When catalogue shopping kings Littlewoods got in touch to ask if I'd like to review the new Monopoly zAPPed Edition I nearly bit their hand off. Would I?! I played loads of Monopoly in my youth (back in the day when there was just the one version) and my kids are just as keen as me on the classic so both Monopoly and Monopoly Junior get played quite a lot in our house. Monopoly zAPPed needs to be played with an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. You download a free app and you're good to go. As yet there is no android version.
Let's start with the look of the game. It's a lot slicker than the old version. The board has some snazzy graphics with the train stations looking more like bullet and less like steam trains. The old utilities have been replaced by modern counterparts like Satellite, but all the property cards are the same. The pieces are cool little plastic numbers with the car looking like a red Ferrari! My ten year old son held up one asking "do you want to be the chapel?" Chapel? It's the base of an iron love... Some domestic eductation required there. Setting up is almost the same except instead of dealing out the money (and keeping a few hundreds for yourself if you're the banker. C'mon - we've all done it) you register your credit card and scan it on your device (we gave this game a go with both an iPod Touch and an iPad), which then goes in the middle of the board for the duration of the game.
Play is virtually the same as the original version of Monopoly except all monetary transactions are done by swiping your credit card. Chance, Community Chest and Get out of Jail are done on the iPad/Pod/Phone too, with little games to compete to see who won. These were my least favourite part as despite landing on Community Chest three times I never won the money as I couldn't get the hang of the game that went along with it. The kids, however, had no problem and thought my ineptitude was a great laugh. If you're the sort of person who is anal about lining up your money neatly in a line by denomination and always got a bit stressed when other players chucked theirs any old how into a pile you will appreciate the streamlined look of this game.
With such rubbish weather on the weekend we gave this game a thorough workout and generally agree that it was good fun and, the kids in particular, preferred it to the original version due to the novelty of swiping their credit cards, the screen (natrually) and the video games within the game. The downsides were that you can only have four players, sometimes the card doesn't swipe automatically and it takes a little while for the iPod/Pad/Phone to register it's there, and play is actually a little slower than the old-fashioned handing over of the money.
Hasbro say it's suitable for ages 8 and up and I would probably agree with this. My five year old was totally confused by the money because it is in massive and unfamiliar denominations (like some sort of generic faux Euro) rather than the paper dollar denominations in numbers he can recognise. I liked that you can clearly see how much money everyone has, but then I'm nosey like that.
I'll admit I was a little sceptical that this would live up to the origianl version which I love so much but I was proven wrong. Hasbro have left the essence and rules of the game pretty much unchanged so it's just as competitve as it always was. If you're looking for a great compromise between a family game and getting the kids off their personal screens then, at £30, Monopoly Zapped is a fab choice not just for Christmas but for any time of year. It won't be gathering dust on our shelf, that's for sure.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, but all words and views are my own. I used stock photos because I couldn't work out how to play with my iPod Touch and take photos at the same time!