I enjoy a good game of Monopoly, as do a few of my friends. We got to talking one time about making a Philly-themed board. “It’s been done”, I remember someone saying at the time.

Sure enough, we found several (fairly lackluster) incarnations of “Philadelphia-opoly” for sale online. They seemed all well and good as promotional items, or perhaps something you’d see at a gift shop in Old City, but they were missing something.

One day this past December, I decided to make my own version and give it to a friend for Christmas. It would focus on West Philadelphia (a single section at that), feature an array of fine local eating/drinking establishments as properties, and even include several inside jokes to keep things interesting. Naturally, I’d call it West Philly-opoly.

My original plan was to just buy a Monopoly set, print out little pieces of paper with text on them to cover each item I was changing (gluing them on one at a time). I quickly realized this would look messy, not to mention be arduous as all hell to accomplish. Thankfully I found a complete Monopoly Photoshop template, a superbly accurate replica created by a guy named Brad Frost (thanks Brad!).

After loading up the files on my computer, I got down to choosing which businesses/organizations I’d use for which properties. It was just as much fun coming up with ideas as it was tough narrowing down choices. After quick trip to Kinkos/FedEx Office to print out and laminate the board, I glued it down in sections on a regular Monopoly board from an existing set. Then I glued the replacement Chance and Community Chest cards to the existing ones.

I think it turned out pretty well – a lot better than I expected at least. I’m already thinking about making another one… maybe based on Southwest Center City. Or even part of the suburbs.

  • What is it? A custom Philadelphia Monopoly board game