The Sims Medieval
By Mark Raby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Become a knight or an assassin in story-based quest sim.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
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 & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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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.
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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.
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The Sims Medieval
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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?
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.
Talk to Your Kids 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?
- Platforms: Mac, Windows
- Available online?: Not available online
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Release date: March 22, 2011
- Genre: Simulation
- ESRB rating: T for Crude Humor, Sexual Themes, Violence, Use of Alcohol
- Last updated: August 30, 2016
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