App review: Monopoly Millionaire for Android brings an interesting new twist to a classic game
Anyone who knows me well knows that I love Monopoly. I’m also quite a ruthless businessman when I’m playing, with little compassion for my fellow players. So when I heard that a new version of this classic board games was making its way to Android, my curiosity was almost immediately piqued – and when I found out that it is on sale for only $0.99, I knew I had to buy it right away.
I’m really glad I did. I’ve actually owned the game for a few weeks now, and I’ve already spent way too many hours playing. Monopoly Millionaire adds some creative twists to the game, which gives it new life and makes this digital version quite refreshing.
The premise is this: instead of winning by making all of the other players go bankrupt, you win by being the first player to amass one million bucks. (For extra long game play, you can increase that amount to $2 million.) You can add up to four players, with any combination of people and computer that you want. Even better yet, you can have multiple people join your game from their own Android devices over WiFi, so you don’t have to pass around the same Android tablet or phone for the entire game. And if your only source of friendship happens to be computer, then there are different intelligence levels you can pick, too.
Instead of the traditional Monopoly game pieces, you can choose to be a boat, airplane, car, or bike, Additionally, you can choose to pay some money to upgrade your games pieces up to two times when you pass go. With an upgraded game piece, this simply means that sometimes other players will have to pay you more money, or that your random jackpots that you get throughout the game might be larger. But at the same time, you might sometimes have to pay out more money than you otherwise would have had to do. Generally, it makes sense to upgrade when you can, but you should be aware that it does come with a price.
Another way this game differs from traditional Monopoly is that each property card has a fortune card – whoever lands on that space first gets the card. Fortune cards are generally useful and can help you either immediately or later on in the game. For example, some fortune cards allow you to collect extra cash from the bank after buying a particular property, or let you move to the next unowned property of the same color, effectively allowing you to acquire two properties on the same turn, Some fortune cards aren’t so helpful, though – there are a couple that force you to auction the property, rather than buying it outright (this can allow the other players to jack up the price and outbid you). One forces you to give another player cash after buying or auctioning the property.
By far, my favorite fortune cards are the sly deal and forced deal cards. These are cards you can save for later in the game, and they allow you to either steal a property of your choosing outright from another player, or to force another player to accept a property trade, no matter how bad it is for the other person. However, there are also some fortune cards that allow you to block these types of deals, or stop you from paying money out to another player, so you’ll have to strategize and use these when it’s most beneficial. (Unfortunately, the other players don’t have to reveal the stockpile of fortune cards they’ve amassed, so it’s difficult to know what other players might have.)
I’m not sure what would happen if someone goes bankrupt. And try as I might, I’ve never been able to get that to happen – either the computer or I always seem to reach that million dollar mark before bankruptcy for any other player can occur; perhaps the game is programmed to prevent bankruptcy.
In any case, I love all of the new twists and spins that this new game puts on the old classic. There are also various options that allow you to control the volume of the music and the sound effects, turn on and off animations, and change the color of the dice. There’s also a really helpful tutorial that you can turn on and off, although I’d recommend keeping it on the first time you play, because the game play really is that different.
Another thing I really enjoy is the ability to view game statistics, such as the overall number of wins, the most money that any player has earned, and the highest numbers of houses and hotels. (By the way, there are a limited number of houses and hotels, so you’ll definitely want to be careful as you build these out!)
As an added bonus, if you purchase this game, you can download a free Monopoly Millionaire live wallpaper.
I think this is the best $0.99 I’ve spent in a long time. If you’re looking for a new game, I’d definitely give this one a try – the animations are smooth, I haven’t found any bugs, and it’s a joy to play, especially if you can get a group of people together. There is no word on how long the sale price is good for, but even if it goes up tomorrow, I’d probably still buy this. It’s that good.
Download: Google Play