There have been several games like Monopoly converted to computer games, although before now software houses had sensibly avoided the really traditional 'bored' games. But with Compendium, Gremlin has changed all that - free stickers or no!
Three of these ol' grandpappies of the modem board game have been reincarnated here, together with a totally original pub set-up that'll suit all us devotees of the great God Bacchus (slurp!) But they're not as you remember them. Out go the traditional counters and in come the Wink family, a typically normal group of reprobates. Up to four of them can play in each game - the remaining two only seem to get in your way.
This is particularly a problem in Snakes And Hazards, where you have several creatures all trying to push you to the heads of the snakes, and other objects too which you can bung in front of opponents to slow 'em down. Why bother, I ask? A normal game takes long enough as it is! Here it took me just under an hour to complete a one-player game (too many snakes, too few ladders). Bo-ring.
Xmas Ludo is no better, as before you can move a piece, you have to get to it first! With Mavis and Tiddly to worry about, it's like a race between a hare and a tortoise. Worse still, you need to throw a six to get one piece on the board, but the authors don't like that number - rare ain't the word.
Shove-A-Sledge is a neat adaption of the once popular pub game and is at least partly a game of skill (unlike the others), but control is so tough that you get the sled-in-a-bed more by luck than judgement.
There are nice touches throughout the collection, like the little tunes that greet each character's appearance (better be ready with the 'sound off' key, though). The cute monochrome graphics are good, especially in Tiddly Drinks, which sadly is better to watch than to play. It's rather a pain trying to catch Dad's empty glasses, anyway - gimme a full one any day.
Since the best parts of all are probably the loading screens, which rate as fab and a half - at least the first time - let me tip you the Wink. Compendium's full of good ideas, but its slowness too often takes all the fun out of it. My advice: nip up to the loft, grab the real McCoy (He's dead, Jim. Ed), dust 'em down and give me a call when the gargle's a-flowing!
Nice graphics and jolly music, but old age may set in before you complete the game.