Fortune Street marks the first time a game in this series is making its way outside of Japan.  In Japan this game series is known as Itadaki Street and dates back to the Famicom (Japanese NES).  Square Enix has been publishing this series for years and recently Mario and friends appeared in the Japanese only DS version of the title.  However Nintendo will be publishing this title in North America.

Now Fortune Street is headed to the Wii and for the first time people outside of Japan can see what the fuss is all about.  This version of the game will feature characters from Dragon Quest as well as Super Mario!

Fortune Street plays similar to Monopoly in many ways.  Players take turns rolling dice on a board to see how many spaces they will go.  Most spaces offer the opportunity to buy property.  Having your own properties next to one another increases the value and it’s also possible to increase the value of your land by investing it in.

The demo also featured a minigame space that players could land on.  This would bring up a very short, barely interactive, mini game.  The one I saw in the demo involved betting on a bunch of Dragon Quest Slimes to see who would win a race.  Money could be earned in this way.

The objective in the Fortune Street demo was to see who could get 5,000 coins first.  I barely edged out my competition but it was a fun time.  The trick was to increase the value of your own properties so that when players landed on them you’d gain cash.

While this entire experience sounds much like Monopoly there are some big differences.  Scattered throughout the board were four different suites (Heart, Spade, Diamond, Club).  After a player walked over all four of these stationary suites, they could head back to the bank to level up.  Leveling up gained the player some coins and increased the value of their property.

I was also told that the demo I was playing lacked the Stock Market feature.  This feature sounded like it will add an entirely different element to the game and deepen strategy even further.

Recently I also heard that Fortune Street will feature online play which is a very welcome feature!

Even though I just played a short limited demo of Fortune Street I’m looking forward to giving the final version a try.  This title has a learning curve but it looks like it could be one worth learning.  There is a reason this title as been around in Japan for so long and I’d like to learn why this game is so popular by playing a complete version of the game.

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