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The Game of Life: Twists & Turns» Forums » Variants

Subject: Variant I play with my 8 year old son rss

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Jimbo Clark
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My son loves this game.

We have played it nearly daily since Christmas.

As was noted in the reviews, the game is unbalanced, and once you play a few times, you realize that getting married and upping your salary as fast as possible is pretty much what it is all about. Die rich and married, and you will likely win the game.

To encourage us to go to the "Live it" quadrant, we added the following changes:

1. Switch the stop sign.
One thing I don't understand about the game is why they put a Stop Sign at the beginning of the Live It quadrant instead of at the point of pay off. The advantage of a stop sign is that you can go to the start of the quadrant of your choice, so we moved the Stop Sign to the space where the 5,000 life point pay out is. We were both avoiding the Live It section, when I have lived a vast majority of my real life LIVING it.

2. Balanced Life Bonus
If you go through all four quadrants (either make it to a Stop Sign, or make it through to the end of the quadrant) you get a 3,000 Life Point bonus.

3. He chooses his career, I draw mine at random.
There are definitely some winner and loser careers in this game based on maxed out salary ($2,000,000 vs. $1,000,000) and education requirements, so I let my son choose whichever one he wants, and I just draw mine.

While there are parts of this game that I think are too 1950's (e.g. Wish there was a chance for divorce where you'd lose half your money and half your life points), I have to admit that my son loves it, and it has opened up the space for some pretty amazing conversations (like the time he got "laid off").



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James
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Very cool! Glad to see this game still out there! My wife and I got it the Christmas before last and really enjoyed it as a new "twist" on the game of Life. But we did see the same problems with strategy (we were just glad there was strategy at all in this game!). We'll have to give your variant a try! I like your observation about the stop sign, I had not thought about that!
 
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Jighm Brown
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Yeah, I hate that Stop Sign, too. That keeps me out of there. I think I will follow your lead on that.

As far as the career cards, I've read some people's problems with them, but I don't have much beef with them. The strategy about using these cards is choosing cards with high salaries in the first few rows and changing careers to one of the other cards that has better salaries in the middle section. When I initially deal out the cards, I shuffle them, flip some over, shuffle, flip some, etc. Then I deal them out. Each player chooses from among the careers on ONLY the top sides of the cards. When choosing a new card later, you still choose from only the top sides.

I hope that made sense.

I'm with your son on loving the game.

Thanks for your variant. I like it.

Jeghm
 
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Jimbo Clark
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Jeghm,

Yes, only being able to use the "top" sides of the cards make sense.

I'm also thinking about us making some career cards together. I think it would be interesting to see what kinds of jobs he values, and in what order he would place different jobs within a career.

Can imagine a career in "Piracy" for example from Scalawag to Scourge of the 7 Seas.
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Jighm Brown
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Very cool. Good luck with that.

Jeghm
 
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Heidi Stewart
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It's really awesome seeing everyone's way of tweaking the gameplay. My husband and I play this game a lot and enjoy it despite its flaws. But I'm always up for ways to make it more balanced.

We recently decided to rule that no one can choose a career with an ending salary of $2 million or $1.5 million. This makes the remaining careers a little more balanced with each other. And since the higher salary careers can be obtained without going to college, taking them out means everyone has to go down the college path at some point.
 
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Heidi Stewart
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Additional rules that I wouldn't add if you were playing with kids, but would more well with adults:

(1) You cannot jump to a start space from a stop sign.

(2) If you want to jump to a start space, you must declare it before you roll. And you have move to that start space regardless of what you roll. (This is to avoid giving the player a choice between taking a roll or jumping a head. They must choose one or the other before know what their roll is.)

(3) To obtain the highest salary on a career card, you must roll a 2 on chance. A 1 or a 0 does not result in a promotion.
 
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