The Game of LIFE is one of the first and most enduring board games in the United States. The game was introduced in 1860 by the Milton Bradley firm under the name The Checkered Game of Life. Even in its earliest phases, the game we still play today maintained the same premise, with players travelling about the board and passing through the many stages of life, such as going to college or going straight to work, getting married, having children, and — preferably — retiring with a large fortune.
As with any board game, The Game of LIFE had rules that evolved over time, especially with the advent of special themed editions such as the Pirates of the Caribbean version. The basic version played today was originally introduced in 1960, one hundred years after the first release. Before beginning The Game of LIFE, you must study the rules, set up the game, and give each participant some starting money. If you’ve misplaced the rules, here’s a summary of how much money you begin with as well as other important game rules.
Setting the Stage
In addition to handing out initial money, you must set up other cards and things, including 3D components and the spinner, before you can play the game. After rearranging the LIFE tiles, four must be drawn and placed adjacent to Millionaire Estates. Players draw the remaining tiles throughout gameplay. In the most popular version of the game, cards are organised into four thematic decks: Career Cards, Salary Cards, House Deeds, and Stocks.
Older variants of the game may have additional card kinds, such as Share the Wealth and Long-Term Investments, while more recent variants may include cards for Pets, Actions, Adventures, and other categories. If applicable (depending on version), Spin-to-Win tiles (and any other version-specific accessories) are placed face down near the board, and the Spin-to-Win coloured strip is placed along one of the board’s edges. Cards for Bank Loans, Homeowner’s Insurance, and Auto Insurance are separated and placed within easy reach of players near the board.
Two to six participants can participate in The Game of Life. Each player chooses a car and either a blue or pink peg to symbolise themselves as the automobile’s driver. One player is designated as the banker for the duration of the game. This player sorts the money by denomination and gives each participant $10,000 to begin the game.
How Does the Life Game Start?
Prior to beginning the game, you must choose between attending college or beginning a profession immediately. If you decide to attend college, you immediately take out a $40,000 loan and select a “Degree Required” Career Card as well as a Salary Card. If you opt to begin a profession immediately, you select a Career Card and transfer your automobile to the proper places (Start Career or Start College). College jobs offer better income but result in immediate debt for athletes. Once on the correct starting area, you may spin the wheel to move and take your turn.
How Does the Game Develop?
As the game proceeds, you walk along the board’s course, landing on coloured areas with distinct functions. The majority of spots are orange; simply follow the instructions on the space (if applicable). If you land on a blue space, you are not required to follow the directions written on the spot. If you land on a green space, the banker will pay you your salary. You must stop immediately upon encountering a red space, regardless of the number of remaining moves on your turn, and obey the directions on the spot. Red squares include Job Search, Get Married, and Purchase a Home, all of which are required chores in The Game of Life.
If you land on a LIFE space, you may select a LIFE tile from the stack. Don’t peek at the tile’s back! These game benefits are not disclosed until the conclusion of the game. Special areas on the board may demand you to pay money to another player or to the bank. There are also areas for paying taxes.
How to Obtain Insurance Coverage and Obtain Loans
You may purchase homeowner’s insurance, automobile insurance, and stocks at the start of the game or at the start of any of your turns, but not at the end of your turn. Insurance can safeguard your automobile or home from damage or theft, whereas stocks pay out when a player spins the number on your stock. You may also obtain bank loans at any time, but they must all be repaid at retirement.
How to Retire and Complete Your Career
When you reach the retirement spot at the end of the board, a number of events occur. You must first repay any outstanding loans you obtained throughout the game. Then, remove your deed and insurance from play, but maintain your stocks so you can continue to collect stock rewards from spins until everyone has reached retirement age. If you believe that you will finish the game with the most money, park at Millionaire Estates. Alternatively, park at Countryside Acres.
Important: If you park at Millionaire Estates, other players can still take your secret LIFE tiles if they land on a LIFE space on the board while the LIFE tile game stack is empty. If you park in Countryside Acres, nobody can steal your tiles.
After all players have retired, the top competitors parked at Millionaire Estates tally their money, and the richest player parked there takes the four tiles that were placed there at the start of the game. In the event of a tie, each player receives two tiles. The Game of LIFE is won by the player who has the most money at the end of the game, regardless of where they are parked.