“The game that gives new meaning to the term 'broken home'.”
The Sims is a debatably successful series of video games, TV shows and mobile ringtones, all of which were created by Electronic Arts in order to extract massive amounts of money from obsessed fans' wallets. The gameplay revolves around an overwhelmingly realistic simulation of the drudgery that is urban existence with metaphysical connotations of an epic Schrodinger-esque scale. Or not. Whilst there is no real 'aim' in the game (technically proving it useless), the player is granted control over a household of computer-generated lifeforms, or "Sims", and live their life for them. Critics say that this element of "live a better life than your own" is what made the games a success, along with the ability to torture and eventually kill them. The first game, itself titled The Sims, was created by lead game designer, Will Wright, and released in February 2000. It won numerous awards, such as Worst Game of the Year and Ugliest Graphics, prompting EA to make a sequel, which won more awards. This rather monotonous cycle makes up the history of the series.
In the first game, the gameplay was supposed to consist of crashing to the desktop every five minutes (this was a tried and tested formula in the games business). After receiving multiple complaints, Will Wright released the following statement: "The fact that you have 10 gigabytes of custom content, most of it hacked objects, has nothing to do with it, although an, erm, bug in the game prevents the interaction tree for 'Function - DeskCrash' to always return as $FALSE. This means that the interaction, 'Function - SUPER SYSTEM CRASH!', is always called instead." As most players tried to decode Wright's complicated computer lingo, others accepted the so called bug and continued playing.
Wright later announced that if you did happen to get The Sims up and running for more than five minutes (this does not include the loading screens which take up thirty minutes), you would be instantly addicted and would spend all your time trapping the characters in the houses you painstakingly built for them using an array of cheat codes and attempting to make Sims that look like your boss and kill them but ultimately failing, as all Sim characters look the same.
Once The Sims 2 was released, players discovered a moderately glitch-free version of the original. They were instantly hooked on the ability to do everything the first $20 they had paid was supposed to give them, and then some. In The Sims and its subsequent incarnations, gameplay is divided into three modes: Labor mode, Consumer mode and Die mode. The most popular mode, Die mode, is the one in which players gleefully kill their lovingly crafted Sims in a variety of unsettling and grisly manners. Consumer mode allows Sims to spend irregularly audited Simeoleons (the currency in the game) on authenticated Will Wright merchandise. Entering Labor mode loads spyware onto your computer, then allows players to erect labyrinthine gauntlets for which the cattle-like Sims are lead to slaughter. Fans have praised this simple yet straight-forward setup.
Created in 2000, the original The Sims was instantly a fan favorite. Its loading screens and crashes excited players, and, of course, this lead to expansion packs. The graphics consisted of an isometric landscape with box-like polygon Sims warily navigating their hellish purgatory.
Expansion packs are accessory discs which promise to add something to the game. Each expansion pack enhanced the game with more confusing actions and different supernatural phenomena that rather bent Maxis' absurd definition of the word "simulation". These additions helped supply an exponentially accumulating library of game-crashing bugs and errors. The primary gist of these expansion packs was to generally charge people full price for content which was unusable without the base game, thereby making Maxis and EA ludicrous amounts of money on an embarrassingly shaky premise. The Sims' expansion packs were advertised as being able to turn your computer into a sauna. Despite being unable to do this, they fufilled their original purpose: making Will Wright richer (until he would sell the rights to Electronic Arts for the sequel).
The following list describes each of the expansion packs for the first game, in the order of when the abominations were first released.
- Livin' Large - This first expansion pack, which also displayed Maxis's alleged feelings for obese people, lets Sims have "fun". This was entirely new to the game, since in the base game children usually stayed kids forever, going to school even on Saturdays and Sundays for the rest of their shitty, worthless lives, and the adults were doomed to a life of social failure and glass ceilings. Also, this expansion pack gives you the chance to concoct slimy green potions that make your Sims feel horrible and get fined by the Nuclear Chemicals Department.
- House Party - This lets your Sims have chaotic lives every single night throwing totally disastrous parties, and depriving them of friends, with the possible exception of a lone mime. The pack's slogan was "Live your life all over again!" Drunken orgies moderated by dance cages and obnoxious lights allowed players to turn their Sims' very homes into virtual euro-gay discotheques.
- Hot Date - One of the only few expansion packs where Sims can actually leave their dismal homes and go to boring destinations and have terrible dates that barely affect their hopeless love lives. This would be a turning point for Maxis, as it provided their design team with excuses for even more loading screens, a trend which would continue to this very day.
- Vacation - Sims get to go to a place where the beach, the forest, and the snow-capped mountains are so close to each other, that it's geographically unfeasible. Also, they get to waste money on unreasonably-priced hotels and rigged carnival games with useless souvenirs. In fact, it is more relaxing for your Sims to stay home instead (until they set it on fire). This gave players something to do with the billions of Simoleons they'd racked up via cheating until this expansion pack was finally released, by blowing it on expensive hotel rooms to trash like celebrities.
- Unleashed - Ahhh. Finally, the people at Maxis thought of enlarging the neighborhood, and this is the only expansion pack where you can have shops in your own village without having to go out somewhere else. Gardening has been introduced here, to let your Sims eat nothing other than rodent-infested, maggoty harvests and sell them at the vegetable stands for ridiculous prices. Also, you can have cats and dogs as pets here, but you cannot control them, meaning that your Sims will get their garden full of excretement from neighbouring pets forever and woken each and every night by raccoons eating out of their garbage.
- Superstar - With this expansion pack, Will Wright and the folks at Maxis decided to torture the players even more by boosting their Sims' status to 'celebrity'. However, they just couldn't abandon their trademark Sims-lives-suck formula, and so in this pack your Sims will get chased by obsessed fans everywhere and live their miserable life berating every single one of them. Your Sim can also act out terrible B-movies to further simulate the Hollywood industry of LARPing.
- Makin' Magic - This pack was criticised for being too 'whacky', although it probably seemed like a good idea whilst being pitched: "Jump into a hole and choose from three magical destinations: clown, haunted, and forest. Have a difficult time as you collect all the items needed to concoct useless spells. Also, charms can only be used thrice and are a waste of space in your home. Well, the bright side is that it is here when you can finally make your children grow with the "Age of Instant" spell, but they turn into headless adults who get neglected, as they can not be selected as active characters and then die. Oh, and you can also grow a beanstalk here that allows you to climb up and see Will Wright." Nevertheless, the pack sold out soon, mainly because of rapid fan-related consumption.
- Give Will Wright More Money - The famed series of Sims 1 expansion packs that actually don't advance or improve gameplay at all ended with Give Will Wright More Money, a pack that does nothing whatsoever as claimed on the box, but really hacks into players' bank accounts. Also known as the "fucking waste of $30" expansion pack, critics have often dismissed it from their reviews as "stupid". However, Will Wright himself stongly encourages people to buy it.
The Sims Social
First introduced as a ripoff of Kudos, then withdrawn within a month, the Sims Social was reinvented as a Facebook game. You win the game by spamming all your friends to beg for things like frying pans, mixing bowls, fury, cheese, speech bubbles and paintbrushes, then skilling up your Sim higher than your friends Sims, building a house larger than your friends Sims (three of your Facebook friends must help to build each room), furnishing the house with holiday or themed items from expired goals that are later stored when they become useless, and having as many Sim neighbors as possible (encouraging the player to Facebook "friend" strangers from the forums or create a second gaming Facebook account for self-gifting rather than alienate their real friends).
Gameplay is very much like the original Sims game for PC/Mac, except that there is no way to kill off your Sim except for blocking the application or closing your Facebook account. Also, your character has much more limited clothing items, you cannot rotate your entire house view, the artwork is more cartoon-like, and the face and hair are customizable without changing the entire head and can be changed without resorting to third party hacks. Like Sims 2 and Sims 3, you can change the tops and bottoms without changing the whole outfit, but you can also change the accessories, socks and shoes. You can also select personality traits for your Sim (such as Ninja or Insane). Finally, like the rest of the Sims series, you can choose your relationship with other Sims by your interactions with them, but the other player must approve of any relationships greater than "Friends". You can also bore your Facebook friends with which activities your Sims did together (whether it be watching TV, dancing, or woo-hooing). Mirroring life in a poor economy, Sims in the Sims Social all start out either self-employed or unemployed since none of the other companies are hiring. However, they can earn money for almost any activity, including making their own bed or repairing their own electronics. This is fortunate since they are not allowed to have roommates in the game, nor to live with their parents. Recent careers added, like artist or musician, let the player make a career of the game by requiring them to come back in a few to several hours to complete a task. These careers, along with gardening on four small garden plots, enable your Sim to actually lose money on a regular basis by the player forgetting to return in time. Not that the money actually does much to help your Sims with their goals. Like most Facebook game money (except the kind purchased with real money), it is relatively easy to earn with time, but mostly worthless in the context of the game, since you can't buy ingredients, building materials or energy with it.
Like most Facebook simulation games, the graphics lag, the theme and goals change weekly, and there is a reward for coming back to play every day. However, eventually it gets harder and harder to level up or meet theme goals without Facebook-friending lots of strangers (or alternatively, your entire high school's graduating class) or spending lots of real-life money to meet the game's goals. Odds are, some of the strangers will be far ahead you at your game, and they will typically be the ones spending money on the game or with another set of friends who spend money on the game. Either way, its a money maker for the game makers, and Facebook which of course gets its cut of the Facebook game credits.
UPDATE: Unsatisfied with the money they were making on this game, Playfish sold itself to Popcap Games, stopped developing new quests and objects for this game, and announced that this game was shutting down in June 2013. They actually stopped selling Simcash (which required real dollars), so that the projects in the game and quests would remain forever unfinished, and disregarded all the hard work, efforts, and money poured into the game by its former players. A small prize was given out for playing, in order to direct players towards a solitaire or bejeweled game, which was completely unlike the Sims Social in gameplay. This prize was easily used up in one day, and did not grant any premium items in the new game, guaranteeing lots of new dedicated daily players to the new game automatically.
The Sims Freeplay
Designed as a stripped down, tablet version of the Sims, you are limited to one world or neighborhood, but you get to visit your online friends' worlds or neighborhoods and do stuff in them with your Sims. As a result, this game doesn't work when you aren't connected to the internet. You cannot kill your Sims in this game, though you can make them miserable for a day or two from neglect (they then magically find rogue cupcakes which would otherwise cost lifestyle points to buy), or if you have seniors they can die of old age. The game is designed to make you overpopulate your neighborhood, and spend real life money on lifestyle points (if you don't wanna waste your time waiting for game tasks to complete or to buy premium items) or social points (if you don't have enough friends who play the game and want items that can only be purchased with social points). Or, you can spend real-life money buying simoleons to spend creating buildings or furnishings. In this game, your Sims have no aspirations, no wishes, and no lifetime goals, they just want more magic cupcakes (which fulfill all of their needs). Like Sims 1, you are just trying to keep your Sims happy and friends with other Sims. Instead, there are up to three player goals at any given time. One goal is always a social goal, related to interacting with your friends' towns. The other goals are either tutorial goals or weekly goals, or goals related to new features. The AI is similar to Sims 1, but dumber. Your Sims cannot take any actions without your help. They just stand there, and sometimes do handstands, or if you neglect their bladder needs, pee on the floor. The more Sims you have in your game, the more you have to multitask, so this becomes a multitasking game, only with some actions taking 30 minutes, or a few hours instead of a few minutes or seconds.
In this way, the game eventually wants every spare moment of your time. But your Sims are there to cheer you on with every task you make them complete, including making them use the bathroom. That's right, they cheer when they use the bathroom, even if they are adult Sims. In time, the player comes to feel like the game is an extended babysitting job, babysitting a bunch of two-year-olds, except that since they cannot do anything without the player, they tend not to get into quite as much mischief as a group of say, twelve two-year-olds would do. This game also comes with rabbitholes, like the Sims 3 does. This means that you can see the area where the sim is going, but you cannot see your Sim doing anything there. This frustrates stalker tendencies of the Sims players to see everything their Sim is doing all the time, since they cannot see their Sims working at their job. Then again, most jobs in the Sims 1, the Sims 2, and the Sims 3 involve the Sim being gone from the game temporarily while at work, or else standing in one place doing nothing while their needs change. But new features are being added to the game all the time, such as the addition of cars, which allowed Sims to drive around town, constantly honking their horn for no reason. They never actually drive *to* anywhere, they just drive around town and honk. There are pets too, but the pets require lifestyle points, which are difficult to earn. There are even hobbies, but you have to have certain buildings in order to access various hobbies. These buildings require a certain population of sims in your town, plus a high number of simoleons, quickly using up the simoleons you started off your game with. There is also a mysterious island, but your Sims have to earn building materials and gold by doing everyday actions in order for various monuments to be built. The gold is near impossible to get though, so you end up spending lifestyle points to get it. Sound familiar? It works like most of the social networking games out there, where its free to play but where you have to spend money to get premium stuff eventually.
On March 2015, The Sims Freeplay had The Death update. Since we mentioned Sims could not die in Freeplay, death is now possible to remove them in case your head is about to asplode from multitasking, but with a twist: Death is only preventable if you sacrifice earnings, called life orb of a dead Sim, or pay using your credit card. Since Freeplay is an online game it is not possible to hack the age of a Sim. Ironically Sims can have eternal life in other games, so this is virtually an advantage for Freeplay alone. Now, even to maintain sims themselves you must pay. Oh well if you live in your mum's basement it's not a problem, it just costs much, much more time.
The Sims 4
Main article: The Sims 4
In the Sims 4, Sims actually have (gasp) emotions! Their emotions and need for social interaction lead them to seek other intelligent life in the universe, and they build a rocket similar to the ones we built in the 1960's, which is somehow capable of intergalaxy space travel. But their undertaking of space travel has a price: all toddlers have disappeared from their world, and their time travel technology and robotic technology is all moved into outer space to fulfill this quest. They seek to find an advanced race that can restore their toddlers, or else a primitive race that they can enslave. They intend to enslave primitive races with their emotion-changing paint, and a Trojan that enslaves the mind of gamers. Their building methods are advanced beyond ours, including insulation inside their drywall as part of the drywall itself, and built-in electrical circuits and plumbing inside each piece of drywall, and plumbing and heating/cooling systems inside the flooring. They have even achieved world peace on their planet, and use teleportation instead of moving vehicles. It turns out however, that world peace has a price, and that price is utter boredom. To relieve that boredom, they plan to infiltrate planet Earth to enslave vulnerable gamers.
Sims 4 Outdoor Retreat
Even aliens with oddly sculpted hair like to go camping and read up on their native flora and fauna. On their planet, bears talk, and make great friends, if you don't mind friends who help themselves to the contents of your food cooler without asking first and have lots of hair. Sims have even been known to romance their bears on occasion. Just don't ask me how that works. Since the wildlife talks (with the exception of the mutated squirrels), there is no need for archery, and alien gun control laws are so strict that guns are not even allowed in the woods.
The Sims 4: Get to Work
To implement their plan of achieving economic slavery of the earth, the Sims have set up retail shops. The goods in these retail shops are irresistable to consumers, who never leave the shop when ringing up their order takes too long, but instead stand around talking to other customers. Due to insidious alien chemicals in the air, the longer the customers stand and talk to other customers, the more confident they become in their purchase, and the more determined they are to wait around and buy what they were going to purchase. The Sims have also set up a system of universal health care where one intern does all the checking in of new patients, one medical assistant does all the diagnosing of new patients, and one doctor does all the treatment of new patients. If there are other staff around, they sit around doing nothing, as allowed by their union rules. Sim scientists have developed a Sim-ray to achieve mind control of Earth's masses. It can do things like freeze objects, set objects on fire, and transform objects as well. They have also developed pharmaceutical potions that influence emotions. The scientists have also allied themselves with other aliens from the planet Sixam, in order to learn how to blend in with Earth's society seamlessly. They still have not yet figured out, however, how to get rid of the plumbob above their heads.
The Sims Themselves
The Sims themselves can be found at home, alone, often acting incredibly retarded (just like real people). Sims enjoy moving into perfectly decent homes, that were painstakingly built to provide for their every whim, and like most people, burn it down while cooking mac and cheese, or else rendered horribly ugly and awkward when you have to build a new box on the side of your house to fit your new crotch-droppings in. While the cooker and family members are burning, some undeniable force tells them to leave. However after exiting the house they refuse to further comply and return to the fire's aid. Sims will often stand near, point at, and yes, yell at the fire, in what is assumed to be an attempt to egg the fire on. Occasionally, the Sim will let its guard down and walk out of the house uncommanded. Soon however, the clever bastard will realize that he is in no danger and run back into the inferno, to continue its pointless screaming. After about 36 hours of this repetition (in Sim time) they die, much to the frustration of the confused and annoyed gamer, who didn't save since three hours ago and will not ever be able to recreate the house just how he had it.
Most Sims have unique realistic eyes. They are bland and plain, and have a peculiar glint. This usually freaks people out. Their fingers are square and stubby and only men have nipples, because all Sim men are, in fact, ludicrously homosexual. All of them completely lack body hair, or other sexual organs for that matter. This has caused much debate amongst gamers.
In recent years, Custom Content has caused Sims to grow genitals, smoke weed, get red eyes, masturbate, and have strangely detailed sex (woohoo-ing was so realistic though, I mean, everyone shoots fireworks out of their penis when they have sex, only to get out of bed and have a floating purple thing grinning above your head, no doubt jerking off to you). These things are seen as bizarre to Sims.
How to Kill Your Sims
'Cause well, lets face it, it's the most fun you can have on that game. File:The Sims - Hilarious Spoof
- Order the Sims to get into the swimming pool, take away the ladder and watch them drown...(only works with Sims 1 and 2)
- Lock them in a empty, doorless room and watch them starve...
- Lock them in a doorless kitchen, order them to cook until they start a fire, then watch them burn... cos, they can't run!. No seriously, they scream at the fire because that makes fires go out. Doesn't it, retarded sim I spent like a whole day perfecting? HUH? You just had to have that bloody turkey...
- Turn the game off. Thus wiping out their current existence. Muahahahahaaaa...
- Pick a sim with low mechanical skill and have him/her repair a television (preferably when hungry), then watch as they electrocute themselves.
- If using Sims 2, use the Noodlesoother, Energizer, or Elixir of Life as an elder, when in deep red low aspiration.
- 99.99% of sims too are too lazy to even wash their dishes, so this can kill them when flies begin to infest their kitchen that should be condemned by the Toxic Waste Department and devours them...
- If/when you get Sims 2 University, they can be eaten by cowplants. Which is wicked fun, albeit a bit TOO easy, since your neighbors will invariably die when you're off getting a beer.
- Downloading a weapon and having one sim shoot another is always fun too! Made even better if the Sim holding the gun is you while the one you are shooting is one of your enemies :)
- With Sims 2 Apartment Life you can lower your Sims needs, and hope they get crushed by a Murphy bed...
- Scare them to death! (If this freaking does not work, they'll just pee on their selves and perhaps die of embarrassment instead.)
- Lie down on the grass and stargaze until a satellite crashes down on them. Oh, and don't forget... the satellite sells for $2000, which is more valuable than the retarded sim's life itself.
- Sims 2: Make the Sims run around with scissors in hand like moronic retards and wait for them to fall to the ground and stab themselves with scissors. If there are many other sims in the house, they are also even stupider as they gather around this sim and weep simultaneously (when they are also playing with the scissors). That will teach the most retarded family in the face of the universe not to run around giddily with scissors!
- Make them go to the pool on days when lightning strikes.
- Make them wear thongs outdoors on snowy days, and they shall die henceforth of hypothermia, in their desperation to try to heat things up on cold, snowy days.
- Sims 3 World Adventures: Send your greedy sims to Egypt and have them steal the mummy's treasure. Make sure they have low body skill so that the mummy curses them. Watch their doom with glee.
- Sims 3 Showtime: Roll the dice and hope your magician drowns in the Box of Danger when trying to perform the Buried Alive or Watery Grave trick.
- Sims 4: Get the Sim really, really, really angry. Then they will die of their own wrath.
- Sims 4: Have another Sim walk in on your Sim on the toilet that you want to die. Then have them propose to another Sim with a low relationship score. They will die of embarrassment & extreme mortification.
- !ONLY APPLIES TO RL! Sellotape a large emerald (as big as a cumberland sausage) rolled up to your head then walk up to the chosen unsuspecting victim and talk in complete fucking nonsense to them for however long they can stand it. When they walk off, attack them with a knife claiming they didn't acknowledge your disorders and as such need to learn Simlish bitches.
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