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Boom Street review

Where one per cent of the Goombas owns 99 per cent of the gold coins

Boom Street is the latest attempt to bring a board game experience to the video game medium and it's not a bad effort. It's actually the ninth game in the Itadaki Street series, a range of games that have been released by Enix and then Square Enix ever since the NES days, but this is the first one to be released in the UK.

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At first glance it looks similar to the Mario Party games but Boom Street is more like Monopoly, offering very little in the way of mini-games or the need for gaming ability. This is a game about buying and selling property, making money off your opponents and relying on your financial smarts and your luck with the die, rather than how quickly you can waggle a Remote to row a raft down a volcano.

Boom Street is not a complete rip-off of Monopoly: there are plenty of changes in the rules that make the game different enough. Rather than trying to make all your opponents bankrupt as you do in Monopoly, the objective here is simply to be the first person to reach a target value.

Everyone starts off with the same amount of money and if you land on a shop (this is a game about shops, not houses and hotels) you can buy it. This will reduce your cash but, crucially, since you're getting a shop out of it, your value stays the same. Similarly, improving these shops costs you money, but the improved quality makes up for it, keeping your value unchanged.

Funny Money

There are three main ways to increase your value. The first is to make money off your opponents in the traditional Monopoly way - if anyone lands on one of your shops, they have to pay you. The more you've invested in the shop, the more money they have to pay you, and if you own multiple shops next to each other, the cost of landing on one of them is multiplied accordingly.

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The second way is by passing the bank, much like passing Go on a Monopoly board, only you have to pass over four symbol squares and collect the heart, diamond, club and spade to make sure you've covered the full board before you can get a payout from the bank. Each time you pass the bank you level up, meaning you earn more and more money with each successive pass.

Finally, you can increase your value by playing the stock market. This obviously involves some risk and can be pretty complicated (not to mention a tad dull) but is the best way to play Boom Street tactically. Every time you pass the bank you get the option to buy stocks in each region, whether you own the buildings that

exist there or not.

Whenever a property in that region is upgraded its stock value increases, and if someone lands on a building in that area, you get a cut of their fee. If it looks like things are going well for a player, you can buy stocks in a region with a lot of their shops in it and ride their coattails, increasing your own value as they improve their buildings.

Similarly, if someone has stocks in your own buildings and they're about to reach the target amount, you can sabotage them by selling off district stocks or reducing the quality of your shops and dropping their value.

Bored Stupid?

After reading all the above you may have come to the conclusion that Boom Street is about as dry as a moth licking a sheet of sandpaper in the desert, and it certainly qualifies as an acquired taste. There's none of the mania you'd expect from the Mario Party games - while the maps are based on popular Mario and Dragon Quest locations, they just sit in the background and there's no actual interaction with them - and you can go a couple of hours without encountering one of the few mini-games. But if you're a fan of board games in general, this actually isn't too bad.

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Comments

11 comments so far...
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  1. Nina-P Monday 26th Dec 2011 at 11:37

    Maybe I'll pick this up on the cheap.

  2. TheNUKEnukeM Monday 26th Dec 2011 at 21:03

    Bored Game fans will like this. Who doesnt like board games in general. Theres hundreds of them and each could be enjoyed. Any way Looks good and will have a look at it when out in the new years sales. It is going to be intresting to see how it sales

  3. LBDNytetrayn Monday 26th Dec 2011 at 22:15

    Definitely a fun game, especially if you enjoy the gist of Monopoly, but are willing to shake things up a bit.

    As for Princess Peach, I was able to unlock her the first time I played in the tour mode-- incidentally, I did choose Peach's castle, the one area where she's an opponent, as my first stage to complete, so that likely had something to do with it.

    But, if you're playing the stages in the order they come, I believe that's the last one before unlockables. But in any case, I've unlocked her, and I am far from beating the tour mode.

  4. jlavnin Monday 2nd Jan 2012 at 15:21

    can you get this on 3ds. my wii is broke

  5. callum2003 Friday 6th Jan 2012 at 12:31

    This looks amazing It comes out in GAME today I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo excited it looks a bit like Mario Party but a bit better I am so happy :D :D :D :D :D :D :) :) :) :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:

  6. Parane Wednesday 11th Jan 2012 at 09:25

    I think I'll give this a miss and pretend it doesn't exist. Can't afford these kind of dodgy games when there is an avalanche of top titles coming my way very soon.

  7. spacemen13 Wednesday 11th Jan 2012 at 19:40

    I was gonna get it but NAH I have too many great games already I haven't played yet.

  8. Quantum Raven Friday 3rd Feb 2012 at 14:14

    Peach is - bizarrely - available as an unlockable character,

    What the hell are you on about ONM!? Peach has been in two non-Nintendo games as an unlockable character so the fact that she's unlockable here is NOT bizarre at all!

  9. Scampi Monday 31st Dec 2012 at 12:48

    :) This game has the same basic idea as Monopoly, but much more intense esp on standard rules with the stock exchange. If you enjoy board games like monopoly you should enjoy this too. I do believe that it is a bit more complicated than monopoly so not so suited for younger players. As mentioned by other people there isn't really any mini games the only ones that appear very rarely are very basic where you hardly have to do anything. To play this game you do need to set about a long period of time (there is an option to save a game to come back to later) as many boards take longer than a game of monopoly (on average), to be good at this game you do need to think logically, have a bit of luck and be devious. Over all not a bad game if you like Monopoly.

  10. PrinceMidna Monday 31st Dec 2012 at 12:56

    :) This game has the same basic idea as Monopoly, but much more intense esp on standard rules with the stock exchange. If you enjoy board games like monopoly you should enjoy this too. I do believe that it is a bit more complicated than monopoly so not so suited for younger players. As mentioned by other people there isn't really any mini games the only ones that appear very rarely are very basic where you hardly have to do anything. To play this game you do need to set about a long period of time (there is an option to save a game to come back to later) as many boards take longer than a game of monopoly (on average), to be good at this game you do need to think logically, have a bit of luck and be devious. Over all not a bad game if you like Monopoly.

    Hi. Welcome to the forums. I hope you enjoy your time here but be warned: the Off Topic forums are filled with nutjobs xD I love Monopoly so I might buy this.

  11. Ghostly_Shadeon Sunday 5th May 2013 at 14:53

    I actually got quite excited when this game was coming to the UK, as I previously played Itadaki Street on the DS.
    Boom Street is good fun while it lasts...though it can often become rather dull when you're in last place...

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