Review by zephyrmaster

Reviewed: 12/30/02 | Updated: 12/30/02

Repetitive and boring

The Sims's premise is simple, you create a family and you try to improve their condition as much as you can by buying them new things, finding new jobs, or buying new houses. The basic idea of the game sounds fun and original, which it is, but the game itself manages to annoy, bore, and makes you wonder how such a game became the best-selling game of all time...

Gameplay: This game basically runs like this:

1.) Make a family. Feel free to include adults and kids, of both genders.
2.) Buy (or make) a house.
3.) Furnish the house
4.) Get a job(s). Improve your Sims to get them promoted.
5.) Get promoted, make more money.
6.) Furnish house some more if you want.
7.) Repeat steps 5-6 until you have enough money for a bigger house.
8.) Buy bigger house and furnish it.
9.) Repeat steps 5-8 indefinitely

This is a bare bones description but it basically covers the premise of this openended game. Openendedness is good, most of the time. This game kills it then repeatedly runs over it.

Creating a family is fairly fun. The amount of character models is very low though, but each character can be different. You can create adults, and kids. The kids are generic, they always go to school, are always the same height etc... The adults can vary slightly more, some are fat, some are thin ... etc... Each Sim has customizable attributes, such as Nice, Outgoing, which can be changed at the users whim (using the allowed amount of points). You can name all your Sims and even write biographies if you feel crazy enough.

After creating your dream family, or the opposite, your family (just joking), you can buy or make a house. This is probably the best part of the game, because making a house is fun. You always start off with 20,000 simoleans, and you can build a nice sized house with that money. The houses are very customizable, you can build/subtract walls, make pools, buy a variety of green foilage, wallpaper and paint your house and more.

Next up, you have to furnish your house. This part is also pretty fun, because, even though you don't have a very large selection of items to choose from, there is some variety. You can buy various beds, tables, computers, games, chairs, sofas, tvs, fireplaces, and much much more. Unfortunately, you have a limited amount of money, so you can't buy everthing you want. To get more money, you have to get a job. These can be found in the newspaper or on the computer. Once you have a job, you go to work everyday and seek a promotion. After this part, you are free to do whatever you want!

There's a point when freedom is good and there is a point when you want the game to do something too. It is very annoying to have to click on every piece of trash then tell your Sim to throw it away when it should just do it by itself. You literally have to babysit your Sim, telling it what to do all the time, or else it will just stand, waving his or her hand at you and yelling out some annoying gibberish.

One of the biggest problems in this game is time. A minute in Simland, Simworld, whatever-you want-to-call-it lasts a second in real life. This would be all fine and dandy, but if you will soon notice that things don't happen at a reasonable rate. For instance, if it ever took me twenty minutes to throw away some trash, I'd be very worried. This problem plagues everything. It takes ten minutes to go to the restroom (guys never ever take ten minutes doing number 1), ten minutes to walk from room to room, and ten minutes to get food from the fridge. Ahh... glad I got that off my chest.

This game is openended, meaning, there is no ending. If you like the feeling ''Hey, I won, I beat this game'', then this game is not for you. The lack of an ending hurts this game tremendously, because the meat and potatoes of this game will become boring in time.

Graphics: Reasonable. The graphics aren't jaw-dropping or winning The Sims awards for presentation, but they work for this title. The people are unfortunately the worst graphics wise, and could use a little more improvement. The walls, plants, and furniture are all good enough in this department.

Sound: Ouch. Annoying is only one way to describe this. The Sims in the game enjoy talking in a strange form of Gibberish, and they sound like idiots who never learned any language. This seems neat at first, but it's novelty wears off after five minutes of hearing this random and annoying speech sounds. They could have just put in regular voices or nothing at all, but instead they chose one of the worst possible ways of showing that the characters are talking. The other sounds in the game are good, and the music isn't whistle it around good but is still notable.

Replay Value: If you somehow like doing the same thing over and over and over and ... etc... Then this game is for you! Otherwise, you will soon become disinterested in the game, attempting to find ways to ''spruce'' up the gameplay (starting fires, etc...). Once the novelty of that quickly wears off, this game will soon wind up in the recycle bin.

Overview:

Pros:
- Reasonable graphics, sounds, and music
- Many different options and features

Cons:
- Boring beyond belief
- Repetitious
- Time is quirky and meaningless
- Annoying speech by the characters

It's odd how the best selling games aren't neccessarily the best games. Myst for instance, the previous record holder, is merely an interactive fiction game (a fairly poor one too), with pretty pictures to wow you. The Sims is in the end dissapointing and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

Rating:   2.0 - Poor

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