World Cup 'Monopoly' misses goal

September 07, 1998|By Helen Ubinas | Helen Ubinas,HARTFORD COURANT

Believe it or not, some things are better left untouched by technology: "Monopoly" is one of them.

Case in point is the new CD-ROM game, "Monopoly: World Cup France 98 Edition," now available from Hasbro (www.hasbro- interactive.com) for $30.

Much in this classic game is the same - the object, the game rules, the four corner spaces and their functions. Victory still belongs to the player remaining after all other players have gone bankrupt.

A lot is different, too. Most notably, the World Cup theme.

The classic tokens in the board game have been replaced by six soccer players. The colored properties are now national soccer grounds. Players develop property with red terraces and blue stadiums, not the classic green houses and red hotels. The four railroad stations are now the top four French venues for the 1998 World Cup. Home cards replace community cards and away cards replace chance cards. Two events, Match Play and Penalty Shoot-Out, are featured.

The problem with this game is not a lack of imagination. The soccer theme just doesn't work with such a classic. Players will miss the trademarks of the old game: the coveted car, the paper money, manually moving your token across the board.

Not that all is lost:

The graphics are exceptional. The game also does what the board game has always done: kill time.

Although, you should know: Worried I was being too harsh on the game, I brought it along to the Laundromat - the ultimate test. Truth be told, I'd sooner fold clothes.

Bottom line: This one should have been left a board game.

Pub Date: 9/07/98

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