First launched in 2000, The Sims is one of the best-selling video game series of all time and currently has four franchises. The Sims 4 has almost 36 million players, so we outline what there is to know and how you can help your kids play safely and responsibly.
Created by Electronic Arts and developed by Maxis, The Sims was released in 2000. Since then, there have been four instalments in the series and various spin-offs and mobile versions of the game.
The Sims is a single-player interactive life-simulation game that gives you the power to create and control your own Sims character. You can create families, build homes, and complete various day-to-day activities such as sleep, eating, working, etc.
In 2014, the latest instalment, The Sims 4, was released. It has 11 expansion packs and 10 game packs (add-ons you can purchase for more gameplay), with the latest being Cottage Living.
There are also additional add-ons called Stuff Packs and Kits. Unlike the expansion and game packs, these additions offer new build items and Create a Sim (CAS) items rather than new gameplay functions. In total, there are 18 stuff packs and 7 kits available for purchase.
Gameplay depends on the user’s play style. Some prefer to build while others like creating a storyline to follow. Career and lifestyle goals can be followed or ignored, which means the game can be tailored to suit anyone.
The Sims 4 game can be played on a PC (Microsoft/macOS), PS4 and Xbox One.
The Sims 4 has a PEGI rating of 12+.
PEGI defines this rating: ‘Video games that show violence of a slightly more graphic nature towards fantasy characters or non-realistic violence towards human-like characters would fall in this age category. Sexual innuendo or sexual posturing can be present, while any bad language in this category must be mild.’
The Sims 4 is the best-selling and longest-running base game of the franchise, drawing in millions of players worldwide. Here are some reasons why it is so popular:
Content is generally suitable for ages 12 and up. However, there are certain things to watch out for:
Since its creation, The Sims has had four instalments of the game, five spin-offs and two mobile versions. Many are still available and played by fans of The Sims and have similar content warnings to The Sims 4.
The Sims 3 – Although some diehard fans still play The Sims and The Sims 2, it’s the third instalment that competes more with The Sims 4. When The Sims 4 came out, many didn’t like the limitations, so stayed with The Sims 3. It is available for purchase on Steam, and SimPoints are available for additional purchase. These points buy additional items for the game.
The Sims Medieval – Unlike other games in The Sims franchise, The Sims Medieval sends players and their royal sims on quests with a concrete storyline to follow. It was released in 2011 and has one expansion pack, Pirates and Nobles. The gameplay is quite different and may appeal to those who aren’t fans of The Sims. No other Sims game is required for The Sims Medieval.
The Sims Freeplay – Released in 2011, this mobile lifestyle game is still popular and updated regularly. It’s available on Android and iOS for free. In the game, players earn Simoleons (the currency in The Sims) and Lifestyle points, which can be used to move the game forward. There are also Social points available for purchase with real-life currency.
The Sims Mobile – Based on The Sims 4, The Sims Mobile was released for Android and iOS in 2018. It features multiplayer elements and in-app purchases of SimCash, which is also earned through in-game quests. The microtransactions can also purchase additional items, so require extra diligence.
See articles and resources to help children stay safe online.