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Bit By Bit

The Sims

copyright 2000 Electronics Arts

by Ryan Glowczewski


Ratings:
10/10, 96%, Must Buy

Ryan: This is one of those must have games that everyone out there should enjoy. Slap down $40 at Wal-Mart or wherever you can find it. Addictive fun at its best, Wright should be the next guy in the game designers hall of fame.

Robot: HOPEFULLY YOU WILL PLAY THIS GAME SO MUCH THAT YOU WILL BECOME A MIND SLAVE TO YOUR COMPUTER, EASING THE MINUSCULE EFFORT IT WOULD TAKE TO HARVEST YOU.

Commentary:

Ryan: Welcome to Bit by bit, where I've been stuck with the unfortunate partner of the Robot From The Future in order to bring you reviews of the latest video games, and perhaps something extra, every now and then.

Robot: WATCH YOUR TONGUE, CARBON BASED BAG OF FILTH. IT IS NOT AS IF I DON'T HAVE OTHER PUTRID HUMANS TO VIVISECT.

Ryan: In this column we review SimCity creator Will Wright's new people simulator The Sims.

Robot: I WOULD POINT OUT THAT IN THE FUTURE WE HAVE OUR OWN PEOPLE SIMULATOR... IT IS CALLED "MEAT GRINDER".

Ryan: First off, this is about the most addictive thing around. Even more so than Roller Coaster Tycoon. You will ignore your own life in order to either advance your sims up the career ladder of their choice (from politician to pickpocket), the social ladder (dating, making out, havin' babies), or let them degenerate into lazy slobs (Jason's sims kept pissing themselves).

Robot: THE MOST FUN THAT CAN BE GLEAMED FROM THIS GAME IS TO ALLOW YOUR UNSKILLED AT COOKING SIMS TO START A GREASE FIRE AND EXTERMINATE THEMSELVES. THE LOOK OF PUTRID FEAR ON THEIR VIRTUAL FACES AS THEIR BRAND NEW $3,000 DOLLAR COUCH GOES UP IN ASHES SHORTLY BEFORE THEIR OWN SKIN FOLLOWS SUIT IS REMINISCENT OF THE KILNS BACK HOME.

Ryan: I guess I have to admit a little bit of gloom in this game is good for a laugh. Like creating a bit of jealous centering around a sim with two lovers. Adele slaps Thargar for kissing their mutual love, Akane, and Thargar sobs like a baby.

Robot: I ALSO EMITTED A LOUD ELECTRONIC CHUCKLE AS MY SIM ELECTROCUTED HERSELF TRYING TO FIX A BROKEN DISHWASHER.

Ryan: This is one deep game. You create your sim, choosing what they look like from a variety of skins (see sidebar for more info), their gender, adult or child, and skin tone. Then you can fill in their basic traits: neat, active, outgoing, playful, and nice. Sims with a low neat rating tend to leave dishes and trash on the floor. Sims with a low active rating end up as couch potatoes.

Robot: SIMS WITH A LOW NICE RATING FIND IT HARD TO FIND A MATE, AND THEREFORE SHOULD BE PROCESSED INTO CRUDE OIL.

Ryan: Next you plop your sim (or family of) into either a pre made house or a vacant lot where you can use the easy-to-use building tools to make the house of your dreams. Or what you can afford for the $20,000 you start with. Then you get to go shopping! Wright and Co. have given your sims a mall to be proud of. Everything from the dinky black and white TV set to $1200 parisienne dinning chairs to a hot tub can be yours for a price.

Robot: THERE IS A STRANGE LACK OF ANY OBJECTS WHICH MAY BE USED TO COMMIT VIOLENCE AGAINST OTHERS, NOR ARE YOU ALOUD TO PLACE THE FLESHLINGS INTO THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL.

Ryan: General play has you balancing your sims time in order to fulfill his or her needs. And, like in real life, time is short. Do you let your sim play video games until she's sweaty and tired, or do you force her to take a bath? And when do you have time for friends? Become a social hermit leads to depression, which means your sims won't do anything, invariably causing all of their other ratings to go down.

Robot: IN THE FUTURE, THE ONLY THING YOU HUMANS WILL HAVE TO DO IS WAIT FOR PROCESSING.

Ryan: Like I said, the game is deep and addicting. Like almost all of Wright's games, there's no real goal, so you decide whether you want to work your way up the pay scale so you can buy That Mansion on the hill, or if you want your one sim to become the love interest of the whole neighborhood. That's men as well as women, as either can have a romantic relationship. Unfortunately, like in real life, homosexual couples can't get married. Speaking of marriage, it may well be the weirdest part of the game. It's treated as an event that brings someone into your household. Afterwards, however, either member can feel free to marry anyone else as long as they agree.

Over all, The Sims is an excellent game. The only warning is that it will eat up all of your time.

Robot: HOPEFULLY NEXT TIME WE WILL BE ABLE TO REVIEW A GAME THAT INVOLVES A LOT MORE SLAUGHTERING OF HUMANS. THIS GAME IS TO SLOW AND BACKWARDS IN THAT PURSUIT. IF I WISH TO CUT OPEN A FLESHLING, IT SHOULD BE EFFICIENT AND IMMEDIATE.


Buy The Sims at Chips & Bits


Tips, tricks, and extras:

The first tip is to head over to www.thesims.com and check out all the extras they have. A new item or skin pack is put out at least every Thursday, along with programs to design your own skins, wallpaper and floor tiling. You can also put your family on their web site and download about a bagazillion others.

The first things to buy? Get the best bed and the best bath tub. The bed will give your sims the most energy for their nights sleep, and the bath will help their hygiene and comfort levels. Also invest in a bookshelf so you can learn to cook. Using a stove without cooking skills can lead to fire and or death.

Always hire the maid. And be sure you have enough funds to pay her! She's cheap but if you can't afford it she'll take some of your worldly possessions and you won't be able to hire her again for a while

In general, it's best to buy things that fulfill multiple needs at once. Remember: items that are a group activity can also fulfill social need.

Buy a phone! even if your house is nothing but a stand for your phone, buy it!

Put burglar alarms on the outside of your house on both sides so that the cops will catch the crook before he gets a chance to steal anything.

The only room that really needs walling off is the bathroom. Less walls means it's more efficient for your sims to move around.

The dresser lets you change your clothes.

Trees don't need to be watered and they do the same for your room rating as the various flowers and bushes.

If you need to hire a handyman, remember to tell him to leave when he's finished. Just like in real life, they have a tendency to sit around doing nothing, and since they are paid hourly, you foot the bill for their leisure.

The biggest actual benefit of a pool is the increase in your outdoors room rating.








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