I grew up playing the LIFE board game. There was nary a weekend that I didn’t play it with my younger sisters. Now, the experience is available on the iPhone/iPod touch. For $4.99, the Game of Life is great family fun for all ages.
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If you’ve played this board game before, almost identical game play is afforded on the iPhone or iPod touch. And if you haven’t, don’t fret. The game mimics your “life,” in that you specify what kind of career or schooling choices you must make before retiring (hopefully as a rich person to live in Millionaire Estates). If you don’t choose a college path, for example, you might be a hairdresser with a $30,000 salary. On the other hand, if you actually spend that time going to school, you might see more appealing careers, like an accountant making $70,000 or a doctor making $100,000. Spin the wheel (it’s fun!) and make your moves, then decide what kinds of paths you want to take.

As you progress through the game board, you face several pay days (you get paid every time you pass one of these spots), get married, and if you choose, have kids. In one experience, I ended up with twin girls:

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My opponent, on the other hand, didn’t care to have any children. He also didn’t have an as-fulfilling life as me and lost the game.

Here’s what I loved:

  • The game is fast (when I used to play as a kid, the game would take 20 minutes to a half hour). You can enjoy this game in as little as a few minutes. There are options to play the game at normal speed and fast-forwarded speed, and to skip through to the next turn.
  • You don’t always have to spin. You can also explore the game board and see what kinds of moves are available to you at any given time.
  • Game graphics are elegant, and you can tell that EA Mobile did a phenomenal job polishing this application for hours of enjoyment. While the games themselves are short, once a game is over, you’re going to want to play again and try another career path (and even a family path).
  • You can play against opponents, but at this point, there’s no wifi connectivity. ┬áThat’s fine — I don’t know if I’d trust someone to actually stay with me throughout the game if playing over wifi. ┬áThis is a viable alternative to having a game that has a lot of loose and small parts.

In other words, little goes wrong here. In fact, it’s a really great imitation of an incredibly solid and fun board game. I honestly can’t wait until my son grows up to play this with him. He’s got a few years, though.

If you’re a big fan of The Game of Life, you won’t be disappointed with this realistic representation. It’s still challenging, exciting, and a joy to play.

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