As a child, I was never a huge fan of Monopoly (or “El Banquero”, as I knew it growing up), because I couldn’t afford the board. That meant I only played at my friends’ houses, and consequently, I was not very good. Ever since I moved in with my fiancee, though, we’ve got a board and we’ve been playing whenever we get visitors. I’ve been getting good. And now, Monopoly has come to one of my all-time favorite game machines, but is the port any good? Let’s find out!
Let’s start with the negative: I’m sure you’ve read around the internet that the first load takes ages. And it does, if you don’t reset the Switch after installing. If you just reboot, the game loads in 10 seconds. However, we’ve been experiencing a weird issue: after playing other games and trying to play Monopoly again, we must once again reboot the system if we want to access the game quickly. Ubisoft said they were working on fixing the issue but at the time of writing we were still having problems.
With that out of the way, let’s get on with the good stuff.
There’s no story mode here, and I like that: story modes on games like this never quite work (see PuyoPuyo Tetris, for example). But you get plenty of game modes nonetheless, both online and offline, to play with friends or versus AI players. A particular highlight for us was that the game could be played with a single joy-con. Other party games (like Infinite Minigolf, for instance) require that you pass around the controller and it completely breaks the flow of the game. If you don’t have enough joy-cons for all players, you can still pass around the controller so that up to 6 players can join a match on the same console.
You get traditional boards and “live” boards, where properties sprout out of the ground when you land on them and there’s buildings and aircraft and birds and all kinds of environmental stimuli. We prefer the latter, with the City board being our go-to.
Another fantastic addition which is being overlooked by most outlets is that the game is provided in quite a few languages, and all of them include voice-acted commentary! It was very funny to us to play in Spanish (which has a European actor narrating the game) and we enjoyed the localization immensely.
Listen, let’s be honest here: this isn’t ground-breaking. If you have a Monopoly board and grew up playing on it, you might like that better than playing on the Switch. I, however, much prefer this interactive version of the game, where the boards come alive, with funny commentary and even a couple of different camera angles.
The way the HUD is laid out makes it easy to know which player owns which properties, and the property transaction menu is, while confusing at first, fully featured an quite fun to use.
Overall, I loved Monopoly for Nintendo Switch and it’s a game that will get played almost every weekend when we get visitors. It’s just as fun as it’s always been, but now it looks and sounds better than ever. What more could you ask for, really?