Kudos 2

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Kudos 2

MSRP: $19.99 (free demo available)

Platform: Win / Mac

Release: 10/6/08

Kudos 2 (like its predecessor, the original Kudos) is a life simulation.  The game covers 10 years of a character’s life – it’s up to you how to live it. Because of the nature of a life sim, and the sheer number of things you can choose to do, Kudos 2 has almost endless replayability.

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In every game, you start working a job waiting tables near your home. Instead of choosing starting skills, you need to make choices every day that influence what kind of person you are.  Each work day (Monday-Friday), you have time to do one activity after work.  On weekends, you get two activities.  Each week equals one month of time.

Not all activities are created equal.  Something that’s far more useful than it sounds is going shopping – once you have a few dollars in the bank, heading to the mall will enable you to buy things like an umbrella (decreases the chances of getting sick by walking to work in the rain), books (some of which help you learn new things, some of which are purely for enjoyment), and a chess set (which offers a free activity for you and one friend). But resist the urge to overspend – the only way to maintain your friendships is through group events, some of which can be very costly.

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Everything you have the option to do has positive and negative aspects. Jogging improves your fitness but decreases your energy. Hanging out with certain friends can actually bring you down – make sure you look closely at their personalities before you decide which friendships to focus on. Looking for a job will eat up an activity slot, even if you don’t find anything worth applying for.

Certain activities, like playing video games alone, going to the casino, or doing a daily crossword, will open up a mini-game.  I find the mini-games to be one of the least compelling parts of Kudos 2.

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If you’re looking for something that’s 100% realistic, this isn’t it. But Kudos 2 is entertaining, and really makes you think about the effects of how we spend our time.

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