1. cjvitek's Avatar
    The Game of Life, by Electronic Arts
    $4.99, ****


    • Multiplayer (pass the iPhone)
    • Nice graphics


    • Not the "classic" version of the game
    • No online/wifi multiplayer
    • No much personalization

    I still remember the commercials for The Game of Life from when I was a kid. I also remember playing it for family game night. So when I saw that it came out for the iPhone, I had to give it a detailed review. And ultimately, there are some good things and some bad things, but for the most part the game is pretty good.

    For those unfamiliar with the Game of Life, I will summarize - you go through ,trying to get money, while encountering various obstacles and rewards through life. At the end, you see who wins by whomever has the most money (no concern about happiness, oddly, that's covered in the game "Careers"). So in this game, it is pretty much a straight board game - a little interaction with the other players, but mostly spin the spinner, move your little car along the path.

    But apparently they have come out with an updated version of the game of life, which is the version on the iPhone. Gone are things like purchasing insurance, trying to play the stock market, etc. Instead, now you have things called Life Tokens that you collect and add to your money at the end.

    I have to say, maybe it is just fond memories, but I prefer the older version of the game. Unfortunately, there is no way to play the "classic" mode or anything, so you are stuck with the new version. But the new version isn't half bad, either.

    Just like in the old version, you choose college or career, pass payday, trying to avoid the skunk farm (although I think that actually is missing from this new version), have kids. I was happy to see they kept the spinner in the iPhone version, which you get to spin to make your piece move.

    The do have a multiplayer version, but it is "pass the iPhone". No wifi or internet play, which seems odd because given the lack of interaction between the player I would think it would be very easy to do. The graphics are pretty straight forward, although they do add a nice 3D view of your car moving along the board game path. You can't modify or personalize the players at all - not even their name, which I found to be a bid minus. My name is Chris in the game of life, not John!

    However, with all its faults, I still enjoyed playing it, and ultimately that's what the game is all about. It's a nice diversion - a mindless board game where you don't have to concentrate too much. It is fun to play, and doesn't take too long to complete a game.

    All in all, the game of life is a fun iPhone version of the board game. Much like the original version, a lot of the game comes down to luck - what board squares you land on, what numbers you spin. If that sounds like fun, then the Game of Life might be something you would enjoy for $4.99. Just make sure you aren't expecting the classic version because you will be upset. I had fun playing it a number of times, but it would be more fun with wifi or internet play. Four out of five stars.

    Rating scale:

    * = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
    ** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
    *** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
    **** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
    ***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

    Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.
    09-29-2009 01:39 PM