Ah, The Sims. I remember my brother bringing it home. I was around nine at the time I watched him boot it up for the first time. Initially, I thought it looked really boring. There was no action, platforming or puzzles; it was just clicking on people and then clicking on things in the house to tell them what to do.
For someone who was playing Spyro and Toy Story 2: The Video Game at the time, The Sims looked like a strange and boring game until I decided to give it a go. After all these years, I can say that I’ve spent hours playing games in the series.
A Different Kind of Game
The Sims offered something I had never seen before. The simulation genre was already established when the game released, with The Sims developers Maxis already having released the famous Sim City series previously. Despite this, The Sims seemed to be quite a revolutionary title.
Instead of creating and managing a metropolis, players were building houses and micro-managing the lives of these virtual people. It was as if someone in the dev room said, “Hey! Let’s make a virtual dollhouse game!” and the gamble played off.
The Sims is, by now, a household name. Whether players play it or not, they know what The Sims is and what kind of game it is. It’s been a long-running series for the past twenty years now. So, that counts for something.
The Ever-Expanding Game
One very notable feature of The Sims series is the expansion packs released for the game that attempt to add more to the experience. From a nightlife-themed expansion to the adored pets expansions, The Sims is a huge moneymaker and will seemingly continue to be in the future.
People gobble up the expansions as they are always looking for new interesting situations to throw their beloved Sims in as well as new locations and items to mess around with.
To be honest, I never got into the full potential of The Sims when I first played it. All I did was make a few random Sims, build a big house and remove the doors and watch the chaos unfold as they all slowly died one by one. (I was a terrible child.)
But it wasn’t until The Sims 2 that I started to appreciate what The Sims actually was and that was when the real fun began.
The Sims will always have a soft spot in many a gamer’s heart. It’s a special game with quirky humour and sandbox-style gameplay which has kept players busy for two decades now and no doubt more decades to come. In the next part of this look back at The Sims, I’ll be diving into the entry in the franchise that I dedicated a lot of time to…The Sims 2.