Blue Marble is a game all Korean children and young people love. Most of the ones who play it don’t speak English, and they don’t even know that Monopoly exists. However, when I played this game with my students from the university, I recognized it. As far as I am concerned, it is a Monopoly knock off, but it is a very popular Monopoly knock off!
Blue Marble’s board is laid out almost exactly like the Monopoly game board with a few exceptions. Monopoly’s properties are in America, but Blue Marble’s properties are all over the world, and the most expensive property on the board is the Seoul Olympics instead of Boardwalk like in Monopoly. Instead of there being both Community Chest and Chance, there is just one set of cards in the middle that you draw if you land on the spaces with the keys. They do the same kinds of things that Community Chest and Chance do.
Instead of only houses and hotels, Blue Marble has houses, villas, and hotels.
The game pieces, instead of being things like a horse, a shoe, a thimble, etc., are airplanes. The dice are the same, and Blue Marble takes just as long to play as Monopoly. If you get three properties that are the same color, you can buy a house, a villa, or a hotel. A villa in Korea is an apartment in a house, not a nice big house like in other countries.
If you turn the property cards over on the back, they tell you how much everything costs to buy.
The money in Blue Marble is made after the Korean money system, of course. Chon won is 1,000 won, and that is only worth about $1.00, according to the exchange on the particular day you check. The have something they call man won, and that is a 10,000 won note. Korean money gets very complicated to talk about because they add so many zeroes. Above, you can see some examples of the money.
There is a salary if you pass “go,” like in Monopoly. However, you don’t go to jail. Instead of jail, they have a deserted island where you get sent. Instead of railroads, they have an airlines, a big ship cruise lines, and Jeju Island. Instead of utilities, they have a rocket ship. Instead of the space that sends you to jail, they have a space that sends you on a rocket ship to outer space.
The game is played the same, but completely remade. I guess someone did the Japanese thing, but for the Korean people. The Japanese like to take existing products that are good, look at them, and remake them improving them. For the Koreans to be able to play Monopoly in Korean is an improvement for them. It is much more fun if you don’t have to play in a second language and you see spaces with places in your country or in adventurous places around the world instead of all in America.