Some of the most popular games on the iPad are those that are based on well known and well loved board games. Electronic Arts has done a good job of porting a ton of the board games that have spent time in living rooms for decades. Monopoly, Battle Ship, Scrabble and Risk all provide hours of run on the iPad. One game that seems to miss the mark when it comes to its iPad app is The Game of Life. I really tried to enjoy this game, but there just seemed to be something missing.
The graphics and interaction are all there to make a pretty good game. The fact that you can both play against the computer or in a pass and play mode with friends should make the game that much more fun. For a short period of time it probably does. Maybe it is just the fact that the Game of Life, like no other board game I played back in the day, doesn’t seem to lend itself to a digital version. I remember thinking when I was playing the board game version of Monopoly that I would have liked a computer to keep track of how much money I had and what the rent for my individual properties were. The Game of Life was a board game where you were actually seeing your little car, suddenly loaded down with a wife and kids, tooling around the board. That translation just doesn’t seem to make it for me onto the digital form.
The Game of Life is also a game that doesn’t have a distinct ending. Of course you can go around the board once and then retire and count up your money. But in the board game, the funnest part was going around and around, changing jobs and having more kids and taking in even more money. The digital version seems to take a little fun out of this. The app is actually quite nice looking; the animation is done well and sticks very much to the theme of the game. But there is just something that is left lacking. I liked being able to move my car and decide which turns it was going to take more than when I was playing any other board game.
Perhaps the reason the app seems to fall a little flat is this. When playing The Game of Life board game, you actually seemed to be controlling where your life went. When that same game is on a computer or in this case a tablet, you lose a sense of the control. It also doesn’t help that this app is on the high end of the price scale with a $6.99 price tag. The company even seems to realize that tag is a bit high judging by how many times they have sales on it. If you are looking for a fun board game app to play on the iPad there are plenty out there, but you would do well to walk on by this particular app.
App Store: $6.99
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