Pass Go (Kaydee) Review | A&B Computing - Everygamegoing

A&B Computing

Pass Go
By Kaydee
BBC Model B

Published in A&B Computing 1.05

Pass Go

Pass Go, which "resembles another well-known property buying game", comes in some colourful plastic packaging the size of a navvy's lunchbox. It contains a single cassette and a couple of lines of loading instructions.

The title sequence proclaims what we have all guessed "Computer Monopoly". In this game, each player drives around the "board" in a teletext car, eyeing up the property he/she might wish to purchase. The Mode 7 graphics are colourful but crude. The music which accompanies the journey is excellent - to begin with. However, as you head off on yet another jaunt in your car (with appropriate name sprayed on the side) this jolly tune can become irritating. The lucky discovery that pressing the Return key instead of the Space bar (as instructed) resulted in a move being taken as normal but without all the graphics and sound, came as some relief.

At the end of each random move, the player is offered the change to buy a hotel or store if available. Otherwise the appropriate bill is levied. Chance, Salary and Jail are self-explanatory. You can also take advantage of the Market to buy or sell shares, land and gold. This ability to spread your assets does not yield any apparent extra advantage. Choosing fractional amounts of land can cause numbers to run into each other on the display.

Pass Go

As with Monopoly, things heat up as the game progresses and property is taken up. If a player lands on his/her own possession then an offer is made for the sale of the hotel or store for the current market price. The alternative is to develop the property at the offered price. This is a simple yes or no situation. If you land on opponents' property, then the inevitable debt is grabbed.

Bank loans are available to pay for the various Chance occurrences like tax, shares, school fees, gas man, general repairs, lawyers, drunk in charge (again) and doctor's fees. The hotel bills and store bills amount to more than the combined spending of an Arab sheikh's entourage on a spree in London.

All these details are displayed for each individual turn along with a linear view (down the left hand edge of the screen) of the board and players' positions. A bird's eye view would have been more helpful but this works well enough.

Unfortunately, all the sales (and therefore the action) congregated in one section of the board and only spread out at a later stage of the game. This meant that the players were waiting for the exciting bit to come round. When in debt (cash reserves below zero) then it is possible to take out a loan. If you refuse to do so, then the debt collector makes off with some of your other assets. Extravagance on the market does not appear to pay.

Like the old Monopoly, this game brings out the worst in everybody. So watch your opponents' fingers. It's all too easy for them to press Y when you require N. There are nice aural prompts for 'yes', 'no' and 'not that key'.

Dave Reeder

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