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Passing Go in Great Bend
Monopoly-based game features local attractions
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Great Bend Community Coordinator Christina Hayes displays the new board game Great Bendopoly, based on local attractions. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

Have you ever dreamed of being a local real estate tycoon? Well, now’s your chance to pass Go and collect $200.

“If you have not heard yet, we have a new game out,” Great Bend Community Coordinator Christina Hayes said. Great Bendopoly is the slick and polished board game that taps local attractions and businesses to create a gaming experience based on the classic fast-dealing property trading board game Monopoly.

“It was only made available to Wal-Mart, which is crazy,” she said. “As you know, during June Jaunt, I have created that Monopoly game where all the stores can actually ask community chest questions and we have fun facts about Great Bend and shoppers get stickers.”

She was actually looking to Monopoly to make the city’s own game where stores could purchase a spot. “But, someone got really smart and decided to utilize Google and they mass produced all these games.”

The product is really pretty accurate, Hayes said. But, it is very generic.

Dubbed “a fun game celebrating Great Bend, Kansas,” the full-size board is marked with streets, parks and other local attractions. Among other things, these include 10th Street, Broadway, Great Bend High School, the Arkansas River, the Sunflower Rod and Custom Association dragstrip, the Great Bend Sports Complex and Veterans Memorial Park.

The small, metal game tokens are also different than the namesake originals – a hand, shoe, pretzel, heart, dog and shield to mark a player’s spot on the board. There are the cards as well with a local twist, and windmills instead of railroads.

“They are about $20 and they are pretty cool,” she said. She stressed that nobody sold these spots, but there are five local businesses featured – Walnut Bowl, Up and Rolling Skate Center, The Page American Bistro, Maria’s Mexican Grill and Mitchell’s Bakery.

“That was all based off of Google searches,” she said.

Mind Sculpt Games’ owner Darcey Leach told Hayes it doesn’t make sense for her to sell it since she would have to buy and mark up the price in her business, But, “she was really excited that people might possibly be sitting around  the table spending family time together and friend time together playing a board game,” Hayes said.

McPherson has its own game, and just about any city with a Super Wal-Mart has one as well, Hayes said. They are created and produced by Late for the Sky Production Company of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Hayes said the city is going to start giving them away as promotional gifts.

Monopoly was first published by Parker Brothers in 1935 until that firm was eventually absorbed into Hasbro in 1991. The game is named after the economic concept of monopoly – the domination of a market by a single entity.

In the game, players roll two six-sided dice to move around the game board, buying and trading properties, and developing them with houses and hotels. Players collect rent from their opponents, with the goal being to drive them into bankruptcy. Money can also be gained or lost through Chance and Community Chest cards, and tax squares; players can end up in jail, which they cannot move from until they have met one of several conditions.

In Great Bendoploy, the same basic rules apply, Hayes said. But, instead of landing in jail, players get stuck in a traffic jam and face a detour.

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This close-up shows the Great Bendopoly game board and tokens. It is not produced locally, and is available only at Wal-Mart. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune