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Take A Closer Look At Skylanders Monopoly

Tonight, we'll be gathering around my dining room table to teach the kids how to make the most of real estate dealings. Activision has just delivered a copy of the new Skylanders Monopoly, and it looks great.

Instead of fighting over the dog and car, players will get to choose from six adorable themed metal pieces. These include a dragonfire canon, airship, sheep, ghost swords, a chompy, and villain Kaos. All are very well detailed.

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With the exception of the standard corner spaces (GO!, Go to Jail, Jail, and Free Parking) the entire board is re-skinned. Instead of the color groupings for properties, each is tied to a specific one of Skylanders' eight elements (Magic, Tech, Air, Earth, Water, Fire, Life, Undead).

They are also named for one of the characters in the elemental group. Instead of the four railroads, these spots bear the name and likeness of a Skylanders vehicle. Luck-o-Tron and Treasure Chest replace Community Chest and Chance cards. Money is handled in treasure rather than dollars.

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Instead of houses and hotels, the game comes with huts and castles. Otherwise, everything is as you remember it from classic Monopoly. The instructions are clear, and speed rules for 60- to 90-minute games are included.

I've taught my nine- and four-year-olds how to play chess with Super Mario Bros. pieces, and tonight I'll be imparting the rules of Monopoly with characters they know and love. Does the Skylanders theme change the classic game? Not really. But it does make it more appealing for young players since they are already familiar with Spyro and the rest of Activision's motley crew of heroes.

Skylanders Monopoly is out now and can be found at a variety of retailers at the manufacturer's suggested retail price of $39.99. Skylanders Swap Force, the next title in the enormous franchise started by Toys for Bob and now led by Vicarious Visions, will be available this October for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, 3DS, and PC. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions will be available later.

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