Board game reviews, news and commentary.
Mid-Life Crisis... THE GAME!
Thrift Sift
Updated: Thursday, Jan 23, 2014
I’ll soon be having another birthday, celebrating another step forward in the unstoppable march towards the unavoidable, inevitable, cold, dark embrace of the grave.

I figure that I’m just about half-way to that final destination now, so that’s why I was so excited when I recently discovered the game Mid-Life Crisis at a local thrift store. Now, instead of anxiously waiting for my own mid-life crisis, I can gather ‘round the kitchen table with my family and friends and practice having one in front of them.

Today I’ll take a look at Mid-Life Crisis… because what’s a fresh wound without a little salt in it?

Portions of Mid-Life Crisis are similar to those games where players are given an ethical dilemma to resolve, and in resolving it, provide a glimpse into their personality. Growing up, my parents loved games like this. They’d often have other couples over for a game… More accurately, they’d have a couple over for a game which would predictably lead to a furious argument mid-game between someone and their spouse, followed by slamming doors and never seeing that couple in our house ever again. Ah, the sweet memories of youth.

In Mid-Life Crisis, players can either work hard to earn more money, reduce stress and accumulate fewer divorce points than your opponents; or to declare a mid-life crisis, in which case they race to go broke, get divorced and have a mental breakdown before anyone else reaches the end of the game.

The game includes the following components:
  • A mazelike board, which subtly reinforces the idea that life is just a big, pointless rat race that we’re all running, even though we’re all going to end up in the same place at the end anyway. Good times.
  • A nifty scoring sheet to track your money, stress level, and how close you are to divorce. Was anyone else’s copy covered in small, tear-sized stains? Just mine? Okay.
  • A Declaration Of Mid-Life Crisis certificate. Now, it’s not notarized, so you’ll need to find your own Notary Public to authenticate yours to make it official.
But the real star of the game is the decks of the ZAP! and Crisis cards. The Crisis cards introduce the traumatic events that players experience over the course of their mid-life crisis. Here’s an example of some of the crises players may encounter:
“The ten year old station wagon needs to be replaced. Your spouse wants another station wagon, you want a 150 mile per hour sports car. Some people never learn. Add one divorce point.” 

Woo-hoo, what a loser!
“The T.V. set it broken. You talk to your wife for the first time in three years and discover you have a two year old son. Add 200 stress points."

Yikes, I’d hate to be that guy.
“Throwing your financial security to the four winds, you quit your stable, well-paying corporate job to pursue your hobby full-time by starting a website podcast about board games. Lose $1,000.”

That's what I ca-- ... um, er... well, I... I need to be going now. See you next time... I think.
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