We grew up playing Hasbro’s The Game of Life. This game attempts to replicate life experiences such as going to college, raising a family, buying a home, working and retiring. It included a fun colored spinner and some mini vans with little peg people to put into the 6 holes on the van. Hasbro has recently revamped the Game of Life to include pets as well as make the people pegs more intricate, along with new artwork. There are some good and bad parts to this newer version.
Here is a list of my compliments and complaints on this newest edition:
The artwork is eye grabbing and close enough to the original game that it keeps the same tones.
Adding cats and dogs are a great new addition. Younger generations are having furry babies over human babies now.
The updated pegs are fun, especially the pets with their pointed ears and stouts.
They removed the random life tiles with amounts of money on them for action cards that have different effects.
They added a wagering element which is interesting.
The income for the college and non-college track are way too similar. What’s the point of going to college if you’re not making more money?
The Non-college track’s professions are still high paying unrealistic jobs when they should be something like cashier, receptionist, janitor or realtor. Not becoming a professional singer, actor or athlete.
Getting a house use to be an event in the game but now it’s just a tile that you may or may not land on. Does my family just live in the mini-van if I don’t land on a house tile!?
Random pet cards are the only way to receive additional pets. This should have been set up more like the baby spaces.
This game is now a 4-player rather than the original 6-player. This bothers me because I like having games for larger groups. Plus, if I go on the baby track and end up with more pegs then my van can hold what do I do with my extra kids!? Abandon the pet I started with on the side of the road in the hopes another player would adopt it? Now that’s the real game of life.
Overall, The Game of Life is still fun. There are some changes I don’t agree with but nothing that would make me never play it again. I still feel like they need to add some more realistic elements like paying rent every turn until you buy a house. Then you pay the mortgage depending on your down payment. At the end of the game you should have to pay for the retirement home you want. In the newest version you either choose a mansion or farm to retire to. You don’t have to pay for it or have a specific amount of money to get you into them. This was another missed opportunity. Finally, kids and pets cost money in real life. Why aren’t we paying hospital/vet fees or for food and clothes? You could just make a living expense element per each additional kid or pet. All these suggestions would make for a more accurate game of life. The only downside would be if it became too complicated for kids. Hasbro’s focus has always been to make great kid and family games. This is probably why so many people say a Hasbro game was their favorite growing up. The Game of Life was one of my first games as a kid and for sentimental reasons it will stay apart of my collection for years to come.