07th Feb2018

Game On! – ‘Monopoly Gamer: Mario Edition’ Review

by Jason Brigger

Hello all! My name is Jason Brigger and you may recognize me from my articles on Nerdly where I review the latest films and the on-going weekly review of the television series Black Lightning. My wife and I love playing board games, card games and any tabletop game that we can get our hands on in our home. Lately, we have been teaching and including my 7½-year-old son and my four-year-old daughter in our latest game nights with much success. This column will feature not only my review (Dad) but also my son’s (The Boy) review of the latest games, from board games to tabletop games to even video games. Every two weeks we will have a new game to review and if any reader has suggestions for us, please let us know in the comments below. For our inaugural review, we look at Monopoly Gamer: Mario Edition.

monopoly-mario-box

What We’re Playing, Officially

Per Hasbro: “It’s the Monopoly game with a Nintendo twist as it joins forces with beloved Nintendo video game characters. Instead of standard Monopoly tokens, the game features Super Mario characters, each with their own special powers within gameplay. Play as Mario, Princess Peach, Yoshi, or Donkey Kong. Finish the game by defeating Bowser at the end! It’s not just about money in this game; players earn points by buying Properties, collecting Coins, and beating Bosses.”

What’s Included: Game board, 4 Nintendo Character tokens (Mario, Princess Peach, Yoshi, and Donkey Kong), 4 Character cards, 4 Reminder cards, 8 Boss cards, 16 Title Deed cards, 1 Numbered die, 1 Power-up die, 90 coins, and game guide.

If you took Monopoly and combined it with Super Mario Brothers and Mario Kart, you would have Monopoly Gamer. Not only does each player try to buy properties and collect rent money, but a Boss card is activated whenever someone passes “Go” on the game board. The Boss cards feature Bowser and all of his children and to defeat the bosses, a player has to pay a pre-assigned amount of coins and roll a certain number(s) on the die. If you fail in beating the boss, the next player has a chance to challenge and defeat that boss and earn the points associated with that specific card. The game does not end until Bowser and all of seven of his minions are defeated. The player with the highest combined score wins the game!

monopoly-mario-board

What We Liked About The Game

Dad: The game plays a lot quicker than a traditional Monopoly game and is easy to pick up and play for any age. My kids were able to learn the game quick and even my four-year-old was able to learn the basics of the game. I also enjoy the twist of the Power-up die in this game. The Power-up die, which is rolled with the regular numerical die, can achieve five different actions in the game:

  • Red Shell: Choose any player to drop three Coins on their current space.
  • Green Shell: The next player on the board, from your position, drops three Coins on their current space.
  • Blooper: Steal two Coins from any player.
  • POW: All other players drop one Coin on their current space.
  • Coins: Collect three Coins from the Bank.

Another twist on this game is each character has a special power so it actually matters which character each player picks. The characters have a specific “Super Star” bonus that is activated when the character lands on the designated spaces on the board marked with a “Star”. The “Super Star” bonus for each character is the following: Yoshi collects all the loose coins on the board; Peach collects rent from the bank on each of the property that the player owns; Mario rolls the die and collects the number of coins shown plus five; and Donkey Kong steals three coins from each player.

The Boy: Instead of train depots to buy, the train spaces are replaced with Pipes that warp the character to the next Pipe location, collecting any loose coins on the game board along the way. This feature not only speeds up the game but also allows a player to gain coins quickly and always have an opportunity to rally from last place.

The Boss cards are a favorite in our household. The ability to fight Bowser and his family allows the game to feel like an old school video game and adds a new dynamic to the traditional board game.

monopoly-mario-pieces

What We Didn’t Like About the Game

Dad: While not necessarily a huge issue, the game is more fun with the more players involved. The game is still fun to play with two players but more players means the more craziness that can occur with the action cards and more selection on who is punished with turtle shells. An ideal game is with a minimal of three players but fun will still be had with two.

The Boy: Lack of characters in the initial game. The character pieces are of high quality but the game only includes Mario, Princess Peach, Yoshi and Donkey Kong and my son is not a fan of Luigi not being included; a recurring theme in anything Nintendo creates in the Mario Universe. The one positive is that eight additional characters, including Luigi, Toad, Diddy Kong, Wario, etc., are available to purchase separately for $3.99 (appx. £2.82 British pounds) but if you wanted to get all the characters, it can be a pricey add-on to the game. A new set of characters is already on the birthday list.
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Replay Value: HIGH. The addition of add-on characters and their “Super Star” powers changes the dynamic of the game and allows for many different twists to the game.

Recommended Age: Children six (6) and up should have no issue learning and enjoying the game. Younger children that play a fair amount of games, like my daughter, should also be able to catch onto the basics of the game with some parental assistance.
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Final Score:

Dad’s Grade: B
The Boy’s Grade: B+

Monopoly Gamer: Mario Edition is a fun take on the traditional Monopoly game and is a gigantic leap above any Monopoly Junior game on the market. Despite the additional cost of adding characters, we do appreciate the opportunity of “add-ons” to the game that is missing in the majority of board games. The game plays like a Mario Brothers video game and kids and adults will appreciate this new twist on a classic game.

Have you played this game? Let us know what you thought of it in the comments below!

You can catch Jason Brigger on the geek-centric podcast, The History of Bad Ideas, as new episodes are released every week at www.nerdly.co.uk or subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher and other podcasting apps. You can listen to their latest episode right here;  Jason’s latest Black Lightning review is here.
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2 Responses to “Game On! – ‘Monopoly Gamer: Mario Edition’ Review”

  • Nick Koh

    Jason. Heartiest congratulations on this inaugural review and many thanks. My daughter just turned six and am planning on introducing her to the wonderful world of board games that I remember so fondly. Found this new Gamer Edition on amazon and decided to search for reviews before buying. Found your website and needless to say, the games bought and on the way. Can’t wait.
    I hope to share more comments as soon as my family has played the game and again. I think this website of yours is a brilliant idea. I think board games are an excellent chance for families to spend quality time together.
    Many thanks again and looking forward to your next review.

    Nick.
    China.

    • Jason Brigger

      Thank you Nick for the kind words! My family has really begun to dig into a lot of different games lately and hopefully I can provide you with some good suggestions in the future. Next week’s article is a card based game that my 4 year and 6 year old can’t get enough of so I’m excited about reviewing it.

      Thanks again!