What It Is
Monopoly zAPPed is a new way to play Monopoly with the iPhone or, preferably, the iPad. If you're familiar with Monopoly, most of the set-up will be very recognizable. Instead of dealing out Monopoly money, each player receives a credit card that has $15 million on it to start. Roll the dice and move around the board as normal, but on every turn you'll take an action. Touch your name on the screen and select the action. For instance, if you land on Vermont Avenue and you want to buy it, touch your name on the screen, then touch the property button and buy. Enter the amount of the property on the screen, and tap your card to the screen. The amount you entered will be deducted from your card. Then take the deed to the property. You have to buy a property or put it up for auction on any turn that you land on an unsold property. This changes the strategy a little and allows players to get valuable properties for much less than the asking price. Chance and Community Chest cards both have mini games that require players to use the iPad to play. Players can also get out of jail free by playing a mini game to avoid the fine. At the end of the game, the process for determining the winner takes a long time. You have to track each property, whether it's mortgaged, and how much has been built on it. The game comes with a game board, four touch-banding cards, houses and hotels, movers, two die, and property cards.
Is It Fun?
Some might prefer the classic gameplay of Monopoly while others will enjoy this new digital way to play the game. Younger kids are probably going to like the mini games better than older players, who may just want to draw the Chance cards and keep going without playing the mini games at all. The mini games slow down the gameplay overall and change the focus. We found them to be a bit erratic and didn't always perform consistently on the iPad 2. The electronic banking is kind of cool, but the cards don't work every time, and you may have to touch the screen several times with the card to get it to work. Because the iPad is conductive, you have to get your fingers touching the grey part of the card and the grey dots above must touch the screen. The card has to be flat, and it can be a little clumsy.
Mostly what we noticed was that the players didn't interact with each other as much when they're all staring at the iPad. This is a decent version of Monopoly that does let you play the game, but as we found, board game fans were less intrigued by the iPad interaction than more casual players. This game costs about $10 more than a basic Monopoly game, not to mention the cost for an iPad. Before investing in this game, it's best to know the type of player who will be involved. Kids who are fascinated with all things iPad and may not have the patience for a traditional game of Monopoly will like the way the iPad features break up the play. Others may not need all the bells and whistles and will just want to play Monopoly.
Who It’s For
Monopoly zAPPed is for ages 8 and up.
What To Be Aware Of
Monopoly zAPPed is compatible with the iPad 1 and 2, the iPhone, and the iPod Touch. We tried playing this game with the iPhone, but it was a little bit cumbersome and you can't have any protection on the phone to make it work. We liked it with the iPad better.
When you set up the board, the directions tell you to put rubber pads on the board so your device won't slide around. The rubber pads were missing from the set we opened, but you're going to need them as some of the activities can make the iPad slide around.
This game costs about $10 more than a basic Monopoly game, not to mention the cost for an iPad. Before investing in this game, it's best to know the type of player who will be involved. Kids who are fascinated with all things iPad and may not have the patience for a traditional game of Monopoly will like the way the iPad features break up the play. Others may not need all the bells and whistles and will just want to play Monopoly.