- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Genre: Board Game, Family Game
- Platform: iPad
- Price: $9.99
- SAHGeekMom Rating: 4 Stars
- Pump gives it 4.5 Pump’s Up
- Recommended Age: 6+
- To win a PROMOCODE visit my new app and game review site Apptudes and follow the direction on the original post there.
MONOPOLY Here & Now: The World Edition for iPad, by Electronic Arts has just been released and if the original Monopoly appeals, this is the same game you know and love but, with an international twist, gorgeous animations, and a lot of customizability.
EA has long had classic Monopoly for iPad and released an iPhone version of Here & Now in December ’08, but never adapted it to the big screen – until now. If you have an iPad 2 and love the game it’s a must-have.
Gameplay is the same, but instead of the familiar Pennsylvania Aves and Park Places, an open vote put my very own Montreal in the money spot, along with international capitals and places you might need Google Earth to help you find to fill out the rest of the actual board.
There also a change of currency, which raises salaries and property costs, but maintains the original profit ratios. And, Here & Now has factlets about the various places on the board on the “flip side” of every Chance and Community Chest card.
So, why buy this if you have the classic on iPad or own this version on iPhone? Well, if you have an original iPad, maybe now isn’t the time, but for iPad 2 owners, EA has given the GUI a gorgeous makeover and four distinct gameplay modes.
There is the familiar “Play Now” option, where players go up against one or several human and AI foes and “Teacher Mode”, which is a single payer against an AI opponent with guidance to introduce the game concepts.
There is also a local multiplayer option, which works via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Up to four players can compete, on individual devices.
But the biggest change – and the best selling point – is the “Tabletop Mode.” You can play with up to three friends, exactly as you would with the physical game. Players take turns playing on a board that, like a cardboard one, works in every position and both orientations naturally so there’s no passing and twisting the iPad.
What appeals to me most is the degree of customizability in the game. Almost every household I know has their own rules for “Free Parking”, or what to do if a player lands directly on “Go”. All of these options, and more to increase or decrease both the difficulty and the duration of the game are tweakable.
I tested the game on iPad 2 was impressed by how smooth everything was, and how vibrant and fresh the game looked. When I went to test the local multiplayer features, however, I broke out my original iPad and understood the complaints I was seeing on the App Store. On original iPads the game crashes and the animation is choppy.
But, that brings up an interesting issue. Is a game company’s obligation to make a game that works equally well on all devices, or should they use the latest technology to push the boundaries of what their games can do?
What follows in my opinion, and I invite debate in the comments:
Apple’s mobile devices, unlike, say, PCs, are uniform and there is only a single new model introduced each year. iOS users are spoiled – we have come to expect all products to work on all devices, even two generations old, despite the fact it’s common knowledge that tech toys at all pricing points have intentional built-in obsolescence.
There are so many Android devices that the Market is full of apps and games that only work on some – but we seem not just to expect, but demand and complain vociferously about backward compatibility.
This is neither realistic nor fair. The iPad 2 is into its second quarter in a life span of four, and as someone who paid good money for the faster processor and other advancements I want companies to take advantage of what this puppy can do before the iPad 3 rolls out.
EA should absolutely clarify that the game is iPad 2 optimized, or offer a mode that doesn’t use some of the advanced features if they continue to market to the entire iPad market. And being that they are EA, and deeply invested in iOS, they will likely update and perhaps lower the framerate of the rich animations or something comparable.
But if we don’t let the big players use new technologies to their maximum advantage, across all platforms, gaming and gamers suffer. Does anyone else see the inherent absurdity in asking for a downgrade in an update?
MONOPOLY Here & Now: The World Edition for iPad, takes a classic that was already modernized and uses the latest iOS technology to brilliant advantage.
On iPad 2 the fluidity is amazing, the multiple game table environments are rich, the pieces on the board are animated flawlessly and even with humor, and there are enough variations in gameplay from modes and settings, to make this the most replayable Monopoly since Parker Brothers first brought out the game. If you have the latest iPad and love board games, don’t pass Go, don’t collect 200 dollars, just download it and start having fun today.
Or… head over to Apptudes.com and win a promocode! See details here and Good Luck!
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