Name: Monopoly Here & Now: The World Edition (version 1.3)
Developer: Electronic Arts
Device: Tested on iPhone 3G (Compatible with all iPhone & iPod touch models)
Price: $7.99 (USD), $9.99 (AUD)
After many months of waiting, Monopoly is finally here for the iPhone and iPod touch. Fresh from the success of Spore Origins, Electronic Arts have once again delivered a nicely polished and entertaining game for fans of the extremely popular board game. Though it has some minor flaws and could use a few more features, I am certainly very impressed with EA’s first attempt.
While there are some fundamental differences between the platforms, I’d compare Monopoly on the iPhone to the Monopoly PARTY game on the PlayStation2, rather than the expected comparison to the same game on other mobile platforms. Sporting similar features, customization and graphics, Monopoly for iPhone has plenty of animation to make the game exciting on the iPhone and iPod touch platform. Despite this, it doesn’t go over the top with pointless and irritating visual effects.
Although this particular game uses the “Here & Now: World Edition” of Monopoly instead of more traditional versions of the board game, it does not steer away from the aim and purpose of the original game. Gameplay using the iPhone’s multi-touch interface is simple and intuitive. Gestures such as the obvious yet clever “shake to roll the dice” movement make playing Monopoly more realistic, fun and quite addictive. The drop-down menu lets you take a look at the opposition’s last moves and the options presented at the bottom of the screen allow you to manage your properties quickly during the game.
Monopoly also features several ways of playing multiplayer. While I was not disappointed with the three difficulty levels of artificial players, Monopoly is designed to be played with other people. Monopoly for iPhone features the self-descriptive “Pass-n-Play” multiplayer option which is relatively easy to use, but also implements a Wi-Fi multiplayer mode that connects up to three other iPhones or iPod touches on the same wireless network. This mode does rely on having three other devices, but works great and also allows an in-game chat between other players.
The game does allow you to exit quickly without saving, and loads quickly when re-opened, but doesn’t feature a “short-play” mode of gameplay. Considering the iPhone is a mobile device and often users will only have a few minutes to spare for gaming, it would be great for EA to apply some sort of timed or definitive game, as one Monopoly challenge can take several hours, or even days, to complete.
Like most other “intense” iPhone games, Monopoly is a battery hog. After only about an hour of time spent playing the game with Wi-Fi off, I found my iPhone’s battery decreased by at least 30%. I am aware that this is difficult to avoid, especially since the game does feature quite a bit of 3D animation, but I warn users that it’s not a great idea to play this when your iPhone or iPod touch is due for a recharge.
Finally, the game itself can get a little boring after playing it five or six times in a week. Perhaps a suitable suggestion for future versions would be to introduce a system of “levels” or “stages” to complete as a separate mode of play to the original Monopoly game. This separation would mean the traditional game is kept as it is. To further extend customization of gameplay, it’d be great to see more house rules included in the options of the game.
Overall, I am extremely pleased with this release of “Monopoly Here & Now: The World Edition” for iPhone and iPod touch. The game has been put together very well and despite some minor flaws, I would recommend this outstanding application to any mobile gamer.
Rating: 9/10 – r.
Be sure to take a look at our review for “Super Monkey Ball” at TGR