The Sims is a videogame that mixes life simulation with strategy. The original designer is Will Wright, and it has been developed by Maxis and published by Electronic Arts (EA). It was released in 2000 and since then, it has sold more than 100 million copies, even without taking into account all the expansions. This way, The Sims is the most-sold PC game in history. It was launched as a spin-off of SimCity, but instead of managing a whole city, you have to manage a sole person, a family or the neighborhood. Thus, each character has his or her own personality, and you can control him or her individually.
The Sims is the most-sold PC game in history
The Sims games consist of creating characters (Sims) and building them a life, satisfying their needs, but above all, making all their dreams true. When you play, you will have to design a house for them and furnish it with all the different items to satisfy your Sims. Then, you will have to give them orders such as "eat", "sleep", etc. They have the ability to not obey you in some specific situations, for instance, when they are falling asleep on their feet, or when they urgently need to go to the bathroom. You also have a free mode (free will) in which your Sims can do whatever they want with their lives.
This first installment may seem a bit limited for fans since you cannot leave your house by more than a few blocks when you play, but thanks to all the expansions you can explore more places and socialize with your friends, neighbors, and even with unknown people and make more friends. However, even with the expansions, this first generation of The Sims is still limited. For instance, your children will never grow; there is no age or genetics, so children are randomly generated. In addition, you cannot customize your full Sims, only their heads and bodies. There are no weeks, so you work every day and children go to school every day, too. Luckily, the next generations of The Sims (2, 3 and 4) have fixed all these issues.
More about your Sims
Take into account that your Sims live on their own special world. They have their own personality, their currency, the Simoleons, and even their own language, the Simlish. Depending on their horoscope, their interests and hobbies, they will socialize in different ways with different visitors. They will have their own abilities such as Creativity, Logic, Cooking, Mechanical or Body that you can improve by performing different activities, for example reading a book, cooking or looking through a telescope. Depending on these abilities, you will be better or worse at your job. Regarding jobs, there is a wide variety of jobs to choose from. If you are a good employee, you can be promoted, earn more Simoleons, etc.
However, your Sims are like real people, so if they are working for the whole day and they have no rest, they will get depressed. In order to avoid this, you will have to keep them happy because if they are sad, they will not do activities such as reading, play, going to work, and they will end by dying. The Grim Reaper will visit you if so, and you cannot avoid him (well, you can, but just for a bit).
Your Sims needs
As mentioned, you will have to keep your Sims happy, and for this purpose, you have to satisfy his or her needs. If you do not, your Sim will get depressed and he or she will not obey your orders, and can even die. There are eight necessities that are shown on screen as eight horizontal bars. When a necessity is satisfied, the bars will be full and green, but once they are decreasing, they will turn dark green, pink, and finally red. The necessities are Hunger, Hygiene, Energy, Comfort, Bladder, Fun, Room and Social. Take into account that Comfort and Room have disappeared in the latest titles.
Th Hunger bar will start to deplete as you carry out your daily activities. Luckily, the solution is simple; you can eat. If the bars completely depletes and a minute passes (an hour in Sims time), you Sims will die of hunger. Hygiene can be satisfied with a bath or a shower, also by brushing their teeth or washing their hands. The bars will quickly deplete if you exercise or if you pee.
Energy can be easily filled by sleeping, but also by drinking coffee. If your Sims runs out of energy, he or she will faint, and will sleep on the floor. Comfort levels are easily filled just by having a bed or a comfortable couch. The bar will be depleted if you are standing for a long time, of if he or she sleeps on the floor. Bladder necessities are one of the most embarrassing issues for your Sims. It is easy; you just have to guide him or her to the toilet. If you do not do this on time, well, your Sim will pee wherever he or she is.
The necessities are Hunger, Hygiene, Energy, Comfort, Bladder, Fun, Room and Social
Regarding Fun, depending on the personality of your Sim, the bar can be filled by different activities such as watching TV, reading books or doing exercise. Another new feature, as compared to the previous installments is the Humor System. The mood of your Sims has changed. Now, his or her mood can be negative, positive and neutral. The neutral mood is merely informative, but negative and positive moods can change the level of Fun. Room is basically how you have decorated the house of your Sims. It depends on the cost of the walls, how well the room is lit, if there are windows, etc. If there are dirty dishes, flies, unmade beds, etc., the Room bar will decrease. Finally, your Sims have Social necessities. Depending on your Sims, their needs can be different. Some of them are less social, and fulfilling this necessity will be more difficult. The easiest way of keeping this bar filled is phoning other Sims and sharing activities with friends.
Jobs and skills
Once you download and play this game, you will see that your Sims will need Simoleons to buy food, decorate their house, buy more furniture, etc. To earn Simoleons, the will have to look for work. You will get a newspaper every day on your house, and in this, there are lots of jobs to choose from. When you choose a job, your Sim will go to work every day during the stipulated time, and he or she will return home having earned money. If your Sims are good enough, he or she will be promoted, improving his or her salary and his schedule. In order to do this, you will have to make friends and develop a series of skills.
You will have Cooking, Mechanical, Charisma, Body, Logic and Creativity (Guitar, Painting...) to develop your Sims
Every adult Sim has the same skills, but it is your choice what you want to develop. You can develop them from 0 to 10, and to do it you have to carry out an activity over a determined period of time, until you reach the next point. It is shown as a vertical bar that appears over your Sim and that is fills up until it reaches the top. When the bar reaches the top, you get a point on this skill. The first points are quickly achieved, but as you advance, they become more difficult to achieve. In addition to jobs, these skills can be very useful in daily life. For instance, if your Sim has a low level of skill in Cooking, he or she can burn the house when cooking.
The first installments of this saga have five different skills to develop. However, from The Sims 3, there are many more since Creativity is replaced by Guitar, Piano, Painting, etc. You will have Cooking, Mechanical, Charisma, Body, Logic and Creativity (Guitar, Painting...) to develop your Sims. Cooking is quite important because of what I mentioned before; if your Sims do not know how to cook, he or she can burn down the whole building. To develop this skill, you will have to get your Sim to read the Cooking book from the bookshelf. Mechanical is important too, especially if an object of your house is broken. If your Sim has a high level of this skill, he or she will be able to fix it without making a mess. As with Cooking, it is developed by studying the book of Mechanics on the bookshelf.
Charisma is very useful since a Sim with a high level of charisma can easily please and persuade other Sims and get promotions, etc. It can be developed by rehearsing in front of the mirror. Body skills can be developed by doing exercises on the weight machines. By playing chess, your Sim will develop Logic. You can also do this by using the telescope, using the chemistry lab, etc. Finally, Creativity can be developed by playing the piano or painting a picture. In the latest games, it is not a sole skill anymore, and you have to develop every instrument separately.
Child Sims are an another species apart in these games saga. They do not work, of course, but they will have to go to school. They have no skills either, so their abilities depend on the grades they get in the school. Their grades can vary from A+ to F-. If your child gets A+ it is possible that they will get sporadic rewards such as "Grandpa has given to me $100 because of my grades". If your children constantly get F-, they will be sent to a military academy and you will not see him or her any more.
If you do not send your children to school, they will receive absences and their grades will be decreased (from B+ to C+, for instance). If they go but misbehave or they do not apply themselves correctly, their grades can decrease from A+ to A. If you want your kid to get good grades, you will have to make them study by reading books from the bookshelf. However, if they are not properly taken care of, they will not study.
Customization of your Sims
The customization tool of The Sims has been improved in the latest titles from the saga. This way, instead of just customizing the head and the body of your Sims, you can be almost completely unique. The level of attention to detail has been highly improved, and the system of bodies has changed, too. In the former installments, you could only choose between a regular body and overweight. Now, you will have three different bars (four for women) to set the constitution of your Sim to the millimeter. With these bars, you can set the weight, the muscles, and the structure of the muscle fibers. The women's fourth bar is to define the size of the chest. These bars are available for teenager, young adult or adult, as the rest of the ages only have some of the bars.
You will have three different bars (four for women) to set the constitution of your Sim to the millimeter
The Clothes feature has undertaken an intensive redesign, too. In the first few titles, you could only choose inferior or superior clothes, or dresses. In this generation of games of The Sims, you will be able to choose your shoes and accessories such as glasses, bracelets, socks, necklaces, etc. In addition, choosing a different hairstyle for each set of clothes is possible. This way, you can have a different hairstyle if you are in pajamas, than if you are in an informal or formal set of clothes. When you choose your clothes, it is possible to choose the color of each garment from a wide range of colors. In addition, you can use all your garments whenever you want without having to go to a shop.
Unlike the former titles, the houses and blocks are explored via a continuous map of the entire city, without annoying loading screens. The game includes the feature "Story Progression", which allows the Sims you are not controlling to have their own lives. Thus, they can grow, marry, be promoted and have children without requiring your attention. In addition, the time passes the same for every single person. This way, everyone will age together.
More attention to detail has been added to the neighborhood, too. If you go for a walk with your Sim, you will see how the shrubs and trees sway with the wind, and since you can zoom in, this is a very valuable feature. Regarding prices, now, the value of a house does not only depend on the size but also the location. If you purchase a house in the dezirable area of the neighborhood, it will be more expensive than another house in a worse-off area.
The Sims Features
Here you can see the main features of The Sims:
- Ability to fully customize your Sims
- High Quality graphics with more level of attention to the detail
- Lots of expansions to make the game more complete
- Story Progression to give free will to the Sims you are not controlling
- Six needs of your Sims: Hygiene, Energy, Fun, Bladder, Social and Hunger (Comfort and Room were in the first titles also)
- Ability to develop your Sims' skills: Cooking, Mechanical, Logic, Charisma, Body and Creativity (Creativity has been changed into several distinct skills in the latest releases)
- The Sims games have been released for several platforms, including ones such as PlayStation 2, Wii, Nintendo DS, Game Boy, PSP and for the current generation such as PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
If you are interested in The Sims and you want to know more information about it before you download it, feel free to visit the developer’s official website .
The minimum requirements to download and play The Sims are:
- Operating System: Windows XP or later
- Processor: Intel Pentium IV @ 2.4 GHz or equivalent
- RAM Memory: 1 GB RAM
- Graphics Card: NVidia GeForce 6200 or AMD Radeon Xpress 1100 128MB
- Compatible with DirectX 9
- Hard Drive Space: 7.5 GB of free space