EA’s Monopoly Hotels shows the Monopoly board from a new perspective

By Pete Davison Comment

Monopoly Hotels is a new free-to-play iOS game from EA. A recent release, the game had a strong showing this week in our emerging top grossing iOS apps list.

Monopoly Hotels tasks players with building and managing a chain of hotels in locations based on the iconic Monopoly board. The game has been localized so that in the U.K. App Store, players are building hotels on Old Kent Road, The Angel Islington and the like, while in the U.S. store, players will find themselves building everywhere from Mediterranean Avenue to Boardwalk.

The game introduces the basic play concepts through a brief tutorial led by Mr Monopoly himself, who explains how to build rooms in a hotel, collect rent from the residents and complete their various “requests,” which generally require the presence of specific rooms in the same hotel. Part of the game’s challenge comes from ensuring that the desired rooms all fit in the limited space available in the various hotels, as some of them are short and long, while others are tall and thin.

The player earns income by collecting rent from the various residents, which pops up every few minutes. The skies also regularly rain money, with stronger deluges coming upon leveling up and completing tasks. A robber character also puts in a regular appearance — sending him to jail by tapping on him nets the player a monetary reward.

There are a number of minigames based on iconic non-residential locations on the Monopoly board. For example, on occasion, the player’s hotels will be left without power. If this is left unchecked, residents will pay less rent, so at this point it becomes necessary for the player to pay the Electric Company a visit and tap rapidly on it to recharge its stocks of power.

Most of the characters seen in the game are original creations. However, in exchange for the game’s hard currency, it’s possible to construct various VIP rooms. Those VIP clients come from other brands like Hasbro’s Mr Potato Head and Littlest Pet Shop. They typically provide the player with considerably larger monetary and experience point rewards than those rooms purchased using only soft currency. Hard currency may also be used to hurry the production of rooms and the opening of new hotels, and may be acquired either through in-app purchase or via an in-app offer wall in partnership with a wide range of local advertising providers.

Social features are not currently implemented in the game. Like most of EA’s other titles, the publisher has chosen to forgo established mobile gaming networks such as OpenFeint and Game Center for its online features and instead requires players to sign up for the publisher’s own Origin service if they wish to make use of the upcoming friends feature. When this is added, players will be able to visit friends’ hotels and compare progress on leaderboards.

Monopoly Hotels is available now from the App Store. It is currently ranked at No. 5 in Top Free Apps, No. 4 in Top Free iPad Apps, No. 4 in Top Free Games and No. 4 in Top Free iPad Games. It is currently both the No. 18 top grossing app and top grossing game in the iPhone App Store, though on iPad it is the No. 28 top grossing app and the No. 14 top grossing iPad game.

To follow Monopoly Hotels’ progress through the App Store charts, check out AppData, our tracking service for social and iOS games and developers.