The first version The Game of Life [App Store] was originally created by Mr. Milton Bradley himself all the way back in 1860 after his lithography business started to dry up, since his major product was a portrait of Abraham Lincoln without his beard. Honest Abe grew a beard, the portrait was no longer an accurate portrayal of the then soon to be president, so out of desperation Milton moved on to other projects such as printing a few copies of “The Checkered Game of Life" that eventually went on to start the Milton Bradley empire and turn his brand in to a household name.
100 years later, the Milton Bradley executives decided they needed to do something special for their 100th anniversary and asked game inventor Reuben Klamer to come up with something to commemorate the occasion. Inspired by the original, Klamer developed the first version of what would become the modern Game of Life. Since then the game has been updated numerous time, gameplay elements have been added and/or tweaked, and many spinoffs have been made where the same basic game has been applied to the Family Guy, Pokemon, and even Sailor Moon universes among others.
In The Game of Life players travel around the game board landing on spaces that simulate the various events one goes through in their life from graduating highschool to eventually retiring. On the way you come across jobs, lawsuits, children, property, and life tiles. Life tiles represent major life events that are revealed at the end of the game, each rewarding different amounts of money to add to your retirement total. The player that ends their life with the most money wins the game.
As expected, the board game translates very well to the iPhone just like all of EA’s other board game titles. Everything is controlled through a simple touch interface, and spinning the wheel to determine how far your game piece is moved is done by swiping your finger across the screen. It features single player with up to three AI opponents for four players total, and you can use one device to play multiplayer. It’s unfortunate that there isn’t any kind of WiFi multiplayer like Scrabble [App Store], but I suppose there is always hope for future updates.
My favorite thing about the iPhone version of The Game of Life is that you can fast forward through the turns of AI opponents. While playing games like this by yourself is hardly as much fun as playing against other people, not having to sit through full-length terms of computer players does a lot to make the game more enjoyable. At $4.99, the iPhone version is significantly cheaper than any version of the physical board game, so if The Game of Life is your thing, don’t hesitate on picking this one up.
App Store Link: The Game of Life, $4.99