Saturday, February 14, 2009

Review: Monopoly

Originally published on on February 12, 2009

Electronic Arts
Rated E
8.5 out of 10

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thanks EA and Hasbro. I love the game, "Monopoly," and enjoy playing the game with my family. However, we can spend several minutes setting up, distributing the money, making sure my 2-year-old daughter doesn't boost the green houses and red hotels like her older brother did (and we are still finding houses years later). Now, thanks for EA and Hasbro, I can let the board game stay in the box, catch dust while I play it with my family on the Xbox 360.

EA Bright Light Studio performed the task of bringing the best-selling board game onto video game consoles and they did a good job. "Monopoly," which was originally launched in 1935, has a following that is phenomenal. The board game is available in 103 countries, 37 different languages, has sold over 250 million games worldwide, and has over 480 million players playing the iconic game. Now, EA has delivered the iconic game to a TV screen near you.

In addition to the classic game, there are several modes to choose from. The classic "Monopoly" mode is the one most of us are used to. It follows the same rules (which I found out I didn't actually know, though I've been playing the game since the late '70s) and has the same tokens you would find in the board game. You can choose different boards as well - with unique tokens. Using your in-game Passport, you can unlock new boards for use in the Classic version.

However, the other modes - Richest Edition and several minigames - offer a wealth of games, all suitable for family fun.

In Richest Edition, you don't use any cash. You acquire property by landing on it. If you land on property that doesn't belong to you, you have to give up one of your properties.

Depending on the amount of time you have to play, you can choose between Developer (30 minutes and under), Industrialist (about 45 minutes) and Tycoon (an hour of more). The aim is to get the most assets in the game to win.

You can also unlock 12 minigames after playing them in Richest. Some of the minigames include 'Get out of Jail,' 'Go to Jail,' 'Pay Doctor's Fee,' 'Take a Ride on the Reading' and 'Advance to GO.'

Four players can join in, and the PS2 version of the game supports multitap.

Controls are good - you have to tap like the devil in the minigames. You don't have to do much on the Classic version of the game - but the interface to buy houses and hotels is confusing. You may have to highlight the button to buy structures for your real estate a few times.

The graphics look very good. Moneybags looks crazy running around the board, following your token. The music is ok - it can become annoying at times.

All in all, if you love the board game, 'Monopoly,' give its video game version a spin. Advance to GO! for some family fun on your video game console.

See you on Boardwalk!

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