Board Game Analysis and Re-design – The Game of Life

Continuation of board game analysis task…

The Game of Life (The Simpsons Edition)

Type of game: Classic/Family Game

Age range: 9+

Number of players: 2-6

Aim of the game: “Collect money and LIFE tiles, and have the highest dollar amount at the end of the game.”

How to play:

  • Assemble the board by putting the corresponding buildings into their lettered slots and the spinner in its slot
  • All players spin the spinner, the highest spin goes first
  • On your first turn decide whether you want to GET A JOB or to GET AN EDUCATION, place your car on the corresponding start point
  • If you decide to GET A JOB draw one card from the career pile without looking at what it is, you cannot keep the career if it says career required
  • Next, draw a salary card without looking at it, compare the colour to your career card, if it matches keep it, if not draw again until you get one that matches
  • Now spin as if it was a regular turn
  • If you decide to GET AN EDUCATION borrow $100,000 for tuition in promissory notes
  • Now spin as if it was a regular turn
  • When you reach the STOP point it’s time to pick a career, choose 3 cards without looking then look at them and pick 1 to keep for the game
  • Next choose a salary card without looking, if the colours match your career card keep it, if not pick again until they do
  • Different spaces – Orange, follow the directions/Blue, optional spaces, follow the directions if you want to/Green, pay day spaces, collect your wage every time you land or pass these/Red, you have to stop here no matter what you spin and follow the directions/Life, pick up a life tile face down, do not look at it/Career, the symbols on the spaces match those on career cards, if someone has this career they earn money from the player who lands on that space
  • There are special rules/bonuses for every career – these are explained on each career card
  • Changing career space – when you land on these you must trade your career card and salary for new ones – you only get to draw 1 random card from each deck
  • Get married – at this stop point add a husband/wife to your car
  • Babies – if you land on a space that says you have had a baby, add this child to your car
  • Buy a house – at this stop point, draw 2 house deeds at random from this deck, decide which you want to buy, pay the bank the price
  • Sell/buy a house – decide if you want to sell, if you do then spin the spinner to see how much money you get, you can then buy a new house at this point
  • Insurance/Promissory notes – insurance can be bought at any point for your car or house and may be a benefit in the game for certain spaces/promissory notes is money borrowed which you need to pay back at the end of the game
  • Stocks – you may buy 1 stock at the beginning of your turn, every time someone spins and lands on your stock number you collect $10,000 from the bank
  • Retirement – this is a stopping point and the end of the game, here you sell your house, pay back promissory notes, remove your career, salary card and insurance out of play, keep your stock card whilst everyone else is playing
  • If you think you have the most money overall, place your car on Monty Burn’s Manor
  • If not place it on the Springfield retirement Castle and collect 1 LIFE tile, your LIFE tiles are safe here
  • After all players have retired, all players at Monty Burn’s Manor count their money, the richest player here take the 4 LIFE tiles which are at the Manor
  • Now all players turn their LIFE tiles over and add up their tiles, the player with the highest amount of money and LIFE tile money combined is the winner!


  • 1 gameboard
  • 6 plastic car pawns
  • Pink and blue “people” pegs
  • 3 mountains
  • 1 bridge
  • 7 buildings
  • 1 spinner
  • Stack of play money
  • Stack of insurance policies
  • Stack of promissory notes
  • 25 LIFE tiles
  • 9 house deed cards
  • 9 salary cards
  • 9 career cards
  • 9 stock cards
  • 1 bankers tray

How could it be re-designed?


For The Game of Life the major elements are

  • House deed cards
  • Salary cards
  • Career cards
  • Stopping points
  • Money/making money
  • LIFE cards
  • Pay day spaces

The minor elements are

  • Buildings
  • Spinner
  • Hills/bridges
  • Cars
  • Little people
  • Automobile insurance
  • House insurance
  • Trading points
  • Promissory notes
  • Career spaces

To re-design this game I thought the major elements of the career, house and salary could be changed to things like personality traits or skills. These 2 factors would then become the drivers of the game, the things that determine how a players game pans out. Each personality trait or skill could be a benefit or hindrance to the player

E.g – You get a new tattoo. If you have a spontaneous personality pay $5,000

You pass your maths GCSE. If you are a logical thinker collect a LIFE card.

This still makes the game relatable and the player could associate it with real life situations. It would teach that personality traits and skills can be benefits and hindrances in life, showing that no matter what you are like, it can always be a good thing. This would then hopefully show boys that having feminine traits such as empathy and nurturing behaviour is a benefit in life sometimes.

E.g Your friend has just failed their exam. If you are an empathetic person collect a LIFE card for comforting them.

Another way I thought it could work is by changing the career spaces to “think with your head” or “think with your heart” spaces. You can have 3 heart and 3 head spaces and choose which one you would think would work the best for the situation shown. Then it would be revealed to you whether you chose the best trait. If you did you could move extra spaces/have another turn/pick up a LIFE card.

Analysing this game: This game has started to make me really think about how I could incorporate traits and personalities to get through to a goal. The way it would show how every child is unique is a real benefit and something that I think would work really well in teaching children that being well rounded or having traits that are stereotypically male/female is a good thing, no matter what your gender. This may suit a more androgynous route but if further developed I could think about how to include more feminine traits in the game to allow boys to feel like they could be more feminine in life.

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