Nintendo proved that board games can translate well into video games way back in 1999 with the original Mario Party. Now it has teamed up with fellow Japanese publishing giant Square Enix for a brand new dice-rattling hit.
Boom Street is similar to classic board game Monopoly. The object of the game is for players to earn as much money as possible by building a property empire that dwarfs those of their opponents’.
But this is not just a simple case of buying squares, collecting rent and nabbing £200 for passing Go. The game introduces a surprising amount of depth by allowing gamers to buy and trade stocks. They can even drive up prices to bankrupt rival players, before selling off their shares in order to amass a a stack of cash.
Property can be made more valuable with careful investments into shops which continually generate money every turn. As with another certain tycoon board game, purchasing all shops in the same region or of the same colour dramatically improves their value. Only those with a shrewd business sense and a keen eye for growing trends will be able to play the stock market like a pro and outmanoeuvre the other tycoons in the game.
To make the game accessible for younger players, stocks and other more complicated options can be removed with the Easy Rules, making Boom Street perfect for a family night in.
Naturally, the dreary world of economics is brightened up by Nintendo’s trademark charm. Players can take to the boards as one of 20 Mario and Dragon Quest characters, including Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Slime, Stella and Platypunk. Alternatively, they can make things a little more personal by playing as their Mii.
Each of Boom Street’s game-themed boards (see ‘Memory Lanes’) have their own perils to watch out for, and players can unlock wild cards to turn the tables on their opponents.
The combination of the Mario and Dragon Quest franchises with complex finance is a bizarre one, but it’s a formula that makes for a virtual board game experience currently unlike anything else on the games market.
It’s not all stock trading and land deeds. Players can head over to Boom Street’s Arcade Square for a variety of mini-games, including Slime races and Wheel of Fortune, to earn more money for use in the main game.
Boom Street’s boards are based on the worlds of Mario and Dragon Quest. Players will be able to conquer fan-favourite locations such as Super Mario Galaxy 2’s Starship Mario and Dragon Quest’s Alltrades Alley.