Monopoly and Life are popular games. I recently was sent a game that reminded me of these two games a little in its play, but I never laughed as much playing those as I did Life on the FarmR by We R Fun, Inc. This educational game is a good twist to helping teach money management and life skills, as well as farm life as intended by the Minnesota Farm Family organization that developed the game. I have seen other organizations and authors of children’s book series try to develop games to further their mission or help book sales, but none have turned out as fun to play as Life on the FarmR.

The game play is simple and is enhanced by the well designed and well manufactured game board, box, and pieces. The box contains a full color game board, plastic insert tray that holds the 3 kinds of cow cards, farm expense cards, farm income cards, 6 denominations of money, 2 dice, and 6 variously colored pawns. The tray is a simple, but nice addition that many game makers are leaving out these days. Your game components can stay separated and protected. As far as play, each player starts with $10, 000, and you roll a dice and move the rolled number of spaces. You then follow the directions on the space. It could be draw a farm income card which gives you money from the bank for things sold on a farm. It could be a farm expense card which makes you pay the bank for some farm overhead type event. The space could have a detour from the path required or some other unusual event such as a cattle auction where you can buy more cows or a lose your turn because you have to pick corn or even an event where you have to pay a neighbor because your cows got out and damaged property. There are numerous things that can happen as you go through your life as a farmer. When you pass the barn, you can collect your milk money which is like passing the go space in Monopoly. The winner is the one who retires first. Retirement comes when you have a lot of cows and a lot of money. There are various ways to shorten the game by changing the exact retirement amounts or changing the way you start the game. Some of the cards really tickled my students. The one event that drew “ewwww” and giggles was the artificial insemination card. There were more ewwwws when we explained what that actually meant. More important than simple play is playability. As a avid gamer of all kinds of games, the most important thing to know about a game before purchase is how much will you want to play it again and again. Life on the Farm proved with my students to be a hit in that department. I played it with three different groups of my students of all different ages even non-readers. They all wanted to play it again and again. Two girls kept it at home for a few days and played it with the whole family. As a gamer with these certain requirements, Life on the Farm passed on all aspects. Yes, it is educational too.

Many types of students will do well with this game. My nonreaders, young and older, had no problem since the game doesn’t require any secrecy. Other students merely helped them to read their cards out loud. Everyone wants to know what you are getting or even better, what you are have to pay for. If you have students who are uncomfortable letting students read for them, you can ask one student to read everyone’s cards noting it being the role of the banker or some similar role. One of my students who plays role-playing games wanted to be the game master and read the cards for everyone like it was “life as it happens” as he put it. You could also put symbols with the key points on the back of the card to help the nonreaders, too. I, being DeafBlind, had the card tactually signed to me, but we are already in the process of brailling labels for the spaces and cards. Low vision students can quickly learn the color-coded money. My money will be brailled. Overall, this game is good for most learners and can be easily modified for others.
Life on the Farm is available on the http://www.werfun.com site for $25.00 which is a great price for such a high quality and fun game. There is a preschool version, as well, for $20.00. Give it a try, but be prepared for the onslaught of cow puns.
The vendor provided me with a free copy of this game to be reviewed here. The opinion is entirely mine.

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