Perfect job, family and home -- if only real life was as satisfying Game: Hasbro Interactive's newest board game on CD-ROM is bright, fun and -- like life itself -- unpredictable.

November 23, 1998|By Ronnie Gill | Ronnie Gill,NEWSDAY

Pick the job that's most attractive to you; select the highest salary available; find a great mate without the hassle of dating; purchase a luxurious home (no bank is going to turn down your mortgage), or maybe just inherit it.

Now this is living. Or rather, it's "The Game of LIFE," an idealized version of existence that reality never imitates.

The newest entry in Hasbro Interactive's line of classic board games translated to CD-ROM format - previous titles include "Monopoly," "Scrabble" and "Sorry!" - "The Game of LIFE" is designed for one to six players and is targeted to age 8 and older.

Closely modeled on the childhood favorite, this version offers a few new spins on its predecessor. As with other Hasbro cardboard-to-computer transformations, one of the most attractive features is that players without partners can select cyber-challengers or compete over the Internet.

Players begin by choosing either career or college, then move, via the board tiles, through five decades (the 1950s to the year 2000) and the major passages in a person's lifetime.

Using bright, fun, three-dimensional graphics and "car-cam" technology, the view as you cruise over the tiles imparts the feeling of being seated in an auto, with the music changing to match the era.

Any tile you land on generates a 3-D animation or cartoon frame relating to the space. While we were usually amused by the former, we thought the weak humor in the cartoons seldom justified the amount of time we spent sitting and looking at them. In those cases, we would have preferred to just proceed with game play.

Players can choose the classic board game, which is faithful to the original rules, or the enhanced game, a Donald Trump-ish world where you can take revenge on your opponents and play "Life's Little Games," minicontests in which you can amass even more bucks. The goal is to retire richer than your rivals.

Of course, disaster can strike, so wise players protect themselves by buying home and auto insurance. However, if you land on a career space with a penalty, you still may have to cough up cash.

On the other hand, how many times have you enviously wished that you could swap salaries with someone?

Now it's simple: Just land on a "Trade Salary Card With Any Player" space and you can fulfill that fantasy.

"The Game of Life" sells for $29.95.

PC users require a 90-megahertz Pentium running Windows 95/98, 16 megabytes of RAM, 4X CD-ROM drive and 36 MB free hard drive space.

Information: 800-683-5847 or www.hasbrointeractive.com.

Pub Date: 11/23/98

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