Rento Fortune Review

By Kevin Tavore,
Sometimes when we’re given a review opportunity here on TrueAchievements, it comes in the form of a list of games needing writers assigned to them. For many games, we know little or nothing about them. It was from such a list that I selected Rento Fortune - Monolit Tycoon earlier this week. I was drawn by the idea that it was a new and different take on the classic board game Monopoly. After all, many of us likely have fond memories of 6+ hour games of Monopoly as a kid where everyone cheated and eventually quit in a fit of boredom. I figured that perhaps adding online play and a snappier interface would be just what the game needed, plus I’d be able to play with my wife as the two of us both love playing board games. This review is the story of that experience. That miserable, dull and exasperating experience.

25/05/2018 - Carousel

As we sat down to play, I signed into my profile and she signed into a second account to ensure we could tell who was who. Then we loaded into the game and were greeted with the option of a tutorial. “Why not? Something might be new,” I said. We began to watch for a bit as basic Monopoly concepts were explained to us until the video randomly cut out and we were sent back to the main menu. We took that as a sign that it was time to start a game and figure it out ourselves. What we didn’t realize is that it was just a taste of the quality to come.

Upon selecting Local Play, you’re given a menu of options as you’d expect. What you might not expect is that navigating that menu is inexcusably atrocious, and I do not use that word lightly. The left stick moves a few bits and bobs around, like the number of players and number of bots while the D-pad is used to select other options. The left stick is highly sensitive and options will constantly change on you, while actually navigating with the D-pad is non-functional and akin to a drunken game of pin the tail on the donkey. Actually, a drunken game of pin the tail on the donkey might be fun, so to be clear, this was not — it took us almost ten minutes to fumble through the menus trying to change things about since the game kept switching which controller it would accept inputs from. We never did figure out how to change the piece for player two, but in frustration we just accepted our fate and started a three player game with one bot.

So it turns out that local play can only be played with one controller. You must share and pass the controller. A review of the options menu to see if that could be changed indicated that there were no options at all, so I told my wife she could use the controller and I would just let her know what my choices would be. She found it absolutely thrilling to constantly press one button to roll the dice and another to purchase properties with no interesting input otherwise. While she did this, I took the opportunity to review the board to see what’s changed.

The answer is that pretty much nothing has changed. Rento Fortune is basically a carbon copy of Monopoly to the extent that I’m surprised it’s not a copyright violation. The goal of the game is to buy properties, which are separated into colored groups of three plus a few others like railroads, build houses on them to collect rent, and ultimately run your competitors out of money. The only additions are The Vatican, which is in a color group by itself so you can immediately build houses on it, and a wheel of fortune that usually spreads misfortune but occasionally gives you free properties and money. All the properties are named after countries, which offers an interesting look at which countries the developer thinks are more valuable than others. You can also play on different boards that just shuffle around the locations of the properties but otherwise do not offer anything different.

Screenshot

The AI had much better luck than either of us and firmly trounced us. It tried to offer a trade to my wife, but the trade interface was outrageously confusing and we couldn’t identify what was being offered so she just constantly declined it. Eventually, she said “How long do we have to play this? Can we please stop playing?” It had been 25 minutes. I convinced her to try a bit more and accidentally opened the menu, where I saw an option to report a bug. Recalling the appalling menu controls, I thought I’d let the developer know and typed out a submission. Upon hitting submit, the game promptly crashed. I’m not sure they got the message, but my wife started laughing, stood up and left.

Left alone, I thought it might be best to jump into an online game with people who wanted to play. Unfortunately, a search for some games at about 7 pm US central time only three days after release found nothing available, so I decided to make my own lobby and await some competitors. I left the game running for an hour while I played Hearthstone and no one ever joined. Absent a host of friends you convince to buy this, it seems you can expect the online servers to be so dead they might as well not exist.

So I launched a solo game against one hard AI intending to put it through its paces. It should come as no surprise to anyone that the AI was shoddy and extremely easy to trick. For instance, when you land on a property you can either buy it outright or put it up for auction. I found that if I put a property for auction, oftentimes the AI would stop bidding early and I could buy properties for half or less of their price. Other times, the AI would vastly overbid for no apparent reason, giving itself an exceptionally terrible deal. Either way was a win in my book. Later on when I had less expendable cash and was forced to put up properties for auction and bid my maximum $58, the sensible thing to do would be to counter with $59 and nab the property for cheap, but the AI invariably went way above and paid $100+ extra. Obviously, it didn’t take long to rip off the AI in a terrible trade and shortly thereafter it declared bankruptcy, giving me my first win. I had no fun with this and there was no challenge.

The achievements in this game will force you to play the game far longer than you will want to. There are quite a few related to online play that you will need to boost if you want to unlock them since there’s no one to play with. Then there are others that require you to beat hard AI which will take time but not skill. Finally, there are achievements related to obtaining specific board states like having a certain number of monopolies. These could come naturally but most likely you’ll have won before they do, so again you’ll be stuck boosting. To earn the full 1000 will be exceedingly easy and exceedingly boring while you boost pretty much the entire thing. Of course, that assumes the achievements work properly, which didn't seem to be the case during my playtime.

Summary

My fellow staff editor Mark asked me whether the game was bad because it was Monopoly or if it was bad Monopoly. That’s a fair question, but I like Monopoly — Rento Fortune is bad Monopoly. The entire experience makes you miserable because it’s so poorly made, causing anyone you managed to corral into playing with you to beg for release from their obligation. There are no highlights, but the lowlights include unnavigable menus, no support for multiple controllers, completely dead online servers, stupid AI and a confusing trade system. This game couldn’t be recommended to anyone and it only earns a score even this high because it is not functionally broken, but that’s nothing to be proud of.
1 / 5
Rento Fortune - Monolit Tycoon
Positives
  • It isn’t completely non-functional
Negatives
  • Menus are very hard to navigate
  • No support for multiple controllers in local play
  • Dead online servers already
  • “Hard” AI is stupid and easy to abuse
  • Confusing trade system
  • Game occasionally crashes or otherwise ceases to work
Ethics
The reviewer spent approximately 3 hours trying to eke out anything resembling fun from this Monopoly clone. Along the way he unlocked 5 of the 30 achievements for 60 Gamerscore, ensuring the game will stain his profile forever. A copy of the game was supplied through the ID@Xbox program for the purpose of this review.
Kevin Tavore
Written by Kevin Tavore
Kevin is a lover of all types of media, especially any type of long form story. The American equivalent of Aristotle, he'll write about anything and everything and you'll usually see him as the purveyor of news, reviews and the occasional op-ed. He's happy with any game that's not point and click or puzzling, but would always rather be outdoors in nature.