The Best Alternate Versions of The Game of Life of 2022


A closeup of 'The Game of Life' spinner
Erin Cadigan/Shutterstock.com

There’s a reason that The Game of Life has stuck around since it first published in 1960. It’s great! More than that, though, it’s a game that lends itself well to multiple iterations, just like Clue and Monopoly.

The original version of the game is a lot of fun, but new editions bring life (pun intended) back into the game and give you a reason to play it again. You can play with Visa cards instead of cash, explore a Mario-themed world, or play as a rival against one other player. Hasbro started releasing special editions of The Game of Life over 20 years ago, so keep an eye out for any new versions the company releases in the future!

A Thousand Ways to Play: Twists and Turns

The Game of Life twists and turns edition with the contents laid out
Hasbro

The Twists and Turns Edition is one of the best versions of Life because it’s such a unique take on the original game. While you still pick a career and move your way through the board, your ultimate goal is to gain the most Life points, which is a mixture of experience and money. This differs from the original game, where your main goal is to be the richest person by the end.

The career choices in this edition also get a refresh from the original, with fun choices like a Hollywood star, an international treasure hunter, or a pro athlete. You also play with Visa cards instead of cash, and the electronic LIFEPod keeps track of players’ money instead of one player acting as the banker. Hasbro says that this aspect gives educational value to the game since you could potentially teach younger players about credit card responsibility.

You can have two to four players in one game, and depending on that number, the game could take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to finish. Anyone ages nine and up can take part in the fun.

The Best Option For Kids: Game of Life Junior

Hasbro Game of Life Junior board and contents
Hasbro

Game of Life Junior is the perfect version for families with younger kids. Or, if your kid has friends over, it’s even simple enough to be played with just kids, as long as they’re ages five and up. There are small pieces, so be sure an adult sticks around for supervision.

Just like the traditional Life game, kids choose a car token to play with, but the tokens in this edition resemble race cars. As the game plays out, your path could change due to Action cards and special attractions on the board. Players perform simple tasks on the Action cards—like finishing a song, acting out a scene, or telling a story—to earn stars or money. The first player to collect a total of 10 stars is the winner.

There are four car tokens, one for each player, but the game can be played with only two people as well. Because the game is much simpler than the original game, it only takes about 15 to 30 minutes to finish playing.

The Best Option For Kids

Game of Life Junior

If you have young kids or are just looking for a fun take on the original game, this Junior edition is perfect for family game night.

It’s-a-Me: Super Mario Edition

The Game of Life Super Mario Edition Board Game box and contents
Hasbro

The characters of Super Mario have been charming people for years, and now you get to play them in Game of Life: Super Mario Edition. You can play as Yoshi, Luigi, Peach, or of course, Mario. Since you’re playing with people tokens and not car tokens, the rules are a little different.

In this version, you don’t pick a career, get married, or have babies, and you don’t win by collecting the most money. Instead, you win by being the person to defeat Bowser. As you traverse the Mushroom Kingdom, you explore unique areas and compete in fun minigames, ultimately trying to collect coins to buy stars that’ll help you out in the battle against Bowser. Along the way, you’ll also come across items and companions that can come in handy.

Two to four people (ages eight and up) can compete for Bowser’s demise, and depending on the number of players; each game takes roughly 30 to 60 minutes to finish.

It’s-a-Me

Super Mario Edition

Anything with Mario slapped on it is instantly great. Well, okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but this Super Mario Edition of Life is a gem.

Go Back in Time: 1960 Classic Edition

Winning Moves Games The Game of Life classic edition
Hasbro

The original Game of Life published in 1960, and while people weren’t able to play this first edition for quite some time, now you can! This isn’t an original copy but rather a reproduction of what the first edition of what Life initially looked like. The board, the car tokens, the paper money, and the special cards are all decorated with the original artwork.

If you’re familiar with the modern version of Life, you might notice some similarities between the game boards. The wheel you spin on each turn looks almost identical, and the car tokens are pretty much the same in the new version. Also, the path you take through the board is slightly different, but it still winds in whacky ways in both versions.

This classic 1960 version has green mountain pieces and white buildings that you have to physically set up on the board before playing. Then, the money looks wildly different, and this version of the game has stock and insurance certificates to collect. The goal of this classic version is the same as the modern Life game: to have the most money at the end of the game or retirement.

Although the newer edition only allows four people to play, the 1960 classic game can have between two and six players, ages ten and up. The more players you have, the longer the game will take to finish, but you can expect about 30 to 60 minutes.

Go Back in Time

1960 Classic Edition

Believe it or not, The Game of Life many of us grew up with is not how it always looked; this Classic Edition shows off the original board from 1960.

You Only Need Two to Play: Rivals Edition

the game of life rivals edition box
Hasbro

Sometimes The Game of Life takes too dang long to play, especially if it’s just you and one other person. Luckily, the Rivals Edition solves this issue! This version is specifically made to be played with only two people and can be played in about 20 to 30 minutes. Anyone ages eight and up can play.

To win, you have to gain more Life points than your opponent. While the Rivals Edition follows traditional Life rules, there are Neighborhood Gossip spaces and Baby spaces to keep things interesting. Drawing a Life card could be good or bad; you could gain or lose Life points, or your opponent could even steal stuff from you. Another cool addition to this version is animal pegs you can add to your car along with the traditional baby pegs.

For Dog Lovers: A Day at the Dog Park

the game of life a day at the dog park edition with its contents laid out
Hasbro

Game of Life: A Day at the Dog Park is another version that’s great to play with the whole family, but even a game full of adults would still be fun! Players can be ages eight and up, and between two and four people can play at once. Each player chooses a pup to play the game with instead of a car, like in the original Life game.

In this Life edition, you have to be the first player to get 5 Dog Bone tokens to win the game. To earn Dog Bones tokens, you could land on a Dog Bone space on the game board, draw a specific Action card, or win the Spin to Win minigame. The entire game is puppy-themed, with a Mud Puddle as the starting space and other spaces with fun titles: Pawprint, Squirrel, Hydrant, Job, and Treat.





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