What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Monopoly Streets is a new 3-D video game version of the classic board game. There is nothing more problematic or objectionable here than there would be in the original board game, with the possible exception of short-shorts on one female avatar. Be aware, though, that both the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions offer live voice chat with their online play. Common Sense Media does not recommend moderation-free online communication for pre-teens. We suggest using the parental controls built into the game console to disable online communication features.
What's it about?
MONOPOLY STREETS is a new video game version of the classic real-estate trading board game (the last of which was released only two years ago). But this new one allows you to play with fully animated avatars in a three-dimensional city. The gameplay holds true to the board game, but you will actually get to see your characters zipping along 3-D streets and erecting houses and hotels. You can choose to play on an old-school flat board, too, if you want. Another big feature is the ability to change the rules in myriad ways. There are so many different permutations that you can basically craft the rules to your whim.
Is it any good?
If you're a fan of the board game, you will love Monopoly Streets. The three-dimensional graphics are a hoot (watching an avatar hop around in the giant shoe, say, or seeing one surf along on the iron); and Mr. Monopoly makes for a very charming and likable host. The many, many ways in which you can customize your game mean that pretty much anyone (even those people who've always hated Monopoly because it's too long) can find a way to play that's appealing to them. One highlight is the property auctions, during which all four players frantically raise and lower their bids until time is called and the highest bidder gets the deed. There's an entire strategy to those auctions alone, in which you may not actually want to spend your money on a property, but force your opponents to overspend instead. Monopoly, as a board game, always flirts with becoming dull or repetitive, but in this video game format, it feels fresh and exciting.
Online interaction: Online play is available on all three consoles. With PS3 or Xbox 360, unmoderated voice chat can be a part of that online experience, so that kids could hear things they shouldn't. Parents don't have to allow this option and can disable it by using parental controls on their consoles.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about budgeting money in real life. In the game, if you spend your money too fast, you'll run into problems. How can you apply this lesson to real life?
Families can also talk about the concept of "house rules." This version of Monopoly allows you to change the rules as you see fit. Does this amount to cheating? What if everyone playing agrees on the rule changes?