Recently thousands of game developers got together for another round of the Ludum Dare game jam, creating a mountain of games in the space of a single weekend. The theme for the most recent jam was “Connected Worlds,” and plenty of devs took it in unique directions. Among them was the team behind Octodad: Dadliest Catch.Together they produced Antbassador, a game whose comically loose physics and lighthearted attitude make its lineage clear.
Antbassador may be short, but it absolutely left me wanting more.
I’ve really come around on The Sims 4 since I started playing it last week (read my full review on Paste) but one of its biggest shortcomings is how obscured some of its best features are. These are things that give you micro (and macro) control over your simulated world, and given some of the game’s other shortcomings that control can vastly improve your experience.
If you’re playing The Sims 4 or planning to in the future, here are ten simple tips you’ll want to keep in mind:
A Sims game isn’t officially a Sims game until weird stories start leaking out across the internet. I’m not just talking about glitches and bugs (though there are plenty ofthose) but rather those strange little twists of fate and circumstance that lead to bizarre encounters and, ideally, more than a few ridiculous screenshots.
I’ve had a few particularly weird situations arise in The Sims 4 since its release last week, proving that things can still run off the rails even when every system in the game is working as intended. Here are a few of my favorites:
Finally, it’s SingleFrame Fashion Week — which was not originally planned to coincide with the featured game, Girls’ Fashion Shoot, being on sale for $7.99 on the 3DS eShop but, well, that’s pretty convenient.
A lot of games try to tackle the subject of romance, and it’s safe to say that the majority of them don’t get it right — especially when it comes to integrating that romance into the actual gameplay. That’s where terms like "kindness coins" come in, describing the kind of transaction-based relationship mechanics that games trying to represent dating and courtship often use. Tell someone what they want to hear, dress like they want you to dress, give them things they like, and eventually you’ll earn enough points to win.
… Their love, I mean. Win their love. How romantic.
In reality, that’s not an act that anyone can keep up for ever. Sooner or later a relationship built on nothing but white lies and pandering to your partner will fall apart. Most games don’t care about addressing these inevitable Unhappily-Ever-Afters, but Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker isn’t most games.
The Sims series provides many different gaming experiences for many different people. Its open-ended and intricate systems allow players to play however theywant to play rather than pushing them into a one-size-fits-all experience. To some,The Sims could be like an ant farm, set up and maintained so they can observe the creatures living within. Maybe it’s more of a roleplaying experience where they’re concerned more with building up their character’s quality of life than building up their XP, and every bill payment is another boss fight. Or maybe they’re just there for the weirdness—the sims who pass out from exhaustion in a public bathroom or decide that the best place to eat a hot dog is in the middle of a busy road. There are very few games quite like The Sims, but depending on what it is that draws you to it, there are more than a few other games that you should check out as well.