Take three of world’s most popular games – Monopoly, Scrabble and Sorry – and turn them into new games that you can play in 20 minutes or less. What do you get? Would you believe you get some genuinely new, significantly fun games?
You have to abandon your expectations just a wee bit to appreciate what Hasbro’s new Express Games series. The Express version of Monopoly isn’t what you’d expect if you’re thinking Monopoly, as in the board game, with all that money and those wonderful playing pieces and the trading and the sheer vengeance of watching someone land on one of your hotel-laden properties. It’s a kinder, gentler dice game, where your major opponent is your own greed. And the Express version of Scrabble? Also a dice game. Where you play on a smaller board. And after you move, you remove, actually, the word that the previous player made. Which makes for a new challenge each turn. A new game, really, where the focus again is not strategic, but on your skills as a wordsmith.
And then you have Sorry. Again, there’s no actual board. But if Express Scrabble and Express Monopoly both express a swifter, and less competitive contest, Express Sorry is everything you’d want in a game of vindication and retribution. Again there is no board. Dice, pawns and discs. Each of up to 4 players or teams has a disc to indicate which color pieces she is trying to gather. The dice indicate which of the four different-colored pawns you can collect from the center disc, or from the other players’ discs. The dice have, of course, a wild side. But even wilder is the “Slide” side which allows you to change the color you are trying to collect, or to slide any of the opponent’s discs to a new color.
All of the Express games are far more than 20-minute versions of the board games they are named after. They are more than reinterpretations. They are different games. Games in their own right. And they will take you by surprise. Very fun, unique surprises that you will want to experience many times, with just about everyone you know.