Monopoly SNES Review

Monopoly has always been one of the most beloved board games. It involves money, strategy, chance and a lucky roll, but how will the version for the Super Nintendo fare? It starts out as an enjoyable and relaxing game, but if you’re on the end of a losing side, it turns intimidating and brutal.

To kick off each game, you select between two and eight players. Each player is assigned to a human or the computer and then chooses their piece from the iron, dog, wheel barrel, top hat, car, shoe, horse and thimble. Human players get to enter their name. I’m surprised that there’s no golden Mario or golden SNES controller for this version of the game.

I’d rather play against the computer and there are eight different characters to chose from. Jeeves seems to be unlucky. Amanda is brutal with her rolling doubles and managing to get to safety between hotels. Other than that you can face Gary Cant, Betty Sue the plain jane of the group, Paulie the mobster, Billy Bob who looks like a janitor, Mary Anne and the professor too. No scratch that last one, its Elizabeth.


After that you can set the cash, assign property, place tokens, place buildings, toggle between short and log games or even load a preset scenario. I’m unaware of what the scenarios do, but they sound cool. perhaps its just a level of difficulty. Short games start players off with property to help speed things up.

Like all games of Monopoly the game gets tougher the longer you survive and the average game for me lasted about an hour. Its a game of endurance and strategy. You roll two dice, land on properties and buy them or they get auctioned off. From there if you have all the properties of a single color you can buy houses and then hotels. After that, the challenge becomes survival as you need to dodge other player properties that will cost rent. The more money the player put into the property with its value, houses and hotels, the more the rent is. It gets quite intimidating and the game slows down toward the end as even computer players need to go through the menu to mortgage properties and sell buildings.

Auctions are always interesting with some tense music and you can pick up properties cheap. On a player’s turn they can chose to mortgage properties for money, unmortgage them, put up buildings or make a trade to a different player. Trades take time, but they’re always interesting to see. The player will offer up property and or cash, then wait as the other player bargains.

When playing the game, you roll with the most realistic arm that there has ever been in video games. It was amazing to see when the game first came out. The arm was real, the dice were real and it just added to the fun and awe of Monopoly.

For a Super Nintendo game, the game plays smoother. You see a full screen of the board and in the center after each roll you see your game piece move along an animated neighborhood as it walks, hops or drives along the board. There are a few full screen animations here and there; Uncle Pennybags in jail, a giant hammer building small houses or hotels, an auction house,  and there are small animations for the cards.

When a player loses it has a full screen animation of Uncle Pennybags looking through the trash for fish bones while the death march plays. The player that made someone lose then scores all of that person’s cash and properties. It can turn any game dangerous as players wise enough to prevent another from getting a monopoly may still lose their land and make that monopoly happen.

Later in the game, going to jail becomes a safe haven. Its a strategy to stay in as long as you can, which is why Monopoly has always had a maximum of three attempts to roll doubles to get out of jail. Otherwise you’re just kicked out of the pokey. Your only other safe spots become your own property, free parking, go where you get $200, just visiting, orange chance and yellow community chest tiles. Free parking does nothing in this game when so many of us had a house rule to win money upon landing on it.

As for Community Chests and Chance cards, its a toss up whether its good or bad. Community cards can give you money from the bank or each player, but it can always require you to pay each player. There are cards to get out of jail free, go to jail, hop on the nearest railroad and even land on boardwalk.

Other than an introduction song and a few others the game is devoid of music. You would think that’s a bad thing, but I think it adds to the relaxation of the game.

The Super Nintendo offers a strict and easy to follow game for people by themselves or who just want to play a game without setting up a board and divvying out cash. All the characters make the game worth playing or even watching if you’re that bored to watch a board game. Monopoly will always be a classic on or off your Super Nintendo.

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