A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Sims 4: Get Famous is a paid expansion to The Sims 4, and that the base game is required to play. Like other Sims experiences, Get Famous aims to simulate human life, from eating, washing up, and going to the bathroom to getting a pet, having a family, and embarking on a career. The focus in this expansion is on becoming famous, which encourages Sims to be a little more outgoing and vain than usual as they post stories about their lives online and worry over their looks. There's also an even stronger emphasis than usual on consumerism, with many luxurious new items available to purchase, including a golden toilet. As usual, a Sim's behavior is entirely up to the player, meaning they can be as kind and generous or rude and aggressive as one chooses. They can also engage in romantic relationships, flirting with other Sims and eventually having sex -- known as "woohoo" in the Sims universe -- though everything's hidden under blankets.
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What's it about?
THE SIMS 4: GET FAMOUS starts off in familiar fashion to other games in the franchise. You'll create a Sim of your own design and move into a new place -- you can either build from scratch or buy fully furnished -- in the brand new Sims world of Del Sol Valley, a stand-in for the real world's Hollywood. As usual, you'll begin without much in the way of money or prospects, so it's up to you to figure out how to begin working toward your goal of becoming an A-list celebrity. A couple of new features are designed to help you along the way. The first is Fame, a meter that shows you just how famous you are. Certain tasks, such as engaging in social media, recording videos, and livestreaming your life, can help you gain a following and become a serious influencer. The other key aid is a new career: Acting. You can perform in everything from commercials to blockbuster movies to grow your celebrity. With fame comes wealth, which can be used to move into an elite residence in the hills, which you can decorate with all of the fabulously opulent purchasable objects that come with this expansion -- up to and including a golden commode. Just be aware that as your Sim's celebrity grows you may find him or her developing the occasional personality quirk that only the rich and famous can afford to indulge, such as a fear of being touched.
Is it any good?
Some Sims expansions just add a few new items and a change of scenery and call it a day, but this one provides new mechanics that could substantially alter the entire experience. The addition of the fame meter -- which you can switch on or off (your Sims don't need to be saddled with a thirst to become celebrities if you don't want them to) -- adds an interesting new dimension to almost everything your Sims do, whether its cooking or sitting on the couch playing games. Just like the real world, people can become famous for doing just about anything, no matter how mundane it might seem. And the new acting career delivers some memorable moments -- you'll be tasked to travel to the set, get into makeup, don a costume, and perform a role -- as you and your Sim learn about what it takes to succeed in a Hollywood-like showbiz environment. The often silly personality quirks that come along with celebrity just add a bit of spice and humor.
But perhaps the most interesting part of Get Famous is how it makes us think about what fame is and why we crave it. The beautiful house filled with outrageously lavish furniture and trinkets located in an insanely ritzy neighborhood that hosts glamorous and exclusive parties is part of it, of course, but is that all? What about the satisfaction of knowing that other people in the world are aware of what you're doing? And do you care if they approve or disapprove? Is it simply a matter of taking comfort in the knowledge that people know you exist? Or is there something more to it? If nothing else, The Sims 4: Get Famous could end up making players consider why our culture is obsessed with fame. That it's plenty of fun to boot is a handy bonus.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Sims' potential character strengths. Does your Sim have any personality traits that you would like to emulate in real life? Is it easier to make your Sim behave the way you like in the game than it is to behave that way in real life? If so, why might that be?
Why do you think so many people today wish they were famous? Is it about the money and power that comes with fame, a lust for a form immortal popularity, or something else?
- Platforms: Mac, Windows
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Electronic Arts
- Release date: November 16, 2018
- Genre: Simulation
- Topics: Arts and Dance, Friendship, Music and Sing-Along
- ESRB rating: T for Crude Humor, Sexual Themes, Violence
- Last updated: July 6, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.