Mac Game Review: Monopoly Here & Now Edition

Monopoly Here & Now






The name of the company producing this board game changed throughout its history of mergers and acquisitions. Whatever the name of the company is, you must have heard of the name of the board game itself. Monopoly is one of the world’s most popular board games. If you grew up in North America before the advent of the Internet, you must have played Monopoly once in your lifetime.

There was another Mac game called Monopoly in 2000 that was developed by Hasbro Interactive, ported to Mac OS by Westlake Interactive and published by MacSoft. It runs only under the Classic environment. We actually tried to install it on iMac 333 MHz today. But we encountered a data-reading error. Anyway, it supported the multiplayer function through GameRanger. And a few people were still playing this game online through GameRanger back in 2004.

Now, Hasbro Interactive is gone. So the current publisher of the board game Hasbro, Inc. or any of its subsidiaries doesn’t develop a computer game on its own. This game, Monopoly Here & Now Edition, is probably developed by Tik Games, LLC. (We aren’t sure.) Anyway, it’s published by GameHouse, Inc.

So what’s new in Monopoly Here & Now Edition? If you have played Monopoly (2000), you probably won’t see many major changes. That’s only because the game itself hasn’t changed. And the worst part is that Monopoly Here & Now Edition has no multiplayer capability.

For those who have never played the board version of Monopoly, let me explain briefly how the game works. Every time they get their turn, the player will get to throw 2 dice. The game board consists of street properties and utility facilities plus other features including Chance, Community Chest, Income Tax, Jail and so forth. Properties are classified into 8 groups with colors. If you land on a particular property, you can own it by paying the price that is stated at the space. If you land on a property that is already owned by someone else, then you have to pay a rent. If you own all the properties in the same group (color), then you will be entitled to build houses during your turn. If you build 4 houses on the same property, then you will be entitled to build a hotel. You want to avoid landing on somebody else’s property with many houses or a hotel at all costs because the rent can be very expensive. So the ultimate objective is to build a real estate empire and put other players into bankruptcy.

Okay. Now, let’s talk about how Monopoly Here & Now Edition works. When you first launch the game, there are several buttons. Click on Help if you want to go over the game rules. You can change small settings like screen size and music volume by clicking on Options. Or press New Game to start a new game. Then you will be prompted to enter your name. The maximum number of characters is 12. Next, you will get to choose a token. There are 8 tokens (Labradoodle, Running Shoe, Laptop Computer, Hybrid Car, Jet Airplane, Coffee Cup, French Fries and Mobile Phone) to choose from. At this stage, you are also allowed to set up customized rules. By the way, you can have as many as 4 players at a time. The competitiveness of a computer player can be set to First Time Buyer, Entrepreneur or Tycoon.

Monopoly Here & Now Edition doesn’t use original property names. For example, the first property after leaving GO, is Jacobs Field. (See Screenshot 05.) The second purple property is Texas Stadium. (See Screenshot 06.) The prices are both set to $600,000. For the standard board game, the names of the properties are Mediterranean Avenue and Baltic Avenue. Next to Texas Stadium, you have a space labeled Income Tax. In the board game, people usually assume that the income tax is levied on how much money they have. In Monopoly Here & Now Edition, the income tax is levied on all accumulated wealth. So after going through several turns and buying properties, you really want to choose $2,000,000 over 10% to pay less. Another interesting feature is the names of the utilities. (See Screenshot 07.) As opposed to Electric Company from the board game, you have Cell Phone Service Provider. And instead of Water Works, you have Internet Service between two yellow properties in Monopoly Here & Now Edition. Chance and Community Chest also reflect current days. For example, I drew a card from Community Chest, and it said “Sell your life time 50-yard line, season tickets on e-Bay.” (See Screenshot 08.) And a Chance card says “Get a tax break for driving a hybrid” (See Screenshot 09.)

You can download the digital version of Monopoly Here & Now Edition and play it instantly. That’s nice. Ironically, you cannot play it online because it has no multiplayer capability. That’s too bad. Another turn-off is its trade feature. During your turn, you can contact another player and ask him/her to sell particular properties. It will be nice if you can just enter an amount. Instead, there are two arrows, up & down, to set a transfer amount for each player. (See Screenshot 23.) Each transaction can involve millions of dollars, so starting an amount with zero can take half a minute or longer. That’s too time-consuming

It’s no question that Monopoly Here & Now Edition is a fun game. I played against two computer players, and I lost both games because they kept getting doubles and quickly buying properties. So they really drove me crazy. When I then finally won, the game celebrated my victory with fireworks. Yay! I like the idea of playing the game with jazz music running. Unfortunately, it’s a short loop. One sequence probably lasts for just several seconds. And you cannot change it or install a music file of your own.






Developer: Tik Games, LLC. (?)
Distributer/publisher: GameHouse, Inc.
Website: gamehouse.com
Genre: Board game
Price: US$19.95
System requirements 1: PowerPC/Intel, Mac OS 10.2 or better
System requirements 2: 600 MHz with Windows ME/98/2000/XP, 128 MB RAM
Multiplayer: Not available





Monopoly Here & Now
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Monopoly is a product of Hasbro, Inc.

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