Have you ever played Monopoly with your kids? Have you ever wondered if there were an educational spin you could put on it? Well, here it is! Inflation Deflation is an add on to your Monopoly game (the author calls it the M game!). This game has been around for a while, actually, but we've just recently discovered it! You will need an existing version of Monopoly, and the parts to Inflation Deflation. You can purchase it two ways, either as a full version professionally produced game through the mail, which consists of a bound 8.5x14 stand up flip booklet, or online through an e-version. If you are die-hard "M" game fans, you will want the professionally produced version. I have the e-version to review, and it works, but not as well as the full version would. In the version that the company mails, you will receive the game in a stand up card format, making it much easier to use.
Let's get to the nitty gritty of this game! The original "M" game was written just after the stock market crash of 1929, and it reflects the economic conditions of the time (the depression years). With Inflation Deflation, the game is brought into the 21st century and then some! There are good times and bad times! Inflation Deflation cycles you through five economic climates as you play the game. These are: Deep, Deep Depression, Just Depressed, Recovering, Boom Time!, Runaway Inflation, and then back again. The game is quite fun and easy as you cycle through the first four economic climates, but watch out going from Runaway Inflation back to Deep, Deep Depression! This is when the inflationary bubble bursts and the government is forced to issue a new, more stable currency at a 90 percent devaluation of your old currency. YIKES, you've just lost 90 percent of everything you owned - here's the catch! You could have sheltered your wealth in an offshore bank account! Any money you had hidden away in your offshore account is unaffected by the crash and you can comfortably weather the next cycle of deep, deep depression as a rich person. It's a fun way to play a classic game. I haven't described all the various economic climates thoroughly, but you'll get the feel for it as you play. I don't want to give everything away! There are a few more twists to the game, such as the addition of Crisis Cards, which are played alongside the Chance and Community Chest cards in the original game. These are great additions to the game! One of these cards sends guilty players to jail when it is discovered they planned to take over some companies - using Confederate War Bonds as collateral! Another card describes the tragic mishap of the new Federal Banking Computer accidentally transferring funds randomly from account to account within the banking system - in our terms, each player has to transfer one half of his cash to the player on the right! There are good things happening with the cards too, but I won't tell you everything! All of this action happens as you are still playing the good old-fashioned game of Monopoly! You are still trying to drive everyone else into bankruptcy - it's just more fun doing it this way! There are a few other changes as well, such as the non-existence of one-dollar bills... in Inflation Deflation, these bills have been reborn as 1000 bills!
I played this game with a family of young kids, the oldest being 13. It was fun, and I understood it perfectly. My younger kids enjoyed the fun of the game but didn't really understand the purpose of the changing climates. My 13-year-old understood it, and enjoyed it as well as I think he could! It's a great idea, and I would heartily recommend this game to anyone who even remotely enjoys Monopoly - and even if you don't, I think with the add on of Inflation Deflation, you would! The game is thoroughly tongue-in-cheek, and I enjoyed reading the quips and stories included. All the components fit into your existing "M" game box, so there are no parts to lose.
The game is fun and educational. It puts a whole new spin on a fun classic game and you won't be disappointed in it, I'm positive of that!