Monopoly has been with us in one form or another since 1904 when it was named The Landlord’s Game. While this popular boardgame has gone through numerous changes throughout the years the basic gameplay has not really been altered too much over time. It’s all about buying up properties in an attempt to bankrupt other players through rent payments if another player lands on a area you own. You can go to jail, pick up Chance cards and buy stations. I am not going to go too much into the specifics of gameplay: If you were born on planet Earth, and were not raised by wild yaks you most likely have a pretty good idea of how the game is played.
The Mac version of Monopoly is a pretty much direct port of the iPad version of the game. For once I am happy to report that this is not a bad thing as it is obvious EA has spent some time making sure the interface works well on the big screen. Menu items are in obvious locations, you can “shake” the dice with a mouse gesture or just click to roll. So far as I have seen there are no places where you are are asked to “touch” the screen, thank god.
Much of the game is customizable. 2 to 4 players can play with a mix of humans and AI. The difficulty can be chosen for each AI player at the start of the game. House rules such as Free Parking money, starting cash amount and how much money you get for passing go can all be set up before the first round. It would have been nice if there was a setting to limit the amount of rounds before the game ends, but I’m just nitpicking. The computer does a pretty good job of playing competently and can be quite good at higher levels. Unfortunately there is no online multiplayer.
Graphics are quite good. I was happy to find that the screen resolution is customizable so that everything looks nice and clear no matter what size screen your Mac has. There are plenty of nice graphical touches. You can choose the appearance of the room the game is played in, even the color of the dice you roll. Game pieces are well animated: the shoe clops across the board, the car zooms and the ship steams from space to space smoothly. It all looks very nice. Sound is similarly well done. The accompanying light jazz playing in the background is nothing to write home about, but matches the game well.
Overall EA has done a very good job bringing the classic board game to the Mac. Nice graphics, decent sound and solid gameplay make for an enjoyable experience. If you are looking for a break from the endless stream of puzzlers and hidden object games that fill the app store these days you could do a heck of a lot worse than this version of Monopoly.
Price: $9.99 (£6.99)
Description: Monopoly on your Mac
Pros: Decent interface, nice graphics, decent computer opponents
Cons: No online multiplayer, nothing new here if you already have the iPad version