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A.P.I Review: Game of Life
Developer: Mass Media/The Collective OPTIONS: S.SHOT
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: Hasbro 1-6 Player
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

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

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 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

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.
GRAPHICS: 15/20 A 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!
SOUND: 7/10
VALUE: 15/20


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