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Growing up in the 1980s, my family had a version of Milton Bradley’s THE GAME OF LIFE – most likely the 1979 edition, according to some images I’ve found online. Since it’s introduction as the game we all know in 1960 (an even earlier version pre-dates it by a century), THE GAME OF LIFE has seen some changes, some that reflect real life, and others more curious, occasionally meant to work within one of many themed editions, often produced to tie-into properties as diverse as MONSTERS INC., STAR WARS, INDIANA JONES and FAMILY GUY. Recently, the folks at Hasbro Gaming had their latest Standard Edition sent to Rock Father HQ, and we’ve given it some play… and let me tell you, the spinning wheel is still familiar after all these years. The rest of the game? While the fundamentals are still there, it’s definitely not the same… but it’s definitely still worthy of being called THE GAME OF LIFE.


Addie and THE GAME OF LIFE...At a glance, the game seems the same – the little cars with little people available in pink or blue – the iconic wheel – the road that twists and turns. But in 2014, you choose a path of “career” or “college.” My instinct is always to go “career” – as I did in real-life (proud college dropout right here) – but setting an example for my impressionable oldest daughter, urged the “college” path. As in real life, you get a financial dent by choosing that path, but you hope it pays off.

Gone are the deeds and titles, but in it’s place come some higher dollar amounts, and some card-based actions. You can still get married… have babies… buy houses… and it’s all in hopes of wrapping up with the most wealth in the end.


Rock Father-Approved!Hasbro’s THE GAME OF LIFE is fun, entertaining, and makes for some great conversation and hypothetical situations with the little ones (and grown-ups, too), but like real life – whichever path you choose is sort of a gamble… a spin of the roulette wheel, if you will. Success and riches, failure and poverty are all as much up to chance as they are to hard work and virtue.

Recommended for ages 8+ by Hasbro, but Rock Father-approved for younger players with the helpful assistance of a grownup.

Available from (my affiliate) Amazon.
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