Life is one of those classic board games that you played with your siblings growing up—it’s packed to the brim with nostalgia and fun memories. But this old board game more than stands the test of time, as recent versions of it have gotten rid of some of the outdated mechanics of the game and added fun new elements. Life allows you to build a life of your own in a matter of minutes, weaving around the board in an effort to make the most of the short time you have before you reach retirement.
Spinning Through Life
The game of Life is meant to mirror one’s actual life, allowing you to do things like choose a career, marry, have children, and buy a home. Unlike real life, where these decisions are made freely, Life forces you to make your choices based on a spinner. Players will advance through the spaces on the game board by spinning a spinner located in the center of the board.
Some choices give you several options. For example, when you get to the career space, you get to pick several cards to choose from in order to decide which career best fits you. The marriage space, however, is not optional. Players are given a little miniature car to move around the board, adding small pegs to represent a spouse and kids that get added along the way.
Like real life, one of the biggest goals of the game of Life is to earn as much money as possible by the time you reach retirement. Money is doled out in the form of little pieces of colored paper, which you spend and earn at various points throughout the game. There’s also an option to earn money by buying stocks, which are represented by a number 1-9. Whenever a player spins and lands on that number, you earn money.
Players will collect what are called Life Tiles whenever they land on a space or hit a certain milestone. These tiles can give you money through sudden windfalls such as winning the lottery; or, they can hit you with unforeseen expenses like a midlife crisis or damage to your home. These are some of the most fun and silly elements of the game, as things may be going great for you until botched plastic surgery saddles you with debt!
One of the most interesting things about this board game is that the choices you make may not always be what you would do in real life. Sure, who doesn’t want to own a mansion? But in Life, drawing the mansion card saddles you with a hefty bill and no discernable benefit, whereas the cheap trailer will do just fine. You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase insurance, which can save you in the event that you land on a space that burns your house down.
Life has been out for over 60 years, cementing its place in history as a classic family board game. Since its first release, there have been countless sequel board games with new and interesting variations. The Electronic Banking version of Life makes things slightly easier (and more up to date) by tracking everyone’s funds with a card system instead of using cash.
Life: Twists and Turns has several updates, giving you new choices and possibilities as well as a “LIFEpod” that helps you track time and manage your careers and families. There’s also a Star Wars version of the board game called Life: A Jedi’s Path that forces you to do battle, go on missions, and build your lightsaber as you enhance your connection to the Force. Will you choose the righteous Jedi Path or the tempting Dark Path?
Breeze Your Way Through Life
Life is playable by 2-6 players, which makes it the perfect board game for families of all sizes. It’s suitable for ages 8 and up, so it’s a great way to introduce younger players to things like money management. Life has a playing time of around an hour, giving you plenty of time to explore the board and see what fate has in store for your life.
Buy Life today and enjoy the wacky fun of this nostalgic classic!