MIStupid.com Logo
The Online Knowledge Magazine

The Sims

Maxis is probably best known for their very popular "SimCity" series of computer games which combine fun and fantasy with the complex management of a fictional city. The player realizes quickly that playing the role of a "supreme being" is both challenging and entertaining. Although SimCity left the player unfulfilled in that you never participated in the lives (or even saw) the inhabitants.

The SIMs takes you to this next level. Instead of managing an entire city, you are managing a household, by managing the lives of a "family" under one roof. There are many families and homes, all of which you can create and modify, but you are really only "playing" one family at a time. The game can be quite complex, yet simple to get the hang of; and quite addictive.

We All Have Needs
The object of the game is to fulfill all of your Sim's basic needs, which include Energy, Hunger, Social Interaction, Fun, Hygiene, Comfort, and Bladder. Each of these factors are measured on a small bar graph in the interfaces control panel. All of these contribute to the overall mood of each Sim. You can allow the Sims to attempt to fulfill their needs on their own, but it so much better to intervene. Some of the needs are very mundane, like using the toilet. Make sure you provide one in the construction mode, or your Sim will wet the floor. Make sure he/she washes their hands afterwards, or your hygiene factor will decline.

Cooking will satiate hunger, but having better cooking appliances fulfill this more efficiently. Oh, and be sure to have your Sim read about cooking (if you provide them a bookcase) or their pitiful cooking skills might have them start a fire. One of my Sims actually died when he started a fire on the stove and tried to extinguish it himself. Providing a phone allows Sims to call for cleaning, repair, gardening, and emergency services, as well as other Sims in the neighborhood for social interactions.

A Day in the Life of a Sim
As your Sim sleeps, their energy and comfort levels increase. Time passes at a quicker pace to speed through all the snoring. An alert notifies you when the car pool will arrive to take your Sim to work. Or purchase an alarm clock so they get up at the right time. Send them to the bathroom for a quick shower and then to the kitchen for breakfast. Their time at work also goes by at an accelerated pace. When they come home and have earned their daily wage, have them pick up the mail and paper on their way in.

Maybe they should watch TV, read a book, or do something else recreational to fulfill their 'fun' needs. Social interaction with other members of the household build their relationships and add to interesting situations. Remember you don't think for the Sims. Each one has their own personality factors, likes and dislikes. You can't always predict how they will interact. Each interaction between any two Sims is judged as positive and negative and thus affects their relationships accordingly.

The real challenge of the game is to balance your time in fulfilling all of your needs. There doesn't seem to be enough time, or energy, in the day to get everything done. Sound familiar? You might ask yourself, "Why would I want to play a game that seems as difficult as managing my own life?" Well, remember that the Sims is a fantasy world that can be stopped and started at will.

Day is Done
This is just the tip of the iceberg. This game is very deep. The variations are endless as the game evolves. There are also many add-ins to enhance the game with new character images, called 'skins', new objects and decorations. And there are a ton of web sites from fans who share cheat codes, skins, and generally how-to have more fun with the game.

This isn't solitaire. The game isn't a mindless five-minutes of escapism, but an immersion into the lives of computer generated characters. Get this game on iOS and Android devices.

The Sims

Maxis Software
Price: $39.99

Review by

5 of 5