Written by  :  Kartanym (12825)
Written on  :  Aug 23, 2000
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars

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The Good

I remember playing Sim City 2000 a long time ago and thinking 'you know, wouldn't it be cool if I could zoom in far enough to see the people in those houses?'. Little did I know that Maxis had that idea too, though on a far grander scale.

The Sims came out at the same time as Sim City 3000, and I picked both up in a bundle pack. At first I was more interested in reliving my city building days, but soon I picked up the idea of watching a Sim go about its every day life while having control of certain aspects.

It soon became obvious to me why so many people had become addicted to the game. The combination of having the chance to live out a life exactly as you want it to through the eyes of a digital character, and at the same time creating an addictive puzzle/strategy hybrid was hard to put down. Every day I'd come back and play out another few days of my characters life, building up the home and creating a family atmosphere.

The level of freedom to do as you please was, at the time, unheard of. Even Sim City had its limitations, but here you could live out an entire life for as long as you could stand your character. Even the house building mode was just as entertaining.

The Bad

Since the Sim craze has faded just a little bit from the original magic, that addictive like nature does tend to fade with it. You can make as many lives, houses and families as you like, but in the end it all works out similarly to before. Expansion packs and downloads help to starve complete boredom, but it will set in eventually.

The other thing that I did think brought the game down just a tad was in the characters themselves. They moved well, performed just about all you ask them to, but once in a while they go off on you and doing strange, if not disturbing, things. Put it down to a lack of true AI development, perhaps.

Maxis hasn't always been known for its best musical scores either. The Sims had some nice shiney tunes, the kind of tunes that would grate on your mind and you'd whistle constantly long after putting down the keyboard. Catchy, yes, but annoying, definitely. A little more variety (as seen in The Sims 2, for example) would have been an advantage.

The Bottom Line

The Sims was, put simply, a brilliant concept that was developed into an entertaining game. All problems aside, it's probably the most addictive game out there.

Forgetting the fact that there have been probably a few too many short lived expansion packs and the rushed out Sims Online, Maxis moved itself out of the shadow of Sim City, so much so that The Sims is the new flagship title in the arsenal.

The question is, will it be remembered for its uniqueness, or for being so addictive that people were living out their lives almost the same as the characters themselves...