Monopoly (video games)
Current-gen version's cover art
|Developer(s)||Leisure Genius (1985/1988)
Virgin Interactive (1991)
Westwood Studios (1995)
Gremlin Interactive (1997)
Mind's-Eye Productions (1999)
EA Bright Light (2008)
|Publisher(s)||Leisure Genius (1985/1988)
Leisure Genius (1991)
Hasbro Interactive (1995)
Electronic Arts (2008)
|Composer(s)||Ian Livingstone (2008)|
|Engine||RenderWare (2008 version)|
|Release date(s)||(ZX/CPC) 1985
(PC 1991) 1991
(PC 1995) September 30, 1995
(PS2/PS3/X360/Wii 2008) October 24, 2008
Many unlicensed, non-commercial computer games based on Monopoly, distributed on bulletin board systems and public domain software disks, appeared in the early history of the personal computer. Parker Brothers was unaware of the games until it learned of one version that stated that it was "A Parker Brother game" on the title screen. The company began enforcing its copyright and trademark on Monopoly.
The first of the legally licensed commercial adaptations were released in 1985 with the release of Monopoly for the BBC Micro, Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum. Over the years, Monopoly has been released for different operating systems on the PC and Macintosh platforms. Also, versions have been licenced and produced for the NES, Super NES, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, and Wii consoles, as well as mobile device (PDA/Smartphone) versions.
The game plays by the same rules as the standard board game, and allows for single or multiplayer games. When a single player game is chosen, the game would generate computer-controlled opponents.
One of the lesser-liked features of the game was that the players could play only in the exact style programmed into the game. This could be slightly different than the various "house rules" that many homes employ, and could cause problems. An especially problematic feature was the mandatory auctioning of un-bought properties, that led to rich players having a better run of the board. Some versions however, like the Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation versions, do allow the most common "house rules" to be turned on, such as Free Parking jackpot, no collecting rent in jail, and unlimited houses/hotels.
PlayStation and PC/Mac versions
PS version was developed by Gremlin Interactive, whilst PC/Mac version was by Westwood Studios. The PC/Mac version played top down, while the PlayStation version was 3D. They both had movies in common, played when showing the game pieces moving on their own.
In 1998, Hasbro Interactive released a Monopoly video game for the PC, which used 3D graphics instead of the top-down design used in previous versions. It ran on Windows 95 (although can be run on up to Windows XP, but won't work on Windows Vista/7/8/8.1) and had a special online play feature which used a modem.
Current generation version
A new version developed by Electronic Arts was released in 2008 for the Wii, PlayStation 3, iPhone and Xbox 360, with a slightly stripped-down version for the PlayStation 2. It includes a transatlantic selection of boards, including the new Here & Now edition boards and new game mode, Richest. There are no online features, however.
Reception of current EA version
The Official Nintendo Magazine in the UK were most positive in their evaluation of the Wii version, which they called "great fun" in the Christmas 2008 issue.
EuroGamer was less enthusiastic, saying: "For the price of Monopoly for Wii, you could buy real Monopoly. Twice. Or you could just buy no Monopoly at all and spend the money on something more likely to inspire amity and harmony, like a book by Hitler."
Electronic handheld version
An electronic handheld version of the game was marketed from 1997-2001. The player can play one of 4 tokens: Hat, Dog, Shoe, or Car; and can also pick from 5 available AI opponents (but must have 3 to play against): Connie Cashola, Diamond Jim, Greedy Granny, Hot Shot, and Penny Wise.
In this adaptation of the game, Rich Uncle Pennybags is both banker/auctioneer, and the human player always goes first. If the human player goes bankrupt at any time, the game ends right then and there, regardless of how many and which AI players remain in the game.
- Leemon, Sheldon (January 1988). "Go Directly To Jail". Compute!. p. 30. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- Smith, Josh (17 December 1997). "Monopoly Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- "Monopoly Critic Reviews for PlayStation 3". Metacritic. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- "Monopoly Critic Reviews for Xbox 360". Metacritic. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- "Monopoly Critic Reviews for Wii". Metacritic. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- "Monopoly: The classic board game becomes a classic Wii title". Official Nintendo Magazine. Nintendo UK. 27 October 2008. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- Gibson, Ellie (18 December 2008). "Wii Christmas Roundup". EuroGamer. p. 3. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
- Monopoly Electronic Handheld Electronic Game instructions