Hey, do we want digital Monopoly? I’ve got some good news for you... maybe.
As a board game, Monopoly has always felt like a commitment. You would spend several hours building up an empire, staying up on top of the game and steering away from the RNG on the board. As time passed, I found myself making new rules to keep games fun and snappy, which was the important factor. Those types of elements are what I found intriguing about Monopoly for Nintendo Switch. Sure, you could commit yourself to the proper experience, but it brings ways to play a game for between 30 to 45 minutes. Does it make the package ultimately worth it? That really depends on the type of person.
The core of the game remains the experience we've seen in many places. It sees players walking around the board, snagging up properties and making bank by charging rent. If you are the sole survivor, you will be declared the winner of the game. Well, that is the classic way of playing, but you can also use Goals to complete games more quickly. For example, you will be tasked by purchasing a certain amount of property or earning enough money. You can also include a variety of house rules or even enable Action Cards. With the latter option, each player will receive three cards that can be used in the game to create a Mario Party-like atmosphere. Other rule changes could include making the richest player pay a set fee or use the dice yet another time to stay ahead.
Ubisoft has found some neat new ways that improve upon how the game is played, but the experience in itself is nothing too special. There are a couple of boards on which they try to make things feel more alive. This is more of an improvement in the aesthetic instead of benefiting the gameplay in any significant way. You can play in an amusement park, a city or a haunted house setting but none of them really change the experience. Some nifty animations appear now and again, but that is about it in the grand scheme of things. At the very least, the maps are well decorated, there’s at least that I suppose.
That is really the most damning part about Monopoly for Switch. It introduces a few different ways of playing the game, including about five different boards and visuals that don't do anything spectacular. You can play solo, with up to five friends local or duke it out against others online. Unlike another Ubisoft title (Uno), you can actually play with friends and even set the way you want to play. With a Joy-Con in hand, it has this nifty rumble effect while shaking the dice. It’s super subtle, but it made me smile for a bit.
Overall though, Monopoly for Nintendo Switch is just alright. It doesn't do anything majorly wrong and does exactly what the product claims. That product, mind you, isn't anything majorly exciting and would have benefitted from a bit more content. It’s interesting playing an animated version, and if you are in for the commitment you can have a decent time. That being said, there are plenty of party games on the Switch that offer more instant fun.