If this game wins any awards, it's clearly got to be the most boring (but descriptive) Nintendo DS title of 2006, much like Snakes on a Plane gave you a movie with believe it or not, snakes on a plane, Monopoly / Boggle / Yahtzee / Battleship gives you these four titles on the one DS cart. With the game available at a budget price it certainly sounds pretty tempting, but unfortunately it seems like budget was the overall mentality during the development of the game. With a few too many niggles and quirks Monopoly / Boggle / Yahtzee / Battleship is really only worth it if you really enjoy playing these games alone.
We'll begin with Boggle. In Boggle the objective is to shake up a container filled with letters. Using the letters that land face up you'll need to make as many words as possible by using the stylus to select the words. There are four main modes in Boggle, classic, time attack, word find and word count. It's Boggle though, so the game modes don't really vary all that much. Unfortunately Boggle is let down by the in game dictionary, which appears to have problems identifying some words. There's something quite relaxing about sitting down to a quick game of Boggle, but disappointingly the frustration will sink in rather quickly when the game doesn't recognise a word that you know exists. For those who like to be relaxed, the game also features a rather scenic background for when you're busy entering your words.
Next up is the old time favourite, Battleship. The game features a few variations upon Battleship and you'll even be allowed to select your fleet; such as classic, underwater and viking. Those unfamiliar with Battleship shouldn't have any problems learning the rules. In Battleship, you have five ships of different sizes and they all need to be placed on a gameboard which is made up of one hundred squares. You need to select where to place your ships and then you'll need to try and guess where your opponent's ships are. The objective is to try and destroy all of your opponent's ships before they sink your battleship. The game actually goes for quite a while and is rather slowed paced because an animation plkays out everytime your opponent fires a missile.
Yahtzee was a game this reviewer hadn't played all too often prior to this compilation and if the DS rendition is anything to go by, we won't be playing it again for awhile longer. In Yahtzee you need to roll 5 die to get as many points as possible. You must score a least 63 points to achieve a bonus. Traditional poker hands such as four of a kind, full house and straight are also worth points and a Yahtzee is when you roll 5 of a kind. The game is pretty basic, so the developers have made Yahtzee comparable to a real life game.
Monopoly rounds out the package and is the most impressive titles, if only because there are so many rules in Monopoly. Pleasingly you can customise some of the basic rules in the game and Monopoly really is a fun game to play with friends, playing the board game alone feels a little bit pointless, but it sure beats unpacking the board everytime and trying to sort out the money. The game does have its flaws, when you're playing against the AI everything goes too slow (due to the fact that the developers went a little bit overboard with the animations) and the interface is a bit cluttery. Overall though, it's Monopoly and if you like the board game then you'll enjoy the Nintendo DS version.
If you prefer to play with another person then the game supports single cart multiplayer for Boggle and Battleship. As always, Battleship is especially entertaining in multiplayer. You'll require multiple carts to play Yahtzee and Monopoly in multiplayer. It's got us boggled (see what we did there?) why either of these games would require two carts; but it's probably the fact that the developers want you to buy two copies of the game.
Aside from the 3D animations in Monopoly the game isn't exactly pushing the DS in a new direction. You'll see a lot of dice rolling in all of the games and some 3D animations in Monopoly and Battleship, but that's about all. The same can be said for the sound. You will hear the dice rolling quite frequently, but that's about all, the dramatic music in Battleship becomes extremely annoying very quickly though.
Unless you really enjoy board games you're not really likely to come back to this game too often. It could be the perfect travel title, if you have the time then Monopoly in particular can go on for quite awhile, but there is no real incentive to completing the games, an unlockable title or some decent reason to want to play through each game again would have been appreciated. The multiplayer is the highlight of the package, but having to buy two copies of the game to play Monopoly is a bit inpractical when games like Mario Kart allow you to play a lot of multiplayer with one copy of the game.
Monopoly / Boggle / Yahtzee / Battleship isn't quite as impressive as we'd hoped. Each title has a few quirks that bring the overall quality of the package down, Boggle has poor word recognition and Monopoly plays a little too slow. The interface is pretty clumsy and the single cart multiplayer is restrictive, not quite the "fun" pack after all, just four bored games.