When I think about The Sims, I think about the twenty-year adventure I’ve had with the franchise overall and what an adventure it has been!
It all started for me the year the game launched. My Dad had been given a copy of The Sims by someone at work and he would play it every now and then after work and at the weekends. I use to sit there and watch him play and then sneak on and play when he was still at work. He realized that it was a game that I was really into so just left me to it and would also help me build homes for my Sims from time to time too.
I have numerous memories from playing the original The Sims. From discovering all the different things Sims can do, taking my Sims on their first vacation, their first pets, becoming famous in the Superstar expansion and casting a spell in Makin’ Magic but it wasn’t just the gameplay that I loved. I always found myself trying to build so many different types of homes for my Sims and furnishing them. I would spend countless hours building and changing everything because I hated how it looked. Sometimes I would just sit in Build Buy Mode just so I could listen to the music.
The moment I discovered custom content, the housing exchange, expansion packs and cheat codes was a game-changer for me like it was for many people. I can remember that the first expansion I ever added to my game was The Sims on Holiday and I even had the old Prima Games Guide Book to go along with it. As for custom content, I clearly remember the Rejuvenation Chamber which was basically a shower that maxed out your Sims needs.
Little did I know at the time that this game franchise would be one I would continue to grow up alongside for the next twenty years.
With The Sims 2 launching four years after the original game, I didn’t know what to expect but being on the other side now, I have to say this is probably my favourite era of the franchise. I think this was more to do with understanding the game more and the basic features of the game but then to also expand on those in so many more ways with new features and new ideas that hadn’t been seen before. My love of building continued in The Sims 2 and while they weren’t always the greatest but they were perfect for my Sims.
Storytelling played a big part in my games during The Sims 2 era and it actually made me sit and play through actual families and watch them grow from babies to elders and then start a new generation. It made me keep playing the same family for multiple generations until it was time to take the story in a direction. Each expansion pack and stuff pack helped enhance my storytelling and building overall but University and Apartment Life were two of my favourites.
The Sims 2 era also introduced me to The Sims 2 on PlayStation 2 and Game Boy Advance but also The Sims Bustin’ Out and The Urbz Sims in the City. This was the moment that I really think I really connected more with the games and the franchise. Each of these games I put countless hours into. I honestly can’t even think just how many hours that truly is. I would love to sit down and replay through all of these games again one day.
As for The Sims 3, I was actually really late getting into this instalment of the franchise. Although I picked up the Base Game pretty much at launch, I was defeated by computer issues which made me stop playing for a good few months. I found myself swapping back to The Sims 2 when possible as well as playing The Sims 2 on PlayStation as well. I didn’t really get into The Sims 3 until about a year before The Sims 4 was launched. It was actually a Steam Sale that made me grab the Base Game and two or three expansions that got me into the game. I enjoyed playing The Sims 3 but even now I still have so much to discover and learn about the game. I guess you could say I covered the basics of The Sims 3 and some of the expansions but at the same time still had loads of fun playing.
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We then reach twenty-fourteen and The Sims 4 arrived. The Sims 4 is where I got more involved in the community and essentially fell in love with the franchise all over again. The Sims 4 isn’t perfect. It has its flaws like any other game but it also has the features and themes that we haven’t seen before in The Sims but it makes it the game that it is. I really wouldn’t have it any other way. Even now I still find my self discovering things I’ve missed or never noticed before. Throughout The Sims 4 journey, I’ve created numerous stories, attempted countless challenges and built so many builds that I’ve lost count. With building, I’ve taken the time to add little details to my Sims homes to make them reflect my Sims style. I’ve played out my Sims dreams and potentially their worst nightmares. They’ve been Global Superstars, tackled the Strangerville Mystery and everything in between. I’ve taken so many screenshots along the way that I’m really running out of room on my external hard drive to store them.
I’ve also made and met so many new friends along the way. The Sims 4 also helped me rediscover my love for writing and my passion for both of these has helped me write for several websites including The Sims Legacies and most recently The Sims Community.
The Sims has been there for me growing up as a child all the way through to my early adult life. It’s been there for me through so many good times and also the bad times but at the end of the day, it has always allowed me to play how I really want to play and tell the stories I want. I could sit here and ramble on more about my adventures with the franchise but to be totally honest I wouldn’t know where to start or when to end.
My thoughts for the future of the game? Well, we know there is the potential of the next generation of The Sims being worked on but right now I’m happy continuing to play what is here whether that is the latest instalment or one of the older games in the franchise. I can’t see the franchise slowing down at any time in the near future either, I’m just excited to find out what is next.
So happy birthday to The Sims! Here’s to the past twenty years and to the future of the game!