When I think of my favourite game, I think of hours spent in my room, playing The Sims 4, creating characters and little stories within the game.
The franchise is basically a life-simulator game where you can create your own ‘sim’ and walk them through life, completing milestones like getting a job, building a house and raising a family.
However, this type of gameplay is only surface level, which makes the game so appealing to so many players. There are no rules when it comes to The Sims; players can do whatever they choose – for example, those with Machiavellian tendencies can go round causing havoc to the world, killing sims just because they can! The Sims team even encourage this, creating unconventional deaths such as being killed by a mutated plant with the head of a cow (creatively named a Cowplant).
The developers certainly have a sense of humour and have further encouraged players’ wacky interests by bringing out different expansions of the game to suit each taste. For those like me, who want to play a more conventional, world-building game, there is a pack released called Parenthood which allows deeper relationships and stories to be made between parents and children. For those with more fantastical sensibilities there is a pack named Realm of Magic where you can explore a wizarding world. One doesn’t even have to play with characters; what makes it so popular to some is its focus on building, bringing out packs which centre solely on build items.
Another reason why I love The Sims so much is down to its community aspect. Those who play it feel a sense of belonging created by both The Sims team and other players – the developers constantly listen to players, sending out polls and questionnaires to see what they want next from a pack, and they also invite YouTubers of the game to test upcoming expansions and report their experiences online.
It may seem unexciting from an outside eye, but once you start playing you get lost in the experience, something I feel is a positive sign of a good computer game.