Friday, March 9, 2012

The Gaming Corner: Life Adventures

The card game Life Adventures suffers from insufficient rules. The rules leave out some important information and only after playing the game a couple of times, did we discover the answers to most of our questions.
One player's hand and cards played
Play is actually very simple. There are four types of cards: Career, Wealth, Family, and Adventure. Each type of card has a different color associated with it: Blue, Green, Red and Yellow respectively. Each different type of card is shuffled together to make four different draw piles, one for each color.

The different cards of Life
Each player then draws five cards. A player can draw as many or as few cards from each deck as long as the player ends up with five. From there, play goes like this: play a card, draw a card. Go to the next player. The instructions say each player should tell a story with each card the player plays, but that got tedious after about two turns so I wouldn't recommend that unless you are actually playing with small children. If at the end of your turn, you draw a +10 time card, you play it off to the side of the board right away and draw another card. These cards determine when the game ends.

The different +10 Time's Flying cards
Once six Time cards have been played, the game is over and everyone adds up the points of their life. The part of the game that is poorly documented is that some cards can only be played once you have another card. For instance, you can only play a card with a ring in the upper right hand corner after you play a wedding card. The instructions never give a clear list of the red icons and what they correspond with in the game. Now this isn't a problem when the red icon is a car, as most of us would be able to easily deduct what that would need without too much thinking, but when the red icon is a book with an atom on the cover, how many of us would guess that that is a passport? And since there was no definitive list of what red icons go to what precursor card, unless someone told you that a science degree wasn't needed to "Find Big Foot," then you would never know that you actually needed a passport to do that. And on top of all of that, Pay Day cards, which you need a Career card to play (not just a blue career card, but a blue career card that has an actual career on its other side, such as a Stunt Double) doesn't have a red icon at all. Let's all get together and give the lack of beta testing a big round of applause.
A picture of all the different types of cards and their associated red mark. From left to right and top to bottom: Wedding and Ring icon, Pet (no matching card), some adventures (also no matching card), Boat with Boat Icon, House with Building icon, Plane with Plane Icon, Passport with Science Book icon, Degree with Diploma icon, Career with no icon on the Pay Day card, and finally Car with Car icon.
The game is fun, once I got past the poorly written rules and the frustration from them. I recommend that if the game was purchased for use with little ones, that an adult plays a game or two with them to point out the rules.
During this player's life, he adopted a pet giraffe, had a fairytale wedding, purchased a ranch home, was sued by another player and had to give that player his ranch home as payment for the lawsuit and then started his career as a pop star.

-Gamer Jason

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