It’s a dangerous precipice when you sit down to play a game of Monopoly: the burnt bridges, the stares of hatred and accusations of stolen pink 50’s. That’s why the prospect of putting any mind-numbingly extensive game such as Monopoly on disc, it makes the world go by so much better. Monopoly Streets allows players to have all of the entertainment that they wished they could have in real-life, only not having the neurotic tendencies that come with it. The downside is unfortunately, that with a one-trick pony, all you’re ever left with is the single trick.
The game is time: take any of the assorted pieces around the board, buying, selling, and trading land to get a packaged deal on your property. At which time, you start loading your money into houses and hotels, in hopes of sending your friends to bankruptcy and potential tears, going around the board until everyone is angry and scorned.
It’s the concepts that we all have grown to live with, yet with Monopoly Streets do we really master. Setting up a simple game with four players – be it human or computer at alternating difficulties – the computer does everything for you for that usually causes the problem: shelling out money, moving, handing the cards, dealing with mortgages and bankruptcy. The problem is however, that while four players may be fun when they are physically in the room, three other computers are time-consuming and a pain.
Luckily you can save every match to come and as you please, which when you have to play a four-person match every time is a bonus. Thankfully you’ll have an impressive city to gaze at, as you play through most of your maps. The design for Street makes you actually feel like you’re building property up in their selective sections. Although here’s the catch: it gets repetitive and boring. Even the animations from the “characters” (i.e. the shoe, the thimble, the battleship) have their little grunts and quirks; all of it will get on your nerves by round five. Thus, the “Off-Automation” button becomes your best friend.
Perhaps, unbeknownst to you or your loved ones, you have been playing Monopoly wrong all your lives. You’ve incorporated rules that seemed right, or what you thought was right, because… let’s face it, nobody reads the rules. Well Monopoly Streets fixes that issue, and gives you several different variants to play to both give you something new, and give you a faster experience. Unfortunately, this means that you still can’t give people immunity on rolls, or under sided deals because the computer makes you keep to the straight and narrow.
With the addition of the unlockable pieces like a Money Sack or Iron, and other boards to collect and play on, players will have things to do, and keep them busy in the game. Granted, you’re not going to have friends at your house all the time (even though you are very popular) and the online options help out in there. Even giving you the chance to peek some of those locked-up goodies, the only downfall is the lack of a defined lobby system, and the extended times games can go. Putting a simple timer on some matches would save both frustration and make it more interactive.
The bottom line is really it’s the best way to enjoy Monopoly Streets is to simply have that urge to play. Bucking down, getting ready for the struggle between powers and trying to outscore and bid the computer or friends is really all it’s about. Understandably, it doesn’t give you that same camaraderie or feel as actually playing at home, but where’s the fun in getting annoyed right from the start? It may not be for app board game enthusiasts, but it will certainly hit the spot when you need it to.
ZoKnowsGaming gives Monopoly Streets a 6.5 out of 10, setting aside the numerous times the ‘Go to Jail’ card popped up.