Monopoly for Nintendo Switch (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Renan Fontes 02.12.2017

Review for Monopoly for Nintendo Switch  on Nintendo Switch

Monopoly as a video game isn't a new concept, but it isn't an unwelcome one, either. Board games can translate rather reliably to the video game format. There's seldom a need for more than one controller, the visual design can just be lifted from the board, and any rule refreshers can be a button away instead of stapled away on the back of the box. Along with the Switch's portability, Monopoly would seem like a perfect fit for the console. Unfortunately, Ubisoft's Monopoly doesn't handle the switch to the Switch as good as it should.

At first glance, Monopoly for Nintendo Switch seems like an enthusiast's dream come true. There are five boards to choose from, more tokens than players allowed in one game, and, seemingly, a fair amount of content to unlock. Additional tokens can be unlocked by completing Objectives, a variation of an achievement system. While most Objectives are fairly simple and require little effort, it is nice to see a progression system in place as it does incentivize playing on different boards and fiddling around extraneous options.

Unlockables and Objectives are two great ways to make a quick first impression, but it doesn't take long for the cracks to start to show. Things fall apart when it comes time to set the rules for the game. While house rules are available, bafflingly, only one can be selected at a time. Unlike UNO where the house rules could be edited together, Monopoly only allows the use of one house rule at a time. This is likely in place to prevent any given game from descending into chaos but, if customization of this type is going to be included, it should be up to the participants to decide whether or not they want a chaotic board. It could get messy, yes, but that's part of the fun of house rules.

If the superficiality of the house rules wasn't enough, every rule is handled with the same level of hand holding. Speed dies can't be used with any other rule and goal specifics are set in stone. There's absolutely no reason to lock speed dies into their own mode, and goals should have been editable especially considering that many of them rely on a owning certain amount of Monopoly bucks or properties to win.

Screenshot for Monopoly for Nintendo Switch  on Nintendo Switch

The UI as a whole is frustratingly unfriendly. Mode selection genuinely gives off the impression that rules can be toggled and players won't be locked into one specific rule. Even worse, the boards, which should have been the easiest element to translate over, are completely butchered thanks to a fixed titled perspective. It's possible to switch to a top view in the options, but all this does is place the camera directly on top of the token. The only way to see the whole board at once is to manage properties. Unfortunately, properties cannot be managed when it matters most: the auction. Being able to look at the board during an auction is natural as it allows the ability to see what properties are owned. That isn't possible here, so a keen memory is necessary in making purchases.

What dampens the experience more than anything, however, is how slow it plays. Every round is a laggy slog to Go. This is an adaptation of a board game, there shouldn't be frame rate dips and yet there are. Load times, while not offensively bad, are still too long to justify. Most performance issues occur within the Living Boards: Monopoly boards that depict a setting in favour of the traditional layout. While Living Boards are optional, this does mean only two of the five boards are worth playing on. There's online for anyone looking for it but, in the unlikely chance a match is found, it'll more than likely be too frustrating to play through considering an average game can take up to two hours with all the technical issues. Monopoly could have been a great asset to the Nintendo Switch, but it's just not optimised to recommend.

Screenshot for Monopoly for Nintendo Switch  on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

Unlike UNO, there really is no reason to pick Monopoly for Nintendo Switch over its physical counterpart. The multiple boards, pieces, and unlockables are nice in theory, but they're plagued by inadequate load times, a choppy frame rate, and a surprisingly unfriendly UI. The inclusion of online is a good bonus for anyone desperate to play Monopoly on the go, but that's only in the hypothetical situation where someone happens to be online and is willing to throw a few hours into a laggy match. Monopoly should have been an easy adaptation over to the Switch, but it simply isn't worth purchasing when the actual board game can't be bogged down by technical issues and bizarre direction.

Developer

Ubisoft

Publisher

Ubisoft

Genre

Table Games

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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