Who doesn’t love a game of Monopoly? This study in money and property has been translated into many languages, and has been used to represent everything from superheroes to the Tolkein books. Certain versions have become collectors’ items, and even with technology eclipsing the world of board games, there are few people around the globe who don’t recognize Rich Uncle Pennybags, the mustachioed mascot of Monopoly (even though they probably don’t know his name).
We used to play Monopoly quite a lot when I was a kid. It helped to have three siblings, although not all of them were as keen to continue when they were losing.
We made up some of our own rules, like putting money in the center of the board that those who landed on Free Parking would win. We weren’t the only ones; it’s quite surprising to read the actual rules of Monopoly, as they have been so personalized over the years by whomever plays, that it’s hard to remember where the original instructions end and the made up ones begin.
One unfortunate rule of Monopoly, however, is that you usually need other people to play. Sometimes it isn’t easy to get together a bunch of friends to sit down for an evening and commit to a board game. Therefore, the Monopoly app is the perfect choice for fans who would like to play more often. With options to play against the computer, or across WiFi, the app makes it possible for even the most diehard player to enjoy a game whenever they want.
How it works
When you start, you can choose “Play Now,” “Teacher Mode,” “Tabletop Mode,” or “Local Network.”
If you feel confident enough to just get right into it, you can try “Play Now,” where you’ll choose your playing piece (boot, car, cat, dog, hat…) and whether you’re playing against a human or the computer.
You should really only choose this mode if you’re fairly familiar with Monopoly, as although it’s pretty easy to play, some prior knowledge is necessary.
If, on the other hand, you’d like to give the tutorial a go, then choose “Teacher Mode,” where Pennybags takes you through the rules, and helps you learn as you go.
“Tabletop Mode” lays out the board as you would when playing the boxed game, and “Local Network” allows you to play over your WiFi.
Recognizing that people do have their own rules, the Monopoly app will allow you to change some of the functions of the board. For example, you can set it so that all income tax funds and any other payments to the game are won by whoever lands on Free Parking.
Once you’re comfortable with how the app works, you can give a proper game a try, challenging the computer if you like. The animated graphics are fun, particularly as your playing piece goes speeding along when you roll the dice, and every property purchased shows up in your inventory, with your color bar placed beside whatever you own around the board.
At the top of the screen you can keep track of the money you’ve got, and along the bottom, you’ll find a menu list that allows you to trade or manage your properties, see the log of the moves made thus far, and pause the game.
To mortgage anything you’ve purchased, simply tap on that property when it’s your turn, to bring up its information. When another player lands on your property, the rent is automatically collected and placed in your account.
You can even change your “environment” if you so desire, changing the surroundings to a living room, boardroom, or what even appears to be a room on the international space station. This can be set before you start each game.
Beyond the settings for the app, it plays just as the board game does, where you buy and sell property, collect rent, and buy houses and hotels for your land to make it more valuable. The name of the game remains the same – to bankrupt the other players and be the one holding all the cards.
When I played
It had been a very long time since I had played Monopoly, but it took me no time at all to get back into it. My playing piece was the cat, and I took far more delight than an adult should, in watching my pet go prancing along the board to each new space.
We landed in jail pretty early on, so that was $50 gone fairly quickly, but I also threw some doubles, which got the app pretty excited.
I didn’t change the Free Parking rule the first time I played, but did the next time. Old habits die hard.
With a few properties under my belt, and some rent I’d gathered from the other player with the dog playing piece, I seemed to be well on my way to becoming a property magnate.
Monopoly has been an incredibly popular game for over a century for good reason – it’s fun and challenging. This app allows you to enjoy it whenever you like, at home or on the go, giving you the ability to play solo against a computer opponent.
You can even change the difficulty when starting each new game, but start easy, or you may end up penniless against Rich Uncle Pennybags.
Nice graphics and options. Good tutorial. You can play against the computer.
Little pricey for an app.
Monopoly for iPad
- Cost: $4.99
- Seller: Electronic Arts
- Devices: iPad
- Rating: E for Everyone