If you know me, one of the most important things to understand is my disdain and fear of anything Monopoly-related. Being a monstrously competitive psycho such as myself, wherein I fly off the handle anytime I so much as lose a lap on Mario Kart, Monopoly is pretty much Kryptonite. No game comes as close as Monopoly to severing friendships and igniting hatred amongst loved ones. Last time I played, with my mom and fiance, the game came to a screeching halt when I began fuming and throwing fake money at people. I swore I would never play that game again…
Fast forward to a couple weeks ago. While on a staycation downtown, we discovered something called Gibsons-opoly. It’s a Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse rendition of the classic game, created in honor of Gibsons’ 25th anniversary last year. Seemingly every franchise under the sun has its own version of Monopoly these days, it seems, but this one had me piqued. And so we played Monopoly for the first time since that unfortunate debacle. The resulting experience took me on an emotional, food-themed roller coaster, all under the thoughtful guise of a steakhouse board game.
1). We picked out our character tokens. Options include a wine bottle, a Gibsons logo, a cow, a steak, a frog (for sister restaurant Hugo’s Frog Bar and Fish House no doubt), and a lobster. I played as the wine bottle, obviously.
2). The layout and format looks pretty much the same as regular Monopoly, except decidedly less focused on bankruptcy and panic. For instance, there’s no jail. In its place is home, so I guess home equates to a jail for some people. There’s also no railroads. Instead, there are the four restaurants from the Gibsons group: Quartino, LUXBAR, Hugo’s, and Gibsons. This cheerier facade makes the game seem less aggressive and intimidating, but take that with a grain of salt.
3). Oof I landed on the “you pick up the tab space.” I owe $200 to no one in particular.
4). Fiance begins his signature strategy of buying up the less expensive spaces earlier in the game, like Sweetwater Station, Kronies Corner, State Street, and Pizzeria Plaza. They seem cheap and harmless at first, but being so easy for him to purchase and stack up, they turn into real annoyances when I routinely land on them.
5). Instead of “chance” or “community chest” cards, there’s “Feast or Famine” and “Special Occasion” cards. I like when Feast or Famine encourages me to go to my favorite restaurant and advance to said space. Very true to life.
6). Things start to get pricy on the southern edge of the board with mid-range properties like Gold Coast Slider Boulevard and Moscow Mule Avenue. Panic ensues.
7). Jackpot at Rivers Casino! OK! All miscellanious money collected happily.
8). “Go Home With No Dessert” is a worse space than “Go to Jail.”
9). My strategy of purchasing the two most expensive properties on the board, the equivalent of Boardwalk and Park Place, is not serving me well. Rush Street and Oak Street are two small and easy to surpass.
10). Instead od adding houses and hotels, properties here can stacked with bars and ultimately, a restaurant. The cheaper properties here being piled with restaurants at this point makes the whole entire first row of the board a war zone for me.
11). Land on pay for Gibsons Group catering. Pay $175. Fume.
12). Money is dwindling as I land on Quartino Ristorante & Wine Bar, which I stupidly traded as a way to acquire more high-end properties.
13). Just passing through Home. No interest in hanging out here.
14). Oysters Row. Not cheap.
15). In less than the one hour quoted game duration time, I am teetering on the brink of financial collapse, burdened by the same mistakes that do me in every time.
16). GAME. OVER.
17). Practicing vegetarianism for a few days in protest.