Believe it or not, The Game of Life has been around since 1860 and after all these many years, it finally has a digital-only sequel.
When I was a kid, I remember playing The Game of Life. Back then, the primary appeal of the game was imagining all of the different paths you can take in life. Will you get married? Have kids? What kind of job will you settle with? As a kid, it really gets your imagination going. However, as an adult; The Game of Life doesn't really have as much of an appeal because you may have already accomplished some of these milestones. Now, The Game of Life 2 follows the classic board game formula very closely as all you do is spin a wheel, move along a board with occasional branching paths, and make the odd decision. However, it does have many modernizations in its careers, choices, and such that make it a much more contemporary experience. Plus, there are some rather interesting themes as well.
That's right; The Game of Life 2 features a handful of board themes that not only change the in-game visuals, they also alter the careers, choices, and more. Right now, you can choose to play on the classic board as well as the chilly frozen lands, the Halloween-inspired haunted hills, or the magical fairytale kingdom. On top of all that, there will be many more boards available down the road as DLC. These themes were the highlight of the experience for me as a lot of imagination was poured into finely-tuning each theme and they all come alive with colourful graphics and cute animations. To make things even cooler, you can choose from a variety of pegs, colours, vehicles, outfits, and avatars which allows you to customize your experience even further. It all adds up to one lively board game.
You can enjoy The Game of Life 2 solo with a few AI-controlled opponents, via local multiplayer, or online either with friends or random players. I was surprised to see that it features online multiplayer and it's great that the option is included. However, you have to pass the controller if you want to play with local chums which is kind of a bummer. I hope they patch this later and allow you to use a different controller per player because having to pass a controller is a pain, especially if you're playing with someone who has poor hygiene.
As you play The Game of Life 2, you'll unlock additional customization items by completing jigsaw puzzles and you do so by fulfilling achievement requirements which awards you with pieces. There are 48 pieces to earn on each board theme so unlocking everything will take quite a lot of time but it is oddly satisfying whenever you manage to acquire a cool new vehicle or adorable costume.
With that in mind, considering The Game of Life 2 doesn't stray much from the classic board game's formula, it is rather disappointing unless you're a hardcore fan of the original. If you're not then you'll likely find the gameplay to be quite tedious and uninteresting. In fact, playing the board game will probably be more fun because you get an actual tangible game to interact with although there's a bit more setup involved. Anyway, I would have loved to see some mini-games incorporated into the formula but instead, all you do is spin the wheel and see who gets the higher number whenever certain situations present themselves which definitely isn't as enjoyable.
Unless you're a hardcore fan of the original board game or you're looking for a simple game to play with your kids, it's hard to wholeheartedly recommend The Game of Life 2. That being said, it does have some lovely graphics and fun themes.
- + Appealing visuals with a handful of unique themes and solid customization options
- + Somewhat rewarding unlockables system
- + Features online multiplayer
- - Besides the cute themes, it doesn't really feel much different to the board game
- - I wish it had some mini-games and such
- - You have to share a controller in multiplayer