Spending nine hours a day sitting at an office desk is depressing enough, so imagine my surprise when I watched NBC’s sitcom The Office for the first time and actually…didn’t hate it.
Who’d have thought? Certainly not me, who spent two whole years avoiding the show like the plague.
Despite my extremely low expectations – a TV show set about working in a boring office, really?! – when I finally caved and watched the first episode, I was hooked straight away.
But ever since the show finished in 2013, it’s felt like something is missing. You probably know what I’m talking about, right? There’s a The Office-shaped hole in my life, one that can’t be replaced with an episode or two from the inferior UK version.
Fortunately, I come to you today bearing good news: there’s now a The Office-themed version of Monopoly! Read on to discover more about the game.
The Office Monopoly: A Quick Overview
- Players – 2-6
- Recommended age – 8+
- Playing time – 120 minutes
The Office Monopoly is a new version of the classic property-trading board game where the aim of the game is to outlast your competitors. It’s based on the hit NBC mockumentary TV show, The Office, which aired between 2005 and 2013.
How to Play
It’s time to get better acquainted with the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. Grab your files, your favorite coffee mug, and as much juicy work gossip as you can find – we’re going to the office!
The Aim of the Game
To win at The Office Monopoly, you’ll need to be the last player left in the game. All is not as it seems, though, because your goal isn’t simply to outlast your co-workers – you need to destroy them. How I hear you ask? One word: bankruptcy.
If we’re being honest here, we’ve all probably got at least one co-worker who annoys the living daylight out of us. We might not even have a specific reason why, which only makes it worse.
Well, now’s your chance to take that anger and turn it into victory (albeit in a fictional work setting rather than at your actual job…probably for the best.)
The Difference Between Regular Monopoly and The Office Monopoly
Gameplay is pretty much the same, though the board and some of the components are different (better) than the original.
For geeks like me, the iconic locations and references that feature in this game are awesome. So, what can you expect from The Office Monopoly?
- Brown properties: Poor Richard’s Diwali gymnasium
- Orange properties: David Wallace’s house, company picnic park, Scranton Mall
- Light blue properties: Angela’s house, Dunder Mifflin Nashua, Darryl’s house
- Magenta properties: Scranton Art Center, Scranton Business School, Scranton Hospital
- Red properties: Lake Scranton, Taekwondo Dojo, Slater Falls Hotel
- Green properties: Dunder Mifflin Stamford, Cafe Disco, Vance Refrigeration
- Yellow properties: Michael’s condo, Pam & Jim’s house, Schrute Farms
- Boardwalk: Dunder Mifflin Corporate NY
- Park Place: Dunder Mifflin Scranton
- Dwight Bobblehead
- Bacon grill
- Pam’s candy dish
- Princess unicorn
- World’s best boss mug
- Chance becomes, “that’s what she said!”
- Income tax becomes “buy a hug from Phyllis at Crime Aid Auction”
- Community chest becomes “rudit-dit-d’doo!”
- Luxury tax becomes “donation to rabies fun run”
- Railroads become Dunder Mifflin delivery truck, Lake Wallenpaupack party boat, forklift, and Korean church van
- Electric Company becomes Serenity by Jan
- Waterworks become Dunder Mifflin Infinity
One of the best things about Monopoly for impatient people is that it doesn’t take very long to set up. Being the banker is a little more difficult and definitely not worth the effort (unless you want to cheat, but you didn’t hear that tip from me).
Open out the board and place it flat on the table. Shuffle each set of cards – keeping them all separate – and place them on the board face down in their allotted space.
Choose one unlucky player to take on the role of the banker, who then needs to hand out a big wad of cash (Schrute bucks) to each person, containing:
- 2x $500
- 4x $100
- 1x $50
- 1x $20
- 2x $10
- 1x $5
- 5x $1
The role of the bank is pretty important, so you should probably brush up on your knowledge.
- Looks after all Title Deeds and money not owned by players (big responsibility – choose someone you trust!)
- Pays money to players in the form of bonuses and salaries
- Collects taxes and fines (if you’re the banker, prepare to be hated)
- Sells/auctions properties
- Sells skyscrapers and apartments
- Loans money to players so they can take out a mortgage (yes, it is just as painful as real life)
The bank is in the enviable and much sought-after position of never being able to run out of money. We can all dream, right? Anyway, this means that if there’s no money left, you can simply make some more by drawing on paper. It’s like being five years old again!
The final step of setup is to choose one of the six tokens to represent you on the board. Place yours on the GO space, and you’re ready to go!
Taking a Turn
While it might be fun to fight it out to decide who goes first, that probably isn’t a very practical way to approach the problem, so instead, it all comes down to the roll of two dice.
The person with the highest combined roll takes the first turn:
- Roll the dice
- Move your token clockwise according to the combined number on the dice
- Depending on where you land, you might need to take an action
- Each time you pass go, collect $200
- Rolling a double earns you another turn; roll three, and you have to go to jail
This is exciting because now you have the chance to buy a location! The price is listed on the board space. Think about your decision carefully, because if you don’t buy it, somebody else probably will when it goes up for auction.
Make sure you purchase locations strategically, too – you need to collect groups of the same color so you can charge people more for landing on them. It’s a completely brutal game, and that’s what I love about it.
Bad news – you owe money now. But if you’re sneaky about it and stay quiet, you might not have to pay. Unless the other player actually asks for money, you’re under no obligation to pay.
Rent is printed on the Title Deed. This amount is doubled if all locations in the same color group are owned, and if the location has been developed, it will be even higher. Check the Title Deed to find out the damage.
If you want to develop locations, you have to do so evenly. That means you need four basic properties on each location in a color group before you can upgrade those properties.
Likewise, if you’re getting rid of developments, you have to do so in the same way. My family and I overlooked these rules for years, we just assumed we knew how to play Monopoly, but once we started following the rules properly, the game was so much more enjoyable.
You also can’t collect rent when the property is mortgaged.
“That’s what She Said” and “rudit-dit-d’doo!”
This is where things get really interesting. Take a card from the relevant pile and follow the instructions on it.
Depending on which space you landed on and which card you draw, things could either be looking up for you or very much looking down! Everything can change in a second in Monopoly, so I try not to stress too much.
Put the card back, face-down at the bottom of the pile (unless it’s a “get out of jail free” card, which you can either hold on to it or sell/trade it).
Buy a Hug from Phillis at Crime Aid Auction
Landing on this space is so frustrating, and somehow it feels like I always end up there! Sadly, you have two options, both of which are equally bad:
- Pay $200 to the bank
- Pay 10% of your total assets
There are two situations where you could end up in jail. Either you land there when you take a normal turn – in which case you can relax; you’re “just visiting” – or you get sent there by drawing an unfortunate card.
Another way you might end up in jail is by rolling three doubles.
When you’re sent to jail, your turn immediately ends. The worst part is that you can’t even collect $200 if you pass Go! It’s pretty frustrating, but you’re still allowed to buy and sell property, so at least that’s a small consolation.
Plus, at later stages in the game, hiding away in jail can actually be useful when the alternative means paying huge amounts of rent. Going to jail has saved my skin a few times, believe it or not!
There are three ways to get out of jail:
- Use a “get out of jail free” card (personally, I never seem to have one when I need one)
- Throw a double (this has to happen in one of your next three turns)
- Pay a fine of $50 before rolling the dice on one of your next two turns
This is very much a case of “it does what it says on the tin” – free parking is simply a free place where you can rest.
Towards the end of the game, when rents are sky-high, I usually try to get to this space because it gives me a little bit of respite and prevents me from having to fork out even more money.
Ahh, yes, the sweet smell of desperation that comes towards the end of the game as people whose finances were once enviable suddenly look very sparse. The result is that they have to sell all that property, some of which you probably have your eye on!
Unimproved properties can be sold for any amount in a private transaction, so there’s plenty of opportunity for bartering here. This is one of the funniest bits of the game. I have a lot of fun trying to get my friends and family to give me an unbelievably good deal…with limited success.
Improved properties can’t be sold until the developments on them have been sold back to the bank for half of what was paid for them.
I’ll be honest, Monopoly has taught me more about budgeting and personal finances than school or college ever did. Amazing, isn’t it? And mortgages are no exception.
The mortgage value of each location is printed on its Title Deed card. You’ll need to pay this amount plus 10% interest (unfortunately, this is very similar to real-life).
Sadly – but unsurprisingly – you can’t collect rent while your location is mortgaged.
If you’re crazy enough to buy a mortgaged property from another player, you’ll have to lift the mortgage by paying it back plus 10% to the bank. I tend to avoid doing this unless absolutely necessary because it just puts more strain on your finances.
You can choose to delay lifting the mortgage, but then you’ll have to pay 10% to the bank on top of the agreed location price as well as the price of the mortgage and interest later. Phew, that’s a lot to think about!
The ultimate fear of all Monopoly players is going bankrupt. This happens when you owe so much money that you can’t pay it back, either to the bank or another player.
If it’s another player you owe money, I hate to say this, but you’ll have to turn over all your assets to them. Not the greatest way to end your involvement in the game by any stretch of the imagination.
Alternatively, all assets should be turned over to the bank if that is to whom your debt is owed.
Here’s a rule that many people who play Monopoly – myself included, I’ll admit – often forget or ignore: money can only be loaned out by the bank in the form of mortgages. One player isn’t allowed to give another a loan – this makes things way too complicated and adds loads of time to the game.
Bankrupt players hand over their assets, and play continues until one person is left. They are the winner! For them, the office really is a place where dreams come true.
How many Pieces are there in The Office Monopoly?
Here’s a list of the components that are included in the game:
- 6x collectible tokens
- 28x Title Deed cards
- 32x houses
- 12x hotels
- 2x dice
- 16x “that’s what she said!” cards
- 16x “rudit-dit-d’doo!” cards
- Money pack
The Office Monopoly Alternatives
Here are some other games I think you might like.
You clearly have excellent taste in sitcoms if your interest in The Office Monopoly is anything to go by, so I bet you’ll love Friends Monopoly too! Revisit the best moments and locations from the show as you battle it out to beat your friends in the much-loved setting of New York City.
Read our full Friends Monopoly guide to find out more!
- Players – 2-6
- Recommended age – 8+
- Playing time – 60-120 minutes
Another day, another piece of iconic and hilarious American filmmaking. Possibly the funniest Christmas film ever made, you’ve just got to love Elf (it’s kind of inevitable), and you’ll be pleased to hear that Elf Monopoly is just as brilliant.
Read more about the game in our Elf Monopoly guide.
- Players – 2-6
- Recommended age – 8+
- Playing time – 60-120 minutes
Cards Against Humanity
Okay, so, hear me out. This game is a little different, but I genuinely think you’ll love it if you enjoy the kind of humor that features in The Office. Cards Against Humanity is genuinely brilliant. It’s side-splittingly funny but also a little controversial, which is definitely part of what makes it so great.
Our Cards Against Humanity guide tells you everything you need to know.
- Players – 4-20
- Recommended age – 17+
- Playing time – 30-90 minutes
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Is The Office Monopoly a Family Game?
Answer: Monopoly is definitely an awesome family game – my family and I play it every Christmas when we get together – and The Office version is no different. However, it’s worth noting that you might be better off buying the original game unless you all happen to be fans of the show.
Question: Do You have to go Around the Board once before You Buy Property?
Answer: This is a common myth (one that, once again, my family and I fervently believed until recently), but you don’t have to go around the board once before buying property. You can start straight away.
Question: Do I Get Money if I Land on Free Parking?
Answer: Sadly, you don’t get any kind of reward.
Question: Is there a Faster Way to Play The Office Monopoly?
Answer: Yes, there’s a speed version. There are two differences. Firstly, you only need three houses on a location to develop it; secondly, after the second bankruptcy, the game finishes, and the player with the largest assets wins.
Question: Is The Office Monopoly a Good Children’s Game?
Answer: Children over eight years old may enjoy playing The Office Monopoly, but for younger children, you should probably find a different game. Why not read our guides to the best games for five-year-olds and the best games for four-year-olds?
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