We Found This Old Columbus Board Game, But Turned Out It Was Just A Giant Ad From 1990

The box reads, “Another exciting game by WORLDOPOLY.” We carefully opened the box and removed the game board. As we unfolded the board there was a that satisfying crinkle and that classic cardboard smell wafted into the air. We held our breaths with anticipation while our eyes eagerly scanned over the board. A feeling of moderate disappointment washed over us.

The game was a giant advertisement.

ColumbusOpoly was made in 1990 by a company based out of San Diego, California called WorldOpoly, Inc. Like the name suggests, the game is a variation of the classic Monopoly board game and features businesses from around Columbus as the spaces for purchase on the game board. Some of these businesses include the Columbus Zoo, Ballet Met, Talita’s Mexican Kitchen and many others.

Paper Mint must have been a big sponsor because it is the proud owner of the Boardwalk space on the game board. That doesn’t seem very glamorous.

Despite the advertisements, this game is very charming. There is a space on the board that, if landed on, players must donate $80 to Children’s Hospital. Printed on the game’s currency is  the old logo for the radio station WSNY Sunny95.

It is aptly called “Sunny Money.” There are several Columbus neighborhoods featured on the board. German Village, Victorian Village, the Brewery District, and the Short North can all be purchased for $210 worth of Sunny Money.

Another thing that makes this board game nostalgic are the businesses that are no longer with us. Places like Fisherman’s Wharf Seafood & Steaks, Wyandot Lake, and Sea World give us a blast from the past. We’re a little confused about why that last one is featured in ColumbusOpoly since Sea World was up near Cleveland, but it still brings back memories.

Only time will tell if ColumbusOpoly can ruin friendships as easily as its counterpart Monopoly.


Originally published 2/23/17. Updated 5/22/20. Photos taken prior to social distancing guidelines.

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