Game of Life, Yahtzee, Payday video game
by Amanda Nettgen
Life/Yahtzee/Payday combo for Gameboy Advance/Nintendo DS
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Life/Yahtzee/Payday for Gameboy Advance or the Nintendo DS is the board games of the same name gone miniature. All three of these classics transfer surprisingly well to what ended up being the top screen only of my DS.
The game and gameplay
From the start screen, select which of the three titles you wish to play, the number of players (human or not), and your player details (color, avatar, etc.).
All three games employ the same sort of simple scroll-select mechanics, so if you’re using a DS, you will not use the touch screen at all. Navigation is fairly easy to understand and does not seem too old school, because it works.
With Life, expect all the same details as the original game sans the ability to see the whole board. This is perfectly okay, though, as Life is almost entirely luck-based and therefore, this does not detract from gameplay that much (although it may make the duration seem longer).
Other than watching everyone’s vehicles drive haphazardly across the screen (they literally drive right over each other), there isn’t anything left to complain about when comparing this version to the physical one. You won’t pass any cheesy added landmarks like in the PC edition of Life; rather, the basic animations the game does add in prompts prove to be quite appropriate. Oh, and all of the same “when pigs fly” Life tile achievements are still there.
As for Yahtzee, this is the one that translates the best in my eyes. It’s the least complicated of the three games, and even shows you the best options for scoring with each roll! You simply hit the A button to use the dice shaker, then scroll and highlight the dice you wish to “keep” (hit the same die again to un-highlight).
When you’re done with your rolls, be careful as you mark the scoring tab, then have to scroll again to confirm your points choice. You’ll constantly know who’s winning, as the game shows all players’ running totals.
It’s better if you’ve played the board game of Payday before trying the virtual one. Play is exactly the same, but you might forget the purpose of it all if it’s your first time through. I recommend you play for a minimum of three months (that’s game time, don’t freak out!), as it’s much, much harder to buy and sell Deals in only one month (the default). The spinning dice that the game has in the lower right corner is a nice effect.
Pros and cons
The biggest pro of this Gameboy Advance/DS set is that it’s completely portable. My husband and I always take this little cartridge with us when we travel, and it helps pass the time on the various modes of transportation that we have to encounter.
The game comes with full instructions for all games in a separate book (much better than having to scroll through on a tiny screen). The graphics aren’t too shabby.
Cons-wise, this game collection is better suited for only two, maybe three people, as you have to pass the gaming console back and forth, and you’ll naturally lose interest if you can’t readily see what’s going on. The winner’s screens aren’t elaborate in the least bit.
This pack of favorites is ideal for killing time when on-the-go, but you might not play it that much otherwise. Still, it’s a small but positive investment for staying connected with your travelling buddy.