Cash Decoder

Some of the best board games are the ones that have been around for decades. Games that have stood the test of time and are still going strong, even in an age where screens, games consoles, tablets, phones and apps rule. Games such as Monopoly, originally known as The Landlord’s Game, has been around for over 100 years and is still a favourite loved worldwide. Monopoly is my favourite board game, a game that I grew up playing and have taught others play. Whilst the street names may have changed, the game didn’t really change that much but now there are different variations of Monopoly to keep the game fresh and interesting and more appealing to a screen-led younger generation. One such variation is Monopoly Cash Decoder (also seems to go by Monopoly Crooked Cash).

In Monopoly Cash Decoder things aren’t always as they seem. Someone unscrupulous person has added fake cash and fake Chance cards! The family favourite game of capitalism has been corrupted. Luckily, the top hat wearing, moustachioed Mr. Monopoly is giving players his decoder so they can find the fakes and still make their fortune.

In the box:

  • Monopoly Gameboard
  • Plastic Decoder
  • 6 Playing Tokens
  • 22 Title Deed Cards
  • 24 Chance Cards
  • 14 Community Chest Cards
  • 12 Cardboard Decoder Chips
  • 12 hotels
  • 2 Dice
  • Money Pack
  • Instructions and Game Guide
Cash Decoder

For fans of classic Monopoly, the gameplay is mostly the same. Monopoly Cash Decoder features classic Monopoly property trading gameplay but with a fun twist! Fake money and Chance cards have been introduced and players can challenge their opponents using their accusation coins and Mr. Monopoly’s decoder to detect the fakes. This is a fun version of Monopoly that you just can’t trust!

And fans of classic Monopoly will also find some other changes, taxes and utilities are gone and instead of buying a train station, players can board a train and advance to the nearest unowned property. And houses have been bulldozed from the game, only hotels remain.

Monopoly Cash Decoder is a board game for 2-6 players, aged 8 and upwards. It is a fast-paced property trading board game, capitalism at its best – players must race around the board buying properties, building hotels and try to make as much money as they can, including fake money!

Setting up is simple. Place the board in the centre of the table. Each player takes a playing token (Car, Cat, Dinosaur, Dog, Duck or Penguin) and places them on the Go square on the board. Decide who will be the Banker (in charge of the bank’s cash, title deeds, hotels and auctions). Shuffle the Community Chest and Chance cards and place them on the spaces in the middle of the board. Each player is given two decoder chips which they place in front of them green side up. Place the decoder on the space in the middle of the board. The Banker deals each player M1500 (3x M 10, 1x M 20, 3x M 50, 3x M 100 and 2x M 500).

To play, you roll both dice and move the relevant number of spaces around the board. Roll a double and you can roll again (if you roll three doubles in a row you immediately go to jail). Carry out the rules of the board space that you land on.  The idea is to make your way around the board, buying up property sets and building hotels on them to charge unfortunate players who land on them rent and build your fortune. But be careful, dodgy notes could be being used and could cost the player using them dearly and to their opponent’s advantage.

In this version of Monopoly there is fake money floating about. Whenever any other player pays the Bank or another player, you can challenge them using one of your decoder chips. Whilst a player has cash in their hand, announce your challenge to check one of their notes, flipping your decoder chip to red. You can only examine any ONE of the notes they are trying to use. Place the note on a flat surface and use the decoder to examine the note – on examination you will see an image of Mr Monopoly, if he is wearing a mask it is a fake note. If you find a fake note, you get to keep it and that player must use more of their money to pay whatever it is they were paying for. If you find a real note, give it back and play continues as normal.

Chance cards could also be fake. When a player goes to use one any player can announce a challenge and flip over one of their decoder chips. Check the card with the decoder to see the image of Mr Monopoly and if he is masked or not. If you find a fake, you receive M100 from the bank.

You can change an activated chip decoder back from red to green each time that you pass Go.

As with classic Monopoly you can be sent to Jail and have Free Parking. There are no longer any train stations to buy, but if you land on a train space you advance to the next unowned property space.

Overall, whilst I love the original and classic game of Monopoly I do love this speedier version and love the idea of having to check for fake money.

Monopoly is an excellent game of capitalism and increasing wealth which teaches lessons about how commercialism works, basic maths skills and budgeting skills as well as risk taking. This version also adds in the very real issue of fake notes and checking for them, which I think is an excellent idea and makes it a lot of fun.

The fake notes can’t be detected without the use of Mr Monopoly’s decoder glass so the game works well and makes you use your decoder chips wisely.

Classic Monopoly can be a very strategic game. Cash Decoder has that same strategy but the addition of trying to detect fake notes and Chance cards adds in a bit more of a fun element that families will love.

I think that Monopoly Cash Decoder is a fantastic game, an excellent twist and refresh of an already fantastic game. A superb game for family game nights.

Rating: 5/5

RRP: £25 (currently only £8.99 on Amazon)

Available to buy from Amazon here.

5 stars

DISCLOSURE: All thoughts and opinions are my own. This review uses an affiliate link which I may receive a small commission from if you purchase through the link.

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