The Game Of Life
Ah, now this is what PlayStation owners have been salivating for: the virtual translation of the board game, The Game of Life. Unfortunately, this video game will make gamers...bored.
The console port of Life spruces up the traditional game, offering driving sequences as you race through adulthood and slide show "animations" for each turn's event. As you progress, the music, cars, and vehicles change to reflect passing decades. Big deal. The whole thing is so relentlessly slow, you'll turn everything off just to get through one of the endless games.
In addition to classic Life, you can play an enhanced version of Life, which drops in some side games -and which is the only reason to consider the video game version. In fact if Life for the PlayStation sounds exciting, it's time for you to.. .get a life.
- If you opt to buy stocks, then do it right away. The longer you wait, the less shots you'll have to recoup your investment.
- Insurance is important-don't get ruined by your cheapskate ways!
Download The Game Of Life
The idea of making a classic board game into a video game is not necessarily a bad one. But making the Game of LIFE into one should be. I bring The Game of LIFE up on several charges, including: A) Failure to produce significant excitement, B) Lack of interesting options or features to bring the game up to the '90s era, and C) Forcing players to hand off a single controller while playing multiplayer. Furthermore, the defendant is guilty of disturbing the peace with repetitive bubblegum music and mundane cinematic clips. And finally, a slap on the wrist to the folks at Hasbro Interactive. They actually thought this inherently social game would make a good single-player experience (thanks to John Davison for pointing this out). Seriously, I'm a big fan of board games so I'm definitely not biased against these games. In fact, I really like Monopoly for the PS. The difference is Monopoly can still be interactive and cerebral as a video game. Playing LIFE as a video game is more like watching a cartoon. It doesn't feet like you have significant control over what's happening in the contest. Several of us played multiplayer with hardly a mumble about who was winning or losing. No excitement whatsoever. Strange, especially for us. Unfortunately, I can't recommend this sterile version of LIFE to anyone.
OK, now we're venturing into a realm of video gaming that really doesn't interest me--or, I imagine, most hardcore gamers. If I want to play LIFE, I'll open my copy of the board game. I don't feel any need to play it on the PS, particularly because the cheesy animations, annoying music and other "enhancements" are a turn-off. I suppose it makes a decent party game, but I'd just as soon have a Tekken 3 tournament instead.
' Sometimes these things manage to capture the spirit of the board game pretty well, but The Game of LIFE doesn't quite make it. Sure, all the recognizable stuff is there, but the presentation is way too cluttered, it's a bit slow, and it's all accompanied by the most annoying music imaginable. By its nature this is a social game--so there's no argument for "playing alone." Buy the board game. It's l more fun...and it's cheaper.
To be honest, I've never really been a big fan of LIFE (the game, that is), so obviously I'm not all that excited about the PS version. It plays just like the board game, it's got some mildly humorous animations and for the most part, it's a good port. But so what? If I'm going to play it at all, I'll play the board game anyway. There's no reason to play it atone (unlike say, jeopardy!), so unless you've got a ton of bored friends, I'd say pass.
Life is full of tough decisions, including what to do as a career, whom to marry, when to have children and how many to have. The Game of Life is a classic board game that makes it a competition to see who can make these choices (in a random kind of way) the best and retire with the greatest net worth. Life has come to the PSX, and it's attached to a virtual plastic spinner.
From one to six players enter their names and choose their car colors. If you don't have enough friends over to fill the slate, there are computer opponents to fill the empty slots. After that you get to choose whether you will be attending college or going right into the job market. Both of these options have advantages and disadvantages.
If you choose a career you will be randomly assigned one, not a big deal because your salary is independent of your career and there are penalties later in the game that can be avoided for each of the career choices. Then you will be randomly assigned a salary which will play a large role in how well you do in the game. Obviously, bigger is better. Also, going right into the job market will get you some additional paydays that players choosing college will not have access to.
If you choose college, you add to your odds of getting a good salary. In addition to getting to choose from three different career choices, you get to choose from three different salary levels. The disadvantage is that not only do you miss out on some paydays, but you may start the game with additional debt due to some of the bad spots on the board during your college years. You also may lose a turn, but this is no big deal as you will still get to finish even if it takes you multiple additional turns above your opponents.
This ends your real choices in the game. If you play the enhanced version, you may get to play some games of chance if you spin the right number after landing on the life squares. Everything else is strictly random, based generally on what number you spin. It's generally better to roll lower numbers and hit more good spots than to roll big numbers and blitz through the game. If the stars are aligned or you are really lucky you will have a lot of money flowing your way.
At any point in the game you can buy car or home insurance. These are useful to avoid large expenditures later if you hit a calamity. You can also buy stock in a number. Whenever someone rolls your number you get money. In the enhanced game, if you land on a payday, you get to choose who pays your check (you'll feel like you have a target painted on you if you have the most money). If you roll a ten and you are not the police officer, you will get hit with a speeding ticket ($5000). If you are the police officer, the game says so, "you ARE the police officer." It does this for other professions if they land on spots where their career helps them avoid costs.
The games of chance in the enhanced game are all based on the scratch-and-reveal philosophy. You choose a box and see what's inside. If you chose wisely, you will add to your bottom line. Some of the games also give you the option to quit while you are ahead or behind or keep going. All of them have a limited life span either way so your opponents don't get too bored while waiting for a chance to spin the wheel themselves.
At the end of the game you choose whether or not to go millionaire. If you do, in the enhanced version you still get a turn to either add to or subtract from your net worth with a cash value wheel spin. These turns last until the last competitor finishes the game.
Game options include turning off the animations that are triggered by landing on each spot on the board, turning off the sound, and turning off the drive-down-the-street animations. If you want to play through the game quickly or you've seen all the animations, these are nice options.
The graphics are decent and meant to be comical. But the faces of the people are kind of creepy in an angular sort of way. You have the option of turning off the drive-down-the-road graphics, which offer a more direct perspective than the standard top-down board game view. The introduction is rudimentary but serves its purpose.
Under the proper circumstances (a group of friends who want to interact socially while occasionally moving a piece around a board) this is a decent way to hang out. If you play it with higher expectations (for example, if you pay money for it), you will be disappointed. This is a much better rental than a purchase; play it at a party. Otherwise, try this game at your own risk.