pieces.
So anyway, I was wandering around a fan site devoted to Cosmic Encounter the other day, and I found a list of powers for Monopoly that let you play it like Cosmic Encounter.
I must explain: The basic idea of Cosmic Encounter is to take a simple game structure (which involves declaring attacks and playing cards) and complexify it by adding Alien Powers, which allow players to break the rules in a certain way. Each player in a game of Cosmic Encounter has a special power that allows them to tweak the rules in their favor slightly. The amazing part of the game is the complicated interactions between powers and between players. The game is prone to large swings in the late game, as it becomes a rivalry of The Guy Who’s About To Win vs. Everyone Else.
So there are these powers for Monopoly. We played with them on Saturday night, and it was really cool. There were 6 of us in the game, and 4 of us lasted until very late in the endgame. I started out in a strong position, with the first monopoly, but others followed, and there were strong swings in power near the end.
Some of the powers are unbalanced, so we’re working on how to balance them. One thing I’m starting to really enjoy doing is game development. I’ll put some updates here soon if people want to get involved in playing around with this.


1 Comment »

  1. Kyle said,

    Oh my gosh, never have I wanted to suddently play Monopoly more than I do right now. With these new powers rules, the game would be so much fun! After all, that really is the awesome part of Cosmic Encounter – the powers. Ugh, now I need to find people around here that would want to play!

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