Game Reviews


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Has any other boardgame in history caused more arguments that Monopoly? We somehow doubt it.

Embodying the virtues of greed and materialism that have become accepted in the world at large, Monopoly is all about the pursuit of cash at the expense - and eventual ruin - of your enemies.

It's also a game that definitely benefits from being played around a proper board with real pieces, real money and real people - so you might question the wisdom of porting the concept to iPhone and iPod touch.

Do not pass go

The feel of a proper game of Monopoly is at least replicated by the excellent 3D graphics. EA has gone so far as to model a typical 1970s living room complete with black and white TV and questionable decor - something that will resonate with gamers of a particular age.

In fact, the visuals in the entire package are really quite special: each pewter piece is a 3D model and showcases little snippets of animation whenever it's in motion. For example, the battleship ploughs through waves and belches smoke as it progresses around the board.

Elsewhere, the attention to detail continues. The interface is tidy and never encroaches on the action, and Mr Monopoly himself pops up from time to time to offer hints and advice.

Sadly, all of this aesthetic opulence comes at a price - the version we played threw up several "memory low" warnings, something that will hopefully be fixed in a future iterations.

Take a chance

If you've ever experienced Monopoly before, then getting to grips with the gameplay won't take very long at all. In case you're new to the game, you're eased into learning with tips and step-by-step gameplay. Alternatively, you can have friends show you how.

Up to four people can join up for a game of Monopoly using pass around or local wi-fi options. If you find that players are lacking, then you can simply play against up to three CPU-controlled opponents. There's also a head-to-head Bluetooth mode.

Community Chest

Of course, the main appeal is in extracting vast amounts of fake money from your friends and relatives. While this portable instalment offers some welcome multiplayer options, it can't quite match the real thing.

Monopoly is about the thrill of having someone hand over a large amount of paper money after landing on one of your completely redeveloped properties. It's about trading smirks and insults with your competitors. In short, it's a very physical game.

No digital equivalent can hope to replicate this feeling, and while iPhone Monopoly offers one of the best imitations we've seen so far, with gorgeous visuals and excellent presentation, it pales when set alongside its inspiration.


Monopoly in your pocket is everything you might expect, offering plenty of portable fun for budding entrepreneurs, but don't expect it to replace the real thing