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Review: Monopoly Switch review – Does its digital format do the board game justice?

Monopoly is a timeless classic. A game that every household has played and fought over. 

Though its Switch counterpart is convenient, and no doubt amusing to some gamers, it doesn’t take long for those once eager to play to consider purposefully bankrupting themselves just to get the game over with. 

I’ll trade you 

Alongside Cluedo and Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly is a family staple. Like its console version, the Switch adaptation has been remastered and adapted to make it more modern and appropriate for the next-gen console.

In the beginning you section up your Joy-Cons between two to six players, pick your model, and your game mode. If you fancy an old-school style with old-school rules, you can play just that. 

Given the success of Ubisoft’s most recent Switch collaboration, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, there’s also a Rabbids-themed board where you can enjoy the presence of the crazy creatures. 

If you fancy something a little more vibrant, you can choose the new ‘living’ board and jazz up the rules/aims of the game if you so desire. 

These rules can range from traditional, i.e. everyone but one person files for bankruptcy, to much shorter games where the winner is the first person to build a hotel. 

You roll the dice to determine the order of play and continue on from there. The dice can either be thrown using a designated button, or you can make use of the HD Rumble and shake your Joy Con to toss the cubes on the board. 

The physics in the game is a nice detail. If you happen to throw your dice into the counters sometimes they’ll be knocked over before righting themselves again. 

If you don’t have a few players handy locally you can also take to the internet with your game and compete online. This’ll give you an equally amusing experience so long as you’re not facing indecisive players. 

And your money’s gone

This is where the positives end. You give the game the benefit of the doubt while you’re figuring out what the buttons do, but after several turns you remember how slow Monopoly is on the best of days. 

Add the slow-moving counters (which can be sped up) and general loading time between turns, it’s far too easy to grow tired of the game.

Loading times in general are shocking at first, ranging from six to nearly 14 minutes, but this can be fixed by restarting the console.

One of the biggest issues is that there’s no heart or soul in the game. It had my family and I questioning why we were playing the thing digitally when we could just crack out the actual game and play it that way. 

At least with the physical game you’ve got the money in your hands, can place and manage hotels with ease, and can organise your cards the way you want.

Another major problem is that it’s quite difficult to see the properties you own. Sure, you can pull up your menu, track down your colour, and take note of each card, but there are other ways which aren’t so fiddly that Ubisoft has missed out on. 

Quit bragging

The big question is whether you’d buy this digital version over the actual board game. The big answer: no, you shouldn’t. 

It’s useful for playing with friends who don’t live in the same area as you, but that’s about it.

After all, what’s the point of all of the bragging, arguing, and plotting if no one can flip the board up in anger at the end? Maybe that’s just me.