Board Game Hacks

April 28, 2014

Playing board games is a great way to kill a rainy afternoon, but Monopoly can get pretty boring after a few hours. The solution: board game hacks.

Board Game HacksMonopoly

The “Fast-Dealing Property Trading Game” is anything but. It was introduced in 1935, an era from before TV in which people had longer attention spans and would happily play this board game for the four or more hours a full game requires. That’s led to dozens of variations to shorten the game and make it more exciting. You probably have your own unofficial Monopoly “house rules,” like having all the money collected from taxes go to the player who lands on “Free Parking.” Another variant allows players to “travel” on the game’s railroads, warping from one to another. Other fans have taken their hacks to a whole different level; “Thermonuclear Monopoly” involves using toy rockets to blow up other players. Hasbro has joined in the fun and asked fans on Monopoly’s Facebook page to submit their own “rules.” They’ll include the best one in future editions, starting next year.


Here’s another game that can go on forever. Some people opt to play with stop watches, so each player can’t think about their move indefinitely. Others also insist that the bonus squares, which are only supposed to be used once, never expire. There’s also an entirely different game called “Speed Scrabble.” For truly silly fun, try “Made Up Words Scrabble,” which requires players to use their letter tiles to make up a word, and then define it. In a move similar to its Monopoly stunt, Hasbro has asked players to submit new words for inclusion in the next edition of the official online Scrabble Players Dictionary. So far, players have suggested everything from “selfie” to “ew.”


In 2013, two guys decided that the gentle shock that players receive while playing Operation just wasn’t exciting enough. They created a new version called “Shockeration” that delivers more of a kick via an attached, heavily wired wrist strap. One accidental touch of the side while removing “Water in the Knee” in this version can hurt. A lot. The inventors posted instructions on how to build your own…but you might want to watch the video of them and their friends getting zapped instead.