Jan 27, 2011
Note: Game is currently not available from the Android Market, only through the EA Mobile Club, currently for $2.99.
Monopoly is one of the legends of board gaming – millions have played the game in the decades since its inception, and now the game is available on Android phones. In case you’re unaware of how the game actually plays, you and several other players roll dice and travel around the board, landing on various properties. When you land on a property, if it’s unowned, you can buy it, and if it’s owned by someone then you pay rent to them depending on what developments are on the property. You can develop properties if you own all of the properties in a specific color section. You can negotiate deals with other players to acquire their properties, so strategy gets involved in the deals you try to make with other people. Your goal is to be the last player standing by making people go bankrupt – and when a player bankrupts, the player who bankrupted them acquires all of their properties. There’s a lot of randomness based on the squares you land on, but strategy involved in how you manage your money and properties.
The game is well represented here, which is to say that it is Monopoly – the thrill of making shrewd deals with your opponents that improves your standing, the thrill of watching your opponent helplessly land on Park Place where you built 4 houses and now they have to pay exorbitant rent, and the thrill of just knocking out your opponents one by one. All of that is here, in a form that you can easily stick in your pocket and carry with you. There’s also the ability to play in a variety of environments; if you’ve wanted to play Monopoly on the deck of a spaceship, this is the closest you’ll get without going through the rigors of space travel and floating paper money all over the place.
One of the downsides to Monopoly on Android is that there’s no multiplayer besides single device hotseat multiplayer; no wireless multiplayer is present, neither online nor local. The AI also appears to be absolutely unwilling to negotiate deals with you; if you reject an offer from them, they have never submitted a counter-offer to me. Machines can be so stubborn. The interface feels like it could be more intuitive; the action buttons to roll, end turn, and initiate trades are very small and hard to press, and it’s apparently very easy to randomly just wind up looking around the board’s properties when you didn’t mean to. The game also has some visual quirks that look like the game wasn’t optimized for some phone resolutions.
There’s a reason Monopoly is a classic – it’s fun, addictive, and easy to pick up. This is a great preservation of the classic game’s experience here on your Android phone. If you’re a fan of Monopoly or of digital versions of board games, definitely check this out.