EA Mobile has already brought two successful versions of the Monopoly franchise to the iPhone/iPod touch, classic Monopoly [$2.99] and The World Edition [$2.99], but now it's the iPad's turn. Obviously the larger screen of the iPad makes for a more enjoyable experience with a virtual board game, but EA has also added a few interesting twists to the game to make it more than just a straight digital conversion.

First of all, the other iOS versions of Monopoly are pretty hard. I've heard more than one player complain that the AI was “cheating” because they would get whooped badly so often. The iPad version looks to remedy this with Teacher Mode where you play a much friendlier AI, not just in difficulty but also in offering helpful hints and tips. The AI in Teacher Mode will pop up with information like which color properties get landed on the most so you can be sure to place hotels there, and in-depth statistics for both of you so you can see that the AI actually isn't pulling a fast one on you by comparing how each other's game unfolds.

The other great addition to Monopoly on iPad is Tabletop Mode where you can play same-device multiplayer with up to 4 people. What's cool about this mode is that you can just lay the iPad down on whatever surface you want to play on, like a table, and the relevant text and UI will reorient itself around the screen towards each player while keeping the game board in the same spot. It basically feels just like playing the actual board game, only there is no money or pieces to manage and everything is automated for you. In fact I'd say this is the definitive way to play Monopoly, and the only people who will bother to bust out the actual board game anymore are the nostalgic types who want to remember what us old people called “tactile feedback”.

Of course Monopoly on the iPad will also contain plain old regular games with a myriad of difficulty settings, game options, and rule sets. You'll also be able to play local multiplayer with up to 4 players using multiple devices over WiFi or Bluetooth, and in a nice touch the local multiplayer with be compatible with the iPhone/iPod touch versions of Monopoly. Board games have already proven to be a great fit for the iPad, and if you're a fan of Monopoly but hate keeping track of all the pieces, or have an unnatural disdain for thin elongated boxes, then you'll definitely want to check out Monopoly Classic for iPad when it releases sometime this month.

  • Solo

    Hey, you kind of make people complaining about the AI in the other versions of Monopoly sound like whiners. The game really does "cheat", in that your computer opponents get impossibly "lucky" runs of favorable dice rolls. That's a really lazy and kind of crappy way to ramp up the difficulty, at least in my opinion.

  • zilog

    How else would you suggest increasing the level of difficulty in a game where the only "skill" lies in rolling better dice than your opponents?

    • Solo

      Monopoly obviously is a game where a lot of luck is involved, but there's quite a bit of strategy too. Trading properties, using auctions, knowing when to mortgage and buy houses, etc.

      The Monopoly AI doesn't go deep with any of that... It just stacks the deck against you with unbeatable dice rolls. Yeah, maybe you can't expect Deep Blue from a $5 iphone game, but it does make the single player experience rather pointless.

  • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

    Glad to see EA taking iPad more seriously. There's some real attention to detail showing in this and the Sim City conversion.

  • Guest

    DO NOT WANT

    • merlinsbeards

      Aren't you the guy that said this

      "Ugh. I'm a Monopoly Hater. No offense to the designers and coders that put together what looks like a well done job. But it doesn't change that you've built a monster! Oh god make it stop!

      Could you please get these talented folks on some other game? Maybe Acquire? How about Mah-jong (not american, unless you offer both)? Heck, let's play Sorry! It's better than Monopoly"

  • Darryl

    WANt, WANT, WANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.bluenotesentertainment.com Kerry

    Totally want!

  • Venan

    As the developer of nearly every iOS version of the game, I can assure you all, quite emphatically, that the AI does not cheat. The dice rolls are all physically simulated and the results are merely what the top of the dice show.

    • Magoo1mill

      Bull

  • Stormchild

    I swear, the iPhone Monopoly (World Edition is what I have) DOES cheat. As soon as you build houses on any of your properties, the computer seems to conveniently get the right rolls to avoid it almost every time around, at least for awhile.

    I don't find the AI itself all that difficult (even on the hardest mode); my guess is the developers decided to make the game more difficult on medium/hard by increasing the chance that computer opponents will get favorable rolls (and possibly favorable chance/CC cards as well).

    I can beat the computer pretty much every single time by just making sure I get at least one property in every group, and never letting the computer complete a group. Overpaying for a property in a trade is an easy way to get one from any groups you don't happen to land on, especially from an AI opponent that only has one property in that group. If you don't do that, you could control most of the board and still be screwed, as the game seems to also cheat on *your* rolls to increase the odds of you landing on an AI's developed properties (or other harmful squares; sometimes it just makes me hit income tax every single time while AI opponents collect free money from cards/salary).

  • Stormchild

    Er, didn't see the developer response until after I'd posted my comment, but I still find it awfully hard to believe the rolls are always purely governed by chance. I've played many, many games, and the AI's "lucky streaks" combined with the player's "unlucky streaks" occur with such regularity (especially as the player starts to gain any sort of advantage) that it all seems highly suspicious to me.

  • Stormchild

    Looks like I'm not the only one who noticed how "lucky" the AI becomes when the player is doing well:

    http://wireless.ign.com/articles/940/940144p1.html

  • Stormchild

    Several more reviews from others who are also convinced the AI cheats:

    http://www.airmandan.com/Airman_Dan/Blog/Entries/2009/12/16_The_Worst_iPhone_App_Ever.html

    http://theportablegamer.com/2009/12/iphone-review-monopoly/

    http://www.mobclix.com/appstore/1/app/337021781

    TouchArcade Forum topic in which several people discuss the cheating in Monopoly's AI:
    http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=40048

    Very easy to find lots of other reports of the AI's "uncanny luck" all over the Internet:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=iphone%20monopoly%20ai%20cheats

    Where there's smoke, there's fire.

    • Venan

      I could get into psychology, perception, statistics and what not, but really, at the end of the day, the dice rolls are governed by physics. People don't remember the 25 rolls that seemed okay, they remember the 1/2 that they cared about going wrong.

      I don't need a list of websites to check. We've had the comments from reviewers, player's, iTunes, etc. Heck we've even had comments from within EA thinking the same thing and asking us to change it. The answer is the same however - it doesn't cheat. If we make any changes to the dice rolling, it will only be to make it cheat so that people think it doesn't cheat (i.e. in the player's favor).

      The new version even includes a dice heat map feature so you can review all the rolls post game just to prove we aren't hiding anything. (That's how much people complain about it.)

      • lolz

        Lol, talking to you, is like talking to a brainless and mindless child.