More Money, More Monuments
At first glance, one might assume Monopoly Go is simply a mobile version of Hasbro’s classic game. However, that’s not exactly the case, and Scopely’s Android board game deviates from the original in several ways. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, however, and Monopoly Go is a fun way to spend a few minutes a day.
If you’ve ever played Monopoly, you probably remember the basics. Players move around the square board, buying up properties and building houses and hotels. One player wins once everyone else runs out of Money. Despite its popularity, it’s also one of those games with a negative reputation. This is at least partly due to how long it takes to play. Fortunately, that’s not the case with Monopoly Go, which only asks for a few minutes of your time every day.
Frankly, Scopely’s Monopoly Go really feels like a different game altogether. In fact, the first thing the game introduces players to is not the board but the Landmarks. As Monopoly Go players progress through the game, they unlock new Cities. Each features five landmarks for players to build and upgrade. Doing so adds houses to the player’s board, which the game places automatically. It also increases their Net Worth, unlocking permanent bonuses like more Money from passing Go. Landmarks serve as Monopoly Go’s primary progression system, as the main thing players spend Money on.
Bringing in the Dough
Players move around the board by rolling dice, much like in the physical game. However, Dice Rolls are a finite resource in Monopoly Go and refill over time. There also aren’t turns exactly, as players only see their piece moving around the board. Players can also choose to spend extra Rolls for a Multiplier that’s applied to any rewards they receive.
When they land on a Property with houses or a Hotel, they receive Money based on its location and buildings. Essentially, it’s the opposite of what happens when players land on someone else’s property in Monopoly. Players spin to choose a reward when they get three Hotels in one neighborhood. The game then clears the hotels so players can fill the spot with new buildings. Other players appear as tokens floating above spots on their board. You can collect rent from them by landing on that spot.
There are also more active ways players can profit from others’ misfortunes. When players land on one of the four Railroads, it randomly gives them one of two minigames. The first, Shutdown, lets the player disable a building in another player’s city. Monopoly Go players can fend off these attacks by collecting Shields. If they run out of Shields, the building takes damage, and players must spend Money to repair it. Whether the attack succeeds or fails, the attacker receives a cash reward.
Monopoly Go’s other, slightly more involved minigame is called Bank Heist. Essentially a guessing game, it presents players with a grid of vault doors. Behind each is a ring, a stack of cash, or a coin. Players open doors to match three, earning Money as a reward. A set of rings gives the biggest prize, while coins give the smallest.
Real Estate Tycoon
At this point, you may be wondering how you win Monopoly Go. The answer is that you don’t. You are supposed to keep going around the board, collecting Money to upgrade your monuments to unlock new cities. There are collectibles as well, such as Stickers that players can collect and trade with their friends. However, it’s not really a game that’s supposed to be won.
If there is one way this digital board game stays on brand, it’s that it really wants your money. In this case, though, I’m talking about your bank account. While this game gives you lots of stuff for free, players still regenerate Rolls very slowly. However, Monopoly Go is quick to start shoving microtransactions in your face as soon as you run out. Meanwhile, while you trade stickers with other players, filling out your collection takes a long time without relying on paid packs.
I also noticed a few bugs here and there, such as invisible Landmarks. Regardless, Monopoly Go is a decently fun way to spend a few minutes a day, but nothing too exciting. I’m not sure it’s even really a good game for Monopoly fans, given all the liberties taken with its gameplay. Still, if nothing else, Monopoly Go is an excellent way to pass a few minutes.
Is It Hardcore?
Monopoly Go is a new take on a classic board game and offers a fun enough way to spend a few minutes out of every day.