KUDOS – a Decade of Life Crammed into One Computer Game!

If you are like me, you often ponder the thought of how much better finances would be if you had just gone for that PhD rather than party with your friends back in the days. But not anymore, because now you can fulfill those dreams with Kudos. Kudos is a life like game that falls into multiple categories such as simulation, RPG, adventure and more.

Kudos starts out with you at the age of 20, and your choice of multiple female or male characters to play as. You have 10 years to do what you want with your life from becoming a partner at a lucrative law firm, to having beer and pizza with your friends every night. You start out as a food server with an annual salary of about $14,000. You go through each day as you would in real life. Monday through Friday, you start the day right after work, leaving you time to accomplish 1 goal before bed. On Saturday and Sunday, however, you get time to tackle 2 tasks since you won't need to work those days.

You can enroll in school courses, anything from Kung Fu Basic Medicine. There are many career paths to choose from including working your way to become a top chef, or even a famous actor. Whichever path you choose, the schooling will take you quite a while, as it does in normal life, but by the end of my last game play I was a Cosmetic Surgeon making $154,000 a year with an expensive sports car.

One of the catches to the game is that you must keep your home clean. The picture on your screen will become cloudy as your home gets dirty and if you do not clean it 1 or 2 times a week, you will get sick and not be able to work and make money for a few days. Though, you do have the option to hire a cleaning service which will take a little money out of your earnings on a daily basis but will ensure you don't get ill.

You want to have that nice paying job, which will take anywhere between 5-10 separate classes to achieve, but you want a social life too. This is where the game becomes slightly complicated. You start the game with a few friends, but you will lose them one by one if you do not hang out with them often enough. You have many options of things you can do with these friends, from catching a movie to dining on high priced french food. Though, keep in mind that each friend has different likes and dislikes. If you take them for pizza when they aren't big on food, you will lose points with them. The more friends you have, the better restaurants you can get into. As you keep your friends happy, you gain Kudos points, which come in handy for landing certain jobs or making new friends.

The other thing you need to watch is your standings as far as upping your happiness, IQ and confidence and lowering your stress, tiredness and alcohol levels. If your confidence is too low or alcohol levels too high, you may not get that higher paying job. Yet if you have certain friends who are only happy when at a bar drinking, then you need to find a way to keep your alcohol level to a minimum. Luckily one of the daily options of things to do is to take a nap on the sofa.

There are many small obstacles to this game, which is what makes it so interesting, in my opinion. For instance, there is a a likelihood of getting robbed on your way home from work. To tackle that and take the upper hand you'll need to take some martial arts classes. There is also a chance of being robbed at home, which is only swayed by either owning a dog or an alarm system. Since the alarm system costs approximately $500, you will most likely choose the dog. The dog is cheap to purchase, and you simply have to make sure you replenish their food when it runs low. You can also get a cat or fish which help with your stress levels.

One of the options you have on certain days is to go shopping. This is a great option, considering you can buy things such as a chess board to give you more things to do with friends, or you can buy cable TV and watch the comedy channel to boost your happiness. Laptops, home gyms, books, you can find just about anything you need.

In short, you want to achieve financial success and popularity on an even keel. The game will end 10 years later when your character is 30. This is the only sad part to the game, because after schooling and time with friends, you will reach your max income level not long before those 10 years are up. I have found the one career that will get you there quickest, but if I tell you what it is then the game will no longer be a thrill to play. So if you wish you had done something else in life, or simply just want to live vicariously through someone else for a bit, I absolutely recommend playing Kudos. About the only thing you can't do in this game is see or decorate your home.

I personally have fun with this game even after completing it multiple times, as you can choose a different path each time, making it 'new' every time. I give this game an A- and the minus is only for the fact that when you choose to do something with a friend you don't actually get to see anything happening, it just states you that you did it. Otherwise, this game does quite well in quenching my need to be someone else for a day.


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