Console: NES Company: Parker Brothers Release Date: April 1991 Genre: Board Game Number of Players: 1-8 Save Feature? No
This game is a real diamond in the rough. Growing up, I can't say that I was ever a big fan of the Monopoly board game. It just seemed to drag on for hours with no conclusion. However, when I came across a cheap copy of the NES version of Monopoly, I went ahead and bought it. To my delight, the game was actually a lot of fun and before long, I was hooked. As of today, I have to say that Monopoly is easily my favorite board game out there...thanks to this gem of a game.
Overview: Not a lot needs to be said here because virtually everyone is familiar with Monopoly. Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the past 100 years, the terms "Boardwalk" and "Reading Railroad" should ring a bell. The object of the game is deceptively simple: bankrupt your opponents by snagging monopolies and building on them...before your competition does the same.
The NES game follows the official Monopoly rules to a "T." There is no collecting money on free parking, proporties are auctioned if the person who lands on the property decides not to buy it, and there is absolutely no robbing the bank...lol. The NES acts as the banker which really speeds the game up. Other than that, this game is simply Monopoly at its finest.
Graphics: Although the graphics are not groundbreaking, they are still quite good. Everything is colorful, crisp, and easy to read. Where the game really shines is in regards to the various animation throughout. The animation really brings Monopoly to life. The tokens look alive (e.g. the dog jumps while the horse gallops) and Mr. Pennybags has personality. It's humorous as well; when a property is auctioned, the auctioneer motions to the crowd like there's no tomorrow. Even when you land on another person's property, you can't help but laugh when a cash register with eyes appears and chews up your money. All of the chance/community chest cards are fully animated as well. As far as graphics go, Monopoly is slightly above average. However, the animation is among the best ever to be seen in an NES game.
Music: This category is a tough one to critique because of the lack of music in the game. There are plenty of short themes (and a nice intro track) but nothing with real substance. That's okay though; the little diddies get the job done. You'll hear fanfare when you land on a chance space, go to jail, and build houses/hotels.
Like the graphics category, Monopoly excels in an area that you wouldn't normally guess. For once thing, the voices in the game are brilliant. I love the "Don't be coming back now." that you hear once you get out of jail. The auctioneer yells "Sold!" when an auction ends. The voices are very clear too; none of the mumbling garbage that you hear in most NES games.
Also, some of the sound effects are excellent. When you land on certain spaces, you'll hear a corresponding sound (e.g. water dripping at Water Works or a "toot-toot" at the railroads). It's obvious that Parker Brothers wanted to make this a special game; they really went the extra mile.
Play Control: The controls in Monopoly are as simple as they come. All that you have to do is roll the dice and navigate through the various menus. Everything is laid out nicely so that it's easy to find what you're looking for. Overall, the controls are easy as pie.
Challenge: Monopoly is definitely one of the more challenging games out there. So much goes into play; you have to really think things over before making key decisions. You have to know which proporties you own, which ones you want, and how to go about trading to get what you want. Your cash supply, space on the board, and the state of your competition all go into play as well.
While skill is a big factor, luck can be huge as well. If you're fortunate enough to get a monopoly (all proporties of a particular color) early in the game, you have a very good chance of winning. The chance/community chest cards as well as the "nightmare" spaces in the game (Income Tax and Luxury Tax) can have a dramatic impact as well. If you get bad chance cards and somehow manage to land on "Income Tax" time after time, the odds will be stacked against you. While the "luck" factor can get very annoying, it's barrels of fun when you're on the good side of it.
Storyline: There is really no plot for this game. Simply bankrupt your opponents without going under yourself; that's basically all you need to know.
Funfactor: Monopoly has got to be the greatest board game of all-time. There are so many factors involved and the game really makes you think. The added goodies of the NES version (impressive animation and sound effects) really make the game a more enjoyable experience as well. While this game can be very frustrating when you're losing, the game itself is not at fault. When it comes to party games, Monopoly is a great choice.
Negatives: At times, it can be a royal pain to deal with some of the computer opponents. Some of them are simply unreasonable. Even if you offer them the moon, they refuse. Dumb, dumb, dumb...
Ratings: Graphics: 3.9 Music: 3.7 Play Control: 4.0 Challenge: 4.8 Storyline: N/A Funfactor: 4.8 Overall Score: 21.2 out of 25.0 (4.2 average) Overall Rating: Bronze Bravo
Back to NES NostalgiaLast Updated: May 27, 2006