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.