The Sims Deluxe Review
The Sims Deluxe is not a new Sims game, but rather a bundle pack that includes The Sims, its first expansion pack Livin' Large, bonus objects and skins, and The Sims Creator. The last part of the package is a stand-alone application that lets you build your own sim by mixing and matching heads, clothing, and accessories. Since you are reading this review, you probably fall into one of two categories: you own The Sims and are wondering if you should pick up The Sims Deluxe as well, or you don't own The Sims and are deciding whether or not you want to enter the world of The Sims.
For the benefit of those of you who are new to The Sims, the game is a life simulator of sorts. You create a sim and spend a set number of points on character traits such as neat, outgoing, and fun. You then purchase a home (which you must furnish with the game's many objects), and obtain a job to pay for more stuff and the necessities of life. The game part of The Sims is in monitoring the needs of your sim and making sure that they are met. Needs include basics such as hunger, bathroom, and rest requirements, as well as social and entertainment needs. The better you do at keeping the needs met, the happier your sim will be. You'll want to keep your sim happy as unhappy sims will not want to follow your directions or could even die from starvation. There is also a social aspect to the game, as your sim's happiness also depends on your circle of friends and relationships. If you build a strong enough relationship with another sim, you can propose marriage. If your proposal is accepted, the sim will move in with you, giving you another income source and some more help around the house. The game also includes sim children, and if your marriage is blessed with one or more babies, then you can raise them to be sim children (the children never grow up, though).
The Sims Deluxe does not include an update to the original game, so the same problems are still present in this version. Sims have trouble navigating through crowded areas and the game experiences slowdowns when scrolling or when there are a number of sims present in an area. Also, there can be a lot of micromanagement and hand-holding involved in keeping your sim satisfied, and there never seems to be enough time in the day to meet all of their needs (sims don't even get weekends to try and catch up). In practice, many players use some of the game's well-publicized cheats and tricks in order to manage money and their sims needs so that they can spend their game time building their homes and interacting with the game's objects. In spite of these issues, The Sims can be quite addicting and has an amazing way of making time fly when you are playing. It has struck a chord with many gamers, who have propelled it to the number one selling PC game franchise of all time.
As mentioned earlier, The Sims Creator is a separate tool that allows you to create your own custom sim for use in the game. You can start out by browsing through the many heads and bodies available, and combining two that you like into a sim. The clothing options run from normal everyday and formal wear to more fun and whimsical costumes such as togas, sports uniforms, and a Mountie outfit. You can then further customize the clothing by combining different tops and bottoms, and applying different colors and patterns to the clothing. You can even import pictures or logos and apply them to your sim. We were able to easily import our logo and create a sim version of the official Gamers' Temple t-shirt. While you work, The Sims Creator displays a 3D preview of your sim so that you can see how your changes will look on your sim.