Posts Tagged ‘Maxis’

Have You Played… The Sims 2?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

The Sims [official site] are having a mid-life crisis. What started as an experimental house-building and life sim game has become something entirely different. The Sims 3 introduced experimentation of its own in the form of open world neighbourhoods, which met with mixed response, and The Sims 4 is a lighter, happier take on the formula, stripping back on neighbourhood features to focus on the Sims themselves.

Looking back, The Sims 2 may have been the game that found the sweet spot, with enough complexity to make every life a little different and with characters that weren’t quite so removed from reality as the weird cartoons of later entries in the series.

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Time For Spore 2

Trees that grow from seeds you plant? Easy. 18 quintillion planets? Whatever. If you want to talk about videogames’ most ambitious endeavors, there’s only one contender for the top spot. Spore, released in 2008, let players control a species they created from single cell organism all the way through to becoming space explorers. That included designing everything from the huts you lived in during the tribe stage, to the spaceships you used to careen around the galaxy near the game’s conclusion. Most importantly, it let you craft exactly what kind of weirdo you’d be taking to the stars, whether six-limbed, beady-eyed monstrosities or fleshky daleks or Homer Simpson, and then it populated your world with everyone else’s creations automatically, so that each planet was filled with delightful, handmade surprises.

Spore was a marvel. It’s crying out for a sequel.

Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Sid Meier’s SimGolf?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

A collaboration between Maxis and Firaxis, Sid Meier’s SimGolf oddly plays at times more like a Bullfrog ‘Theme’ game than like the other games from its two prestigious developers. You build a golf course, earning money with which to expand, and occasionally play a few holes yourself.

Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… The Sims 3?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

In some respects, if you’ve played one The Sims game you’ve played them all. They’re all about building a house, populating it with people, making those people look like your friends, and making your friends kiss one another. It’s just that The Sims 3 got the formula closest to perfection.

Read the rest of this entry »

Labour Days And Tales Of Terror: The Sims 4 Patched

weird tales of domestic horror

The Sims 4 [official site] has received a major patch and, true to form, the notes that accompany it are a delightful mix of the comic and the Weird. It’s easy to imagine a Thomas Ligotti or Robert Aickman spinning some of the confusion within the code into individual tales of domestic horror. There are no garbled telephonic hauntings to match the unnerving dimensions of Your Tiny Hand is Frozen – none that have been discovered and purged, at least – but upon reading the entries below can anyone doubt that the suburbs that house our Sims have been infected with some uncanny disorder of the nerves?

Read the rest of this entry »