Even if you’re not part of the board gaming community, you’d be hard pressed not to have noticed the Monopoly Gamer phenomenon.

Rational adults (allegedly) have been hurling fistfuls of cash at bemused store employees for the latest version of One Of The Worst Board Games Ever Made, and then returning home to proudly post pictures of their new acquisition on social media before even breaking the shrink-wrap.

Now I’m prepared to concede that this Monopoly anomaly might be considerably better than the original (although let’s face it, it’s a limbo-like low bar), and that it may well be fun to “play with the kids” (or indeed other big kids like the rest of us). I just think folk might be clambering madly aboard the hype train, or getting run down by it entirely.

Particularly when one considers the standard version of Monopoly Gamer retails for just $25, and contains presumably the same level of fun.

It’s just possible the $72 USD folk have been spunking on the Collector’s Edition (probably limited to a mere few million copies) along with all the available Power Packs, might feasibly be spent on another, better game. Or in fact several other games.

For example you can get ALL these shiny things for the same money:

Sons of Anarchy: Men of Mayhem — $16.00

Okay so maybe this isn’t one for the kids, but it’s not like those Monopoly Gamer boys and girls are actually buying their copy just for their kids, right? Treat yourself. There’ll be plenty of cash left over.

You don’t need to like the TV series or know anything about it to enjoy this excellent worker placement/area control game. Invite some mates round, crack open some brews and be the scuzzy, illicit biker you’ve always wanted to be.

Coup — $6.87

There are few games that consist of less components than this, yet provide more back-stabbing, intriguing fun.

With a hand of just two cards laid on the table in front of you, it’s up to you to bluff and bluster your way to victory, claiming influence where you have none and calling out your fellows for the low-down lying scum that they are.

Zombie Dice — $8.53

This is never going to win any awards for complex game design, but it’s amazing how many folks I’ve snagged into the world of tabletop gaming with this elementary little dice roller.

Roll dice. Eat brains. Don’t get shotgunned. Sensible policies for a happier world.

The Resistance — $13.91

Set in the same dystopian future as Coup, The Resistance follows the same bluffing theme as it’s more compact stable-mate, but adds that exquisite spice of betrayal.

If you prefer your theme to be more Medieval/Arthurian then go for The Resistance: Avalon, which is pretty much identical and many consider a better game. What’s more, it’s over $2 cheaper!

Sushi Go! — $10.99

Raw fish might not be to everyone’s liking, but you’ll find this card game will go down well with all ages of most families.

It’s set collection at its most basic, but its goofy visuals are great for engaging kids, and it might even tempt them to try some variety in their diet. So grab some take-out and make a themed evening of it.

Codenames — $14.99

Hailed by BoardgameGeek as the Best Party Game of 2016, and winner of the prestigious Spiel Des Jahres 2016, Codenames is fun for every age group, and indeed shines both as family fun and accompanied by drunken uproar.

Plus you get a funky little free egg-timer which you don’t really need in the game, but might be useful for breakfast the next day to go with your hangover.

TOTAL: $71.29

(Source: Amazon.com. All items include free shipping)

Also, in case you’re a seasoned gamer and (rightfully) own all of the above already, did you know that you can get the much-lauded Clank AND its Sunken Treasure expansion for $69.25 at the moment?

Yes, less than $70. Pity you just went and blew the dough on some plastic Mario party favours, huh?

So there you have it. Don’t be disheartened if you find the Collector’s edition of Monopoly Gamer sold out everywhere. Take a deep breath, jump online and discover a wealth of gaming goodness out there for the same price

At the very least it will keep you nicely occupied until restocks arrive in a few weeks, and we can do this all over again!

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