10 Great Board Games Like Life


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One of the most popular and oldest family games, The Game of Life is a staple in many homes. After starting your career, having kids, retiring, and then doing it all over again, you’re now looking for more board games like Life. Perhaps the kids have outgrown it or you’re just looking for something new to bring to the table at family game nights.

The Game of Life has been around since 1860, but in the meantime, plenty more family-friendly have hit the market. Here are my top ten games like Life that are sure to provide as much fun as the classic.

10 Games like Life

Careers

Careers and the modern version of The Game of Life were published just five years apart and they have plenty in common.

Like Life, in Careers you are playing through the life of a character, but with a focus on their career. Players decide if they want to pursue fame, happiness, money, or a mix of all three, and will decide on a career to achieve it.

The first to reach their goal wins, but there is plenty the other players can do to prevent your success. Suitable for players aged 8 and up and playable for 2-6 gamers, Careers is a simple roll and move game that offers many of the same choices and themes as Life for family fans of classic board games.

Talisman (Revised 4th edition)

If your kids have outgrown Life, but you’re looking for more board games that are just as simple but effective, Talisman could be next on your list.

This fantasy board game classic is a race to the finish line. 2-6 players will take up typical fantasy characters – elves, wizards, dwarves, and so on – and race into the centre of the board to acquire the powerful Crown of Command, fighting monsters and picking up magical items along the way.

Talisman is a great family game for kids aged 13 and up and sure to be enjoyed by everyone around the table.

Formula D

Is half the fun of The Game of Life moving those little cars around the board? If you’re looking for games similar to Life that are family-friendly then Formula D could be your next pick.

Laurent Lavaur and Eric Randall’s Formula D is a car racing game with the perfect blend of strategy and luck to get your car over the finish line first.

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As your car laps around some of the most famous race tracks in the world, you and up to 9 other players (great for big families) need to change gears, keep your cars in shape, and hit the breaks when necessary.

Suitable for kids aged 8 and above, this game will be a hit with kids and racing-fanatic parents alike.

Dream Home

If you like creating domestic bliss in Life, you’ll find plenty to love in Dream Home. Rather than crafting the perfect life, players are building their perfect house.

In Dream Home, designed by Klemens Kalicki, you will collect pairs of cards to choose your bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and so on and furnish them to create the ideal home. Players gain points for the comfort, design, and quality of their homes.

This is a great game for kids aged 7-12, who will enjoy building their homes and Bartłomiej Kordowski’s cute art. Dream Home can be played by 2-4 players and is a great addition to any family’s board game collection if you’re looking for games like The Game of Life.

Camel Up (2nd edition)

Maybe your favourite thing about Life was playing with the spinner and other fun components that have become a hallmark of the game. If that’s the case, Camel Up could be your next favourite.

With a great pyramid dice shaker and a 3D board, families looking for games similar to Life will love Steffen Bogen’s Camel Up. 3-8 players will bet on racing camels, who will often fall on top of each other and might even be carried over the finish line.

This light-hearted and quick betting game is great for kids aged 8 and up, and with fantastic art and components designed by Chris Quilliams, families will love interacting with the board as they cheer on camels hurtling around the pyramid.

Trekking the National Park

If you’re looking for another fun family game like Life, look no further than Trekking the National Park. This 2-5 player game, designed by Charlie Bink, has been a hit with families since it came out in 2018.

Celebrating the U.S. National Parks, players travel across the parks, collecting points as they go, and exploring the wonders that the National Parks have to offer – from the mountains of Yellowstone to the swamps of the Everglades.

With easy rules that involve a mix of strategy and luck, Trekking the National Park is a fantastic family board game for kids over 8. Plus Bink’s stunning art is sure to create a nostalgia for parents and kids who have visited the National Parks, and perhaps inspire you to explore the U.S.’s parks even more.

Last Will

If your kids have hit their teens and games like Life are a bit too simple for them now, Last Will is a great alternative. Rather than saving your money to win the game, you need to spend it.

You and the other players are nephews of a rich and eccentric uncle, who, in his will, has left his millions to whichever nephew can enjoy his money the most! Each player gets some starting money and the first to blitz through their cash wins the game (and the inheritance).

You could go to the opera, take luxurious boat trips, or even treat your dog to an expensive dinner. This 2-5 player board game, designed by Vladimír Suchý, is suitable for players aged 14 and up and offers a darkly comic antidote to Life for older kids.

Deep Sea Adventure

Deep Sea Adventure is another game like Life that is sure to capture the attention of kids whilst being thoroughly enjoyable for adults as well.

You and up to 5 other players are a group of money-strapped explorers hoping to make a quick buck by uncovering treasure from deep beneath the sea. You rent a submarine and have to survive on a single tank of air.

The game is semi-cooperative — if you run out of air before you get back to the surface everyone loses! But if you make it back, the player who gathered up the most deep-sea treasure wins.

Jun Sasaki and Goro Sasaki’s family-friendly board game, Deep Sea Adventure, is a great alternative to Life if you’re looking to bring something new to the table.

Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters

Maybe that Game of Life board was a little too chirpy for your family’s liking, and now you’re looking for games similar to Life that have a bit more edge.

Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters, designed by Brian Yu, is a fantastic family game where you take on the role of treasure hunters searching for precious gems in an eerie, haunted house.

This cooperative, 2-4 player game is listed as suitable for players aged above 8, though many agree younger kids could take part too. Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters is a simple roll and move game with a spooky theme that could easily become your new family game night staple.

Potion Explosion (2nd edition)

If you are after more board games like Life that have fun physical components that teens and adults alike will enjoy tinkering with, Potion Explosion is a great addition to your collection.

Stefano Castelli, Andrea Crespi, and Lorenzo Silva’s wizardry themed, 2-4 player game is best suited for older kids, around 14 and up, and will certainly be loved by adults around the table.

You and the other players are in potions class, trying to create as many magical concoctions as possible. Using a dispenser of different coloured marbles, you collect ingredients, manipulating how the marbles fall to try to create a chemical explosion!

You and the family may have spent many years loving The Game of Life, but are now looking for board games like Life to expand your collection or to pique the interest of older kids. This list of games like The Game of Life has plenty to offer families with kids of all ages who have grown up playing Life, and every game will be just as fun for the grown-ups too.

Are you looking for more games like The Game of Life? Have any recommendations that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments!

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Emily is a writer for Games Like This One. She is a regular table-top gamer who loves organising board game nights with friends. Some of her favourites include Everdell, Oceans, Clank!, and Gloomhaven.

Comments

  1. Hi Emily! Enjoyed your list. Love hosting game sessions for young neighborhood couples and families on Sunday afternoons. Games are my faVorite gift to give or get. Keep writing, I’ll keep reading! — Dave W, Louisville, Kentucky, US

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