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Monopoly & 1935 Atlantic City add-on review for iOS, Android


Platform: iOS, Android
Publisher: Hasbro
Developer: Marmalade Game Studio
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-4
Online: Yes

Monopoly is a touchstone for most people’s childhood, although another touchstone is never finishing a game properly or playing it by the rules. Anyone who claims to have finished a game on the physical version or played by the proper rules is probably a sociopath. Adaptations of this 85 year old American institution into the video game format have probably done more to ensure players finish what they start as well as follow the rules. The version created by Marmalade studios isn’t necessarily the first for mobile platforms, but it does not stray from the game that can be found on store shelves.

The initial purchase provides the buyer with the standard board skin and the 8 standard tokens. The app features a single mode which will allow you to play with up to 3 AI players at 3 difficulty levels. A pass & play mode, which is probably the most cumbersome way to play given the game does offer auction mechanics is available if you have friends without smartphones or are too cheap to pay the low entry price. The game also features 2 online modes, one which allows you to play random players and another that allows you to play with friends using a five digit code to sync up.

Players who want to change up the aesthetics of their copy of the game are able to buy new boards and new pieces via in-app purchases. Snowdrop Valley is a winter themed board with some properties renamed to match theming. The 1935 Atlantic City pack is a call back to the town which the game takes it’s property names from. It features jaunty big band music. The pieces included in this set are the cannon, the handbag, the horse and the lantern which is a selection of some pieces that have been in the game previously. The game offers a la carte purchasing for those who do not want everything, but the greatest discount can be had if purchase via the game’s season pass which proclaims to offer 78% savings when compared to a la carte purchasing. One would hope that more classic game pieces will be made available in the near future (Look if you’re playing without the thimble, you’re playing Monopoly wrong).

The game moves at a brisk pace as the app handles most of the mechanical elements. Property auctions are extremely smooth and aren’t protracted affairs. AI at higher levels will make trades for property and will be persistent in pursuing their reality strategies. The game also offers rule variants for those who want a little deviation in their Monopoly experience. Other than that it’s a very zero frills edition of Monopoly, the developers have not tried to expand the experience with a story mode or a scenario mode, it’s literally the board game and nothing more. That’s actually all I need.

At a starting price of 3 dollars, it’s a no brainer for anyone who wants the Monopoly experience on the go. The DLC doesn’t give anyone an advantage and is absolutely unnecessary to enjoy the game. But I’ll be damned if I don’t drop this gauntlet to the fine folks at Marmalade Game Studio, Thimble and Horseman DLC. You’re only leaving money on the table if you don’t. Otherwise maybe just tone it down with the horizontal advertisements for other board games. Finally a way to bankrupt friends without having them leave the table.

Hasbro provided us with a Monopoly & 1935 Atlantic City Add On code for review purposes.

Grade: B