Monopoly Millionaire iOS

21 Jan

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I will state, right off the bat, that I am not a fan of Monopoly.  I find it very boring, and very random; even while playing with the correct rules (I’m looking at you Free Parking money).  Still, when I heard about this new Monopoly Millionaire game, I wanted to give it a fair chance.  I originally saw the real world board game, but balked at the $22-25 price tag it carried.  Fortunately, I discovered there was an iOS version that had gone on sale for 99 cents… so I decided to give it a try.

The first big difference in Monopoly Millionaire (MM for short) compared to the original is that in this game, you are trying to reach $1,000,000 (or 1,000M in new Monopoly money-speak) before the other players.  You can also win by having the most money when one player goes broke.  Instead of the original $1,500… you start with the incomprehensible number of $372M.  So yes, the game starts with each player over 1/3 of the way to the needed score.

The next big change is the board itself.

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At first blush, it doesn’t look all that different.  Look a little closer, and you’ll notice many changes.  There are fewer spaces on the board.  They have removed the railroads and the “Works” spaces.  There are no luxury tax or income tax spaces.  Also, Community Chest has been dropped in favor of “Millionaire Lifestyle” spaces.

Other changes are much less important.  They’ve changed the names of the spaces, and they’ve added an entire “bling” package to the graphic design of the game.  Seriously, everything looks like it has been sprinkled with cheap jewelry dust.  For a game about getting rich, it’s pretty cheap looking.

Actual game play is functionally not very different from the game we all know.  MM is still a roll and move game, you still can buy properties, trade properties, and buy houses and hotels once you have all the properties of a single color.  There are two key changes to the game, which honestly, are where the whole thing falls apart for me.  The first sounds minor: you can now upgrade your mover piece.  This allows you to get more money when you pass “Go” and it can affect how much money you can win on “Millionaire Lifestyle” card draws.  Doesn’t sound so bad, although I would have liked it if it actually meant something to how fast you could move around the board.  The other change is that each property is seeded with a “Fortune” card at the beginning of the game.  Some of these cards can be held for future use, the rest are instant events.

These cards completely turn MM into Fluxx.  There’s just no more rhyme or reason to the game.  Some of those cards allow the player to buy two properties on a turn, some allow outright theft of a property, others may make you pay 50M to another player.  Here’s an example of how I won one game:  I passed “Go” with my mover to the top level (which gives you an additional 50M bonus) and ended up on the next property space, which had not yet been landed on.  The fortune card there allowed me to buy that property, and then move to the next property and buy it.  Luckily, it was the same color – instant Monopoly.  The fortune card on that property?  “Move to any space you want.”  So, I went back to “Go” and won the game!  Isn’t that exciting?

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I have won three games, on all three difficulty levels, by not buying anything.  Simply rolling, moving, and upgrading my mover.  Two of those games, I won because another player went bankrupt within 6 turns.  The third was much closer, but a couple of well timed double sixes, and being able to hit a “Move to Go” fortune card gave me a win. When not playing the game is a viable victory strategy, I think that game is fundamentally broken.  Would it be better with real people?  I don’t really think so.  Many games will end before anybody is able to get a monopoly at all.  I guess this can be a good thing.  We all have played Monopoly with people who refuse to trade.  Now, in MM, that won’t drag the game down…because somebody will pass Go enough to win.

I will say that the app itself is well done.  Controls are very simple, everything is well laid out and clear.  The game does a good job of making sure you can clearly see what’s going on, even on other players’ turns.  All while keeping the game speed quick, but not too fast.

That being said, Monopoly Millionaire takes a game I’m not fond of in the first place, and actually makes it worse.  It’s faster, yes, but it is just no fun at all.

If you still are curious, there are different versions of the game for the iPad and iPhone.  The iPad version is $4.99 and the iPhone version is $2.99.  Though, if you can be patient, EA / Hasbro are well known for having several sales throughout the year, and you may be able to get them for 99 cents, if you so desire.

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One Response to “Monopoly Millionaire iOS”

  1. Areeb Fazli January 21, 2013 at 1:07 am #

    Reblogged this on Technogin.

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