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An interesting concept that SIMply fails to impress
The Sims (PC)
Member Name: SimonCook
The Sims (PC)
Date: 02/08/03, updated on 05/12/04 (120 review reads)
Advantages: Interesting concept
Disadvantages: Too many add-ons, Monotonous, Uninteresting at times
?The Sims? is a slightly different game for me as most games I have played of this type have involved management of resources, economies etc; most f these games have been abstract and to a certain extent not quite real.
However, ?The Sims? has its feet firmly planted in reality. There was no doubt for me that the quality of the game would be good as the makers of Sim City (Maxis) have produced this game, I was therefore expecting a clever and unique game?..
I was initially impressed by the presentation of the game, and the idea that you don?t really ?save? games but open windows into the ?lives? of the occupants of the neighbourhood.
The menu system is fairly intuitive although I did often find it difficult to find certain items when adding to my house. At times the game seems to be a ?race? to click something ? e.g. if your house is on fire, you have to click the phone and select ?fire department? ? at times I found you had to wait for another action to be complete before the more important action could be taken ? there was no way to priorities tasks.
The screen presentation was good, and you are able to customize much of what you see. I immediately turned off all the walls and roofs, so that I could see the entire house without any problems. You are able to zoom in as well, but I tended to play the game zoomed out ? it was easier to control and made it easier to find an ?event?
--Choose a house--
You are given the option to start in a pre-designed house, or totally build your own house.
-The pre-defined house is perhaps the easier route to go on first try, as it contains mos
t of the ?important? elements that you will require for ?living? ? i.e. a shower, a toilet, an oven.
-Building your own house is far more difficult but perhaps is more fulfilling. You can choose from various different plots within the neighbourhood ? these are of differing sizes and vary in cost. In some plots you will find a ?shell? house and you have to add the interior elements as well as sometimes completing the building. In others you will just find a piece of land, you then get to build your own ideal house, and install all the mod-cons.
As you build your house you navigate through many ?sub? menus searching for items such as walls, floors, ceilings, door, windows etc. Building is fairly intuitive and generally easy ? however be careful with your money as you will find that you often build a great house only to leave little money to install important items like toilets.
Once the frame of the house is built you then get to add ?goodies?. Firstly it is important to install all the ?important? items ? these include beds, tables, chairs, sofa, fridge, oven, microwave, toilet and shower. If, after installing all this you can then add the ?luxuries? such as TVs, computers, book cases, music systems etc.
You do somehow get attached to your house, especially when you begin to earn decent money and can begin to landscape the outside as well as buy expensive toys ? such as ?wide screen TVs?. I almost found this part of the game better than the ?looking after your Sim? part.
Hint 1: if you have a two story house, make sure that you include a staircase.
Hint 2: make sure you include a toilet ? your Sims will end up peeing everywhere if you don?t! Ewwwwwwww.
--Occupy your house--
You actually ?design? your occupants before you design the house. You get to choose the setup of your family ? you must have one adult, but you can have many adults as well as children. Be cautious though, you initially do not have
much money so you may not be able to afford a bed for all the family members!
Each ?human? is essentially designed. You can set the level of certain personality ?traits? that directly effect the way they react in the ?real? world. Not only do these ?traits? effect the way they react (i.e. if you set up a messy person, then you?re going to have dirty dishes around the house) but it also decides the ?mood? of your person and what is important to them.
The mood is generally effected by eight categories. These categories have highs and lows. E.g If you are hungry, then you need to eat. If you feel that the walls are keeping you in, then go for a walk. If your bladder is full, go for a pee. Each category has a bar graph to let you know the ?status? and each category has different ways to solve the problems. (e.g. you can eat in many ways ? snacks, pizza, microwave meal, main meal etc.)
You have to essentially direct the person to do actions. Thus if you need to pee, then you have to click on the person and then click on the toilet ? you also have to click on the toilet again to ?flush?.
Effectively you have to do everything for the person ? at times the person will do some actions while waiting for you ? but these tend to be passive actions such as sitting or sleeping.
Trying to manage these categories is important as they all affect the mood the person is in, and this can have a detrimental effect on all aspects of your person?s life.
One important part of the game involves upgrading your house. You can build extra rooms, buy better items, etc. However to do this you must have money. Now no one is going to give you money so you have to get a job.
This can be done in two ways. You can get a job in the newspaper or online.
Initially you can chose from two or three entry-level jobs, but assuming you are on time (not as easy as it sounds ? often it is difficult to manage time properly and you?ll find
yourself still in a shower when you lift arrived!) ? you will get promoted and thus earn more money.
There are also ways to improve your skills ? you can read books and gain knowledge that will assist you in work. Books can also help you learn important things that will help you around the house ? such as cooking (this won?t seem too important until you burn your house down while cooking).
One important aspect of the game is ?relationships?. Just like in real life you will want to meet people and perhaps get married. Relationships both with friends and lovers will increase your happiness and therefore help them be successful.
Relationships are perhaps the hardest part of the game; you can initiate conversations with anyone who happens to walk by. However, you won?t necessarily be liked. You chose what to talk about, and based on ?icons? that tell you the reaction of the person you can begin to find out what they like to talk about. Slowly you will begin to build friendships ? you must keep in contact with these people otherwise they will begin to lose interest in you!
Eventually, with a lot of work you can get married (or have another person move in) ? on interesting part of the Sims is that you cannot get divorced ? you simply marry someone else!! However, once you get married you now have two people to control ? you can even have kids and have more people to control!
Hint 1: make sure you have enough beds for the whole family ? your sims will sleep on the floor and become very grumpy.
Hint 2: go to bed early and wake early ? this way you are likely not to miss the lift to work (or to school if you are a kid!).
The graphics are generally good although nothing spectacular. You have the ability to choose many different styles for your house as well as your person. You can even import textures and faces to make the game more personal.
The animations are very good and g
enerally realistic ? the game is also censored, so that when your person goes to the bathroom or takes a shower, parts of them become blurred ? I found this part very funny!
In this type of game the graphics are not really that important ? as long as they are functional, and things look like they should then they suffice.
I was a little disappointed by the sound effects. I thought the speech was funny at first ? the Sims speak in a sort of ?nonsense? language that is reminiscent of many cartoons, but this soon becomes annoying and I turned it off.
Spot FX are generally good ? e,g, the TV has various different sounds depending on what you are watching. The radio plays real songs and even allows you to import some of your own MP3s. Hmmm could the Sims be a very abstract MP3 player?
I have played Sim type games for many years, and am used to the concept of a game that really doesn?t have a goal. Generally I do like these games, however with the Sims I really found it to be monotonous.
Once you have played for a couple of days, you generally have done everything that can be done and you find yourself repeating the same actions over and over again! I thus became bored very quickly. I became annoyed that I had to do the same action over and over again ? surely I could ?teach? my Sims how to ?pee? so that I didn?t have to walk them over to the toilet every time I did this!
I found the game to be a little too abstract. As long as you continued to click your person and direct them, you couldn?t really go wrong, but I often asked myself ?Why am I doing this?!
I simply didn?t have enough to do in this game and really felt that I only had a half a game! How right I was??
Many years ago I used to play Games Workshop games. Initially you bought a game that had the bare minimum to play, and then bought expansions sets to make the
game more playable. After about 10 expansions, and 500 pounds you ended up with a pretty decent game.
?The Sims? uses the very same principle to make Maxis even more money. As the years go by, you are able to buy dozens of expansion packs for The Sims. There are many:
to name just a few. The idea being that each add-on gives you something else to do in the Sims World!
Now call me a miser, but these items should be part of the original game and should not cost more money!
Once you have a few expansion packs the game does become more fulfilling, but I still begrudge paying the extra moola?.
Wait until a ?Sims: the full game with all the expansion sets? is available! You?ll save lots of money.
*****And there?s more*****
One aspect of this type of game is that you can download changes and add-ons for free ? there?s a lot of public domain textures etc. For instance there is a ?nude? texture which means that every person you meet will be in the nude! Oeerrr misses! Of course I have only been told about this one!