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My wife and I have the original version of the game of life and really enjoy it. I was struggling with ideas for my sisters Christmas present. We are a family that enjoy playing board games especially over Christmas, my sister lives away from us so my wife suggested the game of life. After doing some googling and high street shopping I found out that the game of life costs around £40 new which is above the amount we spend on each of our relatives. I found the adventure edition on Amazon for just £20 and figured it was worth a go.
When my sister unwrapped it she was really happy and we decided to play it for our Christmas evening family board game. I am always given the thankless task of setting up for the first time and reading the instructions and explaining the rules to everyone. The first time set took a bit longer than I was expecting but the rules were very straight forwards and there were a few things that only need to be done when it is first opened.
There are quite a few changes to the original game. The board is split into five sections. All players start in the same place and unlike the original game all players finish at the same time. Before you start you decide how many 'decades' the game will be played for. The aim of the game is still to have accumulated the most money by the end.
The concept of getting a job, partner and kids is still in the game and the possibility of pets has been added. Your car will change into a boat and if you are lucky a plane during the course of the game. Property trading has been added but was probably the least used of the new innovations in the game when I have played it. There are several tiles that change each decade which is a really good idea and is probably the best addition to the game.
Everybody in my family really enjoyed playing it and My sister, wife and I had some friends over for a games night when we played it recently and all of our friends really enjoyed it. Like the original game of life though it is one of those games that you can only play once in an evening without it becoming tired.
Unfortunately when everybody has finished on the starting island there is one island that it makes much more sense to go to above any of the others which means that the idea of making each game follow a different path is destroyed by imbalance. While the travel edition is great fun it just seems to be slightly less enjoyable than the original game.
The travel edition was definitely £20 well spent and I wouldn't spend £40 on the original. If I saw them both for the same price I would go for the original. My wife found our copy of the game of life at a charity shop for £3 and it is one of those things that seems to turn up in charity shops on a regular basis.