Monopolize Your Gamerscore!
The perennial favorite Monopoly is among the top-selling Windows Phone 7 games with Xbox LIVE integration, offering you the chance to buy property and unlock achievements from the convenience of your Windows Phone device.
Offering a pleasant user interface and featuring strong graphic design, the game delivers a modern take on the old board game classic – only this time, you can’t tip the board over if you lose or get a hotel-shaped indentation in your barefoot the next morning!
Available from the Windows Phone Marketplace, Monopoly also includes the ability to add to your Xbox LIVE Gamerscore.
Gameplay and Controls (3 out of 5)
If you’re not familiar with Monopoly already, the aim is simple – make as much money as possible and bankrupt the opposition! This version of the game gives you 1-5 computer controlled opponents whom you must overcome by strategically buying real estate on the board and building hotels, charging the opponents rent when they land on your tiles.
Of course, the problem is that they have the same strategy in mind…
The user interface is okay – the main part of the game (surrounding the board) requires you to use your finger to press buttons to throw the dice or opt to purchase the property you have landed on – but this is a little unreliable and might require multiple presses (certainly on the HTC HD7).
However, when it comes to shaking the dice, you get to take advantage of the device accelerometer, a good integration of that feature that adds an element of realism to the game.
One thing to note, however, is the relative ease (compared to some titles) with which achievements can be completed and points gained for your Xbox LIVE Gamerscore…
Graphics and Sound (3 out of 5)
A lot of effort has gone into making the Monopoly game for Windows Phone 7 feel like part of the family of Monopoly video games across various platforms, with similar character and board design – even the pieces feel familiar.
What is strange to see is something that is so evocative of a romantic interpretation of 1930s American high society – complete with top hats and pseudo art deco design – appearing on a handset that is famed for its slick and modern user interface.
The game’s sound effects meanwhile are minimal but serve the purpose of enhancing the various animations and changes of view.
Price and Compatibility (3 out of 5)
Hitting the higher side of the Windows Phone 7 Xbox LIVE game pricing controversy, Monopoly is available for £3.99 (UK price) and can be purchased from the Windows Phone Marketplace via your phone or your Zune desktop client. Installation will take a while so you might opt for syncing your phone or connecting to the Marketplace via Wi-Fi.
Monopoly is far from being the most expensive Xbox LIVE title, but nor is it the cheapest (at the time of writing, that honour belongs to Parachute Panic). However, with only a few achievements to unlock – most of which will take several games to complete – this doesn’t really offer value for money. More achievements would be preferable in this title.
Conclusion 3/5 (3 out of 5)
To be honest my expectations before playing Monopoly were not high – I’m not a fan of the various computerized versions of the game and as such feared the worst.
However, the only place this game truly falls down is with the pricing and the lack of a realistic set of achievements to justify the price. Everything else is either adequate or good, with the game holding attention and giving you the same rush of excitement for collecting £200 when you pass go as the original.
All references and screenshots from Monopoly for Windows Phone.