So, it’s finally come to this. The world amidst pandemic has shed light on a myriad of issues, but one of the most divisive is which life simulation video game reigns supreme. On one hand, we have the notorious “The Sims,” a franchise dating back to the late 1980s. On the other hand, we have the coveted “Animal Crossing,” a staple game for many that are sequestered at home during quarantine. Today, we will resolve this conflict once and for all. Today, I will unquestionably prove why “Animal Crossing” is, and always will be, the superior video game.
Let me begin by saying, “The Sims”? More like, “Adult Life, But Virtual.” “The Sims” puts its player through the wringer of a normal and mundane adult routine. Your Sim has to get a job (and even an education in several iterations of the game) and work a certain amount of hours just to earn money to buy the bland, hyper-realistic furniture to decorate your bland, unexciting house.
In “Animal Crossing,” you can choose how you want to make bells! Whether you trade items with villagers, catch rare insects and fish, or literally discover and sell fossils buried in the ground, money making methods are fun, diverse, and simple!
It’s time to address the elephant in the room. Everyone loves to come for Tom Nook and his capitalist practices, but get this: in almost every version of the game, the player shows up to a random town (or island) with virtually no money, no job, and nothing at all to their name. Tom Nook appears and decides to trust the player, a random stowaway who for all we know is running away from some dubious situation in a far off town.
He gives you a house, puts no deadline on your debt, and even allows you to completely modify the house! And he doesn’t even charge interest on his loans! Now that’s a generous landlord if I ever knew one. Maybe there is a bit more flexibility with house modification in “The Sims,” but take one look at my mermaid-esque exterior and weep.
Secondly, who actually wants to play a game that embeds social skills and pressure into its gameplay? Your so-called friends in “The Sims” can suddenly dislike you at the wrong click of a button. Even if you intentionally annoy your “Animal Crossing” villagers, they will still act friendly towards you the next day.
Or even better, they move out of your town! 2020 is all about removing toxic people from our lives and “Animal Crossing” is here for it. Plus, do your friends in “The Sims” throw you a surprise party on your birthday, or send you a framed picture of themselves as a teary farewell gift? No? I didn’t think so.
Let’s move on to perhaps one of the most glaring points: “The Sims” needs expansion packs in order to do anything cool or otherworldly! The current retail price of “The Sims 4” is a whopping $50, without any of the unique expansions. Perhaps “Animal Crossing” is on the more expensive side, but at least it naturally looks cute and inviting.
Furthermore, the new “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” gives players the ability to manipulate the landscape beyond what was ever possible in previous versions of the game. The player now has even more control in crafting their ideal town. Bet you can’t do that in “The Sims,” at least not without one of those lousy expansion packs.
Finally, we already have to worry about our appearance and maintain proper hygiene in real life — who wants their virtual avatar to lose friends on account of bad body odor? Sure, you’ll get bedhead in “Animal Crossing” if you don’t play for a few weeks, but a quick trip to Shampoodle will fix that. Did you hear that? “Shampoodle.” A hair salon run by a perky poodle. Who wouldn’t want to get their hair done there? I guess a “Sims” avatar could resemble the player, but I get enough of my own face during the day. Just let me look chibi-fied when I want to relax!
The bottom line: Video games are all about escapism. Is “The Sims” really an escape?