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
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
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 isn't solitaire. The game isn't a mindless five-minutes of escapism, but an immersion into the lives of computer generated characters.
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