What we’re obsessed with right now: Sims 4

San Diego Union-Tribune editors and writers share what obsesses them right now.

What obsesses me: The Sims 4

Why? I was a very introverted freshman when the original Sims came out in early 2000. It took the world-building aspects I loved from Sim City and enhanced them by adding character development, decoration interior, narration and relational navigation. The most recent iteration of the game for PC and Mac users has refined each of these aspects, creating a perfect respite from the confines of feeling isolated due to the ongoing pandemic.

How to play: Many people like to create their “Simself” – a simulated version of themselves – or they sometimes build a whole family to start the game. When creating a Sim or a simulated person, you select their age , her hair, eye color, skin tone, and height, then you dress her up in the perfect style for the character. Next, it’s time to choose their character traits, which impact their moods, ideal hobbies, and in-game activities. household items and food, while the “active” trait means they like to play sports and will spontaneously do sit-ups.

Once the character is complete, it’s time to buy or build their house, starting with a budget of 20,000 simoleons (plus 2,000 simoleons for each additional character in the house). There are several pre-built houses that can be selected within this budget or you can download houses from the gallery that other Simmers have built. But my favorite aspect is building houses by myself.

Then it’s time for the game to begin. You can meet your neighbors when the Welcome Cart arrives by offering Fruitcake to your Sim or select a Job Track to start crafting more Simoleons. By visiting one of the public grounds, you can make new friends and drink nectar at a bar, exercise at the gym, read books or use computers at the library, or go on vacation. There are so many possibilities to play the game, so it helps if you have a creative imagination.

Best world/expansion pack to add? The Sims 4 base game comes preloaded with three worlds Willow Creek (inspired by New Orleans), Oasis Springs (a desert community in Palm Springs), and Newcrest (a completely blank canvas with 15 empty lots). While I like Newcrest because it lets the user try their hand at being an urban planner, creating both private homes and public spaces, my favorite world is Henford-on-Bagley from the expansion pack Cottage Living. This pack added farming items so your Sims can raise chickens, cows, and llamas, and lets them sell or use chicken eggs, milk, and llama wool for knitting. The town is modeled after the English countryside, so as someone who is heavily traveled and hasn’t been able to travel overseas for the past two years, I can travel to England with my Sim instead.

The Sims is available to play on PlayStation and XBox One, as well as Mac and Microsoft computer systems.

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