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Game Of Life

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 20 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss

The board game The Game of Life was first created in 1860 by the Milton Bradley games company. It was originally called The Checkered Game of Life and sold more than 45000 copies in its first year of sale. It gained its name from the moralistic value of the game at the time and also the fact gameplay took place on a modified checkerboard. In its modern incarnation, which was re-created in 1960 to mark the hundredth anniversary, The Game of Life grew and became more of a modern boardgame, with a dial near its centre.

Playing the Game of Life

The Game of Life is made to be played by two to six players (however see variations for more), all of whom will start in infancy and grow, marry and have offspring as they head towards a happy old age and the end of the game. The board game is brightly coloured and each playing piece is a small vehicle with room inside for 6 ‘people’. The overall idea of the game is to move through life (along the spaces on the board) growing, both in age and financially until you get to the end. Needless to say, as this is a board game, there is of course the element of chance, in that you spin the game wheel (situated in the middle area of the board) and this lets you know where to go next. The game includes money and a playing piece that can be added to as you marry, have children, adopt, have a mid life crisis, retire etc.

Each player takes a turn and spins the wheel, they then move their playing piece (car) the number of spaces shown. As with most board games, playing pieces are moved forward, this is particularly relevant with The Game of Life given you sadly cannot reverse time. Two players cannot both occupy the same space, so in the event of this occurring the second player continues one place ahead.

There is some strategy to the game as you must choose (just as in life) which direction you will continue, will you choose a career, or go to college first? Get a job, get married, have children. Just as in real life, you will also have to pay taxes and other bills. Not really the sort of game to play if you want a little trip away from reality, but it can still be a lot of fun.

Winning The Game of Life

The object of The Game of Life is simple, get through life and retire the richest (which may not be the best moral message ever in a game). Once all players have finished the game and retired, the richest player gets to take the four ‘life’ tiles. A tie for richest player results in the tiles being split two each. These tiles are then turned over and added to their money. Now the player with the highest amount wins the game overall.

The Game of Life Variants

There have been numerous versions of The Game of Life released since its inception. Since 1999 there has also been a plethora of themed versions of the game, usually based on whatever is seen to be hot at the time or a cult smash. These variants include anniversary editions, the usual Star Wars Edition (is there a game on earth Star Wars does not have an edition available of), The Simpsons, Pirates of the Caribbean, Junior Edition, travel version and the most recently released Twists and Turns edition (released in 2007).

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