Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Fall 2002 Software
Ages: 8 - 18 yrs.
Publisher: Handmark, Inc.
Price: $29.99
Download Price: $29.99
Platform: Palm 05
Love Monopoly? Love your Palm-compatible (OS) handheld? Then this game is a marriage made on Boardwalk. When it comes to translating the most popular board games of all time into authentic electronic version for Palm people, Handmark's got game.

This true-to-form Palm version of Monopoly enables you to play against up to three opponents--any mix of computer or human players. And the computer opponents come in a choice of eight characters and personalities, each of whom plays a different strategy and all are tough to beat. Then choose the pieces and you're off. All moves, from rolling dice, to putting houses on a property, to setting up a trade, are done by point-and-tap on the screen. Tapping on a property, for instance, brings up the property's card showing rent, house or hotel costs and who owns it.

The graphics replicate the Monopoly board right down to the pieces and Community Chest and Chance cards. Key feature here is the short-game option since the length of a game is always an obstacle to playing. Players can also play the long version and save when stopping is necessary.

Best news is no one has to be the banker! Computers are adept at the kind of bookkeeping chores Monopoly has always saddled on one of the players. On the Palm version, all that is automatically calculated as you play, from income tax payments to rent paid after landing on three St. Charles houses to your net worth at the end. So pass Go and collect $200--and never wonder if the banker forgot to give it to you.

Don Oldenburg   ©2002 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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