The Game of Life has been a game night staple since its debut in 1960. Hasbro is excited to celebrate the beloved game’s 60th anniversary this year. Check out these little-known facts about the iconic game.
60 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE GAME OF LIFE FOR ITS 60TH ANNIVERSARY
- The inspiration for The Game of Life game was the word “Life” in the Milton Bradley
Company’s 1860 game, “The Checkered Game of Life”.
- “The Checkered Game of Life” from 1860 mirrored the ups and downs of Milton Bradley’s
- In 1959, Milton Bradley acquired the rights to The Game of Life game.
- In the original set of rules players could exact revenge on another player, this is not the case
in today’s version!
- “You will learn about life when you play The Game of Life” was the original television advertising jingle.
- Playing The Game of Life game is designed to parallel a person’s life.
- The Game of Life game was first introduced in 1960 to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the
Milton Bradley Company.
- The Game of Life game shares its birth year with Etch A Sketch, Bubble Wrap, the first Xerox
office copier, the aluminum can, and the advent of the birth control pill in the United States.
- Hasbro acquired The Game of Life game from Milton Bradley in the year 1984.
- 351,815 copies of The Game of Life game were sold in the first year. It was considered a huge success.
- Wholesale price total was close to $1M ($982,619) total sales for the 1960 edition. The unit
price was $2.79.
- The iconic The Game of Life game spinner used today was inspired by the spinner used in “The Checkered Game of Life” 1860 version.
- The Game of Life game charted fresh territory for board games when it was first released
with a three-dimensional board and integral plastic spinner.
- The original The Game of Life game tokens weren’t made out of plastic, but they have always been cars!
- 1 hour is the average amount of time it takes to play The Game of Life game.
- Players have a 10.45% chance of landing on the “Pay Day” space and getting paid!
- The game was meant to be educational. The purpose was to finish the game with a peaceful retirement based on having made proper moral decisions.
- There are 6 car tokens for players to choose from – blue, purple, green, yellow, red, or
- There is currently 1 (in US only) available licensed version of The Game of Life game for sale.
- The Game of Life game is played in 59 countries and has been translated into 26 different
- Surveys show that the board game is owned by half of US households with kids ages 8 – 17.
- The Game of Life game is considered the most recognized board game in Japan and South
- The board game is part of the permanent collection of the National Museum of American
History and SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION’S Archive of Family Life.
- The board game was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2010.
- In 1994, Acura developed a television commercial which focused on an Acura Integra driving along The Game of Life game path.
- $6 – Retail cost of The Game of Life game in 1960.
- $120 – Current value of the original 1960 version of the game.
- $130,000 – Salary earned by a Doctor, the highest paying career card in the game.
- $3,115,000 – The highest sum of money that a player can earn in The Game of Life game,
taking into account that the player lands on all of the spaces that give money and that the player has the highest salary amount.
- $22,300,000 – Total amount in The Game of Life game box.
- +$1,000,000,000 – Lifetime retail sales of The Game of Life game worldwide!
- In the 1960 edition of the game, Doctor (Salary $20K), Teacher (Salary $8K), Journalist (Salary $10K), Lawyer (Salary $15K), Physicist (Salary $10K), Bachelor’s Degree ($6K) were all original “To college” careers (designated by where you landed on the board, not cards).
- If you chose to skip college and go “To business,” in the 1960 version, your salary would be
- 14 – Different types of housing options in the game for players to choose from.
- 16 – Career cards for players to choose from in the game.
- 52 – Pegs (26 Pink and 26 Blue) in each The Game of Life game.
- 134 – Spaces on the game board.
- Players can purchase automobile insurance, homeowner’s insurance, or buy stocks during
- Players can take out Bank Loans during game play, but they must be paid back if you retire!
- How much money players earn during game play depends not only on the amount of their
salary but how often players land on your career space.
- In 1992, The Game of Life game was updated to include Life Tiles which reward players for
recycling their trash, learning CPR and saying “no” to drugs.
- The Game of Life game families play today was invented by Reuben Klamer.
- Reuben Klamer was 37 years old when he invented The Game of Life game.
- California is home to Reuben Klamer, the inventor of The Game of Life game.
- Though he resides in California now, Reuben was born in Canton, Ohio.
- The Game of Life Jr. game was launched in 2014, allowing players ages 5 and up to join in on the fun.
- In 2015, The Game of Life game was updated to include 16 new career cards inspired by kids including, Video Game Designer, Race Car Driver, Singer, Fashion Designer, and more.
- In 2014, Hasbro introduced Game of Life: Electronic Banking, which had an easy-pay
electronic banking unit and eliminated the use of cash in the game.
- The Game of Life Electronic Arts Mobile App launched in 2009 and The Game of Life
Marmalade Mobile App launched in 2016.
- To date there are over 2.5 million downloads of The Game of Life Mobile App.
- In 2017, Hasbro teamed up with TripAdvisor to bring vacations to the iconic The Game of Life game for the first time.
- In 2018, The Game of Life game allowed players to add a cat or dog to their family as they
moved around the board.
- The current edition of the classic game includes pets and vacations, two necessities to enjoy life.
- In 2019, Hasbro partnered with Amazon Prime to create The Game of Life: The Marvelous
Mrs. Maisel edition game inspired by the hit TV series.
- The Game of Life game has been spotted on Saturday Night Live and a number of TV shows where the game is played by the show’s characters.
- Hasbro paired with TV network the Hub Network in 2011 to air The Game of Life as a family
- In 2018, Hasbro introduced a Parody version of The Game of Life game titled; Game of Life:
Quarter Life Crisis.
- Whenever players land on a “baby” space in the game, they must add a baby peg to their car, it’s not optional.
- You can get fired or have a mid-life crisis during the game, it’s not optional!
- Players can choose to retire at Millionaire Estates or Countryside Acres, they are the only two options in the game.
Featured photo: Hasbro