Switch version tested
Review code provided
The economy hasn’t stopped in Billion Road, a couch party game focused on buying up real estate and businesses with the help of monsters. As they say, you have to spend money to make money. And, as the name might suggest, the entire goal of Billion Road is to make as much money as you possibly can.
Billion Road is a board game traversing all of Japan. You and three other players take turns rolling dice and wandering around the country landing on spots to buy real estate, to pick up items, earn instant cash or spots that’ll cost the player some Yen. There are monsters hanging out around that map that will automatically join your crusade if you pass them by, for better or for worse. Each turn will take up a months time, and the game goes on until the predetermined amount of years is reached. After each year you’ll see the fruition of all the investments you’ve made with each business paying out and increasing your net worth.
Billion Road takes some pages out of the Monopoly handbook, but there are some key differences that set it apart. For one, if you land on a space that another player owns property in, you don’t have to pay anything to them. Secondly, and much largely, you join forces with each other to battle giant monsters. There are huge bonuses for whoever is the one to defeat the threat, and just as big consequences if the monster is not defeated in time. Allied monsters belong to colour-coordinated classes, and there’s bonuses for certain colours, so recruit wisely.
There are over 30 items and 50 monsters in the game, each with its own unique attributes. The game sets destinations on the map that gives rewards to the first person to arrive. Each time someone makes it to the set goal, the location will reset and a not-so-friendly monster will follow someone. I mostly saw this happen to whoever was the furthest from the goal, and these guys really can mess up your game! Every so often the game will also reward people for things like owning ramen shops or buying the most items. These can be game-changers so keep your fingers crossed and hope to get lucky.
Billion Road is a fun alternative to games like Monopoly or Mario Party. It offers unlockable costumes to entice the confident solo player and up to 4 player couch play for some competitive bonding. This digital board game highlights Japanese cities and prefectures, showing the charm of the country through the seasons. I felt the game lacked some substance at first and needed something more at the end of each turn, but the game remained interesting from start to finish with all of its madness. So if you’re interested in hanging out with Kaiju while buying up Tokyo’s top Udon shop, then this game might be for you.
TBG Score: 7.5/10
Platform: Steam, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 16/04/2020
No. of Players: 1-4
Category: Board Game, Party, Strategy
Developer: BANDAI NAMCO Ent
Download link: eShop