|Playstation > Whats New > PlayStation Reviews > Staff Review|
|A.P.I Review:||Game of Life|
|Developer:||Mass Media/The Collective||OPTIONS:||
No.1 No.2 No.3
|Game Type:||Board Game Sim||Memory Card|
|Review Date:||December 1998||Analog Compatible|
Setting the Scene
Step right up...take a spin of the wheel...jump in your car and prepare to take a life altering ride into destiny. Just what the hell am I talking about?? Why the game of Life of course! Life is a unique board game that has just been translated to the Playstation courtesy of Hasbro. You see the game is truly all about life and the random events that can take place throughout it. You get married, you get into a car wreck, you buy a new house, and your house gets flooded. Sure hope you remembered to purchase insurance! And on it goes...all the way until you retire, the game plays you like a fiddle...allowing you to win the lottery one round and then the next round you end up landing on an income tax marker...yep, it's a pretty damn good representation of life all right.
Life is a unique board game style game that places players at the whim of the almighty spinning wheel, which spits out a number between 1 and 10 that you, are then required to move along the board with. As in real life, just about anything can happen!
The graphics, especially for a board style game, are really not all that bad. I thought the designers did a very good job representing the fairly complex board of the game of Life. There are a lot of animated objects moving about the board such as people working, advertisements, etc. When you actually move, the game shifts to a first person perspective and has you moving through the board with the spaces coming at you. Once you land on your space, depending on what you land on, you are either treated to a nice little cartoon style comic interlude or a full CG scene of a particular event that takes place. It's all very amusing the first few times around and can also be skipped once you get sick of watching them over and over again. Overall, a very good graphical representation of the board game that includes a first rate CGA FMV opening that is worth at least one watch through.
Sounds and Effects
Actual sound effects in the game are rather sparse, relying more on music and sound bytes of various voices instead. What sounds are there though are done just fine, like the spinning of the wheel or the "cha ching" of hitting a payday or stock number. The music is pretty good as it changes throughout the game. As each player progresses through various decades in the game, there are various tunes that are played in the background that match that timeframe. Some of the stuff I thought was pretty good, but it got a bit redundant after a spell. The sound bytes come in the form of voices that are displayed during the games many cut scenes. Again, amusing at first but a bit redundant after the third or forth time.
If you have ever played the board game of Life, then you are pretty much aware of what is in store for you in this game. If not, I'll try to give you a quick rundown of the game itself and then tell you how it all plays out. The game of Life is all about the random and planned experiences that you experience as you grow up. The actual games starts you out as a late teen that has to make a choice...do you enter right into the world of work or do you take a bit of a sidetrack and go to college instead, with the hopes of landing a career once you graduate. Once you make your decision and pick your new career its on to the great, sometimes cruel world that we all live in. Every move you make is accomplished by spinning the wheel of life and then moving the number of spaces that correspond with the number you just spun. The computer actually does the moving for you and moves you to the proper space. Each space on the board will have an outcome...sometimes good, sometimes not so good. Each space progresses you through time and events that normally occur at certain points in ones life. Shortly after you begin you will get married, buy a house and in all likelihood have children. From there it's onto experiencing life many high's and low's as you may hit the lottery or go on vacation to some far off exotic locale. Others may land on spaces that contain life tiles. Getting a life tile generally means that you have just had a significant life experience like running for mayor or having children or some kind of community service. All of this stuff adds up and as you take yourself into retirement everything is calculated and you are given your final net worth. The player with the most money at the end is the winner. I really enjoyed playing Life. The game is really quite effortless, as you progress through the board at a rather mellow pace. A certain amount of tension is generated as you look at what is in store a few paces down the board and then grit your teeth as you spin the wheel, waiting to see what space you end up landing on. I can tell you right now though, the game becomes old very fast with only one player. To really enjoy this title you need at least one other human player...preferably more. It's a lot more fun to see what happens to other players as they progress through the game and it also adds a lot more excitement as you wonder who the ultimate winner will be. For a board game, this is a pretty darn good one and the translation was given the proper time and attention to detail to make it all fall nicely into place.
Value for Money
As a one-player game, I would say that the experience wears thin rather rapidly...but Life was never intended to be played by one person alone. It is one of the better multi-player board style games created, ranking right up there with Monopoly and Risk.
very good translation of the board game to be sure. The presentation is
a thing of beauty as you traverse through the game from a rather stylish
first person perspective.
The attractiveness of translating board games to consoles is the fact that one person can now play them and set up the computer to act as the other players, but the original intent of these games still hold true...they are made to be played by a bunch of people and Life is no exception.
It makes for a nice party game and it's a whole hell of a lot easier than setting up all the pieces of the original board game!