* Prices may differ from that shown
I was never too keen on the original Game of Life game, but on receiving this for my birthday a couple of years ago, I was very pleased to see that this version was a vast improvement. There are some board games that seem to have been updated to an electronic version with little purpose, but in this case the game really seems to have benefitted from the addition of the 'Lifepod.'
There have also been some changes made to the board layout and to the rules, compared to the original game, so let's just start from the beginning. The first difference is that the board is divided into 4 sections: Live it!, Love it!, Learn it! and Earn it! Live It! is based around the theme of world travel, Love it! is about marriage and starting a family, Learn it! is for getting a degree and Earn it! is about moving up the career ladder by getting promotions.
There are four playing pieces, each in the form of a skateboard, in yellow, red, blue or green and you can choose to start at any of the four sections mentioned above that you choose, rather than having to follow a specific route. You can also repeat sections if you choose to.
There's a set of life cards which instruct players to add or remove money or life points from their total if they land on a relevant square, and the skateboards can be upgraded to a choice of two different cars, with varying prices and investment values, again if a player lands on a relevant square.
One of the aspects I most like about the game, aside from the addition of the Lifepod, is that each player is given a random set of careers at the start of the game, and is able to choose which they would prefer. Each career starts off with a basic salary of £5000 but, as I mentioned, you can get promoted if you choose a certain route on the board. Some of the jobs require a degree and others don't, though if you choose to take a degree you are taking a bit of a risk, as you then have to pay for the degree before you can start getting the promotions, and this can leave you in debt, just like in real life!
I've waited to explain the Lifepod, as so much of the game revolves around this device. This could be seen as a bad thing- I mean, what do you do if the Lifepod breaks? This would render the game unplayable, unless you replaced it. Fortunately this isn't a problem I've had to deal with yet, so they seem pretty reliable, as long as you're careful with them. It requires two AA batteries, which are not provided with the game, but it doesn't require a battery change very often. In fact, I haven't yet had to change the batteries, and I play the game on something of a regular basis!
So, when you start the game you input the number of years you want to play for, which can be anything between 1 and 99, though I've found that 10-15 is usually a good number, and takes a good amount of time. 15 years with 4 players takes somewhere between an hour and a half and 2 hours. You can also add or take away years once you've started playing, which is a useful feature if you feel like you want more or less time.
You each have a credit card which you put into the Lifepod on your go, and you input information about any money or life points you've had added or taken away during your move, which is then stored on the card for the next turn. It also automatically adds your salary at the beginning of each go and randomly chooses the number you move- around the outside are the numbers 1-12, and the number you need to move lights up each time. This negates the need for a die, which is not especially useful, but does have a novelty value the first few times you play.
At the end of the designated number of years of play, each player puts their card into the Lifepod in turn and a 'secret formula' is used to calculate the total number of lifepoints, and therefore the winner. This takes into account everything you've done throughout your 'life,' including how much money you've earned, how many children you've had and whether you've bought any houses or cars, plus the interest gained from these purchases, if any.
There are other things you can do whilst playing, but I don't think I need to explain these here. Suffice it to say that it can get a bit complicated, especially the first couple of times you play, but it is also a lot of fun. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone under the age of about 13, simply because I'm not sure they'd enjoy it. It seems more suited to older teens and adults. Also, the Lifepod may get broken with kids playing (it may get broken with adults playing too, depending on how competitively the game is played and how much everyone's had to drink!).
In short, this is an enjoyable game as no two games are ever the same, but it's better with 3 or 4 players, rather than 2. It's a shame you can't have more than 4 players, although it would take an eternity to get through each round of moves with more players, so maybe 4 is the optimum number.
* Unfortunately I don't think this game is currently available on Amazon unless you buy it secondhand, so it could end up being quite pricey.
The Game of life is a game that I most always play at Christmas time and special occasions as it is a great family game which doesn't involve a lot of thinking!
What I love about this game is that it is so unpredictable as everything changes once you get to the finish, which I think is a great idea, especially for younger children.
The game comes in many parts which gives the whole family something to do before the game has started and keeps their concentration levels and attention high.
At first the game is pretty hard to get to grips with but as the game progresses it is easier to understand the general rules. I think that this game might be a bit too advanced for the much younger children as it does involve a lot of money based questions, in whicih I doubt they might not know how to handle!
So if you want a fun, family game with very unpredictable moments then this game is definitly for you.
The Game of Life is a great board game that I used to play regularly with family members when I was younger and is fun way to involve the whole family and teach them about life's ups and downs as well.. It is a board game orginally created in 1860 as The Checkered Game of Life.
The game portrays a person's travels through his own life and is great as you can relate to alot of the stages of life in the game.
The aim of the game is to travel through life's various stages on the board by moving your piece after rolling a dice and at the end be the person who has the most money. That is not neccessarily the person who finishes first on the board at the ultimate destination.
You are constantly at crossroads where you have to decide which way to go, starting at the beginning where you must decide whether to go through university or straight into employment. The university route is longer but can potentially get you better rewards and higher paid job which is of benefit in the game until you retire as you will earn this wage as you go along just like in a real job.
Then comes the stage in life where you get married and have children that are little pieces that you put in the back of your car piece that you drive around the board. Eventually you will reach the crossroads in life at your retirement and that is where the game ends.
This board game can be played by two to six players and is great fun for everyone. It has always been one of my favourite boards games and I recommend it to anyone and the kids will love it too.
My sons received the Game of Life Twists and Turns for Christmas, and I have to admit that I did view it with initial trepidation. I had bought the electronic version of Monopoly and hated it, so I thought that this updated electronic version of the old favourite Game of Life would be along the same lines, but I was wrong.
I am sure that most of us have played the Game of Life when we were younger - if you were anything like me and my sister, you never could be bothered to read the instructions so never played it properly! This Twists and Turns game is along the same sort of thing; a journey through life, but it has been completely revamped: gone are the 3D structures, paper cash, centre spinner and little pegs that represent you, your spouse and your children, and in come a colourful flat board, a Life account card and an electronic "Lifepod".
~*~ Getting going ~*~
The first thing that you have to do is put batteries into the lifepod and to do this you need a tiny screwdriver to get into the battery compartment (Why do they have to do this, it drives me mad!). It takes two AA's, and we have had this game for six months now, used it a fair amount and we are still on the same set.
At the start of the game each player is provided with a life board, a swipe card, a skateboard (to be used as your initial counter) two career cards and two clips. Lay the board out flat, and you're ready to go.....if only it was that simple!
This game also comes with a comprehensive set of instructions, and for the first several times that you play this game, you will find yourself constantly referring back to them.
~*~ The aim of the game~*~
Unlike most board games where you have to gather the most amount of money in order to win; here you have to gain the most amount of "Lifepoints". It is still important to get money as at the end of the game, money is transferred in to lifepoints, but generally speaking, an eventful and fulfilled life gets you a lot more points so counts for much more - A lesson for us all!
~*~ Playing the game~*~
At the beginning of the game you select on the Lifepod the number of turns you wish to take. Obviously, the more turns you plump for, the longer the game is going to last. We have found that twenty turns lasts about an hour.
You have been given two career cards, and you have to choose which one has the most opportunity for promotion during the game. The one that you don't want goes back in the box and the one you choose gets clipped onto your life board, with the clip pointing towards your current wage.
The board is divided up into four sections; Learn it, Earn it, Love it and Live it, all joined together in the middle. You place your skateboard on the central circle at the beginning of whichever "zone" you choose.
Learn it: This zone gives you the opportunity to get your degree or PhD.
Earn it: Here you are most likely to gain promotions, or you can invest in business ventures.
Love it: This is where you have the opportunity to have babies and get married - doing this costs you money, but earns you a lot of lifepoints.
Live it: Have a bit of fun here: Go bungee jumping, white-water rafting or do a bit of gambling at the casino. Not much money to be made here, but masses of lifepoints for living life to the max!
You also have a pile of lifecards placed in the middle.
Next you place your account card into the lifepod and press the spin button. The pod will indicate how many squares you can move on. If you land on a blank square, another player reads out the instructions from a lifecard where you can lose or gain lifepoints or money (for example; you've invented a product, tell the other players what it is and gain 400 lifepoints and £20,000, or you cheated on an exam; lose 500 life points and get demoted). You then enter your data into the lifepod, take your card out and pass the pod onto the next player.
If you land on a square with instructions - follow the instructions. This can be anything like getting married, having a baby, casino, lottery, promotion....this is why you constantly have to refer to the instruction manual when you first start playing, but you soon get the hang of it.
Each time you put your card into the pod, your wage is paid in and your points are updated.
You also have the opportunity to buy a house or upgrade your skateboard to a saloon or sports car. You gain life points for this, but the asset costs you money each turn which is all worked out by the pod.
~*~ In conclusion ~*~
This game sounds really complicated to explain as there are so many twists and turns, but I hope that I have done it justice. You can end up playing a different game each time you play, and that is the beauty of this game - the choice is entirely yours.
The lifepod adds an extra dimension to the game, and it would be impossible to play such a precise game without it; you would constantly be calculating money, and someone wouldn't be able to play as they would have to be the dedicated banker. Although it sounds confusing, it really isn't; my son old quickly got the hang of it who was six at the time, even though it is recommended for ages eight and up.
One negative point to this game is that you only get four account cards, so it is for a maximum of four people, unless you started playing in pairs, but I don't think that this would work as well.
You can expect to pay around £23 for this game, made by MB Games. It is not readily available in a lot of high street shops, but It can be easily bought online.
Be who you want to be, and live life to the full with the must-have family game, The Game of Life Twists and Turns ! It's the classic Game of Life, but updated and ready for action! Pick up a credit card and into the crazy new world you go! What career will you choose? You could be a brain surgeon, a Hollywood star or even an international spy! The more awesome experiences you have, the more money and life points you collect! Live life to the max or just chill out in Live It , snuggle into the family love nest in Love It or make a mint as a high flying executive in Earn It ! Whatever you do, it will all be recorded in the amazing electronic Lifepod, taking care of your money, houses, cars and family matters at the touch of a button! It even uses a secret formula to calculate your scores, so no two games are ever the same! Game of Life Twists and Turns is great for all the family!