Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4
We played on: Xbox One
Monopoly has seen lots of digital versions over the years. My husband fondly recalls how he and his cousin hacked an old computer version in the early 80s so they could rename all of the properties. Now the iconic board game has made its way onto the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in the form of the Monopoly Family Fun Pack, a compilation of three different games all centered around the family game-night favorite.
Monopoly Family Fun Pack has three different games. First up is Monopoly Plus, a digital version of the game you’re no doubt already familiar with. In Monopoly Plus you can choose which type of board to play on . The “living” board has a large animated city in the center, and actions you take, such as buying a property or adding a house, are animated to show those details. The classic board looks the same as the board you would use if you were playing on your kitchen table. Regardless of which board you choose to play on, certain things are still animated, such the dice being thrown or the pieces moving around the board. If you get impatient with these animations, like some people in my household, you can skip them by holding down a button, but there isn’t an option to turn them off completely. One thing that is great about Monopoly Plus is that you can play with only one controller, which makes it super easy for the whole family to play without having to shell out the extra cash for five extra controllers. Up to six people can simply pass one controller around.
Monopoly Plus is mostly fine, but I did have an issue with one thing. Over the years, many households have devised their own special rules that deviate from the traditional rules of the game. Fun Pack has options for some of these more popular house rules, like Speed Di or collecting all taxes into a single sum that can be won by any player by landing on Free Parking. The issue I have is that in Monopoly Plus you can only pick one house rule to use. Granted, this might seem like a nitpick, but if I’m going to play Monopoly on my console rather than the old-fashioned way, I want to be able to customize the rules any way I see fit.
Speaking of customization, the second of the three games included in the Fun Pack is My Monopoly. In this game you can build your own board, placing various elements like skyscrapers and amusement-park rides in the center, and renaming the properties any way you choose. After making these boards you have the option to then play a game on your personalized board in Monopoly Plus.
The third and perhaps most interesting game in the Fun Pack is Monopoly Deal. This online-only card game pits you against other players in a race to be the first to complete three property sets. There are no dice and no board. Instead, cards are dealt out and you get additional cards each turn. Besides property cards, you can also get cards that allow you build up a bank of money, steal cards from other players, and force other players to pay you money. It’s a cool new take on Monopoly that I thoroughly enjoyed when I was able to find a game. Unfortunately I was able to find opponents only about 50 percent of the time, and if you can’t find other players or get a game going with your friends, you don’t get to play. Another quirk about this game is that it installs separately on the Xbox One, so if you launch Monopoly Plus, there’s no menu option to go to Monopoly Deal. You have to launch Monopoly Deal as its own separate application. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; I’m sure there were technical reasons for it, but it’s a bit odd all the same.
Monopoly Family Fun Pack is a serviceable digital version of the classic game and offers a fun new twist on Monopoly gameplay in the form of Monopoly Deal. If you’re a monopoly fan and looking for the game on your brand new console, this is a good way to scratch that itch. If you’ve never been that interested in Monopoly, this game isn’t likely to change your mind.