Life Twists & Turns combines the best aspects of LIFE and Careers and fuses them into a single game while adding a computerized score tracker to eliminate time consuming number crunching.
This game allows you to live your life the way YOU want to live it. Unlike the original game of LIFE in which you follow a pre determined path with a few options to veer off the main path for a spin or 2; you now have the chance to go where you want when you want.
This game does a great job of simulating how people’s real life choices will affect them. Similar to the game Careers, in which you choose a life path formula to achieve your ultimate formula for a happy life, this game lets you make all the decisions. Maybe you do not want kids; maybe you want to focus on your career. Maybe you just want to have fun and experience what life has to offer.
What immediately appeals to me about this game is the computerized score keeper. The problem with currency games is that you spend so much time counting your money and sorting your bills. And when the game ends, everyone spends a lot of time tallying up their final net worth, and there’s never a calculator around when you need one. And there’s always someone who wants to count other peoples money to double check, and you spend a lot of time sitting around doing addition when you could be playing a game and having fun.
This game eliminates all that time consuming counting, and potential human error. It totals up every cent you earn and every bonus you gain throughout the game.
In this game, you have 4 main life paths to go experience, and each one has its own rewards. There is Learn it, which allows you to get degrees which in turn allow you to get better higher paying jobs. Then the Earn it path is where you get promotions and advance your career. A fun aspect of this game is that you have a choice of career paths, each with pros and cons. The higher paying jobs require more time spent in the Learn it area, while some jobs pay off big early in the game but don’t pay off big later. And just like in life, some times it just takes luck to get the right job by being in the right place at the right time. The Love it path is where you start a family and have children, (if you want to). Having a family adds to your happiness but also drains your income, an excellent twist in my opinion; so if you want 6 kids, you better get a job that can support them! And finally there is the Live it path, which is full of happiness and life adventures.
The goal of the game is to accumulate the most Life Points by experiencing the above mentioned paths, and at the end of the game, all your homes and cars and money are converted into life points and added to the total brought upon by having a family and experiencing random events by drawing cards.
The game has a strong luck element because cards you draw can give insignificant bonuses like gain $1,000, to a game altering $900,000.
How you choose to map out your life is important because you have to do certain things to make the most out of your game. It is essential to buy a car and have a home to gain a lot of points in the end game. Getting married is also a HUGE bonus.
I would say my only real con about the game is although you get a lot of choices in what you want to do; if you are really playing hard core to win, you have to get a degree, and max out your income, and start a family.
It is not like every turn you have is dictated, but it is important to accomplish these sooner than later. If you don’t get married until the end of the game, you will have lost out on many life points of happiness.
The game recommends starting out playing 10 turns. This is not nearly enough turns to accomplish much of anything. Just going through any of the 4 paths in this game take at least 5 turns to achieve. So you have to leave out family or a solid career because there is just not enough time.
I recommend a 20 turn game. It allows you to get a good job, start a family, and have several turns left over to experience life down the Live it path.
And when the game is over, the game takes a few seconds to calculate everyone’s total score, and you do not know who is winning until the end. The computer is passed to each player on their turn, so only they see their money and score. And when the final score is tallied, everyone is surprised. I like this element because you are never sure who is winning until the end, so you always have to give it your all. It is very exhilarating to watch your score go higher and higher, and wonder if your opponents are doing as well as you are.
This game really does an excellent job of simulating life on a very open scale. It has a fun random element, but with the control that true strategy gamers will appreciate. This is a game that would be fun for both younger and older people. It has the classic games feel, but with a modern flair that anyone can appreciate.