Product Type: other board games
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Entertaining journey through life
Game of Life
Member Name: Linnyg
Game of Life
Date: 17/07/09, updated on 17/07/09 (46 review reads)
Advantages: Easy and fun
Disadvantages: Lots of reading
My sister and I loved this game as children and I have not been able to part with my copy yet, so still play it occasionally. The game has a basic role and move dynamic and there aren't that many decisions to be made but somehow it still manages to be very entertaining.
The large board consists of a snaking path through life with three places where you can choose which route to take. You spin the 1-10 numbered spinner and move that number of spaces on your turn and react to the text in the square you land on. The instructions are mainly gaining or paying money in various ways from the plausible to the ridiculous (ie. inventing an automatic cocktail shaker!) There are a few other more interesting aspects thrown in, such as suing an opponent or gambling on the stock exchange. The game ends once you have retired at either the Country Cottage or Millionaires Mansion. Check out http://www.boardgamegeek.com/file/3579 for the full rules.
All of this may not sound very interesting, yet it is a game that somehow managed to retain our interest over years and scores of plays. The family interaction during play can make it fun, for example naming your children, and consoling each other on their poor luck/ life decisions! It is quick to pick up and involves very little skill or decision making, so it is good for children, although there is quite a lot of reading which may be too much for very young ones.
A few observations after my extensive play testing:
The university route is clearly better, such that the business route may as well not be there as we never choose it. The difference in length is insignificant over the course of the game, compared to the chance to earn much higher paydays throughout the game. The luck of which profession you land on plays a large part in your likelihood of winning.
The Share the Wealth cards aren't used much as you can end up with ones that you can't play, and they don't have that much of an impact. You could easily leave these out if you don't fancy the slightly cut throat nature they introduce.
However, this is a kids game so I don't want to over analyse it too much. One final point: it is not a very good message to be teaching to our young people that the winner in life is the one who accumulates the most money:-)
Summary: Lighthearted family game