Years ago I wrote a post on the board game Life and how it’s both stupidly unrealistic and uncomfortably realistic at the same time. There’s another version of this game for even lazier people that doesn’t involve the annoying game board and teeny little people pegs that get lost in the carpet. It’s the Life Adventures card game and the Things and I love it.
If you thought the first game was random, this game just spits on that and says “Watch this.” You get four decks of cards, a “Family” deck, a “Wealth” deck, a “Career” deck, and an “Adventure” deck. Just like real life, that’s all there is – a job, money, family, and oh the adventure of making it to the next paycheck! Actually, just like the old game, the Adventure deck has you swimming with dolphins and crap. Big deal. I want important careers and expensive things! And children because they come with points!
Oh, right, I should explain the system a bit better. There’s no deciding whether to get a degree or not, or stopping to buy a house or get married. There’s really no deciding period, it’s just whatever the deck throws at you. So if you happen to draw one of the wedding cards, boom, you just got married. As it was in the old game, it doesn’t matter if you wanted a wedding or not, you got one. Suck it up. You can avoid the wedding if you simply avoid the Family deck altogether though, but you’re really missing great opportunities for advancement and hilarity.
There is no money in this game, but don’t worry, it’s still pure capitalism. Each card you receive has a number of points on it, depending on its value. So like getting one child gives you 20 points, but triplets nets you 60 points! You can get an igloo (and be happy about it!) for 40 points, but we all want the castle because it’s worth 90 points, and also because it’s a castle and so much better than that igloo that’s melting cause it’s in Texas.
In the old game you were stuck with one job unless you had a midlife crisis. You still get those here, but you don’t have to in order to have as many jobs as you like. You can be a rocket scientist, a rock star, and an exotic zoo veterinarian all at the same time. You’d better have multiple careers, though, cause while you can have as many jobs as you want, you only get three paydays per job, and each of those is 20 points. You can get 20 points just for popping out a baby! Thank goodness this is just a game, and no one works multiple jobs or has babies for money. Talk about silly!
But you’re probably wondering, don’t you need a degree for some of those jobs, Alice? Right you are! Some cards are not playable until you have another card first. So if you want to be a rocket scientist, you have to draw a degree card first. Just one, though, so whew about those pesky doctorates. Just one degree qualifies you for every job with a degree, but some jobs don’t require one at all like rock star and President. I’m just joking, there’s no President card. There is a politician one, though, and it comes with mega points, but you like need a degree? Far out.
You also need a boat (a bathtub will do) to sail solo around the world, or a plane (private jet please) to do the loop de loop, but you can go to the moon without a spaceship no probs. Also no home improvements without a house, though you can go through the whole game with no home if you want. Just wait, though, cause I haven’t gotten to Life’s version of Chance cards yet, and that’s where things get interesting.
You get to sue people, naturally, for any card with 30 points from their life story. This could be bad if, say, all they have is a house worth at least 30 points. Or a family shark. Or a kid. If you don’t like your job, you can just swap it with someone else’s. I know I certainly wanted to swap my job with Kim Kardashian’s. You donate to charity in this game, which is great, only you are making someone else donate to charity by force. Sort of like what happened to Bill Gates when he tried to keep all his goodies to himself and social media got madfaced. You can just directly take someone’s house, though you do have to give them one in return – the igloo for the castle trade, for instance. And did I mention children?
Yeah, like everything else, those little brats are commodities. There is more than one card where you can “adopt” a child or “find a long-lost relative” and just take someone’s child away. I used to think that was called “kidnapping” but apparently I was mistaken! You can also just have a midlife crisis and swap all the cards in your hand with another player. Doesn’t matter what cards are in their hand. I bet they were saving that lawsuit and castle and set of twins weren’t they? Too bad. It’s so funny when a family member screams “Don’t take my babies!”
Since this game gets a little cutthroat (it encourages us, what do you want?), the Things and I decided to make it even more fun by playing as fictional characters. Last time we went Star Wars and I played as Jar Jar Binks complete with “Meesa this” etc. that never, ever got old. Try imagining Jar Jar getting married, or worse, reproducing. I figured that was a bit over his head, so I just had him thinking hand shaking made the babies, while his Sith wife had kids with various Dark Side guys. This led into questions of “just how hard did she shake his hand” etc., as Han Solo (Thing Two) and C-3P0 (Thing One) plotted to murder me. You’ll be happy to know that we are a progressive family, so C-3PO got to marry R2-D2 at last and together they, er, built BB-8. At least it wasn’t as ridiculous as the time I played the Emperor and married and had kids – I mean who would marry that guy, am I right?
But in the end, Life’s just a game, isn’t it? You have your ups and downs, days when you are furious at your messy igloo, and days when people adopt your children from you. Que sera, sera!