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Leisure Genius ist ja ein Spezialist für Computerumnsetzungen von Gesellschaftsspielen, man denke nur an die Digitalversionen von "Scrabble" oder "Risiko". Die Versoftung des altehrwürdigen Kapitalisten-Tests ist den Jungs trotzdem gründlich in die Hose gegangen...

Die Regeln dieses Klassikers dürften weitgehend bekannt sein: Man hetzt um ein Spielbrett herum, kauft Straßen, baut Häuser oder Hotels, und nach etlichen Stunden Spielzeit sind entweder die Konkurrenten Bankrott oder man selber.

Am Screen muß sich der geldgeile Makler zwar mit den original amerikanischen Straßennamen anfreuen, im Übrigen ist aber alles so, wie man es vom Wohnzimmertisch gewöhnt ist. Zumindest, was das Regelwerk betrifft.

Bis zu acht Finanzhaie können hier per Menüstuerung um Grund und Mieten feilschen; solltet Ihr nicht genügend Geldgeier in Eurem Bekanntenkreis haben, springt der Amiga in die Bresche.

Dank mangelhafter Übersichtlichkeit wird das Geschacher aber bald zur Quälerei: Die Steine und ihre Bewegungen sind nur schwer zu verfolgen, und die Computergegner ziehen recht schnell hintereinander, so daß sogar das Eintreiben der Mieten oft reine Glückssache ist.

Zwar können alle nötigen Informationen abgerufen werden, doch die erforderliche Klickerei tötet jeden Spielfluß!

Da hilft es natürlich wenig, daß die Grafik recht gefällig aussieht, und auch die hübsche Titelmelodie und die eingängigen FX können das Kind nicht mehr aus dem Brunnen holen: Wer unbedingt ein digitales Monopoly braucht, sollte lieber auf eine der vielen PD-Varianten zurückgreifen - sie sind auch nicht schlechter. Aber am meisten Spaß macht die Sache so oder so ohne Computer! (jn)

Monopoly logo

Where could you buy a house in Oxford Street for £200? Monopoly, of course. Traditionally this would be achieved by displaying your 'Oxford Street' card to the banker, handing over a couple a pink ones and getting a small, green piece of plastic in return.

But the advance of technology means that, having purchased a copy of the Amiga version, the transaction is accomplished by picking 'Buy Houses' from the 'Build' menu, moving your cursor to Oxford Street and waiting for £200 to be deducted from your account.

Apart from subtleties like that, this is more or less an exact replica of the board game, and its appeal will depend entirely upon your opinion of the original.

To recap, Monopoly's a sort of 'property' game, where loads of players sit round a board throwing dice, buying squares and building houses and hotels on them. There's a fair amount of skill involved, but success in the long run is governed mainly by chance - you just have to hope you land on squares worth buying and, having blown all your hard-earned on a streetful of hotels, that everyone else lands on them before you go broke. And that's what I hate about it, quite frankly.

It seems an enormous waste of effort to spend hours planning strategies when success or failure is likely to be dictated by a single roll of a couple of dice. No-one seems to agree, though, so I'm probably just being my usual nihilistic self.

The logic of converting such a game to computer is another matter. I can't really see six players gathering round the Amiga after dinner, so the only advantage of it seems to be the availability of computer-controlled opponents to practice against. And even that seems a bit silly. It's a perfectly good conversion, then, but a bit of a pointless one.

Monopoly logo

Picture this. You're sitting at home on Christmas day, all your friends have gone to the Bahamas for the holidays, The Wizard Of Oz is on TV again for the umpteeth time and boredom is setting in. Then suddenly you remember Monopoly! Of course, get the family playing a good old board game and the holiday brightens up immediately. Unfortunately, no-one else is interested so you end up sorting out the socks Aunt Molly gave you and wondering if you can exchange them for cash.

Well, not any more, as the computer version of Deluxe Monopoly is a welcome replacement for dull relatives. The main problem with computer Monopoly is that the board game is so simple that, apart from providing a computer opponent, it's hard to improve - in fact, normally, things just get confused. This is apparent here but the game is extremely user-friendly and complexities are kept to a minimum.

For up to six players, Deluxe Monopoly has all the familiar features, including Park Lane and Old Kent Road, the players' dog, hat, and boat icons, the 'Go To Jail' square and the ubiquitous Chance and Community Chest cards.

The board is colourful and recognise, and rather than the expected vertical view, the programmers have chosen to give a 3D perspective view from the current player's side of the board. Dice rolling, buying instructions, and cash screens are all controlled using a mouse-activated cursor and a simple menu system.

Although the graphics look a bit rough they are faithful to the original and there is a great advantage in having a computer-controlled bank (no ripping off the banker here!). You can't really improve on the basic board game but for Monopoly fanatics the single player option will make this game a must.