Fortune Street is apparently quite an old Japanese series, starting way back in 1991 on the Super Famicom and featuring characters from the highly popular Dragon Quest series. It seems like the sort of thing you wouldn't expect to show up in North America, but this game reared its head at this year's E3, featuring both Mario and Dragon Quest characters. Does this new style of board game belong in your home?
The best way to describe this game is as a mashup of Mario Party and Monopoly, with a bit of stock market thrown in for good measures, which is probably not a helpful description in any way. Playing as one of several Mario or Dragon Quest characters, you travel along a game board with a number of property spaces like Monopoly. If you land on a space, you can buy it if you have the money, and then anyone who lands on that property will pay you money. You can invest further money into a property to increase its value, and then players will owe more money when they land on it. In addition to that, buying properties next to each other increases the amount owed.
Additionally, there's a bank on the board that you try to pass, as that gives you gold anytime you go by it, like the "Go" square on a Monopoly board. The difference is, scattered across the board are four different squares that represent the four suits in a deck of playing cards. If you collect all four suits by passing by them, you can go back to the bank and you'll get a promotion, which means more money when you pass by the bank. Additionally, landing on a suit space that you already have allows you to play a quick chance game; you'll pick cards from a table to try and obtain bonuses from them that will increase your gold count. The goal is to be the first to earn a certain amount of gold and get to the bank with it.
Admittedly, there are a lot of rules to take in, and I wasn't even able to see the stock market involvement in this demo version of the game. Thinking back, the game really does have more in common with Monopoly than Mario Party, but the former is one of the country's favorite board games, so Nintendo might have a winning title on their hands nonetheless. I certainly enjoyed my time with Fortune Street, even though I eventually ended up losing the demo game I played, and I can see myself gathering the family around the television to play a round of Fortune Street. This title is slated for a late 2011 release.
- Jim Avery for news10.net