Friday, February 23, 2024

Hasbro India’s latest board game combines the charms of Monopoly with cricket

It’s that time when cricket permeates everything. The nation is gripped by the World Cup frenzy, and leveraging on this, Hasbro has just launched its brand-new game — Monopoly Cricket. “This is one of our big launches this year,” says Lalit Parmar, Country Manager, Hasbro India, adding that with the fervour in India around cricket, this was the best time to introduce this game.

“Monopoly has a rich history of 85 years and is played in 114 countries,” says Lalit. Though originally conceptualised by the Parker Bros company, the game was acquired by Hasbro in 1991. Over the years, Monopoly has expanded its audience with new variations being introduced to the market. In India, there are 13 different versions of Monopoly. These include Monopoly Super Electric Banking, Monopoly Junior Peppa Pig, Monopoly Junior Monopoly World Tour among others.

Monopoly Cricket has a lot of cricketing elements in it. The usual property cards are replaced by player cards. Each lists a different skill, for example if it is a bowler card it could either read spin bowling, fast bowling etc as the player’s speciality. For the batsman it could be cover drive, square cut… Players collect points for each of these as they play. Additionally, they can also challenge any one player to a game of single over cricket on the board. The score is maintained on a black scoreboard, much like what we see on cricket grounds.

Lalit Parmar, Country Manager, Hasbro India

Lalit Parmar, Country Manager, Hasbro India

“We designed this game entirely in India, in collaboration with Mosaic Games in Bengaluru,” he says. While globally there are football, NFL, rugby-based Monopoly, in India, this is the first sports-based one. Hasbro India comes up with local innovations at least twice a year. “There is a demand for boardgames and they have definitely seen an uptake. It is the biggest sub category in the Indian gaming market,” he says. Since creating board games is not a complex mechanism, Lalit notices that there have been a lot of local players and brands coming into the fray. “As a result, we are seeing a lot of games targetted at the Indian audience and in regional languages as well.”

The game can be played between two and six players and takes around 45 minutes to be completed. “It’s gone through several rounds of testing,” says Lalit, explaining that they engaged young kids, teens, adults to play the game and share their feedback. “At Hasbro, the major innovations are backed by consumer insights and play testing,” says Lalit, who has himself played it multiple times and finished second during his last game. He is looking forward to playing the game with his daughters over the weekend. “It’s wonderful, all the memories that you create while playing games, as opposed to being hooked to digital screen and not getting to to socially interact face to face with each other.”

Priced at ₹999 and available at toy stores and online.

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