Mobile Week – Day 3: Monopoly for iPad Review

Available On: iOS (iPhone and iPod different to iPad version), Google Play

Reviewed On: iPad iOS version

Price: iPhone and iPod (iOS): $0.99 

iPad (iOS): $7.49 (AU, $6.99 American version)

Android: $5.17

So many ports! What is going on with Mobile week, I’m just reviewing ports of every game available (that should change tomorrow, however). Monopoly is, of course, a port of the highly successful board game from Parker Brothers, and this version is made by Electronic Arts.

Background Information About the Board Game

 

The board game, for those of you that don’t know, revolves around the players having to go around a board consisting of 40 spaces with 28 of them being properties that the player can buy. 22 of these properties are “streets” with three streets belonging to a colour group. When all the streets in a colour group have been bought, the player is able to build houses, and later, hotels on them. When another player lands on a street owned by a different player, they have to pay that player rent, and with more houses comes more rent, with a hotel having some quite costly rent prices. 4 of the streets are slightly different, consisting of only two streets to a group. The brown colour set is just after the “Go” space, and is the cheapest to own, place houses, and pay rent to the owner, while the dark blue colour group comes just before the “Go” space, and is the most expensive to own. The price of properties steadily increases as you go around the board. Also, there are four railroads, owning all four will collect $200 in rent each time a player lands on one, and there are two utilities, owning both will give you x10 the amount of the dice roll in rent. There are four corner spaces “Go”, which every time you pass it will give you $200, Jail, which you’re only in if you roll doubles three times in a row, get a chance card, or land on on one of the other corner squares: “Go to Jail”. Otherwise, you’re “just visiting” the jail. The last corner spot is “free parking”. There is the addition of Chance and Community Chest cards, which will either give you something good or something bad.

End of Background Information

This port is quite good. The dice have real physics to them, so if they bump together, the numbers will change, or if they roll over the card piles, the numbers will change again. Everything is mechanical in this game, so your icon will move whatever you rolled, and the bank will automatically give you $200 every time you pass “Go”, or will automatically pay you or another player for rent. All the player(s) have to do is choose whether or not to buy a property! Of course, when you do go into debt, you can choose which properties to mortgage, or indeed, let the computer do it for you! The AI is good, I found that I was able to beat the AI on hard, but when I challenged them again, I found that I lost. I think I just got lucky that first time. However, when playing with 3 AI and myself, when I got bankrupt second, the AI whose turn it was just after mine resigned and the other AI won! It would have been pretty cool to see the two AI battle it out, but maybe that’s more a convenience thing to players. Also convenient is the fact that you can leave the game at any time, and come back and resume exactly where you left off.  There’s also some multiplayer options: a “pass and play”, where you pass the device on to another player, or a local Bluetooth and WiFi mode, if you have two devices. I was only able to test out the pass and play with a friend, so I don’t know how quick the Bluetooth or WiFi options are. It’s also slightly disappointing that you can’t challenge someone over WiFi to anywhere in the world. I know that some players might not have the time to play a potentially long game like that, but it could play out like Draw Something, where you take a turn, and the other player takes a turn when they feel like it. I know it’s not perfect, but at least it caters to everybody.

There’s not much wrong with this game, it does get boring fairly quickly, but House Rules are able to be changed (what if I change the amount of starting money, or the amount of pass “Go” money?), and I think there’s a bit of fun to be had here, especially if you like the board game, but you don’t like packing up each time you start a game because you’re busy, or you don’t have anyone to play the board game with. I think this version is much better than the board game, because it’s a lot simpler and doesn’t require you to pack up!

Pros

– Same as board game

– Bank Automatic

– Different levels of AI (very easy – hard)

– House Rules are able to be changed

– No packing up

– Can challenge AI characters

– Can challenge someone else close to you via Bluetooth/WiFi

Cons

– Can’t challenge people over WiFi in different parts of the world

– Gets boring after two games (even on different difficulties)

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