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Original and quirky lifestyle sim
If computer-based board games like Monopoly or Risk are your thing, or if you enjoy lifestyle games like The Sims, then this little known gem is well worth seeking out. It's an original take on the genre which sees players taking the reins of their character's life and guiding them towards their own personal goals. These are defined at the start of the game and fall into four categories, Money, Happiness, Education and Career, with your attempts at reaching them playing out on a board which represents your home city. The game is played out in turn-based fashion, with each turn taking up one week of your life and which requires you to carry out a variety of actions which take you towards your goals, like walking, working and learning. Of course, at the start of the game, only the most basic options are available, like menial jobs but as you start to save up some cash, you'll be able to get educated and start applying for the top-paying jobs. However, there is also the option to take a few short cuts, for example by spending your money on lottery tickets or investing in the stock market in the hope of getting rich quick. This really is one of the best features of Jones in the Fast Lane, its open-ended nature which allows you to take different routes towards your goals and which means the game has a fair amount of replay value. It is of course best played in the company of friends, where it transforms into an enjoyably competitive experience that has all the hallmarks of the best board games. The visuals are quite appealing with plenty of humorous touches, so if you are looking for a fun little board game for a rainy afternoon, then this certainly fits the bill.
Great when you want to escape from the real life
Jones in the Fast Lane is a 1991 life simulation game which can be compared with The Sims, that appeared 10 years later, but with less features than the well-known EA Games production. Even so, this game will offer you great gaming moments. You control a person's life, playing by yourself or against other players. Before starting your virtual experience, you will establish your goals: money, happiness, education and career. If your life targets are high, then the game will last longer. Your activities and preoccupations involve looking for a job, educating yourself, buy various great things for your home, going to concerts, and anything else to raise your mood and keep your entertainment at high levels. The first steps are the hardest, especially when you don't have experience and education, so you will be under the necessity of accepting the lowest-paying jobs, like being a janitor or a chef. Only after you achieved a degree or when you follow various university courses, you will be able to work and be paid very much. But, as you know already, everything costs money, so your main worry remains the budget. Play this game where you do ordinary things, waiting for your efforts to be paid off in a real fun way!
Monopoly (Hasbro, 1993)
Aspyr Media, 2000
Risk (Virgin, 1991)
Virgin Interactive, 1991
Avalon Hill, 1991
Vikings: Fields of Conquest
Realism Entertainment, 1992
Software 2000, 1991
Soleau Software, 1992
Ishi Press International, 1991