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Monopoly (Windows)

68
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.0
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Condemned (70)
Written on  :  Aug 14, 2010
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars

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Summary

Fun time-saver!

The Good

I have fond memories of playing Monopoly on a traditional board as a kid... games between my sister and I that could last days. Now, in adulthood, setting aside hour after hour for a board game just isn't practical. The CD-ROM version of Monopoly changed that, a typical game against CPU opponents can last as little as 10 minutes! No more counting out physical bills or trying to remember to catch your opponent on your property - the computer obviously does all that for you in the blink of an eye.

The best part of the game for me is the customizable features. These include reducing/eliminating mundane animations and sounds as you see fit to speed up your game, as well as adjusting the rules and options (i.e. "Landing on GO doubles salary", "Free parking collects fines, "Transactions allowed from Jail", etc.) These are all things I remember doing with the real game, so I'm very pleased they're available in this version.

The Bad

I have a hard time believing the rolls of the dice are truly random... a typical 1st lap around the game board begins with my CPU opponents acquiring property after property, and me landing on Chance, Community Chest, Go To Jail, etc, and acquiring little. Very frustrating when the rolls seem rigged and the CPU players getting all the initials advantages.

The AI is a real pushover... and there's no way to increase the difficulty. It's incredibly easy to dominate, even if you've had some bad rolls of the dice and unlucky circumstances. Your CPU opponent will do anything to acquire a complete color group (for developing with houses/hotels), and will trade away everything else in their possession (including their bank) to get it. Several trades of this nature can net you a nice haul of random properties (or a lesser color group of your own), and leave your opponents penniless to develop their newly acquired group (you can even mortgage the property you give them in advance to squeeze out every last drop of value!). This can be satisfying, but loses its appeal quickly with easy victory after easy victory.

I didn't try, but I doubt the online play feature is still functional... so gameplay is limited to several humans surrounding the same computer screen, or human vs. CPU. Limiting, but I guess still not as limiting as the real board game!

The Bottom Line

Board games are often at their best when played electronically... much of the mundane minutiae of counting physical money, rolling dice, moving game pieces, etc, gets cut out and gameplay becomes streamlined. No longer does a game like Monopoly take hours (or days), and no longer do you have to convince another person to actually sit down and devote so much time to it. That in itself is enough to hold on to a version of this title and pull it out now and again.