The Pursuit of Happiness – Board Game Review

Ahh life, what would we do without it eh? Well we wouldn't be playing board games that's for sure! The Pursuit of Happiness from Artipia Games is a life building game that takes us from our teens, through to old age and finally our final repose. What we do inbetween, well that's almost entirely up to us.

The Pursuit of Happiness board game review Gameapalooza AustraliaThe Pursuit of Happiness board game – How will you life your life?

Games of life are nothing new, they've been around for decades, with possibly the most famous one being The Game of Life, created in 1860 with the modern version hitting the ground in the 1960s. There is something about a game that simulates life, with all the pitfalls and wonders that lay along the way, that is intriguing to gamers, thus the staying power of The Game of Life itself.

The Pursuit of Happiness is a worker placement / resource management game that sees the players muddling through life, all whilst trying to remain as stress free as possible. Living a fulfilling life of study, friends, work, play and family along the way. The overall goal? To be the furthest along the Long Term Happiness track (or to end up with the most points on the victory point tracker, if you prefer gaming terminology).

The Pursuit of Happiness board game review Gameapalooza Australia board setupAnd here is The Pursuit of Happiness board game in all her glory.

So how do you get those all important points? Well you have to do things that make you happy, these things include spending your precious time making money, connecting with others, garnering knowledge, or being creative. You’ll get jobs, buy items, start up projects and if you desire, enter into relationship(s).

The main thing you don't want is to take on too much, too much of anything will just stress you out and stress kills. Before it kills you though it will cost you time, precious time (you'll lose one of your hourglasses, meaning you'll have less to place next round). And that is where the fun of The Pursuit of Happiness lay, balance. How will you balance work and relaxation, your relationship and hobbies?

The Pursuit of Happiness board game review Gameapalooza Australia cards artThe art in The Pursuit of Happiness board game is adorable.

But wait there's more! The Pursuit of Happiness adds depth to each action by making those things that are likely to take up a chunk of your life (jobs, marriage) upgradable. They can be levelled up, so you start on one section of the card (marking it with a marker) and if you want to spend resources on it in future turns it will move up to the next level. Example: relationships, you date, then enter into a relationship, then raise a family), needless to say it's all optional, perhaps you don't want children, no problem, just don't move up a level. Likewise with your job, you can sit and just get on with it until you retire, or work at promotion. The entire thing works fluidly and is fairly precise given how uncomplicated it all is.

You can also play The Pursuit of Happiness solo and it's actually pretty good. At four players you really want to be playing with a group you're familiar with and not a group prone to analysis paralysis, not that it dragged, but I can see how it may with those types of gamers.

Instagram pic of The Pursuit of Happiness board game review Gameapalooza AustraliaPlaying The Pursuit of Happiness doesn’t feel like a chore.

Overall I've enjoyed every game of The Pursuit of Happiness I've played so far and oddly (or not) all those I've played with / introduced to it have also really enjoyed it. That is a sign of a really nice game. Fairly short player turns, everything easy to see and understand, fun graphics and fluid gameplay make The Pursuit of Happiness a game you should most definitely check out. Telling a life story with your friends will be fun... and then you die.

  • Players 1-4
  • Play Time 60-90mins
  • Ages 12+