EA came by the Apple Store to show off their upcoming game releases for the holiday, one of them being Monopoly Here & Now: The World Edition for the iPhone/iPod Touch.
It's extremely difficult to screw up making a Monopoly game. The entire blue print is there, and has been for some time. Heck, it even turned out OK for the 8-bit NES. So what's different about the iPhone version? Not a whole lot, but as you probably guessed, you'll be touching and swiping all the way to free parking!
The first thing you'll notice is the entire game is rendered fully in 3D. Not just the pieces and board itself, but the table, chairs, and even the background environment is completely viewable. Speaking of environments, as the subtitle implies, this game has a bit more of an international flavor. The press release even asks such rhetorical questions as: "Why buy Baltic when you can own Istanbul?" The names of properties are different (damnit! I always loved buying St. James Place) and there's "Did You Know?" facts on the Chance and Community Chest cards.
One of the new features EA made sure to highlight was the fact you could roll the dice by giving your iPhone a good shake or two. This may be an issue on tight flights or bus rides, however. The PR rep there pointed out there's no time limit to rolling. You could, essentially, roll forever before "letting go." This could turn into a fun drinking game, I think.
For multiplayer, you can have up to four players connect via Wi-Fi or simply play "Pass 'n Play" mode where each player can take turns on the same iPhone. Also, one feature it has that I think should be mandatory in any co-op related online game is having the AI take over for players that have to leave abruptly.
Overall, it's looking like it has everything you'd want and come to expect out of a Monopoly game nowadays. The touch screen makes buying and trading properties a cinch, and the multiplayer can help satisfy your friends on an extended trip.
I usually make a point of keeping my mouth closed in front of game publisher/developer people. See, I think I have tons of great gaming ideas. I blurted out randomly something about how it would be a good idea to create a Star Wars Edition of this game for iPhone.
The EA rep agreed with me.
Monopoly Here & Now: The World Edition will be available for the iPhone and iPod Touch and is scheduled for release this month.