New Obsession: The Sims 4

This is less of a new obsession, more akin to a former obsession being reignited.

I’ve always liked The Sims. I even had the DS games when I was a kid, namely the one where you run a hotel in the desert with aliens, cults and superheroes. Ah, childhood. 

My favourite was The Sims 3. I dread to think how many hours I put into that game on my old laptop. Back then I used to write little short stories, so I liked to make my characters as sims.

Thing is, being a teenager most of my stories were populated entirely by teens. No parents, most likely out of the picture because… drama and freedom I guess? I honestly don’t know. Thing is, you couldn’t make a house with just teens, you had to have at least one adult. There was a bit of a morbid loophole though. You see, I would make my teen household, randomly generate an adult then kill them off as soon as possible. Voila, an all-teen household!

Don’t give me that look, we have all done unspeakably evil things to our sims at one point or another. It’s almost a silent mandate.

However, I had to stop playing because my old laptop more or less stopped working years ago. I had the thing for around ten years, by the end of its life it couldn’t run an 8-bit game without overheating. Since then I got a proper gaming PC. I think it has been about five years since I last played any Sims game.

Back during the Steam Winter Sale, while scrolling through the bountiful harvest of deals, I spotted the newest game in the franchise, The Sims 4, with a pretty good discount. I was a bit put off at first because I kept hearing some very mixed reviews about the game but decided to bite the bullet and get it anyway.

As with many games bought during sales, I didn’t play it. That is, until recently. Last week I felt a bit nostalgic for the series and decided to finally get around to playing it. I somewhat regret that since that old obsession kicked back into gear almost immediately. I remade some of my old characters, spending more time than I care to admit on the tiny details. 

I swear the game is a time vortex. Every time I go to play, I end up spending hours on it. For example, yesterday I decided to play for half an hour. Next thing I knew, two hours had passed. I find it a bit addictive too. Pretty much any moment I start to get bored of whatever I am doing on my PC, I find myself playing The Sims 4. I’m not surprised, since this is exactly what I used to do back in the day.

There are a lot more customizable elements than I remember. This might just be my memories lying to me, but I recall designing sims to be a bit tedious. One misclick, you created a monster and it’s back to square one. Although one of my favourite features seems to be missing.

Does anyone remember that in The Sims 3 you could download an image and use it in the game? For example customising clothes, wallpaper and bedding with it? If that is still something you can do, I haven’t figured it out yet. If you know how, please let me know!

I will admit, I still hate making houses. I tend to just use the motherlode cheat, get one of the better houses and refurbish it to suit my needs. I used to love spending hours making my ideal homes, but not anymore. I find it a little infuriating to be honest, mostly because I can’t make it exactly how I visualise it in my mind’s eye. Thankfully now you can download homes that others make. I tend to do that instead. 

At the time of writing, there is a Steam Sale on for not only The Sims 4 but most if not all of the expansions to celebrate the 21st anniversary. I bought two, the Vampires game pack and the Seasons expansion pack. Both of which add a fair bit to the game and I enjoy them. 

It’s no wonder that the series is still going strong for all these years. 

Needless to say at this point, but I am having a riot reconnecting with a new version of a beloved game. It’s such a calming game and for me, a somewhat satisfying experience. I’m kicking myself for not playing sooner, it is the perfect lockdown game and of course, I start playing when the end of lockdown is in sight. Typical.

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