New Releases: What upcoming games are you looking forward to?
Simulation/Life Development Sim
TEEN, Comic Mischief, Mature Sexual Themes, Mild Animated Violence
ALSO AVAILABLE ON
IBM PC Compatible, Nintendo GameCube, Xbox, PlayStation 2, http://www.gamerdna.com/game/the-sims-xbox-1, http://www.gamerdna.com/game/the-sims-playstation-2-1, http://www.gamerdna.com/game/the-sims-ibm-pc-compatible-1-2, http://www.gamerdna.com/game/the-sims-nintendo-gamecube-1, http://www.gamerdna.com/game/the-sims-ibm-pc-compatible-1
TRAITS (member-attributed "LIKES")
THE SETTING #USES
PLAYING AS #USES
PLAYING AGAINST #USES
HOW IT'S PLAYED #USES
GENERAL TONE #USES
First, Maxis allowed you to control whole cities with SimCity, then whole planets with SimEarth. Now, you get to be up close and personal by controlling the lives of one or more of the inhabitants of a small street in The Sims. Start by selecting the family or person you wish to play and move them into one of the houses on the block. Choose either the couple from the demo, Bob Newbie and Betty Newbie, one of three pre-made families or create a Sim. Each family begins with $20,000 with which to purchase a house and furnishings.
Should you create a Sim, you have 25 points to spend on various personality traits. Each of these is not an absolute value but rather a sliding scale, such as "more neat" or "messy," more "outgoing" or "introverted" and so forth. Based on placement of these traits, characters are assigned an astrological sign. The option to select a personality based on a specific sign is also available by simply choosing from a list. You then select the Sim's appearance and write a background for the character if you wish.
The first task in the game is to select a pre-built house or build one on an empty lot. After that, you buy possessions to fill the house and redecorate the walls and floor with various coverings. Each possession not only complements the house but serves a purpose in fulfilling the Sim's various needs. To be successful, you must fulfill eight such needs and motivations including hunger, comfort, hygiene, bladder, energy, fun, social interaction and space (room).
When each of the eight values is high, the Sim is in a better mood and the rotating diamond over his or her head becomes a deeper green. When values begin to fall, the green becomes paler and paler and begins to turn red; a complaint is registered by the Sim if a specific need value dips into the danger zone. Though all Sims "speak" gibberish, the general gist of their words appear in a speech balloon above their heads.
Sim motives are fulfilled by accomplishing various actions. For example, hunger is satisfied by eating and bladder control by going to the bathroom. Energy is regained by sleeping, napping and drinking coffee or espresso and social needs by interacting with other Sims.
To pay for their lifestyle, Sims must work. Jobs can be found in the newspaper or by doing an online search if the Sim owns a computer. All jobs are entry level and pay a set amount. To ascend the job ladder, Sims will have to gain skills and maintain a positive mood. As they climb higher up the ladder, more skills and friends are needed.
As in most other Maxis games, there is no specific victory condition in The Sims — life just continues in this world. The choices are endless and include such behavior as falling in love, living together or even marriage. Players can even find their Sims falling in love with a Sim of the same sex, though marriage is not an option in this case. Couples, even same-sex couples, may be offered the chance to have or adopt a baby. However, if they don't do a good job of taking care of the child, it will be taken away.
Maxis maintains a website for The Sims where players can upload or download families, houses, new objects, wall coverings, floor coverings and other items or share pictures of their Sims taken through the family album section of the program. In short, with this program, you have the chance to play God and play with a dollhouse at the same time. Basically, you control your Sim's lives to the extent desired and create grand mansions or filthy shacks in which they live.
Can you give your Sims a better life and keep them happy and fulfilled? The Sims gives you the opportunity to find out. ~ Lisa Karen Savignano, All Game Guide