PCs & Gaming

Review: Virtual Families


I got virtual families as a free game included with another title but I’d love to tell people about it as it’s actually a fun game to keep on your pc. The game installs completely onto your hard drive so no need for the disc in the drive to play. It also won’t need any online activation or codes to install.

When you start the game I’d advise reading the help information, it’s not too much information on one page but gives you an idea of how the game works and what you do. Then when you click play you start your virtual family. The whole game replies on just your mouse, no keyboard required. Unlike with the sims this game follows just one family. You start by picking one character out of a selection you are given. Each virtual character has likes, dislikes and a preference for having kids or not. Once you pick a character you will be stuck with them for the rest of the game, unless you choose to start over so make sure you pick a character you like.

The game then shows your character in their house. Although this character will never leave this house they can improve it with newly fitted kitchens, workshops, offices and various other new features. The character will also have a job, based in either the kitchen, workshop or office.

The game runs through basic things with you, so don’t worry about not knowing what to do. soon after you have your single character you are asked by others whether they want to get married to them (forget dating, it’s sudden marriage or nothing). So again pick a character you want to play with and not just the first one that comes along. Once you have a couple the game will encourage you to make them have a baby and once again takes you through the process. And once a couple has a baby you will see it attached to the woman. It will stay attached to her and she won’t be able to work until it grows up into a child (not too long to wait though).

This game is not graphically great, so if you are expecting the sims style graphics you will be disappointed. It’s like a more basic version of the sims 1. But that’s not what makes this game interesting and different. The game is played in real time. The characters continue to live their lives while you are not playing the game, even while your pc is off. When you go into the game the lighting will reflect the real time on your pc…Visit your peeps (that’s what they are called) during the night and it’s nighttime in the house. Don’t worry though it doesn’t affect gameplay and the clock can be reversed in the options screen if you spend most time on the pc at night. The game can also be paused in the options screen, which will stop anything happening at all, good if you will be away from your pc for weeks.

The game has a lot of things to discover and unlock, and despite playing it for so long I have barely discovered anything yet. The game has an achievements table with things like ‘unlock the garden shed’, ‘collect 1000 socks’ etc. Your peeps can collect things lost in the house or garden (the remote control goes walkabout a lot!) anything already collected can be sold for extra money.

The characters also interact with a range of objects in the house, and the more new ones you purchase the more they can interact with. There is a store page that allows you to go buy things for them. There is one section that changes twice a day and everything else like groceries stay the same. For some reason my family are always going on about needing more groceries even though their fridge has 1000+ items.

These characters live out their lives. You can pick them up to make them do something specific but otherwise they go about existing without your input. You can watch them, although sometimes this can get boring. You can also praise or scold certain behaviour to make them repeat or avoid doing some actions.

There really is a lot to do in this game and despite the graphics being very basic, you still have a lot of fun, watching your characters grow up and then pass on to the next generation. I’ll admit I haven’t had this part happen yet. I had to restart my game after my pc was wiped clean. When this happened I found that one family I had was always arguing versus my previous one that were so nice to each other. The game allows you to start again but I’m sure if you play for a while you’ll get attached to your one family.

The game has a lot to unlock but doesn’t tell you how, but I find it fun to work it out slowly. If you are a bit of an impatient player then I’ll say this game isn’t for you, but as a desktop game to keep and go to whenever you have some spare time it’s a great buy. I’d recommend this game to all ages but again don’t expect a thrilling super game. This was never meant to be that, instead it is something to while away the time when you are bored. A game you can go back to and see how things have progressed when you’ve been gone. A simple relaxing game, no really end goals, just for having a bit of fun!

Rating: 4.5/5

Review published on amazon UK, click here


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