Fortune Street has brought a lot to the video board-gaming table, with a large cast of characters that have reams of dialogue written into them, and a second set of customizable clothes and personalities for your Mii to show off while playing online. Oh yeah, and there’s online play, a first for a video board game! This is also the first game in the Fortune Street series to hit western shores (Itadaki Street as it’s known in Japan), and you’ll see a lot of references to games like Monopoly and Power Grid. If you were expecting something like Mario Party, you will be very surprised, as Fortune Street eschews minigame-skill in favour of investment savvy in determining the winners.
So far, I have only played Standard Rules, not wanting to get used to playing on easy before getting swamped with a complicated new layer of rules afterward. After getting a good bout of playtime with it, I’ve finally come up with some tips on how to improve the experience for any sequels that may show up:
Expand the tutorial mode to include different tips and tricks for advanced players. Is it better to buy stock and then invest in your shops, or vice versa? When is it advantageous to force buy-out your competitors, early-game or late? For now, most of the answers to these questions lie in practicing, practicing, and practicing on the board(s) of your choice. In adding to the tutorial, specifically for late-game scenarios, you expand the userbase of competitors that know how to handle various late game circumstances such as having stock in a district that won’t rise in value anymore, or dominating spaces that players can easily avoid.
Allow game owners to download a mini-version of the game to their 3DS systems, to practice, or to distribute as a demo, and play on the go. The demo version could include the simplest board (Trodain castle) and its featured characters (along with your Mii, Princessa, Platypunk and Slime). Not only would this get the word out on the game better, it would also allow prospective rivals to get a feel of the game before they buy it.
Allow players to re-roll the die. You know those times when luck just doesn’t seem to be on your side? “Don’t give me a 1, anything but a 1!” You roll the die, and it’s a 1, causing you to land on the ridiculously expensive spot and pay out your remaining worth.
I know that this series has been around for decades, AND that because it’s made with board gamers in mind, things like this will happen and are even expected to happen once in a while, and a lot of research and development has gone into to to make it balanced, but even knowing this, it seems like there are times when the CPU “cheats” and rolls you exactly the number you don’t need, 3 or 4 times in a row. To balance it out and increase the appeal for non-board-savvy video gamers, it could be a toggle-able option (easy-mode) that the player can switch off. It could be an ability that recharges, for example, you can only do this at most often once every five turns.
These are just a few quick ideas I’ve been able to come up with for this particular game. It’s pretty close to perfect as far as video board-games go for me. If you have any other ideas, post them in the comments and they may get added to the article!