- Games, Toys, and Hobbies
The Sims 2 - Game and Expansion Packs
Virtual Lives in a Virtual World
Sim City and other Sims games in the series are among the most popular computer games on all time. They are enjoyed by millions around the globe and for good reason. The games are fun and have the unique twist that the fate of the little Sims characters is in your hands alone.
The goal of The Sims is to direct the lives of the city dwellers in the game. Their actions and destiny is tied to the decisions you make in their daily lives.
The Sims 2:
The game is set in a suburb of the city, but this is not your average suburb. The inhabitants are small polygonal characters whose actions you control. They behave in human like ways, they talk to each other and make gestures and hunker down for TV. They even fight and hurl insults. They tell jokes and even take baths.
The audio for the game is quite good, the background music is excellent and the sound effects such as door slamming and toilet flushing are close to authentic. Their speech is mostly gibberish but they are easy to understand due to facial expressions and tonality.
The graphics are of the quality Sims fans have come to expect, quite detailed and colorful.
You can start the game with a pre generated family or a single character. Each character has his own personality traits and job skills. These come together to determine how well the Sim will do at his job and be able to provide for his family. The Sim has to look through the paper to find a job and once he does, a car appears at the same time each day to whisk him off to work. It is vital your Sim finds a job because he can't buy things if he isn't employed, including food.
You must also watch over your Sim's needs. Each has a lifebar for such indicators as hunger, comfort, energy, fun, and bladder. The bars continually drain and then fill back up when you meet a need. If you neglect your Sim, he will suffer and possibly die.
You also have to help your Sim buy kitchen appliances so he can cook, and furnish his house with suitable objects so the environment meter will not drain out.
The Sims is a lot of fun and is a unique game which will soon get you hooked. It's good for some laughs and unexpected things happen frequently like your Sim setting the house on fire while cooking. It takes a lot of work to monitor your Sim to keep him safe and happy.
Get The Sims 2 - Available for Windows PC, Mac, Playstation 2 and Xbox 360
The Sims was one of the most popular games ever made. In it, players micromanage the lives of a family of virtual people, or Sims, and influence their paths toward success or something akin to a nervous breakdown. Its open-ended blend of cartoonish behavior and everyday living is unique in an art form otherwise obsessed with carnage and sports. With The Sims 2, long-time fans now have a deeper game with lots of ways to customize and share their experiences. The game will also attract first-timers because the goal-oriented gameplay and the luridly fun starter families make it easier to get into the action right out of the box.
It doesn't matter if you have a desktop computer or a games console, you can still enjoy The Sims 2 on your favourite gaming platform. If you already have it, then have a look at the range of Expansion Packs which are now available...
The Sims 2 - Double Deluxe for Windows PC
If you love the Sims, you'll love this collection. It includes The Sims 2, The Sims 2 Nightlife Expansion Pack, The Sims 2 Celebration Stuff Pack, plus a bonus DVD.
for Sony PlayStation 2
for Xbox 360
for Nintendo DS
for Sony PSP
The Sims Phenomenon
by Madison Lockwood
In the world of video games, there are game categories such as shooters, adventure, action and role playing. Then there is The Sims. This game was introduced by Electronic Arts* in February of 2000 and became a cultural phenomenon. It sold twenty million copies and generated the development of hundreds of fan sites devoted to their own personal Sims environment.
The Sims was the first game that introduced a significant degree of online socialization through the use of a game platform. A Sims player creates his own family, buys or builds his own home, and has numerous encounters with other characters generated by the game's AI (artificial intelligence). Your Sim character, or "avatar", goes through life experiencing career changes, family development - many of the real-life experiences that lurk outside our real-time doors. Its unique character, in-game quirks (such as the gibberish in which Sims communicate) and capacity for infinite change made addicts out of millions.
The game makes the player the "deus ex machina:" the off-screen God controlling individuals lives. As a player, you can help your Sim build not only home and family, but an entire neighborhood. Sufficient quirks and human neuroses are built into the game's characters as they are introduced that the game remains an addictive fascination for its players. As one reviewer put it; "Want to play it straight and watch the lives of a typical nuclear family? You can do that. But what if you'd prefer to dress your Sim like a Viking and have him play his guitar for spare change in the subway while living with two women - she's a slacker and she's a paranormal - who are a couple? Go for it."
The company followed its initial success with seven expansion packs and in 2004 launched a completely new version, The Sims 2. The new version has better graphics and many more choices for your Sims and their families, who happily are still speaking Simlish. The video engine is more 3D than the original 2D; characters in your game have more choices to make and more characteristics that make them interesting, down to genetic similarities when new family members are born. You can customize the family dog - long hair or short? Blue eyes or crossed? Intelligent companion or clumsy doofus? It's up to you.
By 2005, the audience for The Sims and its various expansions had swollen to over 52 million worldwide. The game has been translated into 17 languages, and the franchise has seen life on platforms ranging from the Xbox to mobile phones.
One of the principal characteristics of the Sims phenomenon - and one that probably made it a uniquely popular game - is that it has drawn large numbers of female players. The Sims has pulled the neat trick of building a player base evenly split along gender lines, drawing in women without alienating male gamers. Game publisher Electronic Arts estimates women could account for up to 60% of Sims players.
According to Psychology Today, "most long-term players say designing Sim households is the chief delight of the game" and in fact, The Sims' construction and interior design aspects are as impressively realized as its "human" element. Players can easily mirror their real-world homes; one game analysis called Sims "the Ikea game." Most video games have a product popularity curve, like every other consumer item. The Sims seems to be either defying or redefining this characteristic for the video game market.
Enjoy the Game More with "Expansion Packs"
The creators of The Sims 2 are continually improving the games with expansion packs, each adding new objects, buildings and depth.
Live the ultimate college fantasy! Your Sims have all-new wants and fears tied to their social and academic life. Choose from 11 majors for your Sims and keep their grades on track. Join a band, crash parties, find a part-time job, or cheat on your studies.
Sims 2: Nightlife takes your Sim into the night. Explore all of your favorite after-dark activities as you discover your Sims' love lives or have a crazy night out with friends. With the new dating gameplay, players will see if their Sims have chemistry with others which will determine their romantic fate. Make your Sims nightlife fantasy a reality with over 125 new objects including a DJ booth, poker table and all you need to design the ultimate nightclub and VIP lounge.
Set your Sims up in their own businesses. Build trendy boutiques, bustling bakeries, hip salons, thriving cafes and countless other businesses. Hire a staff to stock the shop and sell goods to a variety of customers. Will they build the favorite neighborhood shop or the next entrepreneurial empire? The Sims™ 2 Open For Business is loaded with over 125 new objects to help your Sims get down to business.
Create the perfect pet for your Sims to train, play with, and love. Choose from dozens of the most popular dog and cat breeds like Dalmatians and Persians. Or create a unique cat or dog by customizing their features and body type. Then pick a personality-you decide if your Sims' Siamese is cowardly, gifted, or lazy. Your Sims can teach their pets tricks, take them for a romp in the park to meet other furry friends, and much more as they share a lifetime together. But remember, your Sims' pets have minds of their own-cats claw sofas, dogs roll in flowerbeds, and worse. Expect the unexpected!
Head outdoors for year-round fun with your Sims! New seasonal activities await your Sims including snowball fights, chasing fireflies, jumping in leaf piles, and more. Strengthen family ties in Winter, let romance bloom in Spring, deepen the bonds of friendship in Summer, or fast-track your career in Fall. Your Sims can now explore new careers and master new talents throughout the year, but beware freezing, sunburn, sneezing, and other unexpected weather effects! Dress your Sims appropriately or face the consequences!
...and there's more...
Your life will never be the same once you move into a new apartment. With The Sims 2 Apartment Life, you will meet new people as you explore your new neighborhood. Adventure, fun, and drama await you. Will you take your kids to the local playground, mingle in coffee shops, or hit the park to learn from the breakdancers? Close quarters mean new opportunities. Move in with compatible roomies for a thriving social life, advance your career with the right social network, or find true love just down the hall. Whether you live in an artsy converted loft, the ultimate studio bachelor pad, or a luxury apartment with your own butler, you will experience all of the excitement of apartment life.
Now your Sims can rediscover the joys of leisure time. Awaken your Sims' true passions in life as they discover and excel at all-new activities. Whether they're tossing a football with the family, practicing ballet, restoring cars with friends or building train sets, your Sims now have more ways to build skills, enhance friendships and make their lives more successful. Craft new items for your Sims to use in their daily lives including clothing and pottery. Make your Sims unique as they discover secondary goals and expanded aspirations in life. Your Sims can unlock secret rewards by mastering their hobbies and advancing all-new careers. Explore a variety of new hobbies that will change your Sims' lives.
Whether relaxing on a lush tropical island in a luxury suite, camping outdoors on a pristine mountaintop, or exploring the culture of the Far East, your Sims will enjoy all-new activities to relax and rejuvenate them. Send your Sims packing for the trip of a lifetime!
Buy "Stuff" For Your Sims
You can now get more "stuff" for your Sims, i.e. objects that you can use when in build mode. There's everything from furniture to put in your rooms, to clothes and accessories for your Sims to wear.
There have been a quite a few other "Sim" games over the years, The first such game was probably Sim City*, which I was playing almost 20 years ago! Other developers have built on this same model, and released games with no plot, no restrictions, and truly open ended.
Get the best-selling PC game of all time and all seven of its expansion packs! Unleashed you'll add a furry friend to your Sims family. Housebreak your pets, train them to do tricks, buy them toys, and do your best to keep them from destroying the house! The Sims - Superstar lets you experience the lifestyles of the rich and famous and guide your Sims to superstardom. Become a movie star, rocker, or supermodel and spend your cash on extravagant new items for your home. In The Sims - Makin' Magic you'll cast spells, hypnotize friends, and even turn a neighbor into a frog. But watch out, spells can go haywire if you're not careful. The neighborhood will never be the same!
SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition turns you into a citizen, a criminal, an architect, a mayor, even a god -- bringing you deeper into SimLife than ever! As you create railways, ferries, plan out streets, you also get to use that transportation in a series of great new driving missions.
An insidiously addictive simulation game, Zoo Tycoon allows players to create their own zoo, but not just any zoo. It's completely free-form: Start with fences for your exhibits, then pick animals and give them toys, foliage, and anything else you want. For your customers, you can lay down paths to lead them around, then add food stands, amusement rides, even maps and trash cans. Not sure what you need? The zoo advisors will tell you how to make the animals happy, and the customers themselves will tell you what they're looking for, be it snacks, more animals, or anything else. There's also a vast amount of background information on each critter--its diet, its habitat, etc.--which can be useful when you're adding a macrauchenia or a Loch Ness Monster. In all, you can choose over 100 animals, plus countless habitat and park embellishments.
Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 Platinum combines the excitement of rollercoasters with the fun of great strategy sim. It combines Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 with the hit expansion packs Soaked! and Wild! Enjoy more options than ever, as you build your own water slide or create your own safari with real animals. Watch guest reactions to your ultimate theme park!
Restaurant Empire is the first game that faithfully recreates all the challenges of building and operating a restaurant franchise through a unique blend of business-simulation and RPG gameplay. Starting with nothing except some cash and a passion for food, build a restaurant from the bottom up--hire waiters, decorate, even cook the meals! Buy, build, outsell and, underprice your competition. Featuring three culinary capitals to operate in, five restaurant cuisines to choose from, over 30 unique chefs to interact with and nearly 200 recipes to source, your business sense and culinary taste will be tested to the limit.
About the Authors
The Sims Phenomenon by Madison Lockwood, a customer relations associate, specializing in small business development, for Apollo Hosting. Apollo Hosting provides website hosting*, ecommerce hosting, vps hosting, and web design services to a wide range of customers.
* links to external sites are marked as such, and will open in a new window.