27 September 2018
Part of Hasbro’s self-aware parody board games
If you think that games provide a welcome escape from the everyday realities of working zero-hour jobs to scrape together sky-high rent, dropping your expensive smartphone in the bog and generally despairing at the state of the modern world, think again.
The next edition of family favourite The Game of Life has apparently woken up to the plight of millennials, swapping its optimistic pursuit of fame, fortune and family for a more cynical – and arguably realistic – take on the roll-and-move classic.
Instead of starting out in high-paid jobs as doctors and lawyers, players can now expect to be immediately thrown into ‘crippling’ debt totalling hundreds of thousands, before making their way around the board to work multiple jobs, struggle to take care of their family and suffer humiliating experiences, such as discovering a picture of their grandparent’s toe fungus or ending with a botched bit of ink worthy of Tattoo Fixers. We’ve all been there. Heck, at least if it all gets a bit too much, you can pull a sickie and stay home to binge-watch TV shows.
If the back-of-box promise of a few hours full of “stress, struggle and existential despair” hits a little too close to home for some, know that The Game of Life: Quarter Life Crisis is meant to be a deliberately tongue-in-cheek depiction of twentysomething life. Though some of the laughter it might elicit may be in place of tears, depending on your own experiences of early adulthood.
Although it sounds like the kind of satirical spin on a naïve mainstream board game that you might expect from detractors of the original, this time it’s gaming giant Hasbro pointing fun at itself, as The Game of Life: Quarter Life Crisis is part of a new series of self-aware ‘parody board games’ based on the publisher’s classic line-up coming out later this year.
As well as The Game of Life’s take on millennial living, there’s Botched Operation – giving most of us an excuse to set off the buzzer while attempting the new game’s mid-surgery stunts and challenges – and Sorry! Not Sorry!, which blends the Frustration-a-like race around the board with the rules-granted ability to mess with your friends’ pawns and a set of cards that deliver ‘Have You Ever?’-style prompts to reveal YOLO moments from the players’ past.
Mystery Date: Catfished, meanwhile, puts a 21st-century spin on the dating game, as players build up an online persona and try to avoid falling prey to the fake perfection of potential romantic partners.
Cluedo also gets a revision with the subtitle What Happened Last Night? Lost in Vegas, swapping its murder mystery for a Hangover-esque romp around the notorious gambling town to track down a member of a gang of friends who goes missing during a weekend of madness and mayhem.
The parody games are due out in the US on October 1st, where they’ll be exclusive to supermarket Target. If they prove popular though, who knows – UK players might be adding them to their shopping lists in the not-too-distant future, alongside avocado toast and the latest iPhone.