How We Play The Sims

How We Play The Sims | The Sims 4 | PC Games | Gaming | Video Games |

The Sims is a widely known series. With now 4 generations in the franchise, people seem to find bigger and better ways to play the game. When it comes to playing The Sims – or playing God – we tend to have our own styles of keeping track of our many families and their neighborhoods. Then, of course, you have the various challenges that people create and try out as well.

I think Rachel and I both tend to start off with sim versions of ourselves, which is something that we both have in common. I do, however, enjoy using mods in my games, mostly ones that tend to have to do with enlarging the amount of playable sims in a household or catering more to showcasing the sims’ personalities with their traits. While I enjoy Sims 4, I do miss the amount of traits that Sims 3 had incorporated with their game engine.

I enjoy using that cheat to add more to the family as well. Sometimes I like to have a lot of kids and it’s just unrealistic (these days) to have them move out right away. I like seeing them all together in one household and get frustrated when there’s too many of them for me to control. Lately, though, I’ve been trying to play without the cheats. I’ve been making my sims do things the hard way and learning skills as they do them instead of having them read books while I fast forward time and type “max motives” until their skills are maxed out.

I try to play mostly without cheats as well, but I’ve been known to let my sims get ahead a little in their skills when I first start playing a new game. Starting my new sim at level 3 of cooking and logic isn’t cheating too badly, I don’t think, haha. In Sims 4, I also like to cheat to give my sims an extra trait or two to help round out their personality, especially since personality and emotions are supposed to be one of the main focal points of that game.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yeah, that’s totally fair. I’ve noticed I experiment more with The Sims 4 though. I used to always create myself, max out my skills, and then just write books all the time. Then I’d get jealous of my own Sim and stop playing for a while. Since you can actually go to work with your Sims with certain careers, I like to do that as well. I love the detective field since that’s what I wanted to be when I was younger. Now I write murder mysteries. So it’s fun to play as a Sim who can solve cases with you… even though it’s nothing too elaborate.

I like to play out the careers as well, but I’d rather manage a household full of sims with different careers. The “rabbit hole” careers — where the sims just go to work and disappear for a few sim hours — are great to me since I can just throw some sims at work while focusing on the others for a while. I personally always liked the self-employment careers, like writing, painting, and gardening, so I always had a goal to work towards with my sims.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I agree with that as well. It depends on how many people you have. If you’re just playing the one character though, it’s great to go to work with them so you’re not just sitting there. Then again, you can work on the house a bit. Either way, the possibilities to play the game are endless.

By the sounds of it, Rachel, you play a little more by the book, so to speak, with a sim and their family. I tend to throw a bunch of friends together and see what kind of chaos happens with the mods and cheats! And this doesn’t even touch on all the sim challenges that are on the Internet!

How do you usually go about playing The Sims? Which version is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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Sims 4 Seasons Expansion Review

Double Jump Kris MiiHello, everyone!

The Sims franchise is a favorite of mine ever since a coworker back from college let me borrow her collection of Sims 2 expansion packs. Sims 2 turned into Sims 3, which I still have installed, before Sims 4 came around. Sims 4 is how I find myself wasting and enjoying time nowadays, especially with the newest expansion pack, Seasons.


The Sims 4 Seasons expansion pack came out a couple of weeks ago on June 22. Being a Sims expansion pack, I bought it for myself just in time for Camp NaNoWriMo, a monthly writing challenge, and I’ve been playing it as a reward for whenever I reach my word count goal for the day.

The Pets expansion packs always tend to be my favorites, because who doesn’t love virtual dogs and cats? Aside from that, though, Seasons is right up there as it gives so much more variety to the world that you’re playing in. The temperature changes, holidays, the new clothes and accessories for the sims, Seasons was always a coveted expansion pack for the Sims.

The Sims 4 Seasons comes with all of those. The temperature changes bring about new deaths and interactions for the sims, depending on how hot or cold the weather is. A thermostat is a new item for homes and businesses, allowing sims to make the temperature inside the house comfortable… supposedly. I still had my sims automatically dress up in their outdoor winter gear around the house in the colder weather despite the thermostat being set to warm (not to mention a fireplace or two in the house).

Holidays were interesting, especially since you can create your own. A calendar button is included in the interface, allowing the player to see the coming seasons and holidays in the next couple of weeks. Each holiday has “traditions” that you can assign it, actions that your sims can take in order to really celebrate the holiday. For example, Lovefest is the Valentine’s Day equivalent, and traditions can include gifting flowers to someone or going on a date, while Harvestfest’s main tradition is eating a Grand Meal. A sim’s personality traits also effect how they feel about the individual traditions. A romantic sim loves the idea of going on a date during Lovefest, while a loner sim ignores the same tradition. It’s pretty interesting to play around with, creating your own holidays as well as being able to plan events like birthday parties in advance.

The biggest addition to Sims 4 Seasons is the Gardening career. The gardening skill got an overhaul, making plants seasonal, while also adding the Flower Arrangement skill. With the Gardening career, you can either become a botanist or florist. Botanist focuses more on research and the gardening skill, while florist utilizes the flower arrangement skill as well. Gardening is the type of career that allows you to work from home if you wish like the careers from City Living, or you can create your own retail store for your floral arrangements if you have Get to Work.

One of the disappointing aspects of the expansion pack, in my opinion, is that there was no beach world or beach area to allow the sims to swim in the ocean or just hang out, really. Imagine being able to have a 4th of July-based holiday on the beach or just a beach party to go with Seasons. In Sims 3, with its open world, being able to swim in the ocean was a major development, and I feel that Sims 4 is missing out on this.

Still, there are plenty of extra activities, such as rollerskating, ice skating, beekeeping, having snowball and water balloon fights, along with the new holidays and Gardening career to keep you entertained should you choose to purchase the expansion pack. If you’re a big fan of the Sims and have the cash to spare, Seasons is a pretty good expansion to add to your game.

Do you play the Sims 4? Have you gotten the Seasons expansion pack? What do you think of it?

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I’m A Detective! [The Sims 4]

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Thursday!

I haven’t played The Sims 4 in a long time and I got back into it last weekend. Thanks to work I haven’t been playing as much as I’d like, but I still got pretty far in my “career.”

Usually, when I play The Sims I create myself and sometimes Kris. I tend to use a lot of cheats and build a ginormous house for us with the most expensive gadgets you can buy in the game. Then we live our virtual lives.

This time, I decided to not use any cheats. I created just myself, bought a premade house and I’m working to move on up in the world. I plan on adding additions to the house and expanding it rather than making one large mansion and using the money cheat so I can buy it right away.

I always give my Sim the creativity trait and have her be a writer for a career because that’s what I am in real life. However, I do write mystery novels and when I was a kid I wanted to be a detective when I grew up (I think I actually wanted to be a secret agent or spy).

With the Get To Work expansion pack, three new careers were added on, one of them being a detective. Since I always claimed to be a writer, I never played any of those other career choices. I decided, this time, I was going to be a detective.

And it is so much fun!

I go to work with my Sim every day where she goes on patrol to engage with the community and cite people for littering or fighting. You can also solve crimes, of course.

You investigate a crime scene, taking evidence, dusting for fingerprints, talking to witnesses, and taking photos. Then you go back to the police station, process the evidence in the lab and deduce clues using the crime map. When you get enough clues, you can go out and arrest someone.

The interrogation part is my favorite. Once you arrest someone you go back to the station where you can play good cop or bad cop and ask questions about the crime. The suspect’s mood changes throughout the conversation. They can seem friendly, calm, nervous, frustrated, anything. The meter fills up as you ask the right questions and when it’s filled up you’ll know if they’re guilty or innocent.

Then you can fingerprint them, pat them down, take a mugshot, and lock them up. It’s a lot of fun!

It’s not as in-depth as I make it sound to be, but it’s still fun and allows you to work towards something in the game rather than focusing on upgrading your skills and trying to make friends.

The first suspect I arrested was innocent and the chief yelled at my sim. She didn’t seem fazed by it though. She laughed and then her mood changed to “happy.”

What bothered my sim was when she had to pat someone down. She got “uncomfortable” because she was “up close and personal” to a criminal. Still, she got over it in time.

It gave me a new appreciation for The Sims 4 and I can’t wait to give the other careers a try!

Have you played the Get To Work expansion pack? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

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For the Love of Loading

For the Love of Loading...

Last Saturday Rachel and I both got the urge to play the Sims, despite us still needing to finish Breath of the Wild and having tons of fun with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. It was one of those lazy, rainy kind of days, so we thought why not boot up the game. Rachel was going to play Sims 4 on our desktop while I would play Sims 3 on my personal laptop. I also have Sims 4 on my laptop, but it’s the same account on both computers so we obviously can’t play it at the same time.

It took me about two hours just to get The Sims 4 up and running. Neither one of us could remember our Origin email and password, so that took a half hour in and of itself. Then, of all the times, The Sims 4 game had to update. Fine, whatever. The timer said it would take an hour and a half. I groaned, Kris said it doesn’t usually take that long, but it did. Oh, it did…

The Origin is usually always signed in, unless it needs to update, of course. I’m the one who usually plays the Sims 4, and I’ve been playing it more on my laptop than the desktop. So, while my laptop is up to date, I’ve forgotten about updating it on the desktop. Then didn’t it pause or lose connection or something in the middle of updating? Meanwhile, I was in the other room trying to get the Sims 3 up and running, and just from the age of the game and the number of expansion packs I have with it, it definitely took its time…

Oh, right. Origin had to update, which didn’t take too long, but it took long enough. Then we couldn’t log in. When we did, The Sims 4 had to update. About an hour or so later, it was at 91% and then an “error occurred.” I had to resume the update and it started all the way back 40%. It took another 40 minutes. I mean, I got some reading done while I waited, but… I couldn’t get over how long the loading wait was.

It was definitely much longer than it usually is… The Sims 3 wasn’t too bad, considering that the Sims 3 boasted that it was an open world and didn’t have loading screens after the initial world loaded, but it still took a while. It makes me wonder how patient we used to be with games that always had loading screens, and how the games nowadays have so much content on them that loading screens seem to be the norm.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
We are pretty spoiled nowadays when it comes to loading screens. Even the loading times for Breath of the Wild aren’t bad at all. You would think it would be much longer since there’s just so much going on in the game. The Sims 4 has a lot going on too, but I didn’t think an update would take that long…

It was probably several updates in one… I should make a point to check out the desktop version if I notice that the Sims 4 on my laptop updates. Remember way back when the games used to fit on an entire cartridge instead of having updates, patches, and DLC? Breath of the Wild recently had a patch itself for the voice acting, and I know there’s expansion packs for it in the form of DLC.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Technology is amazing these days… I’ll admit that I have a love/hate relationship with it, but if it didn’t exist then I have no idea what life would be like. I don’t mind waiting through loading screens, and I can handle it, but I’ll still complain about it.

Do you miss the pre-loading screen days? How patient are you? Let us know in the comments below!

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Of Avatars and Self-Inserts

Double Jump Kris MiiOne month down… Eleven to go! I hope everyone’s January went as well as it could as we start to head into February.

With every new year comes another chance for people to better themselves and to plan where they want to be in the future. Many people vow to better themselves, to give up bad habits, to help friends and strangers alike… Almost as if one was playing the hero in a video game.

One of the best aspects of playing video games is picturing yourself as the hero. As the player, you control the main character, the avatar, throughout the adventure. Everything hinges on your decisions, your actions, your choices, but more often than not, the avatar has his or her own name and destiny in the world. You’re just a person behind the screen tagging along for the ride.

Many video games take this one step further by allowing the players to recreate themselves in the video game’s world as an avatar character. Sure, plenty of games let you customize the main character’s name, but a few even give you your own character to not only help influence the game but to also form deeper connections with the game characters.

Our Sims 4 Selves!

The Sims franchise lets you take this to a whole other level, of course, allowing you to create whoever you want and make them live out their life however you want. It’s the ultimate God Mode.

With the two latest generations, the Pokemon games have been allowing players to choose different skin tones, hair and eye colors, and entire outfits for their avatar. The Fire Emblem games Awakening and the Fates trio also have you customize your character, including some choices for battle stats and plenty of class options, to be the pinnacle character of the games themselves. While Fire Emblem: The Blazing Sword also gave you an avatar character, it definitely wasn’t as interactive as actually being a character on the field of battle.

With Virtual Reality on the rise, players can be more immersed than ever in video games. It’ll definitely be interesting to see how VR will play out — imagine a VR Pokemon or Fire Emblem game!

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Pro-Diversity in Sims 4

Double Jump Kris MiiThe Sims franchise has always been a favorite of Rachel’s and mine ever since an old coworker years ago had let me borrow her collection of Sims 2 games and expansion packs to try it out for myself. Since then, we had been hooked.

Now the Sims 4 have been creating more and more customization and expansions, and I believe this latest update is one of my favorites…

Way back in February, Rachel and I did a post detailing our first impressions of the Sims 4 games by Maxis. While Rachel really enjoys the game, I wasn’t as enamored with it as I was with Sims 3 for a variety of reasons. With the new update that was released just a few days ago, my respect for the franchise has grown.

This update unlocks all of the gender restrictions in the Create-A-Sim mode.

That means every female hair style can be placed on male sims, the male voices can be used for a female sim, every type of clothing, walking style, and physique is shared between the two genders. It’s a fantastic step forward in not only customization but also representation. Considering my country at the moment is arguing over who can pee in which restroom, I’m all for it.

If anyone has glanced at my personal blog, usually used for writing and reading, they would know that I’m a fan of We Need Diverse Books, a campaign dedicated to promoting diversity (ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) in books. Considering how influential books are to the masses (seriously, how many movies nowadays had started out as books?), having a wider range of representation of people is needed.

Diversity is needed in other forms of media as well, like movies and video games. People, especially the younger generations of the world, now more than ever are coming out with their gender and sexual identities, and the world needs to hear. Hindering representation and those who identify as anything other than “the norm” is only going to hurt the future.

There is nothing wrong with gender not being as black and white as it was before, and I’m glad that a huge franchise like the Sims can support that.

First Impressions: The Sims 4

Hey everyone! Kris and Rachel here with another joint post! This week we’re going to rant and rave about the Sims 4. Both of us have been fans of the franchise for many years, with my favorite installment being the Sims 3 and Rachel loving the Sims 2. As for the Sims 4, I have to say… it’ll take some getting used to on my end.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I absolutely love it! I skipped over the Sims 3 because I just couldn’t get myself used to it. It wasn’t a bad game, I just preferred Sims 2. So playing Sims 4 is a huge step up from Sims 2! Though I know some others seem to think it’s a step down from Sims 3…

Well, not a step down, necessarily. Like most of the Sims installments, each expansion pack is like a piece of a puzzle, and EA is only giving us a few pieces at a time. They’ve been throwing quite a few stuff packs around to milk the cash cow when many of the items could have been used to bolster the few expansion packs they have out already. The franchise is enjoyable, but pricey.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Pricey or not, I still love it. My favorite part of the game is the emotions addition. I love making my sim feel inspired to write a new book or making her take a “steamy” shower and then watch her make a fool of herself as she flirts. Though, the flirty and playful emotions help a lot. I’ve only played for a couple of days, but she’s already engaged and he’s moved in with her.

Haha, the emotions part is definitely a plus! The sims have more realistic reactions to their environments and other people. I do wish that we were able to choose more traits and aspirations. Three traits to create a person isn’t enough to fully explore the possibilities of the emotions. I know that sims can earn traits, but having a wider range would be nice. I think the traits are what I miss the most from the Sims 3.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I agree, I do miss having more than three traits. I had a hard time picking just three out of all the options given.
But… I do love how there is no “environment” on the mood thing. I always felt forced to add wallpaper and such to my houses and they always came out ugly. My house in the Sims 4 isn’t decorated at all now because I don’t need to worry about it. It’s ugly, but at least it all matches.

On the flip side of that, it feels as if there’s also too little when it comes to being able to customize your sims’ world. It’s great that I’m not spending two hours to create a sim or house, but there is that lack of being able to truly create your own style. I’m sure more sets — clothes, hair, furniture, all that jazz — will be added as more expansion packs become available, but that goes right back to my point about missing puzzle pieces and money.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yes, I understand what you mean. Though I don’t think that bothers me all that much. I’m sure the more I play the game I’ll end up getting bored with the same stuff and want more down the road. Then I may have something to complain about. But at the moment, I don’t have too many concerns with this game.

I believe that’s the difference in our playstyles. I prefer the creating and customizing, while you enjoy making your sim actually live her/his life. Despite my cynical-ism, I am having fun with the Sims 4. It’s something new to explore and the game’s speed and processing is fantastic. Loading screens may be back, but they’re not on the screen for long!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The loading times are Heavenly compared to what the Sims 2 was like. Then again, we also have a new computer. I’m sure that helps!
On that note, I’m sure we’ll discuss The Sims 4 again at a later time. Maybe we’ll even have pictures of our wonderful Sims living their lives!

Like pictures of Rachel’s sim catching herself on fire (twice), haha!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
(It was actually three times…)
To be continued!

How are you enjoying The Sims 4? What’s your favorite Sims game?