In August 2010 Monopoly celebrated it’s 75th anniversary and as part of the celebrations EA Salt Lake released Monopoly Streets for the Xbox360 PS3 and Nintendo Wii.
I’m a big fan of Monopoly in whatever form it comes, I have three special editions at home as well as the iPhone Here & Now edition. When I heard about the release of Streets I knew I would have to pick it up. The problem was the price £40 for an Xbox 360 version of a board game? I don’t think so! I waited for the price to drop and now thankfully you can pick the game up for less than £20.
Monopoly Streets stays true to the traditional game but also give players a chance to mix things up a little. There are 3 extra game types to play, Speed Die (which adds an extra die), Bull Market (which has a set duration of twenty rounds) and Jackpot (which radically alters how properties are built upon). If that’s not variety you can customise all of the rules to suit your style of play.
It’s a great idea to turn the Monopoly world into a 3D city, watching your houses and hotels being built as you attempt to conquer the other players. The trouble is that it’s all a bit sloppy, when you install the game to your Hard Drive it only takes up 1.3GB of space, surely EA could have spent some more time improving the graphics and sounds because after a few games you’ll probably be just as happy playing on the standard boards. Another annoyance is the amount of waiting you end up having to do. I’ve no interest in watching the AI roll the dice and prance about to the next space. You can turn off piece movement but it would be nice to skip through all the other animation. Some of the sounds are pretty poor as well so don’t be surprised if you end up turning them off.
I love the fact that you can take the world online and play other people. It’s a shame there aren’t loads of people playing it but when you do get on its really good fun. If that’s not your cup of tea you can play against three other humans or take on the AI. There are three levels of AI (Hard, Medium and Easy). It is easy to make them overpay at auctions and you can offer uneven trades that will see them eventually bankrupt themselves, but at the same time they can be incredibly jammy! They always seem to just miss your Mayfair hotel or roll doubles straight of jail
Basic Monopoly hasn’t felt so fresh for a really long time but I do wonder what Monopoly Streets may have been like with a little more attention to detail. EA seem to be concentrating too much on DLC rather than producing a game with lots of interesting cities. Thankfully with plenty of customisation options and multiplayer available on the 360 and PS3 there is still much fun to be had.
MLG Rating: 7/10
Platform: Xbox 360/ Playstation 3/ Wii Release Date: 05/11/2010
Disclosure: The reviewer purchased a copy of Monopoly Streets for review. The title was reviewed over the course of two weeks on a Xbox 360. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.