The Game of Life and How to Play It

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The game of Life is a board game created by Milton Bradley and has been a family favorite for over 40 years. It was originally created in 1860 when it was a checkered game. Since then it has evolved several times, most recently into themed and deluxe editions. The most well known version of the game is that from 1992. The game is based upon life as players receive careers and salaries, buy houses, insurance and stock and strive for retirement. The game is ideal for large groups of people or families as it can accommodate up to 10 players.


The setup of the game takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes due to the many playing pieces included with the game. Attach the wheel and all of the building and landscape pieces to their respective places by slipping them beneath the indentations in the cardboard. The wheel is an essential component of the board as it is spun to determine how many spaces each player is to move on his turn. The buildings and landscapes merely lend the game a more realistic appeal but serve no playing purpose. Also place the Life tiles in various stacks across the board. Set up the money, insurance policies, and salary, career and house cards. Appoint a banker and have her disperse each player his beginning money. Allow each player to select a car and either a pink or blue peg (pink for female players, blue for males).


The object of the game is to have the most money at the end of the game. The game ends when each player reaches retirement. Begin by having each player selects either the career path or the university path. If players select the university, they are immediately in debt; however, they receive a greater chance of landing a better job and higher salary than the career route by being allowed to draw three career and salary cards to choose from rather than one. If players draw select the career path, they draw only one career and salary card, unless their career card specifies that a degree is required, in which case they must draw again because they have no degree.

Players spin the wheel to determine how many spaces they are to move. They pay and receive money as is designated on the tiles upon which they land. Moreover, they are rewarded for good deeds done via Life tiles. When they land on Life spaces, they are awarded life tiles. Moreover, players are given the option to purchase different types of insurance, which may come in useful if they are unfortunate enough to land upon a disaster tile, such as “Home Flooded” or “Auto Wreck.”

A house is purchase when the players reach the “Buy a Home” tile. The players draw three homes from the home cards and must select one and pay the bank the price listed upon the card. Owners may also choose to purchase stocks, which are cards ranging of the numbers 1 through 9. Whenever any player spins the number of stockowners’ stock, the stockowners receive money from the bank. The players continue to spin and play like so until all players have reached retirement, at which point they total their money and compare their scores to determine who has the most money and is the ultimate winner of the game Life.


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