The Game of Life
By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Iconic board game makes for fun family entertainment.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Trivia questions test players' knowledge of an array of topics, and viewers will learn some interesting facts from them.
The series requires family members to work as a team to take on intellectual and physical challenges. All prizes are cumulative, so the players never have to "gamble" their winnings for the chance to take home bigger gifts. One segment of the game tests the players' knowledge of one another, so it pays to know family members' likes and dislikes.
Positive Role Models
All of the players demonstrate good sportsmanship by cheering on both their teammates and their opponents during the games. The show is geared toward the younger players, and parents often defer to their kids' choices regarding the games and the answers to trivia questions.
Products & Purchases
The show is based on the board game Life, which is made by the show's sponsor, Hasbro, so there's an obvious product tie-in.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this trivia/challenge game show is based on the board game Life and is sponsored by the game's maker, Hasbro, so there's obvious product placement throughout. Teams of family members must work together to succeed, which is a positive message for viewers. Since the players are good sports in victory and in defeat, there are also good messages about fairness and the ups and downs of competition. Very young kids won't get into the show as much as those who can follow the trivia challenges, but the show's fast pace and use of CGI will likely keep them entertained for the 30-minute duration.
Where to Watch
Based on 1 parent review
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What's the Story?
In THE GAME OF LIFE, teams of family members compete in trivia and teamwork challenges for the chance to win prizes. Each three-person team consists of one adult and two kids, with two teams facing off in a CGI replica of the iconic Hasbro board game. The families take turns driving a car through a virtual world, answering trivia questions to earn Life Points along the way. At the end of the game, which is hosted by Frank Nicotero, the team with the most Life Points gives the spinner a whirl to win a grand prize.
Is It Any Good?
This version of Life literally puts kids in the driver's seat as they chart their course over the virtual game board with the turn of the steering wheel. It's a fast-paced adventure that sees them racing the gas gauge to answer as many questions as they can before an empty tank ends their turn. The name of the game is teamwork, especially when it comes to the physical challenges like a tag-team burger assembly line, and it's obvious that the competitors are in it for fun more than anything else.
The Game of Life packs a lot of family themed enjoyment into its 30-minute runtime, and viewers can get more involved by taking the trivia tests along with the players. Hasbro's built-in product placement is unavoidable, but it can actually work to families' advantage by inspiring you to turn off the TV and gather around the table with an actual board game for a classic family game night instead.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about competition. What lessons can you learn from competing with others? How does it feel when you win? When you lose? How does competition inspire you to master skills?
Kids: What activities does your family enjoy together? Why is family time important? What changes can you make as a family to maximize your time together?
How do advertisers use the media to promote their products? Do you notice products like junk food, video games, and brand-name clothes in the shows or movies you watch? Does seeing something on a TV show make you want it more? Why or why not?
- Premiere date: September 17, 2011
- Cast: Frank Nicotero
- Network: Discovery Family Channel
- Genre: Game Shows
- Topics: Book Characters
- TV rating: TV-G
- Last updated: February 25, 2022
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