When I was a kid, I felt like an outsider with my Sega Master System. Everyone would talk about their Nintendo Entertainment Systems on the school bus. I tried, on many occasions, to interject with stories about the games I played on my Sega, but most of the time I was shunned. I quickly learned, I wasn’t allowed to speak unless it was about the NES. Then one day, a new kid came on the bus. He also had a Sega Master System. I quickly befriended him and we told each other what games we owned. As he told me his list of games, I stopped him when he said, “Monopoly”. Sega Master System Monopoly?? I always liked that board game and was very curious to see what it looked like as a video game. So I borrowed it.
Sega Master System Monopoly was released in 1987. I can’t recall if it was popular or not. I’m guessing not, because it wasn’t an action or racing game. When I booted it up for the first time, I knew I would be pleased. The introduction screen, with Rich Uncle Pennybags jumping out of the title, gave me a warm feeling. Like being a kid again, even though technically I was still a kid at the time…odd yes, but I assure you, apt.
The game was designed to allow you to play the computer, play against friends, or play against the computer and friends. You get to choose from the normal lot of tokens. I usually chose the Iron. The game board looks like the actual game board. So no need to use your imagination and overall the graphics were pretty decent. When you roll the dice, a simple dice animation appear on the game board. Then you would see a close-up of your token as it flew, walked, galloped, or drove down the board. The “Title Deed” cards looked dead on.
What made the game great were the little animations like a man building a house when you purchased one, or a police officer directing you to a jail cell, or a bulldozer taking away one of houses or hotels when you sold them off. These days, Monopoly games are made for the PC as well as game consoles. With the exception of the graphics, I don’t think that these newer games have improved much upon what Sega had done with their version for the Master System. If you like the board game, you’ll love the Sega Master System version. Which is why I give Sega Master System Monopoly, 4 out of 5 stars.
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