|System: Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Electronic Arts||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 20 , 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
For those who have little patience for the substantial time commitment required to play through the game to its completion, the new Richest mode provides a more simplified way to enjoy the classic game. At the start of each turn, four dice are rolled and all players compete in one of several short mini-games to determine who gets first pick of the dice. After selecting a die, the corresponding number of a players tokens will drop randomly on properties around the board.
Mr. Monopoly will then make his rounds, stopping at each token. Landing on an unclaimed property puts it under your control, while landing on an opponents property forces you to give up one of your own. Wealth in this mode is determined by the value of the properties under your control. When any player lands on a chance square the person with the lowest total property value can take several properties from other players. This adds and element of danger into the mix and gives everyone a sporting chance. Whoever has accrued the most wealth by the end of the pre-set number of turns in the game is declared the winner. Its a less complicated and far quicker way to play Monopoly that some will enjoy better, but its not quite as fulfilling as the original mode.
The straightforward point-and-click control interface does nothing to revolutionize the gameplay. Though its unnecessary, its fun to shake the Wii Remote to produce a dice rattling sound before hitting the button to roll. Interestingly, the remote rumbles violently when its your turn. This is presumably to wake you up, if you happen to be dozing off during a lengthy late-night session or engaging in other activities while waiting for your pals to finish their turns. Various simple motion controls come into play during the amusing mini-games in the Richest mode. Youll be shaking, tilting, turning, and doing other Wii Remote motions to compete in the simple exercises.
Monopoly has never been the most exciting game, either in physical or digital form, but that hasnt stopped it from becoming the most played commercial board game ever. Its a calculated, strategic exercise that requires ample time and patience. The Wii version gracefully combines the classic gameplay with new variations in a format thats visually pleasing, entertaining to play, and a very strong representation of the Monopoly experience on a gaming console.
CCC Staff Contributor