The Sims 4
An emotionally mature people sim
£49.99, £59.99 for Digital Deluxe edition Developer Maxis, maxis.com
Requires OS X 10.7.5 or higher, 2.4GHz CPU, 4GB RAM, see site for graphics cards
The Sims 4 is deceptive. If you’re familiar with the older games in the famous series of people simulators, the new one might feel cartoony and simplified.
But it’s not the case. The Sims you make are more customisable, but complex sliders have been replaced by a new tool that lets you push and pull at features like putty. Building houses is easy too, letting you get on with the good stuff: playing with lives, jobs and relationships.
At the core of The Sims 4 is a complex simulation that brings the digital dolls that little bit closer to being believable characters. Events and personalities interact to put your Sims into particular moods, which have unique effects on their lives.
Realistically, each Sim always wants more than you can manage: life goals with stages (such as training a skill to a certain level), special events like going on a date, and whatever passing wants and fancies their current mood inspires.
As always with new entrants in this series, fans will yearn for what they’re used to, and for features that have been left out. But with updates already adding back in some of the more notable omissions (such as swimming pools), The Sims 4 should be treated like its predecessors: a basic but solid foundation to which players can add whichever of the inevitable expansions they choose. The new simulation and its interplay between Sims’ personalities, moods and desires means players of all kinds, even those new to the series, will find something for them. Jordan Erica Webber
Chat, date, launch a rocket… The Sims 4 is the latest in the person-simulating series.