Product Type: Atari Nintendo DS games
Newest Review: ... get a prompt advising you of what rent you owe. You can pause the game and view your properties and houses/hotels at any time. Throughou... more
Four of a kind!
Monopoly / Boggle / Yahtzee / Battleship (DS)
Member Name: illogicology
Monopoly / Boggle / Yahtzee / Battleship (DS)
Date: 17/08/10, updated on 17/08/10 (38 review reads)
Anyhow, considering the stupid prices that actual Monopoly sets go for as well as all the crummy computer versions of Monopoly out there, this compilation is quite fair.
Monopoly itself would probably have been worth the full £15 at release, the version here is very nicely done and provides the full Monopoly experience on the DS. Touch screen controls are here to access all your features and you can play with friends on a single DS or against the computer. Graphics are a bit basic and colours get a bit boring after a while, a lot of drab reds are floating around here. It's a bit fiddly to play and a little bit of trial and error is involved as you work out exactly what order it wants you to do things in and how to perform all the usually familiar tasks of trading properties or buying houses. Work could be done to make it a little more intuitive but once you have the hang of it, it's a pretty good version of the famous board game.
Boggle next, though there's not much to tell. This is pretty much identical to the table version, shake the lettered dice and make as many words as you can. Multiplayer in hotseat mode is fun though works better with two or more DS consoles. For boggle fans this is a great version of a game that hasn't seen release as a video game that often, it's particularly good for trains and keeps your brain nice and stimulated. The only real drawback is that it only considers a single round to be a game and sends you back to the main menu every time your eggtimer runs out. All in all though, a fun little version.
Yahtzee was the entry that surprised me on this collection, maybe Hasbro are attempting to improve the game's standing. It's a good version and as it isn't that popular anymore, probably requires some explanation. The player rolls five dice, the numbers on the dice can represent different columns on your score sheet. Get four 1s for example and you can choose to use that roll for the column "Aces" or "Four of a kind," runs of numbers, eg a roll containing 1, 2 and 3 can be used to fill your "straight" column. "Yahtzee" occurs when the player rolls five of the same. All the columns must be filled by the end of the game, if the last roll comes around and your "fives" column is empty and you roll no fives you're lumped with a zero. It's something of a complicated game that is best learnt through play. This version is excellent in that it seems geared towards the unfamiliar, always making clear what categories you can fill with your current roll and what the score will be. Yahtzee has always been one of my favourite games and it's nice to have.
Lastly, we come to Battleship. Here I have less to say because quite frankly, I hate Battleship. I hate everything about the tedious little game. I'm sure some people reading this enjoy Battleship, you're mad. It's rubbish. From what I remember of my admittedly few attempts to get through a game of real life battleship, this is very authentic. That doesn't surprise me, it's in keeping with the other three games. Play takes place on a simple 2D grid and you can't cheat by peeking so it's even more lengthy and tedious. If you enjoy Battleship, you have even more reason to pick up this game; it seems as true to the tabletop version as I cared to find out.
The four games included here are not the best video games versions available. They don't offer much in the way of fun, novelty extras or quirky new rules, game modes or minigames like full, console versions of Monopoly I've seen. Rather they are pretty basic DS versions of four very popular board games. However, licensed video games of board games are often expensive. This isn't, it's actually very fairly priced and very competently made. All the games a fun to play and a lot of time has gone into making them playable with friends, with competent computer players and even on a single DS. This in particular is a lovely addition as it keeps the multiplayer aspect for people like me and my girlfriend who bought this to play together, not to hunt down someone else who bought it and strike up a bizarre friendship based around playing DS boggle. It is perfectly geared towards a travel scenario, particularly good for families going on a long train journey as it will keep everyone occupied with a minimum of fuss.
In the last ten years, as video games have become more popular and more profitable I've seen Hasbro fleece people in a lot of ways. Their products are rarely worth the price they charge and rarely on the level of games by other studios, this collection is not like that. It is a great adaptation of four games to the DS, it isn't priced through the roof and it doesn't limit the player's options. If you or your family enjoys any of these four games, it's really worth picking up.
Lastly, when playing Monopoly, if you pause the game it plays dance music while a CG Monopoly man does some funky, club dancing to it. You don't get that with the board game.
Summary: A really well put together little compilation that surprised me with its excellent value.
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