Skip navigation

This is a worker placement game we backed on Kickstarter. Once we finally received the game and all the pieces, we were excited to play. Unfortunately this game has not lived up to our expectations. We’ve played it a few times, and it’s just not a game we really enjoy.

I think of it as trying to be a more realistic version of The Game of Life, but I don’t think it quite accomplishes that. Each round represents about a decade of life. You start as a teenager which means you can’t get a real job (only temp jobs), and you can’t get involved with a partner (if only! think of all the drama that could be avoided!). You can get involved in projects and get items/activity cards. Certain projects are one turn only while others are long term. In order to progress in long term projects, you have to spend time on them. Some activities are like that as well. If you spend more time on that activity, you can get more rewards.

After the first round, jobs and partners are available. As long as you have the resources, you can get a job which seems simple. Partners also require different resources depending on the one you pick. And this is where we run into problems.

You start with 6 hourglasses to represent how you’re spending your time. You can get more, but it’s not easy. You play 4 rounds as an adult before you reach old age and start losing hourglasses. Let’s just focus on those 4 rounds as an adult when you have 6 hourglasses.

Here’s how jobs work. There are as many jobs available as there are players. It’s completely random which jobs turn up which means level three jobs can show up in the first round. A level three job requires a lot of resources, and unless you’re really lucky, you probably won’t be able to get it. That’s a problem because there’s only 1 level 3 job for each type of job (i.e. arts job), and if you can’t get a level 3 job, you can never retire. If you can’t retire, you’ll be using 1-2 hourglasses each turn on your job. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but you also have to have resources to keep your job, and you have to use your hourglasses to get resources. It becomes a real drain.

If you want to move beyond dating with a partner – have a relationship or raise a family – you need hourglasses.

So let’s say I have a level 2 job, and I’m in a relationship. That means 4 of my 6 hourglasses are spent on my job and partner each turn. If I can’t get the resources to maintain my job and/or relationship, I lose them and gain stress which can make me lose hourglasses.

Basically it’s really hard to have enough time for everything. In this game you’re unlikely to have time for a job, a relationship, a hobby (like learning to dance), and an item that requires upkeep (like a car). It’s just too much. So the game can get really frustrating.

Also, if another player manages to get a level 3 job early on and can retire, that’s pretty much it. That player is going to win because they have more hourglasses to spend on things that will get them more reward points. Obviously games aren’t just about winning, but when you get to the point when you realize you have no chance of winning, there’s a “what’s the point?” feeling.

So a lot of the time, this game presents a really depressing life, and that’s not a lot of fun to play.

However, this game did get us interested in Lords of Waterdeep and we have had a lot of fun playing that.

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By Lords of Waterdeep | Game Night on 01 May 2017 at 10:17 am

    […] the Kickstarter for Pursuit of Happiness I noticed some folks talking about how it was not a true “worker placement” game. I had […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.