Westwood Studios

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If I was asked to name my favorite board game, I would not hesitate a minute and would reply Monopoly. After all, it is one of the most popular games ever made, so in a way, I would be very out-of-fashion if I had said something else. In fact, I have played so many times with Monopoly that nobody at home wants to play with me as they are all persuaded that I will win whatsoever happens. As a result of this, I had not played Monopoly for a while and quite frankly, I missed it.

Fortunately, Parker Brothers & Westwood Studios worked together for a computer game version that is now available in the stores. This new version comes on CD-ROM only because of the large amount of animations featured inside and must be run with Windows 3.1 or later, which of course includes the now famous Windows 95.

Once you have installed Monopoly and started a new game, what you will see first is the board with all the properties. As there are several localized versions of the game, you will find the same streets and railroads as in the board games you can buy abroad. The graphics faithfully follow the original artwork of the 1936 version such as the Chance and Community Chest cards, and even the tokens are the same. The 3D movie window located in the game board's center is the place where animations are shown. As always, you will recognize Westwood's expertise in 3D rendered animated scenes. Each property has its own cinematic sequence that changes with the terrain's status. When it is mortgaged, for example, you will see a padlock on the door, and if there are houses on it you will see the green houses stacked together. Railroads and utilities also have sequences of their own, and every time you are sent to jail or just visiting someone, there will also be a movie.

These cinematic sequences are really nice to watch but they drastically reduce the speed of the game. Even when you advance on the board, you will see your token moving towards its destination and this takes some time, even if it is only a matter of seconds. I tried playing alone against five computer opponents and you quickly get bored of waiting for your turn to play. To avoid this disagreement, you can turn off all the movies and make a selection of the animations you want to keep such as when you draw a Chance or Community Chest card, when you go to jail, etc. You will find this option necessary when playing against friends over the Internet!

With Monopoly, you can play with up to six players. I personally think it is not fun playing with more than one human player per computer, as you always have to come back to the PC when it is your turn or let one player do all the actions for the others. The best is, of course, to play against several computer opponents or even better, to play with other human adversaries over the Internet. I must say it was the first time I played with a game over the net, and I don't regret it. Let me explain how it works. First, you must own an Internet account with a PPP/SLIP connection to access the network. Second, you must use the utility provided with the game to access Westwood's chat room where other players are waiting for a game. Once you arrived there, you have two choices: joining or hosting a game. I spent over one hour and thirty minutes trying to set up a game because other people had some trouble connecting to my IP address. Meantime, you can chat with other people from all over the world and this is what makes Monopoly a great game. Finally the game started around midnight and ended at 2:40 am when I again landed on a property that didn't belong to me. It is needless to say that I was ruined and had to leave the game. We then exchanged our email address for future games as I'm sure I'll start another one again soon!

If you don't have an Internet account yet, you can play against the computer opponents. You can even customize computer players so that one is different than the other. The rules of the game can also be changed like the popular "Free Parking collects fines" or "Landing on Go doubles salary". These rules will be changed if all human players agree to do so.

Trading is another important element in Monopoly that you will use very frequently. The way it has been implemented in this version is really intuitive, and you can even trade the famous card that lets you out of jail!

Last but not least, Monopoly's soundtrack features over 15 different MIDI tunes that go along very well with the game play.


To say the truth, if I was given the choice today between a regular game of Monopoly or to play over the Internet, I would choose to play with Westwood's version over the net!

System Requirements:

486 DX-33 MHz or higher,
Min 8Mb memory,
Windows 3.1 or later,
Hard drive required with 10Mb free,
Double speed CD-ROM drive or faster,
VGA video graphic card,
Microsoft mouse and 100% compatibles.

Windows compatible sound card.

Internet play requires PPP/SLIP connection.


Westwood Studios.,
5333 South Arville, Suite 104,
Las Vegas, NV 89118-2226.

BBS Support: 702-368-2319

Internet Support: Westwood Studios
Web site: www.westwood.com

Web site: www.monopoly.com


In North America:

Virgin Interactive Entertainment,
18061 Fitch Avenue,
Irvine, CA 92714.

Technical Support: 714-833-1999
Fax Support: 714-833-2011
BBS Support: 714-833-3305

Hints: 1-900-288-4744 ($.75 per minute)

Web site: www.vie.com

In Europe:

In UK:

Virgin Interactive Entertainment,
2 Kensington Square,
London, W8 5RB.

Technical Support: +44-(0)171-3682266
Fax Support: +44-(0)171-468-2000
BBS Support: +44-(0)171-468-2022

Internet Support: Virgin Interactive Entertainment Europe
Web site: www.vie.co.uk/vie

In France:

Virgin Interactive Entertainment,
233 Rue de la Croix Nivert,
75015 Paris.


Graphics: 90%
Sound: 90%
Music: 90%
Gameplay: 90%
Interest: 90%

Overall: 90%


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