Review by TKDBoy1889
We play games to get out of life for a bit, not play it it even more...
The Sims is a game that I really don't get, at all. I don't understand why someone would come up with this idea and I don't understand how it became such a big success. What is The Sims about? Playing life, essentially. games are supposed to be a fun break from the normal everyday mundane routines of life, as well as a way to de-stress when life is particularly tough. So I don't get how a game that takes us out of life only to play through the everyday routines of life virtually is appealing.
From a technical standpoint, there is nothing wrong with the game. No noticeable flaws, no game-breaking mechanics, nothing that was functions in a way that's obviously incorrect. And the controls are simple enough to get the hang of. So technically, the game is fine.
Where it fails is the fun factor. The Sims just isn't that fun. What's fun about playing through life virtually as opposed to physically? Well, technically you can go from a young nobody and reach your ultimate dream career overtime so I guess there is that, living your dreams is nice. Except, you don't really. All that happens mostly is you you go to work and the game skips to you coming back, explaining what's happened via textboxes. So it's not like you can really live your dream of being a rock star. If you were doing that in the game, you'd be on a stage performing management of your musical career and setting up concerts and having gameplay where you actually perform them and whatnot. But here, you just go to work and come back, becoming slightly better overtime.
What 90% of the game is essentially going through the everyday routines of life. Basically eating, sleeping using the bathroom, showering, and performing activities that will increase your skills. Your skills determine how well you are at something, like how ell you can cook or how good you are at playing guitar. There isn't much choice in what you get to do though. Well, there is but there isn't. You aren't forced to do anything, technically. You can do whatever you want. But your various attribute have status bars. Things like hunger, happiness, need to use the restroom, energy. These have to be replenished over time by doing the activites that fix them, such as eating for hunger or doing something fun for happiness. And you have to keep your stats up because when they get low bad things happen to you. And some of them will result in death when they get too low. The thing is, at least one status bar is getting low most of the time, so there is almost always something preventing you from what you want to do because of things that are essential. Just like real, I suppose. What we want to do is often marred by the necessities.
And that's where the downside of this game is. I might as well not even be playing it. I might as well be living actual life. It's pretty much the same exact thing. No enjoyment, no real escapism, no satisfaction of any sort. Even the fun activities you can do like play basketball or play guitar are not actually enticing, since everything is just command based. You tell your character what to do via command, and then they do it. No real gameplay, just a set of commands to tell your character to do. Basically, click and watch.
When do performing the mundane routines of life like eating, sleeping, and going to work, the one feature I do like is that you can build and customize your house over time. When you have the money you can expand it and add furniture and the like. Just make sure you have things for all the basics, or you will be in trouble. This is easily the feature I like the best, making your own house. But since in the end, it just serves the main gameplay of tedious activities it's not that special in the end.
This game is all about a concept that's not fun. We already live life everyday, why mimic it in a game? The gameplay is nothing but slow tedious work of clicking and watching, and nothing satisfying ever comes from it. It has no technical issues and the visuals are decent enough but it's just not a fun concept, meaning it lacks the most important thing about a game. In short, it's playable without frustration but there is zero appeal.
Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Product Release: The Sims (US, 01/31/00)
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