App Attack!: Monopoly (iPad)

In this edition of App Attack, I’m going to give a look at something a little more casual for the iPad–Monopoly is here, and ready for the next generation. Forget having to count money, forget the hassle of losing property cards and game pieces, because the classic board game has arrived on iPad, and in a way that’s easy for the whole family, tech savvy and tech illiterate, to enjoy.

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Monopoly offers a couple different styles of gameplay–can you play against the computer in normal mode, or you can play in Tabletop mode with your friends. The game also features statistics based on your gameplay, which probably really doesn’t mean much to anybody. The game board is everything that you’ve come to know and love about Monopoly for almost a century–same properties, same game pieces, same design. The only difference here is that instead of handling virtual money bills, you use a keypad to manage your money. This is something that has been seen in recent versions of Monopoly, and it just makes things a little more convenient.

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Gameplay is pretty straightforward–you roll the dice, you move your game piece, you collect properties, and you move on. The controls for the game are pretty simple. You swipe anywhere on the board when it’s your turn to roll the dice. After landing on a spot, you have the opportunity to purchase that property. If you opt out of it, you’ll be taken to an Auction room, where you and the other players can bid on the property. It helps drastically lower the playtime of the game, but some might find it to be a little bit unlike the original board game.

Before your turn ends, you also have the opportunity to manage your properties. If you own all of the same colored properties, you can begin placing houses and hotels on them. You can also offer trades to the other players. The interfaces here are pretty easy to use, and shouldn’t be too hard for anyone to learn quickly.

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All in all, I really like this version of Monopoly. If you’re looking for something that’s quick to learn and fun for the whole family, this is a great game to try. Digital versions of board games really haven’t been all that spectacular or playable on PC or gaming consoles, but the iPad version really acts like it’s own board game. It’s available for $9.99 in the App Store.

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Quick Impressions: Dead Space (iPad)

As I reported last night, EA Games started their biggest sale ever of their iPad library, with games such as Monopoly, Need for Speed, and Dead Space being cut down 90% in their cost on the App Store. The latter of those games, Dead Space, is quite possibly the best bargain of them all, and here’s why:

The whole gaming craze is nothing new for mobile devices. Developers are beginning to focus a lot of their effort on their mobile games, giving them more polish and better visuals than ever before. With the iPad, it’s possible for developers to take a console game and recreate the experience in a way that even rivals the console counterparts.

Dead Space released for the iPad in January of this year, and with the price seeing a major decline, it may be incredibly enticing to purchase it. The game features visuals that rival any other experience on the iPad, and a control scheme that may not be revolutionary…but it works.

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Controlling the game is simple–you move your character on the left side of the screen and control the camera on the right side of the screen. Your weapons will vary, with options such as swiping, tilting the screen, or firing by clicking the middle of the screen. Again, nothing too revolutionary here, but it works. The entire experience feels very fluid, and I did not find any problems controlling it in my 15 minutes of playing so far.

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Sound wise, the game sounds fantastic. Sound effects are incredibly loud, and the music is dramatic and fits in perfectly with your surroundings. It really helps add to that horror game sense of reality that I am catching from the game.

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This is a very dark game in some places. Players may wish to turn their brightness up quite a bit to be able to see. This seems to be the one area that I am not too impressed with, as higher brightness settings lead to battery life becoming shorter. Definitely play this one indoors, kids. Aside from this, however, the game is absolutely beautiful–the best that I have played on the iPad so far. It is incredibly detailed and really adds to the value and truth that publishers are putting a lot of effort into these mobile games.

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I will likely be giving a full review of the game in the near future, but, in case you were wondering if you should get it while it’s on sale–the answer is yes. At $0.99 currently in the App Store, Dead Space is truly worth the download.