Over the past few years, Hasbro Interactive has dominated the
family market with it’s offering of classic board games, nostalgic
arcade games, party games, and puzzle, word, and trivia games.
They are the definition of family entertainment. We’ve also seen
hybrids of different Hasbro titles, including World Cup Soccer
Monopoly, Nascar Trivial Pursuit, Centipede Operation, and now
Monopoly Casino. Ok, maybe Centipede Operation isn’t really a
title, but who here never dissected a centipede when they were a
kid? If that doesn’t transcend into family fun, I don’t
know what does. That childhood memory aside, let's take a look at
So let me get this straight, all those properties, utilities, and railroads aren’t enough for
Rich Uncle Pennybags? Obviously not, and now that he owns the
Casino, we’re all going to jail. Monopoly Casino is a unique
blend of the thrills and excitement of Vegas casinos combined
with the classic fun of Monopoly.
Monopoly Casino begins as you create an account for your
gambling pleasure. After inserting your name and the amount of
cash you wish to take in, (and yes, there is a limit to how much you
can start out with) you enter a fantastic 3D casino environment that
is colorful and unique to say the least. The floor is designed to
resemble the Monopoly board game and a string of one-armed
bandits circle the properties. There are also poker tables, keno
machines, roulette tables, and a whole host of other doodads
surrounding this virtual casino. It’s really quite a nice presentation.
Navigating the room is accomplished by using your mouse, and
you can select which game you wish to play simply by clicking on
the table/machine of your choice, or by bringing up a menu in
which you can select your favorite from a complete list.
The variety and number of games available in Monopoly Casino is
appetizing to say the least. Whether it be a game of Poker,
Blackjack, Keno, Slots, Craps, or Roulette, it’s all on the menu. The
full complement of side dishes are also available. In other words,
there are a number of different variations of each game available,
including five kinds of Poker. There are also tournament modes for
Blackjack, Craps, and Pai Gow Poker. You can’t enter any of these
tournaments, however, without a certain amount of money on
hand. In terms of one-armed bandits (slot machines for those
unfamiliar), there are 19 different games with well over 130
variations to choose from. Heck, they even included Video Poker!
As mentioned earlier, Monopoly Casino is very energetic in terms
of display. As is the case with most Hasbro games, the graphics are
crisp and the colors bright. Hasbro managed to incorporate Mr.
Monopoly into a few of the games as well, including Poker and
Blackjack. That’s right, when you ask for a hit, the $10 beauty
contest winner will be there to hand deliver your card. This leads
me to the first gripe I had with the game, the animations. Luckily, you
can turn the animations on and off in the options menu. In Poker
games specifically, the animations really slow down the game.
Dealing the cards is animated, placing a bet is animated, taking a
swig of that scotch sitting beside you is animated. The bottom line,
the animations add up and those looking to breeze through a few
hands of Poker will certainly look to turn that option off. Besides
Mr. Monopoly himself, Hasbro has also included many of the other
pieces and trinkets from the popular board game. Instead of
cherries and bells in the slot machines, you might see thimbles
and race cars lining up. Hasbro has gone a long way to make sure
that this isn’t just any casino game, it’s Monopoly Casino.
So, we’ve got the sights, now where is his twin brother? Who’s
that you ask? Sounds of course. Sights and Sounds. Ok, I got nuttin',
but the good news is this game does. All the Monopoly sounds are also
found in Monopoly Casino. Besides the bells and whistles you’d
normally expect from a casino title, Mr. Monopoly himself speaks
quite a bit during the game. Unfortunately, his voice remains the
same from the previous Monopoly titles. That's right, he's still got that
awkward, high pitched voice that you know will get him in trouble
if he ever has to go to jail without passing GO. For those of you who find it sexy, you’ll be happy to know
it’s featured in a number of games, not to mention the menus as well.
Just to quickly touch base, Monopoly Casino does support
multiplayer features. Besides the ability to challenge your friends
and family at home on the same machine, you can also play over
the Internet. Which reminds me of another gripe I had with the
game. There’s no difficulty setting available in Monopoly Casino,
so the players you play at the Blackjack table, or Poker table, are
all on the same level in terms of Artificial Intelligence. If you find
they aren’t much in terms of card players, there’s nothing you can
do to improve that.
I walked into Mr. Monopoly’s Casino with a hop in my step. I gladly
accepted the free alcohol, played a large assortment of fun casino-style
games and had a great time doing so. A few hours later, I
staggered out of the place in a drunken state, my wallet just a little
lighter than when I entered. It was basically like many of my
real-life casino experiences except here I was using fake Monopoly money,
and of course I didn't walk out of the casino with two Playboy bunnies, but that’s a story for another time.
When all was said and done, Monopoly Casino turned out to be an excellent
game, capturing all the vegas thrills with a Monopoly twist.