Friday, September 22, 2006

That's Life Review

That's Life is a really neat game that plays fast, is easy to learn and will probably be attractive to casual or non-gamers at your next dinner party. The game plays up to six players and having played it twice with both four and six players I prefer it with four but found no downside to having six. The game is a die rolling, move your pieces type game which is very simple to play. There are a bunch of tiles laid out in a path, each of them has a numerical value from -1 to - 10 and then +1 - +8. There are also clover tiles (not sure what there official name is) that if you collect those will turn a negative card into a positive one at the end of game scoring. On top of these 5 clover tiles and the +8 and +7 tiles sit guards which I will get to in a minute.

So that standard board has a start square and you have 3 pawns of your color there, then the playing surface is laid out -1 to -8, then the clovers, then +8 - +1, then -1 to -10 again. I'll try and snap a picture next time we play of the setup. The basic rules are as follows, you roll a six sided die. You move one of your pawns that many spaces, or you may move a guard token that many space if the guard token is on a tile occupied by a pawn. So in other words no moving the guard tokens unless someone else is on the tile.

If you're the last person to leave a tile, you must pick it up and add it to your scoring stack. so if i start and I roll a 4 I move my guy to the -4 tile, lets say down the line i move him off the -4 tile and he is the only pawn on it. I must pick it up and add it to my scoring stack. That is the whole game right there, but don't let it's simplicity disguise the strategy that very quickly ramps up once people get multple pawns on the board and are playing chicken for the clover and positive scoring squares. Moving guards as opposed to your pawns becomes instantly useful.

I think if you're a family gamer or just want something to entertain the friends at the next dinner party you can't go wrong with That's Life. It's a perfect mix of quick play, conventional game mechanics and a smidgen of strategy to keep everyone having fun.

OBGB Rating: A-


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