Game Info:

The Sims:Medieval
Developed By: The Sims Studio
Published By: EA Games
Released: March 22, 2011
ESRB Rating: T for TEEN, for
Crude Humor, Sexual Themes,
Use of Alcohol, Violence
Available On: PC, Mac
Genre: Simulation, RPG
Number of Players: Single Player offline
MSRP: $29.99

A player of all-things-Simlish, from the original SimCity, to the micro-managment of the little Sims themselves, I have to say, the whole daily routine and need fulfilling was beginning to grate. The only updates were starting to look like an Ikea store crossed with that party place on the corner. From the first trailers of The Sims:Medieval, though, that little sparkle of excitement began to show again, and deservedly so. The Sim Studios have outdone themselves.

With a rich graphical environment, you are transported into a land of monarchs, bards, knights, and others, each with a desire to build up their character with lifetime achievements. The game starts with a mandatory (and lengthy) tutorial on kingdom building. Working your way to game control knowledge, you are presented with Quest choices, each featuring a particular Hero of the game. At the start of the first Ambition, you are the Monarch and striving to begin the founding of your kingdom. Each Ambition has a different goal for the kingdom, one ambition goal may be increasing the security of the kingdom by doing knight quests, defending against foes, etc, and another may be increasing culture by doing bard quests, etc. Each ambition, you begin building the kingdom again from the ground up, basically starting over, just with a different goal in mind. Next, you may be the Knight, Healer, Priest or Blacksmith, depending on the type of quest chosen. Each quest gives an opportunity to advance the skills of that hero or heroine, each a key player in the building up of a kingdom.

At the beginning of the game, you are granted a certain number of Quest Points to spend on the pursuit of each Quest you wish to try to complete. When the Quest Points run out, that is the end of your Ambition. Your objective is to reach the desired result of each Ambition before using all of the Quest Points, and kingdom build to the best of your ability in the meantime during each of the minor quests.

Feeding the Pit BeastFeeding the Pit Beast

Strong Points:Rich graphical world compared with previous EA Sims games, adjustable AI levels, fewer mandatory daily tasks
Weak Points:Repetitive quest lines in each Ambition
Moral Warnings: Juvenile humor, sexual woohooing, LGBT sexual themes, magical themes/spellcasting

In between Quests, you are given the chance to expand your kingdom by choosing which building to construct next. The building of a particular structure will enable the creation of the suitable matching Sim Professional (Hero). Professions included are: Monarch, Knight, Merchant, Bard, Priests (two kinds), Spy, Wizard, Physician and Blacksmith. As you progress through the game and each building is constructed, it makes that hero available to participate in certain quests. Not all quests need the same hero to participate, and using a different suitable hero will produce a different outcome of the quest. Upon creation of a new building, there is the opportunity to adjust your hero's Traits and Flaws. You may use the randomly generated ones, or you may choose to make and name your own Sim and pick them yourself. Each Sim has the potential for greatness or not, depending on these parameters and how you use them to your Sim's advantage. Some traits provide your Sim with quite disgusting and juvenile behavior, others swing in the opposite direction and may a produce an equally undesirable, sloppy, unkempt, promiscuous, well....swinger. This game provides a nice assortment of traits and flaws and even the most moderate of players shall find a happy medium if desired.

Individual Hero Sims' needs have been dwindled down to just eating and sleeping, and with the reduction of the time needed to fulfill the daily needs of your Sim, you have been given more freedom to play with character or kingdom building. Each Hero has a particular job in the kingdom and has daily tasks that should be completed within the allotted time. Failure to do your duty to the kingdom may wind up with your Sim in the stocks! Your quest completion must occur outside of these daily chores, unless of course, your Sim doesn't mind a few tomatoes or eggs in the face. Be wary, though, too many days of playing hooky from your duties, and you may end up being fed to the village carnivorous beast.

Jacoban InquisitionJacoban Inquisition
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score -75.5-%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 10/10
Sound - 10/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls 5/5

Morality Score - 67%
Violence - 9/10
Language - 8.5/10
Sexual Content - 1.5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 8.5/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 6/10

Like the other Sim games, you have the opportunity to do trade with neighbors, and you must keep on eye on and sometimes even create political treaties with your neighboring lands and keep up good relations by holding affairs of state with the VIPs. Just out of the gate, and into the first real Ambition beyond the tutorial, a look at the map shows that the listed trade goods remain the same for each neighboring land, and do not change from Ambition to Ambition. The chart I made for each nation and what they traded was a good move, and will serve me throughout the game as I move through the other Ambitions.

This Sims game does have the relationship element included, and you may end up 'WooHooing' (sex under the covers), though it may take quite a bit of wooing for some, and not much for others. This game allows for promiscuity (it is even allowed as a character trait or flaw), and your Sim may make a play for either sex, and some AI characters in a few quests present as homosexual couples. After spending a considerable amount of time wooing, your Sim may become betrothed and may even wed the target of their affection. A family element is included and in one quest, the Monarch desires to create an heir, and the search is on for a suitable mate to wed. These children do grow old after time, and if they are taking up a family slot in your household, you may even send them off errands/quests, to free up a household slot.

As far as combat goes, it is the typical medieval gauntlet throw-down sword duel. All combat is bloodless, and lesser fistfights and brawls are allowed, or even required, if your Sim has an aggressive character flaw. As with the other Sim games, death is possible for your Sims, and Death arrives to (presumably) take your Sim's spirit across the River Styx.

The magical element of this game draws on common assumptions of magic, spells, and casting. Sim Wizards must memorize elemental runes and prepare spells before casting, and gather components for mixing potions for purchase by the villagers. While there are spell-casting bits, there are no real life occult symbols in this game. A nifty perk of this Sim is the Meditation option which allows this Sim to re-energize himself quickly, and bypass the needed sleep requirement.

Across the Ambitions you choose to recreate your kingdom, the quest lines do repeat, but I believe it was the goal for each Ambition to play out differently with different heroes, different choices made, and producing different outcomes. This was the main weakness I found in this game, in that if you are not the type to play outside a certain stereotype of character or moral standing, then this game could get redundant pretty quickly.

This game still has the wonderful variety in the Create A Sim module, with plenty of customization tools to play with. The update patch increased the makeup options a bit and also added the Freeplay mode and the move- your-child-out-of-the-house option, to keep your little Sim-family growing.

With this latest expansion on the Sim franchise, I see plenty of potential. It's a great little game for the price, if the crudeness, and sexual content and agendas don't bother you. With the advent of the new Pirates and Nobles expansion, I look forward to seeing what they can throw at me next.

-review by 2bRnot2bme

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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