Despite the fact that Monopoly, Risk, and Trivial Pursuit have all been around forever, their transition from board games to video games has never been perfect. While all three have been ported over to most systems, the quality of these ports has ranged from the solid to the abysmal. Just last year, in fact, our own Paul Rosselli covered Monopoly?s Switch debut; to say he was unenthused would be an understatement.
Nonetheless, not cowed by Monopoly?s middling reception on the Switch, Ubisoft has gone ahead and repackaged that venerable old board game along the two other aforementioned old standbys, Risk and Trivial Pursuit, in the hopes that things will go a little better this time.
It?s important to note that there?s nothing all that different here from any of those games? most recent outings on other systems. While this means that the games all work (which, apparently, wasn?t the case when Monopoly came out last year), it also means that everything that was good and bad about the previous versions remains in pretty much the same state here.
Take, for example, Risk. I played it on PS4, and found it to be horribly unbalanced and prone to making victory nearly impossible against AI players. I?ll admit that I?m terrible at strategy games, but there?s something suspect when the game wins virtually every single battle, even when, in theory, they?re horribly outmatched. Like, I once went into a battle with a 5-to-1 advantage, and the AI won 5 consecutive dice rolls. Similarly, one time I made the mistake of auto-playing a turn that said I had a 97% chance of victory, and I ended up being routed by the AI player. The game is probably fine if you want to play with others instead of playing against AI opponents, since it does work as it should, but if you want to play board games on the go to pass the time alone, I can?t imagine anyone wanting to play this version of Risk.
Thankfully, Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit turn out a little better. Trivial Pursuit was a fun PS4 trivia game that had just enough game modes to be interesting to play on your own, and the same could be said here. The AI is well-balanced, and the game hums along just as it should. It feels a little stale compared to, say, It?s Quiz Time (or, if you want to count online games, HQ Trivia), but it?ll do the trick if you?re in the mood for some trivia.
Monopoly, too, will do the trick if you want a board game that?ll fill a couple of hours, but, as Paul noted last year, that?s kind of its problem. There?s no way to fast-forward through opponents? turns, which means that every game lasts forever, even if you?re playing with speed dice. Fast-forwarding should be mandatory at this point, and the fact they didn?t include it here is arguably even weirder this time out than it was last year, seeing as anyone who played it would?ve been able to see it was an issue. If you can get past that, though, the game?s performance is solid: everything looks nice, there aren?t any crazy load times, and there?s a fun variety of boards and tokens, even if many of them are locked away at the start.
One of the biggest problems with Monopoly last year was that its price was awfully exorbitant for not a lot of content. By packaging it alongside two other games, suddenly the value proposition becomes a little more obvious. I wouldn?t say that you absolutely need to rush out and pick up Hasbro Game Night this very second, but I would say that if you?re looking for something to break out over the holidays and you?ve had your fill of Smash and Mario Party, you could do a lot worse than this.
Ubisoft provided us with a Hasbro Game Night Switch code for review purposes.