Vintage board game – Parker Brothers’ classic board game, Monopoly, made its Nintendo Wii video game debut on October 20, 2009. It is not the first board game transformed into a video game, and it won’t be the last. Made by EA (Electronic Arts) and selling for approximately $30 brand new, Monopoly begs the question — Why?
Are video games the new family pastime? Has technology made classic board games obsolete? Are game players too lazy to keep track of money, properties, and game pieces, or to actually have to move their dog, car, thimble (did anyone ever pick the thimble?), iron, wheelbarrow, etc.? And the nation wonders why its children are obese.
Nevertheless, Monopoly is good, old-fashioned family fun, regardless of the medium through which it is played. The new Wii Monopoly offers several positives and some negatives.
Electronic Arts’ Monopoly for the Nintendo Wii is a Board Game Made Easy
As a video game, Monopoly is much simpler. Math is a thing of the past, the game’s computerized Mr. Monopoly (formerly Rich Uncle Pennybags) does it all for gamers. This means no more counting out cash or even keeping track of it. The game will take care of it for players.
Rolling is done by shaking the Wii remote and pressing the “A” button. After that, game players simply point and click on their options, be it to purchase, auction, or mortgage property or to make a trade with another player. Owed rent and other payments are automatically deducted from the player’s bank. Of course, the game moves the pieces along for players.
Thus, both set up and clean up are as simple as turning on and off the Wii. It can be saved at any time and resumed later. The game can even be played solo, adding up to three additional computer characters whose difficulty levels can be adjusted and may differ in the same game. Players can even change basic Monopoly rules to add new twists to the game.
What’s a Video Game Version of Monopoly if It Doesn’t Have Extras?
Monopoly on the Wii offers many more options than the original board game. Players can choose from several different boards (e.g. a sweets board, a cheese board, a jungle board, a futuristic board, etc.), each with their own unique playable game pieces.
Additionally, Monopoly comes loaded with mini-games. Most of these are very short and very uninteresting, however. For example, one involves shaking the remote quickly and pushing “A” to jump over objects as you run across a linear path. Another involves pointing the Wii remote at moneybags and throwing them into a hole. Similar mini-games show up in “Richest” mode, an all-new take on Monopoly in which better scores in the mini-games lead to greater property acquirement.
Nintendo Monopoly is Not All Fun and Video Games
While Wii Monopoly makes the board game accessible and understandable to a slightly younger audience, it takes away from the overall experience of sitting around the dining room table spending game time with the family. Plus, more than four players could feasibly play the classic version.
Also, the Wii’s simplicity also lowers its educational value. By removing the math, children miss out on an opportunity to learn skills in a fun way. For those introverted individuals choosing to play by themselves, they miss out on the friendly competition and the ups and downs of social interaction.
Overall, those that don’t like Monopoly will not like Wii Monopoly, unless their gripes with the board game concerned its slow-paced financial transactions. For those who do like Monopoly, the video game version would make a nice gift this holiday season. In short, don’t buy Wii Monopoly for the mini-games, the Richest mode, etc. Buy it because it is Monopoly.