The Sims Medieval

Common Sense Media says

Become a knight or an assassin in story-based quest sim.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

As with other Sims titles, this game does not pass any moral judgment on to the players. They are free to do whatever they want -- they can live a dutiful life, brush up on their swordsman skills, and become the most respected knight in the kingdom. Or they can walk around without tending to personal hygiene and go down the path to their own demise. What shines through here, just like other games in this genre, is the player's ability to shape the story. It fosters creativity and instills a basic knowledge of what's right and what's wrong, without shoving the message down anyone's throat.

Positive role models

There are characters for players to look up to, such as the leading knights and rulers of the kingdom, but ultimately the goal of the game is for players to themselves become the role model. There is somewhat more of a basic story structure to this Sims title, with an ultimate goal of becoming the leader of the kingdom. That said, it is also possible to explore negative role models, including an assassin.

Ease of play

Players must be able to multitask to play this game successfully. There are numerous tasks for players to complete, all while keeping sure their Sim characters remain in good health. The controls are easy enough to figure out, with an intuitive point-and-click interface, but the mental gymnastics involved in conquering a kingdom amidst countless simultaneous tasks makes it a challenge to unseasoned players.

Violence

As with every prior entry in the Sims franchise, the way this game plays out is entirely up to the individual players. Players choose how their virtual characters live and behave. Because there is a medieval theme in this title, however, the opportunity for violence is more prevalent. For example, players can compete in jousting and sword fights. It is also possible to poison characters, causing them to die. The portrayal of death is not much different than previous Sims game, as it is seen as part of the story of human life rather than a glorified feat or accomplishment.

Sex

As part of the game's sophisticated simulation of human relationships, it is possible for players to have sex, but generally only after the two mates have formed a strong bond. The word "sex" is never used -- instead, the game refers to the act as "WooHoo," and is depicted with the two Sim avatars in the same bed. They remain covered by sheets during the ordeal, though giggling and moaning sounds leave little to imagine as to what they are doing.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

As part of the lore of medieval culture, players can go into a bar and drink alcohol. While no specific alcoholic beverages are named, drinking can cause a Sim to be presented as "Buzzed," or in some cases, may even vomit or pass out. This only occurs when done in extreme excess, something the players once again have complete control over.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Sims Medieval has the same shell as previous games in the Sims franchise, but it is packaged in a completely new way. While it is still up to the player to write his or her own story, there is more structure to this title than the previous entries. Players are presented with specific tasks and goals, which ultimately lead them to being able to rule the kingdom. However, there are no shortage of ways to complete each task, and it is ultimately up to the player's creativity to figure out how to succeed. Additionally, while most previous Sims games have flirted with the concept of alcohol, this one takes it up a notch by actually letting Sim characters get "buzzed" and making them throw up or pass out when they drink too much. While names of alcoholic drinks are never mentioned, this concept is heavier than in previous titles.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

THE SIMS MEDIEVAL looks and feels like the widely popular The Sims games that came before it, but with a completely new theme and the addition of story-based quests. The overall result is that while familiar, it is a brand new game. Unlike previous entries in the life simulation series, Medieval presents players with a variety of quests that take them throughout a virtual kingdom, facing off against enemy characters and ultimately emerging as the hero among villagers to take reign of the land, bringing prosperity to all. The same core concept from previous Sims titles is here, but instead of increasing work-related skills like computer savvy and book smarts, players work to improve their attack levels and sword fighting skills. Ultimately, players carve out the story of how the battle for kingdom dominance plays out, but the mere fact that there is an end goal makes it a completely different type of game than the prior open-ended Sims experiences.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Anyone who enjoyed previous games in the Sims franchise and who has a penchant for medieval lore will no doubt find The Sims Medieval to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience. There is so much to explore here that it almost feels like more than one game. In addition to being a full-fledged Sims experience, it is also practically a full-scale RPG. The vast kingdom is gradually revealed to the players as they complete quests, and every step of the way there is something new to explore. This isn't like prior titles in the series where players had to work with a limited space of real estate. The virtual playground in this game is huge. It is the first real integration of the sophisticated Sims human simulation experience within a more traditional story-based video game experience, and the end result is a thoroughly enjoyable product. Plus each time you play through it, it provides you with a different and new experience.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the use of virtual avatars. Why did you design it as you did and what does your avatar reveal about the real you?

  • What can you do in a virtual world that you can't do in the real world?

  • How does a game like Sims Medieval help you express your own creativity?

Game details

Platforms:Windows, Mac
Price:$49.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Electronic Arts
Release date:March 22, 2011
Genre:Simulation
ESRB rating:T for Crude Humor, Sexual Themes, Violence, Use of Alcohol (Mac, Windows)

This review of The Sims Medieval was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 17 years old Written bybeccajohnny16 March 24, 2011
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

I love SIMS!

I love all sims!
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written by2cat007 April 4, 2011
AGE
14
QUALITY
 
The sims are the best!!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Parent Written byrater8009 January 23, 2012
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

FUN

LOVE THE SIMS and this 1 is great too but you may wanna watch out because you can do wrong things
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential School Tools