I love Monopoly but the organic board game was flawed whenever played in my family because the banker could ALWAYS cheat. Also, I'm horrible at math, and it was annoying having to count all of my pink five-dollar bills all the time and sometimes accidentally rolling in them.
When Hasbro and EA shipped me a copy of their new Monopoly game for the Wii I was intrigued. Why? Two words: COMPUTER BANKER. It immediately neutralized the presence of my black-hearted, cheating family ... whom I love. The game also keeps a running total of your finances and makes it easy to trade with other players and track who owns, and who's mortgaging, what. It's all guided by the little old top-hatted man, who I pretend is the voice of J.P Morgan guiding me to Trump-like success. Except when you screw up and he's all "Well, isn't this interesting!" When you create a monopoly of similar-colored properties there is much fanfare and the properties are loudly locked together; the same for when houses or hotels are erected. The remote vibrates when you are rolling dice, when you are paid cash mon-nay, so it still retains this tangible quality.
Rolling the dice is a simply shake of the Wii remote, and, in keeping with my neurosis, I also blow on the Wii remote, just as I do when shaking dice before rolling. I think it has the same effect.
The game also allows you to unlock different boards; when you first begin you have your choice of a traditional or world board with the potential to unlock others. You can play for properties in places like Taipei, Paris - even Latvia's capitol, Riga. There are a slew of other features as well like the Monopoly Richest Edition which features shorter "minigames" where cash is removed from play. It's a new spin on a classic game.
I like the Wii version and am already planning an evening in with friends and wine to play the game (it can accommodate multiplayers. It does not, however, feature therapy, for when you are totally owned and a little dust cloud and BANKRUPT in all caps appears by your player number and game piece). Simply that it's a "video game" doesn't impede the level of interaction; I actually think that it's a little easier instead of constantly hovering over all my pink five-dollar bills; plus, there's less clutter and you don't have to worry about losing all the pieces or keeping track of all the Chance cards. You can also play solo, something you could never do with the board game because that would be sad.
I'm off to sharpen my skills so I can Trump my competition during our inaugural group play. To read more reviews from the other BlogHer play-testers, check out the roundup page.