TOS Crew: Life on the Farm game

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The timing was perfect.

We were just sitting down to dinner when the UPS truck pulled up outside. I hurried to the door to intercept him — the dog goes bananas if someone knocks on the door, but if you get to the door first, she just grumbles more or less under her breath.

Well. When the girls saw the return address said “We R Fun” we had to open the box immediately. When they saw it was a game the rest of the evening was planned: We’d eat, wash dishes, and sit down to play the game. They’ve been begging to play a game after dinner for a long time now, but with the busyness that the school year brings (outside activities take up the calendar) we just hadn’t managed.

Three things combined to make the most fun and diverting game night we’ve had in months:

– We’ve all been sick, the last two weeks, and most (not all) of us are feeling better and looking for diversion

– Because we’ve all been sick, all outside activities have gone out the window

Life on the Farm is a lot of fun to play!

This award-winning game was created by a Minnesota farm family and is designed to give players a taste of the dairy farmer’s life. The aim is to build a herd of 60 cows, whereupon you may retire (that’s how you win the game). It’s not so easy as it sounds — a cow can get hit by a car, or struck by lightning, or shot by mistake by a hunter. Cows can get into your neighbors’ fields, requiring restitution. Not to mention the problem of cattle auctions: It seems as if they come along just when you’re short of money, and then when you have saved up a fair amount of money to buy cows, you keep missing the auction for one reason or another!

As you go around the board, you pick up Income and Expense cards (taking in or giving out money as you go), collect cows, lose cows, sell your milk, pay taxes, take a breather in the pasture. This last became rather a popular happening — after a few unexpected expenses or crises, we’d breathe sighs of relief to land in a pasture space and get to rest for a bit!

We started the game a little tentatively, but it wasn’t long before we were throwing ourselves into the game, naming our cows as we collected them, or had to say goodbye (“That Elsie, she was a good cow, she was. I’m gonna miss her.”), grumbling about hunters cutting fences and trespassing on our land, letting cows out and causing other problems, and watching warily for the “Infernal Revenue Service” to make an appearance. The grownups enjoyed the game as much as the kids!

Four of us played the full game (the fifth was too sick to play, but found the game interesting to watch for a little, before heading back to bed) in about two hours. You can play a shorter version as well, but I doubt the girls will let us take that route. We had way too much fun playing, to cut the game short.

It’s supposed to be educational (I think we learned a lot, actually) but it’s just plain fun!

Materials are sturdy and colorful. The girls especially noticed the cute design of the play money: farm animals, a farmer, the denomination (of course), and a plain, unapologetic “In God We Trust” notation right there on every bill.

The game is designed for 2-6 players, ages 8 and up. There’s also a preschool version for younger children.

Life on the Farm is available from the We R Fun website for $25.

To see more TOS Crew reviews of this product, please click here.

Disclaimer: The First Mates on the TOS Crew each received a free copy of Life on the Farm or the Life on the Farm Preschool Version for the purpose of using and reviewing the game. TOS reviewers receive no monetary compensation for reviews. Opinions expressed here are those of our own family. Individual results may vary (but we hope you’ll have as much fun as we did).

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