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8 Games Like The Sims

The Sims puts you in charge of a world of characters living normal lives. By providing a home, a job, leisure, friendships and even love interest, you work to make them happy. It’s an open-ended game as well, although the altruism is focused on virtual characters.
 

These games offer a similar experience or are about a theme that The Sims addresses. Also, if you want to play a game like The Sims but don’t have Android, PS3, PS4, Wii, Xbox 360, Xbox One or iOS, these are a good alternative.

 

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 04/02/2000

Platforms: Android, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS.

Genres: Narrative and Simulation.

 

 

Animal Crossing (Series)

Platforms: GameCube, Nintendo 2DS/3DS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Wii

Genres: Open World and Simulation

Duration: Between half an hour and 45 minutes to play a round.

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 8 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.

You live on a small island teeming with life. Insects, fish, trees, vegetation and fossils are represented with cute cartoon visuals. Rather than the scale or grandeur of other game worlds, it’s the interconnected minutiae of this diorama that makes...


Viva Pinata

Platforms: Nintendo DS, PC and Xbox 360

Genres: Simulation and Strategy

Duration: Between 20 hours and 30 hours to complete.

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 4 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.

This game is a fantasy garden-simulation game where your tending and care encourages one of 60 different piñata animals to make it their home. You use gardening tools to plough, sow seeds, create ponds and sculpt the land. Do this well and more animals...


Castaway Paradise

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Open World and Simulation

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Free-to-start. In-game purchases.

This game places you on your own tropical island. Make the place your own with decorations and furniture, dress up, collect bugs, fish, grow crops and help your new neighbours. It's an open-world game that offers an Animal Crossing style experience on...


Everything

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and PlayStation 4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Duration: Between 3 hours and 7 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

This is an unusual game that simulates a world where you can become any object. It sounds strange and not much fun, but the enjoyment is in discovering how small or how big a thing you can become. From tiny atoms to whole planets and everything in between.


Bear and Breakfast

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Creative and Strategy

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Bear and Breakfast is a strategy game where you build a bed and breakfast in the woods. You play as an aspiring bear host, renovating a dilapidated area in town into one fit for tourists. However there is an underlying darkness in the woods and you are...


Stardew Valley

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Duration: Between 51 hours and 75 hours to complete.

Players: You can play this with 4 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Stardew Valley looks like a farming simulator. That’s partly what it is, but you must also develop relationships with the other townsfolk and delve deep into the mines. Its quirky labyrinthine attention to detail is as inviting for young players to...


Sky Children of the Light

Platforms: Android, Nintendo Switch and iOS

Genres: Action, Open World and Simulation

Duration: Between 6 hours and 10 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 8 players online.

Costs: Free. Season pass and in-game purchases.

Sky Children of the Light (Sky Children of Light) is a huge open-world online game designed to create altruism between players. From the developer of Flower and Journey, it takes you on a social adventure in an ever-expanding world with up to 8 other...


Don't Starve

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii U, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Duration: Between 32 hours and 46 hours to complete.

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 6 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.

This is an open-world survival game. Here it’s the environment and enemies, rather than other players, that you work with. You need to find and develop food, weapons and shelter to survive. It’s enjoyable because it’s hard, so repeat-plays to...


 
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The Sims is in These Lists

In addition to the similar games listed above, which have been linked to this game specifically in the database, you may find games with a similar theme to The Sims in the following lists:

Big Budget Popular Games

These games are big, brash and popular. They have big budgets which means the visual and interactive quality is particularly high. They also have strong and wide ranging player communities.
 

Wield Absolute Control

Things don’t stay put. You’re the only one keeping the ship afloat. You can’t get people to do what you tell them. The effort you spend doesn’t produce the results it deserves. Well, in these video games you get to wield complete control over people, things, situations or even whole worlds.

If games offer an escape from chaos, these games are particularly good at granting a sense of satisfying agency and power as they do that. Whether it’s ordering the perfect stock room in Wilmot’s Warehouse, organising your island in Animal Crossing, perfectly controlling the flow of traffic in Mini Motorways or even build civilisation just the way you want it in Civilization the sense of satisfaction and calm from the achievement is second to none.
 

Free With Origin Access

Origin Access is a subscription service for PC, smartphones and tablets, offering access to games include all those published by EA.
  • Basic (£3.99/Month) grants access to games but not other in-game purchases. Very new games are sometimes restricted to a demo.
  • Advance (£14.99/Month) grants access to even the newest EA games and includes in-game purchases.

 

Free With EA Access

This is a subscription service for PlayStation or Xbox that gives you access to EA games. It also offers trial access to the newest EA games not included in full. Although not comprehensive some in-game purchasable content is also provided for free.
  • Monthly (£3.99)
  • Annually (£19.99)
For families, the trial access to new games is actually a great feature. You get 10 hours which in many cases enables you to play the game as much as if you purchased it -- either from children getting bored of the game, or adults not having enough time to finish them. If you do want to carry on you just pay for the game (with 10% discount) and your progress is kept.

It's worth noting that there are differences in the games for PlayStation and Xbox. On Xbox you can access titles like the original Mass Effect trilogy that are supported on that system's backward compatibility.
 

Designed For Reduced Motor Function

These games’ mechanics and options make it possible to adapt the experience to be accessible for people depending on your physical capabilities.
  • Remap Controls: Remapping buttons and swapping joysticks (like Fortnite) help customize the player’s way to interact with the game, also helping players that use only one hand.
  • No Holding: Some games (like Moving Out) also offer the option to avoid having to hold any buttons down for actions like aiming, opening or equipping. You can use simple taps or toggles instead to reduce muscular fatigue.
  • Sensitivity: Some of these games (like Fortnite) also enable you to adjust control sensitivity as well as controller vibration if that is present.
  • Fewer Buttons: Simpler controls (like FIFA) are good to consider, as well as those that offer extensive difficulty settings.
  • Speed: Reducing how fast a game plays (like Eagle Island) is a helpful setting.
  • Difficulty: Offering customisable difficulty, like how fast a game plays (like Eagle Island) or adding invincibility (like Celeste), and other features allow tailoring the game to the player’s needs.
This list and accessibility details in each game was compiled the help of Antonio Ignacio Martínez and Kyle “onehandmostly”. Please be aware that options may vary depending on the platform you choose to play. Also there is no game that works the same for everyone, so be mindful of your own needs when considering this information.
 

Free Multiplayer With Nintendo Download Play

The Nintendo DS and 3DS/2DS offers a feature for some games where you can play on multiple systems with one copy of the game. This is a great way to save money for multiplayer games.

The main player has the game in their DS, the other players go to the Download Play option in the menu of their DS. The game then downloads a small version to each player so everyone can play.

Some games limit this to just one other player, but games like Mario Tennis allow for 4 players to compete, and Mario Kart allows for up to 8 players to race against each other with just one copy of the game. Other games, like Luigi's Manion: Dark Moon offers special download multiplayer modes where you can compete against each other.

Here is a list of the top Download Play DS and 3DS games. Or there is our full list of great Download Play games.
 

Create An Attraction

Many games let you create your own items, object or levels. But some are specifically designed for you to do this in order to attract characters and visitor to your creation in the game.

Whether it's the perfect garden in Viva Pinata, the ideal visitor island in Animal Crossing or the most thrilling ride in Planet Coaster, these games are fun because they combine creativity and management.

Then there are games where your attractions are more understated. The ideal home and live to keep your Sims happy. Or maybe create something that doesn't impact the environment negatively like in Eco.

Whatever you create, as well as attract characters in the game, the creations you make are ideal to share with other people (parents and carers maybe) to show them what you've been doing.
 

Get Children Reading

Image 221We have partnered with the National Literacy Trust to create this resource of video games that encourage and enable reading and writing skills.

The National Literacy Trust is a charity dedicated to improving the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills of children and young people who need it most, giving them the best possible chance of success in school, work and life.

Video games have significant benefits for children who are reluctant or struggling readers. They give them access to stories through interaction and world building which they may not have been able to read in print. Video games also have benefits for families where parents may not be confident readers, meaning that sharing stories as a family is still accessible to all. The rise of video games on smartphones and tablets, as well as more affordable game consoles has made the sharing of interactive stories easier.

Image 241There are different ways that video games create this kind of collateral reading and aid literacy:
  • Reading In Games: Video games offer all sorts of reading at all levels. This can be from simple narrative in a game like Florence to dialogue in a game like Mutazione or even just identifying useful items and game mechanics with in-game descriptions in a game like Zelda Breath of the Wild. Then there are games like Thousand Threads that help players think about the power and the consequence of words.
  • Reading Around Games: Video games create worlds that often spawn secondary texts. This can be official novels that expand the world or guide books that offer instructions and help. Knights and Bikes, for example, has spin off books, a cartoon series and recipes to read.
  • Routes Into Books: Many popular book series, such as Beast Quest, offer a range of video games as an easy first step into those worlds that lead to then reading the books themselves.
  • Communication Around Games: As well as reading, games encourage all sorts of creative output. This can be to contribute to the many online forums and message boards to talk about the game. This can also be to write fan-fiction after being inspired about a game world or character. The Sims, for example, has an avid community writing and creating all kinds of content online.

 
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The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.

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