The Sims vs SimCity: Sim Hard With a Vengeance
It's a Sim-off! Genius game developer Will Wright's two babies, The Sims and SimCity, have sold millions upon millions of copies. The SimCity series is famous for placing players in charge of a virtual city and allowing them to let it flourish, or burn to the ground as they see fit. The Sims, however, is all about micro, rather than macro, management. You can customize a group of simulated people from their hairstyles right down to their hopes and dreams and then spend your days helping them achieve enlightenment, or trapping them in a swimming pool they can't get out of. The choice is yours! Both open-ended series have delighted players for over a decade, which is why we've decided to pit them in a head-to-head match to see which Sim series Sims harder.
Most Shadenfreudian: The Sims 2. Wrecking an entire SimCity may grant players some sadistic glee, but it's hard to top being able to trap someone in a wall, watch them starve to death, revive them as a broken, zombified version of themselves, and then start the entire process over. And for those who are a bit less creative in their cruelty there's always the old classic -- drowning.
Most technical depth: SimCity 2000. The SimCity titles have always been about providing players with huge sandboxes to play in -- sandboxes filled with lots of technical little charts to monitor and levers to flip -- and SimCity 2000 managed to provide the highest levels of clarity while balancing out maximal levels of complexity.
Best Sequel: The Sims 2. The Sims 2 took everything that was great about the original title and expanded on it in every direction without getting bogged down in harassing players to post things to Facebook a la The Sims 3.
Most soothing music: The Sims 3. Just listen to that gloriousness and tell me you're not soothed.
Biggest disaster: SimCity (2013). Fraught with issues due to its poorly-implemented always-online requirements, badly written A.I., and occasionally jarring in-game advertising, it's hard to see SimCity (2013) as anything but a disaster.
Winner: The Sims
SimCity is an amazing series, but this latest iteration of the city-building franchise has shown us that its developers sometimes put innovation second to making a quick buck. The Sims series, however, has innovated heavily between each iteration (so far), which is why it comes out as the winner of this week's Versus!