LifeGenesis is a puzzle video game developed by Jim Horne and published by Microsoft in the Microsoft Entertainment Pack 3 for Windows 3 in 1991. The game is based on Conway's Game of Life, but, in addition to simulating the game, it also includes a competitive version where you play against an AI.
I never owned this game, and, I don't think I knew anyone who did throughout the 1990s. I'm not sure if I saw this game before I knew what Conway's Game of Life was. If I did, I'm sure I would have been confused by it. Either way, I never took the time to play it much. In an effort to better understand Windows 3 games, I gave this game another look and discovered the two-player mode, which I thought was interesting. I beat all the difficulty levels on 2020-07-24.
I don't own this game, but have beaten the competitive mode on all difficulty levels.
Best Version: Windows 3
— This section contains spoilers! —
- The incorporation of a competitive version of Life was a really clever idea.
- The most difficult level AI in the competitive mode is a pretty formidable foe.
- The game is multimedia-challenged, using the default 16-color Windows palette and lacking sound and music.
- The game is missing a lot of easily-implements features. You can't customize the colors, you can't change the size of the play field in versus mode, you can't loop the edges, and, once again, an Entertainment Pack game fails to deliver a 2-player human mode when doing so would have been trivially easy.
- Since the "game" is ultimately just Conway's Game of Life, it's more of a toy than a game.
- Since the starting play field is random, you can easily game the AI by picking new random layouts until you get one that gives you an obvious advantage.
- It would have been nice if the built-in patterns included some of the more interesting patterns.