Spotlight is where we at Best Play like to share our thoughts on a game we like or think is interesting but can’t stick the big rubber stamp of ‘Best Play Recommends’ on – yet!
What is Monopoly Gamer?
I’ll admit, this doesn’t sound very good on paper. The name of this board game features both “Monopoly” and “Gamer”. Two words that feel like they were shoved together in a Hasbro board room after someone asked the question “What do the kids like these days?”. Just be grateful it wasn’t Fidget Spinner Jenga.
Well the good news is that although it looks like Monopoly, with its free parking, GO and prison, it mostly isn’t. Yep, you’re still buying properties, randomly moving round the board and passing GO, but there are no train stations, no community chest, no chance cards, no piles of notes to keep track of. It doesn’t even have two dice numbered 1 to 6. The dice in this game has all of these Mario looking things on it. Because despite the “Gamer” name, this is actually set in the Mushroom Kingdom.
Why do we think it’s interesting?
Monopoly is a bad, bad game, we’ve stressed this before. One of the main issues being just how bloody long it takes to play and how much of a grind it is to finish. Gamer is actually more like Mario Kart meets Monopoly and it will only last you 15-20 minutes.
You go around the board firing shells at each other, making others drop coins for you to pick up. Sure, sometimes you buy a property and collect some rent, but then you zip off into a pipe, stomp on a POW block and grab a chunk of coins.
Unlike that arduous attrition of Monopoly, where you must wrench every last bit of cash from your now former friends, in Gamer it ends when Bowser is defeated. Every time someone passes go they get to fight a boss and once you’re through the deck of them it’s all over.
Also the pieces are actual Mario characters and if you like you can buy more of them with more powers.
It is just as random as Monopoly. You roll two dice, move and get an action. This gives you a small amount of choice. Do you fire the Green Shell at Joel or at Marcus? Most of the time that decision is just to rubber band whoever is in the lead. That said, with the boss system the game doesn’t take that long, recognising that randomness can only be fun for a short while. The power ups and rolls manage to give you that feeling of Mario Kart; someone screaming out as you blast them or everyone cheering as you zoom ahead or fall behind, but the reality is that you can never pretend that it’s your skill at the game that has you in front.
Monopoly Gamer isn’t an amazing game, but it’s the most honest Monopoly we’ve played. It knows its limitations, sticks to them and doesn’t out stay it’s welcome. If you have kids, or a young person’s birthday coming up, this is simple enough for anyone to play but you’re going to get much much much less fed up playing it. Also … you can be Yoshi. If you want to hear more we also discussed this on our podcast.