Monopoly Hands-On

The venerable board game comes to consoles with classic capitalist action and a new family-friendly mode, and we take our top hat out for a spin.

For the better part of the past century, Monopoly has brought families and friends together with the common goal of acquiring lots of real estate and driving one another out of business. Now this iconic American endeavor is coming to the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, and PlayStation 2, bringing with it old and new alike. The classic Atlantic City board you know and love is here, along with a bevy of new boards and a new game mode called Richest that aims to capture the fun of Monopoly in a fast, accessible new way. We took a tour around town with Mr. Monopoly (formerly Rich Uncle Pennybags), and got a glimpse of what this latest incarnation has to offer.

Monopoly traditionalists will be happy to know that the classic experience is intact, auctions and all. Along with the familiar Boardwalk and Park Place board, there are a number of new themed boards that replace street names with creative titles befitting their style. There are 10 boards total, including jungle, arctic, future, cheese, and deco themes, along with the new World Edition, in which the property names are world cities. The cities were recently voted on by the online community, and the final board names will be announced next week. As you play these boards in the classic Monopoly mode, you gain stamps for your passport. These stamps (tied to Achievements in the Xbox 360 version) will unlock new boards and earn you other in-game rewards.

Gameplay is quite straightforward, as you might imagine. You roll the dice (with motion controls on the Wii) and your character moves automatically. You're then given the option to let the next player proceed, or to go to the Accounts screen. From there you can propose trades, improve your property, and take a look at the board from a bird's-eye view. Properties owned by other players are clearly highlighted, so you can make a quick strategic assessment of the situation. The presentation is sharp and colorful, especially in some of the more creatively designed boards.

Creative design takes on a whole different meaning with the new mode, Richest. This mode was designed to be accessible to all ages and be fairly quick, so those averse to long, drawn out Monopoly matches will have a new way to enjoy the game. You choose at the outset whether to play on developer, industrialist, or tycoon level, and which one you choose will determine how many rounds you play and how much strategy comes into play. Developer is fast and features a number of leveling events, so large leads will disappear often and keep things competitive across a wide range of skill levels. Tycoon takes a bit longer, and pulling out ahead will require some shrewd strategy, as well as a bit of luck.

The game begins with a roll of four dice. Players then compete in a minigame to determine the order in which they proceed. These games are Monopoly themed, naturally, so you'll see titles like "Take a Ride on the Reading" or "Bank Error in Your Favor." We saw a few of these played on the Wii, and they all involved simple motion controls in the vein of Mario Party. The former challenged us to control a train by using the Remote like a throttle, while the latter has us slinging money bags into our vault by pointing at the screen. These games are quick, and they scale the challenge based on your current standing, so first place players will have a tougher time of it.

Once the minigame is over, players choose which of the previously rolled dice they want. Early on you'll want to choose a large number, as you'll get that number of properties dealt to you outright. In later rounds, you might choose a lower number, because while you'll still be dealt properties, any already-owned property you are dealt will cost you rent. Rent is paid in properties, and increases if you have a monopoly. This mode is all about frantic property swapping and fast-paced minigames. While it definitely ain't your grandma's Monopoly, it looks to be a fun adaptation that is well suited for more lively, or multigenerational, crowds.

Monopoly is a multiplayer game through and through, and as such it will support up to four players simultaneously. There's no online multiplayer, which seems odd on platforms with robust online services like Xbox Live or PlayStation Network. Developer Bright Light is aiming to make Monopoly a game best played in a social environment, and from what we saw, they seem to be succeeding. Monopoly hits consoles this October, so keep an eye here in the meantime for more on this rejuvenated classic.

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Chris_Watters

Chris Watters

Chris enjoys aiming down virtual sights, traipsing through fantastical lands, and striving to be grossly incandescent.
Monopoly (working title)

Monopoly (working title)

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60 comments
Snake718718
Snake718718

i agree totaly with yuk too no online play makes this worthless you can buy the game board for way cheeper lol might as well sit at the table and save your eyes for playing halo lol

shadyvillian
shadyvillian

you can definetly play against the computer but it is definitly lacking the online portion.

jkeefe
jkeefe

I am sort of the opposite of everyone here. Though I do think its quite odd to not include onlline, I personally have never been an online player, just personal choice.

But what I am not clear about with this game is can I play against 2-3-4 computer players. Does anybody know this, doesn't seem to be anything said about that.

I guess I am a loner, chuckle, I like to play with AI, but not sure this game even does that? Thanks for any help.

BTW I DO agree regardless, that it was quite a mistake for them not to have online play, seems pretty illogical to me, even though I personally wouldn't be interested.

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

No online multi-player is a massive mistake. In fact I would have bought it until I read that. If I have 4-people at my place wanting to play Monopoly I'll get out the board game and we'll gather round the table. What a truly product destroying decision to not include it.

Lt_Sanmay
Lt_Sanmay

Was just going to add this to my wishlist when I read it...no online play? What makes UNO fun? Online play! Board and card games are meant to have online play. I can't have 4 players all the time. Sad...off my wish list, what were they thinking?

joshboy101
joshboy101

I VOTE: JUST HAVE IT AS AN XBOX LIVE AND PLAYSTATION NETWORK DOWNLOAD.

popsica2000
popsica2000

i was thinking it would be cool to play monopoly on my 360, but no online makes this game one i will look for in the 10 dollar bin at wal-mart in a year.

sja28
sja28

wait no online what?? are you kidding me i hate ae for thise

aznstyle11
aznstyle11

Isn't Monopoly a board game? I dought anyone would buy this if they already have it...locked away in a cupboard gathering dust.

Amir29
Amir29

Creative enough to come up with mini-games and themed boards, and NO ONE on the development team thought, "Hey, since it's a multi-player game. Maybe we should give it online services!!"? What a waste of development time and money. Sorry, just not interested now.

acer_062
acer_062

I'll give the trail version a go but whether I would actually pay for it with no online play ??? who knows!!

cford123
cford123

I heard Monopoly was coming for the current gen systems and that was cool. Now that I know there is no online play I'm not interested. Why even produce a game designed for multi-player and remove that feature? Who ever designed on that should have been kicked off the team!

abcc
abcc

No Online ?? We Raise HELL !!!!

husainml
husainml

the board game acctually has to be played to 2 or more people so why could the not make online multiplayer....so floolish...now we hve to play only with the ai

videogamr49
videogamr49

No online, no deal. Why can't it have online? THIS is the game that is begging to be online. Hopefully they reconsider and make it online.

scar-hawk
scar-hawk

Lame. Especially because it doesnt have online.

apboyer
apboyer

I have to agree with those complaining about no online. I bought a monopoly cd-rom game for the pc during the early years of cd-rom and I'm fairly certain even IT had online play.

Mr_Tweedy
Mr_Tweedy

Wow! The 10,375th iteration of Monopoly! Oh golly! I've been waiting for this ever since iteration 10,374 came out three weeks ago! Yea! :) :) :)

krimla
krimla

See, this is why I am no longer going to buy game systems(besides classics). Why would this not be online? In this age of the internet why do these companies charge up more and give us less? EVERY game for EVERY current gen system should have online play. I am sick of paying these companies for inferior product development. Face it, the greatest days of gaming are over and the new era of sub-par content, micro-payments, and beating dead horses when it comes to game franchises are here to stay.

bukkookkub
bukkookkub

hmmm.. i've always like monopoly, but no online? Thats just jacked up this day and age.

Syliss
Syliss

why would I play an offline board game I already own as a regular board game? what a waste of potential...

esqueejy
esqueejy

WOW...what a fantastic way to cut into Madden '09 profit. Open A$$, insert head much EA?

KlausRottingham
KlausRottingham

This needs to be XBLA / PSN / WiiVC to have any chance of succeeding.

itwiz90
itwiz90

It's a board game, the key word being board. I've played digital version of Monopoly before and grew tired of it quite fast. I don't think this will be a big hit for EA, someone will buy it, but not me. :twisted:

705H1R0
705H1R0

Monopoly has such tiny elements of strategy (buy or don't buy, oh wait, you can't collect rent if you don't buy...) that without the tactile fun of physically rolling the dice and throwing money around, it seems like a digital version wouldn't have a leg to stand on. Oh, and sorry, but there's few things more pathetic than playing Monopoly against AI, no wonder they didn't include it. Stick with Carcassonne, it's cheaper, has chance elements just like Monopoly, has deeper strategy (or not, it can be pretty casual as well), territorial dynamics, wide opportunities for negotiation and alliances, and has greater variation from game to game, so you won't get bored of it after a few rounds. Plus the XBLA version does have online multiplayer. Monopoly is fun when you're 10 and the whole family or a bunch of friends can play, but once you can grasp higher elements of game design, it's time to move on.

Leonagard
Leonagard

geeeeeeezzzzzzzzz Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z !! booring... no online? so IS IT a WIIWARE title right??? NO?? LOL... $40!! for this?... sorry EA...

NBA_Jammer
NBA_Jammer

Waita minute...this isn't a XBLA game? Nor it is online capable? It sounded cool, but I'm sorry you're gonna have to count me out on this. If you're going to play with local friends, you might as well play the actual boardgame. Because Monopoly is so universal, I thought this game could have been targeted more toward older folks, who have friends all over. I don't even like playing on Live with random folks, but you could set that up with friends. Also, I'm not sure if it is said here, but maybe a saved game would be helpful. Those games do tend to drag on, so saving a game for later would definitely work.

Grimmson2
Grimmson2

At gamestop has it listed as 40 dollars. I think i'll wait a year for the price to drop personally.

HighNMitey
HighNMitey

This is going to rock, monopoly for Xbox360! My dreams are coming true lol : )

grand17
grand17

no online, well that just ruined it for me if your friends are gunna be over at your house playing then why not just bring out the boardgame, everyone has it. in fact i have 3 versions

psgored21
psgored21

alexrulez901 Posted Aug 16, 2008 5:29 pm GMT get over it not having online play. Playing with a friend is better than playing with someone you dont know. It looks really good thats why we have friend lists. you mean to tell me that none of your friends have the same console as you? look monopoly is a competitive game, and people quit in almost every game you play online but this is a casual game. just add a bot. they do it on pogo, an EA owned online gaming network, why not do it there. or at least let someone join after it starts. all those excuses for no online are lame as all hell. as a developer, part of your objective is problem solving. this is just lazy.

coolspot619
coolspot619

I can't remember the last time I've been in a monopoly game that made it to the end. It's always I or someone else(99% I) gets so far ahead that everyone else just quits. I agree with PumpkinBoogie.

PumpkinBoogie
PumpkinBoogie

Oh hell yeah, I've been waiting for this! No seriously, I kid not I've had some form of Monopoly of several different PCs I've had over the years, as well as mobile phones--plus just owning the good 'ol fashion board game and it's still one of my favorites! Personally, I think it's a good idea not to have online included on it (at least for the time being)....I mean, on the real who the hell likes a sore Monopoly loser, LOL. I'd rather deal with hearing the person whine in my presence about losing or getting beat than having some random person just dropping out of a online game b/c they can't take losing.

dark1alex
dark1alex

I got a copy of monopoly with my first windows computer in 95, it had online play. It will definitely be the achilles heel of this game. AlexandLandon you do make a good point though, I ve played monopoly online befor and there are tons of drop outs. I still think it should have been included though, especially in this day and age where every system has online capability.

alexrulez901
alexrulez901

get over it not having online play. Playing with a friend is better than playing with someone you dont know. It looks really good :)

AlexandLandon
AlexandLandon

As nice as online play would be, it's obvious that there would be a lot of drop-outs from sore-losers. That's the only reason I could see why they excluded online play.

tatu2004
tatu2004

no online play EA see here's proof your messing up the game you make well i guess this will have to be a miss for me. no online no one buys i guess you have lost your money on this game then EA. your to blame for it

Wozmcfc
Wozmcfc

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

psgored21
psgored21

grr one more black eye for EA. how many franchises are they going to mishandle? no online play is one of the dumbest things that they could done, period. havent they paid attention to what UNO has done on XBL??? they had a golden opp to do that on a bigger scale because its multiplat, its a retail game and more than likely has a bigger following than UNO. just plain stupid!

warden72
warden72

Monopoly with NO online play?! That is the single most disappointing gaming news I've heard so far this year. Online play is the only reason I would have bought it. So much for that.

lge777
lge777

WOW no online play..thats horrid i wouldn't be surprised if Monoply flopped without online play

GameFreakJason
GameFreakJason

@ocdog45, I don't think that's necessarily true (though I do generally agree). Sure, a lot of them are cheap cash ins, but some work nicely (Civilization is a good game-- even though if it was never a board game, you can see that the mechanics can work). I will buy this game if it gets a 7/10. Basically, if it's got the simplest mechanics from the board game, I wont mind...I'm just not going to shell out $60 for it. Wish they would make this a download instead, it would have a higher rate of success since a full fledged game will most likely be a flop. Oh yeah-- and I'll take simple board games any day over Hollywood movie-based games. No online play will surely kill this game, but I wouldn't mind picking it up for $10 sometime down the line

ocdog45
ocdog45

board gaems should never be made into games IMO.

Sk8erHeadshot
Sk8erHeadshot

no online play.......Apparently, the studio didn't think of people like me, who have friends...u know.......not right next 2 me