Ayiti: The Cost of Life

Ayiti:  The Cost of Life


In, Ayiti: The Cost of Life, you take charge of a family from Haiti and make choices for their everyday lives. The goal of the game is to keep the family healthy and happy by creating a balance between work, education, and free time.


Reviwer: Emily B.

The game, Ayiti:  The Cost of Life, takes the player to a world we have read about and heard about—a real world where simply living can be an everyday struggle.  I felt a deeply personal feeling after playing this game because it made me shockingly aware of third-world difficulties and how easy my life compared to it.  Because of this, I would consider Ayiti a “cause” game because it brings about introspect to our own lives, nudging us to consider a better life for impoverished nations.  Change begins with awareness, and this game achieves that with realism, education, and concern.

Ayiti allows you to experience (superficially, of course) true poverty by making choices for a family of five.  You have four years, each with four seasons, to accomplish gains in wellness, wealth, or education.  At the beginning of each season, you choose how each of your family members will spend their time.  I decided to strive for education, so I started the game by sending all of the children to school and having the parents work in the city for one season.  In that time, I spent all of my money and had two sick family members.  So, as a respectable gamer, I started over.  Little did I realize, this would be a trend in Ayiti.

I tried to strive for wellness in the next game, hoping that my focus on health would be a much easier task.  Unfortunately, within the first year, my family was too sick to make any money, and they were all discharged from the clinic.  I challenge anyone to try and make it the entire four years without losing every family member from some sort of illness.

Ayiti opens the eyes of its players through its sympathetic view of poverty.  The game is incredibly realistic and sometimes downright depressing; however, it takes a game of this type of seriousness to catch the attention of usually casual gamers.  It captures an audience of people with first-world problems through the interface of gaming, and I applaud its ability to keep me playing over and over again, simply expecting different results.  It has a high replayability value, and I will continue to try and keep my little families alive year after year.



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Game Developer: Global Kids
Game Publisher: Global Kids

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