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Remix Monopoly, Cluedo and other classics into better games with hack collection A Fine Mend

Milton Bradley, eat your heart out.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Breathe new life into the stuffy boxes in the back of your closet with A Fine Mend, a printed set of rules for hacking readily-available board games such as Monopoly.

Designers A Brown and John C. Zielinski set out to discover a new purpose for the titles everyone and their grandparents likely have tucked away under a bed or in the attic storage. They describe the book as a “complete rebuild” of four widely available and inexpensive board games that use most, if not all, of their original components - the hack only adds a few additional dice to the mix.

“Playing Chutes and Ladders becomes borderline cruelty once you stop using your fingers to show people how old you are,” the Kickstarter page reads. “Wouldn’t it be nice, though, to be able to use some of the games everyone outgrows?”

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Each of the updated and expanded rulesets also paints a fresh coat of theming on the classic titles. For example, roll-and-move game Frustration (or Trouble, for the US audience) can transform into the cooperative Danger! The crew of a ship have unleashed an unspeakable horror, and the captain’s final order is to make sure one member escapes to warn humanity of their grave error.

Enemies aboard the ship move in the opposite direction and will sniff out hiding places if they get too close, forcing the defenseless meeples to watch their movement carefully. Seal the bulkheads, find the escape pod and survive the emergency procedures to claim victory for a sole survivor. Dice rolling, minigames and a deck of event cards add replayability to what sounds like much more than a frustrating predicament.

Other additions include Cult, a cosmic horror take on Cluedo that sees players conspiring to stop a cabal of dark mystics from summoning their otherworldly patron; Candy Land reimagined as party game Desserted Island; and a version of Monopoly that casts the proletariat players as underdogs against the dictatorial Robber Baron. This last, Bourgeois Swine, contextualises the buying of property as seizing back control of a city and controlling territory against the Baron’s greedy forces.

All of the rules will be printed in a wire coil-bound book, and the digital PDFs will include print-and-play components for every hack in the set. The first 100 purchases will get a numbered edition of the game that ships with extra rules for a fifth game that further remixes Frustration for a more complex experience.

The Kickstarter for A Fine Mend runs through February 11th. Backers can pick up either a physical or digital version for $15/$30 (£11/£22) respectively, with shipping expected to begin in June of this year.

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A Fine Mend

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Chase Carter avatar

Chase Carter


Chase is a freelance journalist and media critic. He enjoys the company of his two cats and always wants to hear more about that thing you love. Follow him on Twitter for photos of said cats and retweeted opinions from smarter folks.