Hasbro's been pumping out branded versions of classic board game Monopoly for ages. With token-specific abilities, power-up dice and boss fights, Mario-themed Monopoly Gamer is something different.
The heart of Monopoly remains intact in Monopoly Gamer, which hits stores in August. Players roll the dice to travel around the edge of the game board, buying and trading properties.
But the rest has been severely Nintendo-ised. We have two denominations of cardboard gold coins in lieu of colourful faux cash.
Rather than Boardwalk and Park Place, these cardboard coins are used to buy properties like Bowser's or Peach's Castle.
The game comes with Mario, Yoshi, Peach and Donkey Kong tokens. Each of the four characters has a "Super Star" ability, activated when they land on special spaces on the board. Mario rolls the game's numbered die and collects that many coins from the bank. Princess Peach collects rent on all properties she owns. Yoshi collects all coins on the board, and Donkey Kong steals three coins from each player.
Then we have the dice. Instead of a pair of standard six-siders, the game comes with one standard die and one special power-up die.
Players roll the dice, move the number of spaces on the numbered die and activate the power-up indicated on the other (in whichever order they choose.) If a player rolls a Red Shell they can cause any player to drop three coins on the space they currently occupy. A Green Shell functions the same way but can't be targeted, automatically affecting the next player down the board.
Making things more interesting, the power-up die's effects can be enhanced depending on which character is rolling. If Princess Peach rolls a Red Shell, the player she chooses has to drop four coins instead of three.
When players land on or pass "Go", they collect two coins and a boss battle begins.
There are eight boss battle cards in the game, which players must fight in order. Players pay the amount of coins indicated on the card to initiate a fight. In order to defeat a boss the player rolls a die. If the number is the same or higher than that on the boss card, the player wins and the boss card goes into their inventory.
It suddenly got all Super Mario Bros. 3 up in here.
The game ends when the final boss is defeated. Players tally up the points from the properties they own and the bosses they have defeated, along with 10 extra points for every five coins in their stash. The player with the highest score wins.
Make sense? If not, here's someone from Hasbro to explain it in video form:
Not only has Hasbro embraced gaming concepts like power-ups and boss fights, they also have downloadable content locked down in the form of Power Packs.
Each $5.99 Power Pack adds a new player to the game with their own unique abilities. Tanooki Mario here's Super Star ability is to fly to the nearest unowned property, with the option to buy.
This all sounds pretty great to me. I love Mario. I love Monopoly, but I hate how it never seems to end. Monopoly Gamer ends with a fight against Bowser and a little accounting.
Monopoly Gamer goes on sale in August for $44.99. But if you can't wait that long, you can pick up the Monopoly Gamer Collector’s Edition exclusively at EB Games today for $64.99. The Collector's Edition includes a bonus Bowser token.