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Publisher: Electronic Arts    Genre: Simulation
Min OS X: 10.5.8

The Sims Medieval
June 22, 2011 | Franklin Pride

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Like King Like Baby

Mac OS X: 10.5.8 | CPU: Intel Core Duo Processor | RAM: 2 GB | HD Space: 6.3 GB Graphics: 256 MB -ATI X1600 or Nvidia 8600 GT | Note: This game will not run on PowerPC (G3/G4/G5) based Mac systems, or the GMA class of integrated video cards.

Sometimes you just have to make other people miserable. Your day's been bad, you've failed your responsibilities, and you just need to let that anger out! If this sounds like you, you may have the Cruel trait from Electronic Arts' The Sims: Medieval. Brought to Mac by TransGaming, this latest release in the Sims series focuses more on fulfilling tasks than going to the bathroom, more on quests than going to work, and provides a bit more focus to the grind of The Sims. The question is, is that enough to keep things interesting, or is it just a new gimmick for the latest release?

Well, that depends on why you play The Sims. If you're a maximizer who wants to slowly develop a personal group of sims towards the ultimate in riches, this game may not entirely be for you. The new focus on quests and controlling only one or two sims at a time is a little more temporary. In addition, the game is broken up into a series of macro-quests like getting a certain number of platinum quest completions, and each of those will require you to start your entire kingdom over. As a result, you'll probably find yourself sticking to a single macro-quest and grinding yourself up. There are only ten profession levels to each hero, though, so it won't last long until you're maxed.

If you play more to have quick bursts of fun and relax, however, this is the perfect Sims for you. There are only two need bars, hunger and energy, so the daily grind is greatly diminished. Instead, you have objectives throughout the quest you are currently completing that you have to finish within a certain timeframe. If you do them too slowly, your quest ranking lowers and you end up with a much worse reward upon the quest's completion. The reward is your primary way to create new buildings and create new heroes, so that can cripple your kingdom before it starts. The new focus just makes it easier to focus on the cool things like having your blacksmith gather all the rare materials for a Doomstaff or dueling the knights of the realm with your monarch. You can easily finish a quest in an hour or two once you get into the groove, so The Sims: Medieval is perfect for those quick bursts of fun between meals and work.

The entire game is played using the traditional point-and-click style of gaming, where you click on the objects or people you want to interact with and select an option from a series of menus like "Friendly" or "Monarch." Each menu has a series of options inside, and those can range from telling a joke to sending a sim to his death inside the monster pit at the center of the village. If you're feeling malicious or mischievous, there's plenty to do. You could get into a fistfight with a milkmaid, steal the soul of a knight or two, try your luck at surviving the pit after you max out your gear, and so on. So long as you fulfill your current objectives once or twice a day, you'll have plenty of breathing room to relax and enjoy leveling your sims.


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