Why We Played
Our 11-year-old friend Dylan was over, and when asked what game he might want to play, he always says “Generosity”, which we don't like for reasons listed in my review of this game, but on this night, my eldest son Joshua reminds me that I would like to write a session report for this game, so we get it out to appease Dylan and to chronicle the game. There were five of us, my three sons Joshua, Caleb and Malachi, Dylan, and myself.
I grew up playing The Game of Life or Life, and I loved it! There were some choices, but mostly things happened to you, and that was OK, because many more good things happened than bad things, so that everyone usually ended up rich by the end of the game, with lots of policies and stuff too. This is a Chrisitianized version of the Life classic, with the appropriate twist of differentiating between what we do with money for ourselves on earth, and what we do with money for the furthering of the truth of God and thereby our heavenly reward, or “Heavenly Treasure Chest” as the game calls it.
Now, non-Christians hang with me, or don't because there's really no game here nor is there any thing of sense to you, but as a Christian I can see some truth in the game's mechanic of deciding to give money to the spreading of the Gospel and then only getting credit for it in heaven if our attitude is right. Attitude is important and cannot really be changed by will, but rather is an indication of our position to the truth. That's as far as I'll go, but suffice it to say the game has some salience in this area in my opinion.
That's all the review in this session report. I basically agree with Blott's review, http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/184775, though I don't really want to play this game again. His review states there are pieces of paper for children, but my version had rings which worked well. See them in the picture of the box,
which also works well for the money, though it all gets mixed up in storage. Blott mentions a 10-sided dice, which I should find one, since the two die that we use changes the odds a little. Here's a picture with the rings on the pawns. Too bad I didn't take one with Caleb's four children and spouse and himself on there!
Now to the game we played. I list it out for historical vantage, as I hope to never play this game again. We are going to give it to Dylan.
Session, Part 1
Like Life, we all land on a career in the beginning and move forward to payday. (By the way, the cardboard spinner never worked, always stopping on the same number since it was warped when we got the game, so we use dice and count 12 as 1.) Joshua, Caleb and I became factory workers for $30k a year, Malachi became an Oil Tycoon for $50k a payday, and Dylan “self-employed”, receiving $21k a payday. My son Joshua remarked that Dylan is what I am, but I didn't understand because I landed on Factory Worker, and he said that I was self-employed in real life and then I got it.
We all stopped at the church and got married (we all chose white rings to go over our pawns with our black rings that represented us.) Then we rolled again. I managed to get vehicle insurance, which never helped me during the game. Like the game of Life, the only strategy is to always take ever opportunity offered. There are virtually no risks. Caleb gets $15k from lightbulb sales and decides to give it all away (based on a generosity card you draw whenever you receive money) and his attitdude is right (based on an attitude card you draw whenever you give away money) and deposits it all in his heavenly treasure chest.
Malachi receives a Trust Certificate, proving to be very valuable at the end of the game. Joshua and I have babies. Dylan gets $150k for chicken gizzards, gives one half to a Christian college, but his attitude is wrong, so that half stays in the bank. Caleb and Malachi have babies. joshua gets an Investment certificate, which everyone else seems to land on those spaces where you get money for having one of those, but never Joshua. I build a pond for $13k. Dylan finally gets married. Malachi gets a will. Joshua hits a deer and causes $8k of damage on his car, which I pay half with the right attitude so $4k goes in my Heavenly Treasure Chest. I buy into Turkeys at $35k. Dylan gets a trust. Caleb buys into turkeys. Mall gets $100k in buried treasure and gives it to help the elderly but with a bad attitude so it all stays in the bank. Joshua pays $9k for trained flies. I win a quiz show and receive $120k, which I give half to hurricane relief with a good attittude. Dylan gets $20k from sale of book which he gives to “European Freaks” he says when he finds out his attitude is wrong.
Break for a Comment
At this point, I am enjoying some of the things on which the game says we spend our money, representative of the silly things on which we spend our money. As I live in lean times now, I look around the house and see things I purchased long ago, thinking they were so important, that I could have easily done without. But, by the same token, I am so glad I bought some things when I had the money, like this laptop that enables me to write this session report while sitting in the car waiting for my children's swimming lessons to end. Don't worry, I watch when they go off the board or try flip turns.
I think I'm going to go on and type in the rest of the actions of this game, just to really turn you off to the game so that if you ever see it at a rummage sale, you won't be tempted. Feel free to skip the next long paragraph if you've got the idea. Big breath, and here we go.
Session, Part 2
Malachi's antique vase sells and he gives half to South American missions but is a “Show Boat” and so it stays in the bank. Joshua sells a game for $15k and gives it all to the church with a good attitude. Dylan wins $50k in sweepstakes and gives it all to medical missions with a good attitude. Caleb adopts a son. Joshua has lightning strike a tree but makes the wood into toothpicks netting $30k and successfully gives it all to missionary radio. I pay $5k for bear repellent. Dylan gets the $100k for buried treasure and gives it all to church but with a bad attitude. Caleb gives all of something to a needy orphanage with a good att. Joshua gets $40k for dice roll and all goes in Heavenly Treasure Chest. Dan has twin girls. Dylan hits the deer and Caleb helps pay but with pride showing. Caleb has twin girls. Malachi gets a Special Opportunity (card) and gives $10k to missions with right attitude. Joshua buys condo for $90k. Dylan gives $8k to church with right att. Caleb wins $80k in a golf tournament, gives it all to Bible translation with a right att. Malachi pays $3500 for country club membership. Dan pays $5k for each child for college for total of $15k. Caleb buys a condo. Malachi pays $12k for fixing friend's house but with bad att. Joshua and Dan go on Caribbean cruise for $7k each. Dylan has a daughter. Joshua gets $16k from investments (I was wrong, I guess he landed on a space once) and gives half to church with good att. Dylan joins the country club also. Malachi gives $18k to the inner city with right att. Joshua sells a rare stamp for $50k and gives it to church planting with right att. Dylan sells his doll collection and gives half to needy children (kind of appropriate). Caleb's home is flooded costing $25k and Malachi pays half with a good attitude. Malachi goes on the Caribbean cruise also. Joshua obtains a will for $2500. Dylan crashes pickup truck costing $14k, Caleb pays half, but “no love, no deposit”. Malachi gives $25k to orphanage. Joshua gets $10k in Pike's Peak challenge and gives it away with “no love...” Dan does too but att. is right. Caleb buys the St. Louis Arch for $50k. Dylan pays $1500 for hair transplant (he get's the weirdest spaces). Caleb buys a couple of sailboats for $60k. Malachi gets a grad degree for $30k (must have been a state school for sure). Joshua pays $65k for cabin in the mountains. Dan pays 10k to roach-proof town. Caleb pays $5k for stuffed mountain goat. Dan lands on landslide for the third time, sending him back 12 spaces, again. Mall buys the sailboats. Joshua gets to the Day of Reckoning first, but that just means he doesn't get to participate in helping neighbors (which rarely happens anyway). Dan pays $25k in earthquake damages, which Dylan pays half, but with an ego trip. Dylan buys a RV for $35k. Malachi and Dan buy stuffed mountain goats too. Malachi gets $200k for having a trust document, gives it all away, but is a Show Boat! Dylan, Caleb, Malachi and Dan all go in.
OK, the conclusion, the “Day of Reckoning”. First, the three of us who have wills. I roll a six, giving me $300k, which my attitude is right and it all goes in the Heavenly Treasure Chest. Joshua rolls an eight, giving him $400k, but attitude is wrong. Malachi gets a four for $200k and gets it all in with a good attitude.
Final Scores in Heavenly Treasure Chest:
Game time: 1:45. I have absolutely no joy in this victory. I did nothing, nor did anyone else. And how at the end it all turns based on who has a “Will” and how they roll and how they draw a card. Part of my concern with this game is similar to a church worship service where the preacher proclaims that worshiping together here on earth is "just a little slice of heaven." I know what he means, but it is so boring compared to heaven, like these Christian games which have no "game" to them at all. Makes Christians and Christianity seem dull, which they are and it is if you mean missing out on the adventures of random sorrow that reckless living can produce, but otherwise it is a far greater adventure than this game suggests.