“ Brand: Waddingtons / Age: 12 Years+ / For 2 - 6 players „
The careers game box in our house was battered and broke, the notes were marked and there were multiple 'create your own' score sheets that fell from the box, if you attempted to pick it up. The game was in such a bad state because we played it so much. A simpler form of monopoly, a strategy game that did rely on chance but was much easier to explain. It's now joined the games that we can't bear to throw out and a cartooned American version has been bought so that we can still play.
The idea behind the game is simple, you need to become a success by getting famous, well loved, and rich. You decide how rich, or famous (stars) or loved (hearts) you need to become at the beginning of the game. The first to reach their target is the winner. You attend different career paths that break off from the main pathway round the game bored. Your choice of pathways and use of chance and experience cards determine how quickly you will win the game. You can play tactically but, and this is a large but, it's quite hard to sabotage the other players. Your success doesn't normally doesn't hinder them either. Now that's a big bonus in these games for us, one of the family is a fair freak and the other an opportunist.
I am sad to say that the game is not simple to come by any more. It's need for monetary notes means that people are less likely to sell it on as they are aware of it's incompleteness. It's no longer made in it's original form and the American version import is OK, but does not have the charm or the wildness of the original where bigger gambles could take place. If monopoly ends in a fight then it may not be the game for you. However, If you love a strategy game and you come across this gem then it's worth the 5 minutes to read the rules and the half an hour to an hour to give it a go.
My boyfriend always talks about this game and how he used to play it with his grandparents. It has a number of editions, the most recent British one I found was 1972. However, it was the orginal 1952 edition that my boyfriend had played. I managed to track it down on ebay for a surprise birthday present (only cost £6). I am so glad that I did!
At the beginning of the game each player (you can have up to six players) have to alllocate 100 points between, fame, money and happinness. Each player keeps this formula a secret and moves around the boards trying to collect the points in each category by embarking on a number of careers.
The nearest game that I can describe it to is monopoly, you collect your salary when you pass 'go' and the 'park bench' is similar to going to jail. There are also career and experience cards in the middle of the board which are similar to 'community chess' and 'chance'.
Overall it is a great game, like monopoly there are definately elements of strategy but it doesn't feel as cut throat (or maybe that is just my monopoly playing friends). I can't believe it that it isn't made anymore (although I think it still is in America).
You may have noticed my board game obsession lately and careers is a fantastic game to add to this. My only problem? It seems unavailable to purchase unless you want to spend a fortune on a game.
Careers is one of those board games you can spend as little or as long as you want playing. You have to set your own objectives for winning and choose to go after fame, happiness or fortune or a combination of the three of them. The only rule when selecting which to go after is that they must all add up to 60 points. This is quite easy as 1 heart (happiness) is equal to one point. The same goes for 1 star (fame) and £1,000 (fortune).
In order to achieve this, you must work your way through different occupations on the board. These occupations have varied over the years so it depends which version of the game you have. Every version of careers has the same goals though and the occupations are generally the same in each version, just with a different name. You collect fame and happiness by landing on squares that say have 4hearts or similar. Be warned though, there are obstacles that send you to different corners of the board where you must throw the correct combination on the dice or pay lots of money to get out again.
The aim of the game? To meet your objectives before your opponents do. It sounds easy enough but depending on how mean your opponents are, it really isn't!
I absolutely love this game as i'm quite a mean person when it comes to games and i love to see opponents so stuck that they don't know what to do with themselves. There are two places on the board your opponents can land and one place you can send them to if you land on them. My favourite part? Watching an opponent pay to get into an occupation and then putting down a card that means i land on them and send them off to unemployment. To get out you need to roll a 7, 11 or a double or pay half of the cash you have on hand. People rarely want to pay, especially if you're at the end of the game so they can be sat there for ages waiting to roll the right thing. It's even more frustrating when you know they're waiting for 1 heart but they can't get it!
I like the fact that you really need to have some kind of strategy before you even start the game to know what you're going to target (ie how much fame, happiness or fortune). Each occupation gives you different things so you should really have a plan about where you need to go. My partner isn't very good at planning so you can laugh as they dart around randomly trying to get everything they need.
I love many other parts of the game but i'd be here all night and you'd be sleeping before you'd reached the end.
It says that you have to use your score up to 60, but we always change the score depending on how long a game we want to play. We quite often play until we reach 200 as it's a lot harder and there is more fame, happiness and fortune to lose if you happen to land on a horrible square.
We often set up the same scores to reach so everyone is targeting the same occupations and you spend more time knocking people off and trying to bargain with them than you do anything else.
There are other twists you can do to the game, but it's completely upto you. I've seen people play this as a team game but i prefer to play as a solo so this isn't one of my twists, but it is possible.
The game is very simple to get the hang of and is fun for all of the family. It's recommended for 8+ and i'd say this is probably the perfect age as there is a lot of counting to do and this isn't one for a bad loser as it can be very frustrating!
Marks out of 10? I'd give 10. There are so many options and setting your own rules is perfect for me. Variations of the games do happen, so if I've mentioned a couple of places that aren't in your game then you have a different version to me.
My only downside is availability of the game. I've heard that a new version has been released but I've yet to find it and i don't know if they could top the old versions.