The Sims: How it started vs how it's going

It's been 20 years since The Sims first captured our imagination. The game has come a long way - and it just keeps going.

If you have spent any amount of time on social media over the last few weeks, you’ve probably seen the how it started/how it’s going comparison pictures.... or challenge, as the kids would call it.

Since The Sims has been going for over 20 years (yep, we’re old), it’s a no brainer that the simulation game that changed our lives and taught us many of life’s important lessons needs its own version of that.

While there are many things wrong with The Sims 4, the game has come a very long way since those early days and it continues to fascinate and intrigue old and new players all over the world.

After all, when the whole world is spinning out of control, what better way to stabilise yourself than with a game where you are in charge of absolutely everything?

One of the most endearing parts of The Sims franchise is the storylines that have been weaved through generations (yeah, yeah, The Sims 4 doesn’t have that…).

It’s kind of mythical and the backstories (made up by the developers and theories by the players) are one of the things that sets The Sims apart from other simulation games.

So, while we might groan about not having bunk beds and the gazillion bugs that make the game glitch, The Sims remains a staple of our lives and we’re so happy that they got to grow up with us.

The Goth Family: How it started vs How it's going

One of the game's OG families, Bella, Mortimer and Cassandra Goth all first appeared in the game's debut edition. Bella's lived quite the life - including that whole disappearance fiasco. Young Alexander first appeared in The Sims 2,

Bella Goth

Bella Goth

Mortimer Goth

mortimer goth the sims

Cassandra Goth

Cassandra-Goth

Alexander Goth

alexander goth the sims

Grim

Fun fact for new players - The Grim Reaper only arrived in The Sims through an expansion pack. Livin' Large remains an iconic Sims pack, but we're glad to have Grim around all the time now.

grim the sims

Tragic Clown

Sunny the Tragic Clown was introduced as an NPC in the The Sims: Livin' Large. Sunny just wants Sims to be happy, but it doesn't go so well.

In The Sims 4, the Tragic Clown first appeared in the form of an eponymous painting. It was added to mark the 16th anniversary of the series. Sims who view the painting will receive the "Tragic Clown is Tragic" moodlet and become sad.

Later, a patch was added which would see the Tragic Clown randomly appear in world. In The Sims 4 Tragic Clown is not an independent character, but rather a special role that a Sim is generated to fill (similar to mixologists in nightclubs and gardeners community gardens). This means you can add Sunny to your family.

tragic clown the sims

The Pleasant Family

The Pleasant family is one of the oldest families in The Sims - but often forgotten.  Jeff and Diane Pleasant - parents to Daniel Pleasant - all appear in the game's first edition. Jeff and Di have long since passed away, but Daniel lives on in The Sims 4, married to Mary-Sue Oldie. They have two children - Angela and Lilith - who both first appeared in The Sims 2.

Daniel appears as a child in the original game, but has aged up in The Sims 2. And while you might not know much of it in The Sims 4, dear Daniel was having an affair with the family's maid.

Mary Sue first appeared as Mary-Sue Oldie in The Sims 2, adopted by Cora and Herb. In The Sims 2, she has memories of being besties with Cassandra Goth since they were kids.

Maxis recreated Mary-Sue and her family in The Sims 4 and uploaded them to the gallery in 2019.

Mary-Sue Pleasant

mary-sue-pleasant

Daniel Pleasant

daniel-pleasant

Angela Pleasant

angela-pleasant

Lilith Pleasant

lillith-pleasant the sims

Don Lothario

One of the game's biggest villains, who was once engaged to Cassandra Goth, there are many theories about his role in Bella Goth's disappearance.

One of the game's biggest villians, who was once engaged to Cassandra Goth, there are many theories about his role in Bella Goth's disappearance.

The game has a somewhat strange timeline, with The Sims 4 apparently being in an alternate universe - so this slimeball Don appears in Oasis Springs in The Sims 4 base game, residing in a house with Dina Caliente, Nina Caliente, and their mother Katrina Caliente (a whole story on its own).

He goes about living his life as if he was never accused of being involved in Bella Goth's disappearance in any reality - alternate or present.

Don-Lothario

The Newbie Family

Another one of the OG families in The Sims - used as the tutorial family in the original version of the game. While there were some theories that the Newbies became the Pancakes family, Bob and Bettie were both recreated by Maxis in 2019. Bob has scrubbed up a bit since his days of being a slob in The Sims.

Bob Newbie

bob newbie the sims


Betty Newbie

betty newbie the sims

The Landgraab family

The Landgraab family transcends The Sims with Landgraab Industries a prominent feature in building names in SimCity 3000. Gregory Landgraab is believed to the chief capitalist responsible for the family's fotunes.

The family we see in The Sims 4 first appeared in The Sims 3. Malcolm is a child in The Sims 3.

Geoffrey Landgraab

Geoffrey-Landgraab

Nancy Landgraab

nancy-landgraab

Malcolm Landgraab

Malcolm-Landgraab

Cars

Oh yes, we went there. In the original version of The Sims, a carpool would collect Sims for work - the cars getting better as Sims move up the career ladder.

While there are technically cars in The Sims 4, they are only available as ambient objects. They're available in debug and can be seen driving around the worlds in The Sims, but players cannot actually interact with them - unless you use the Brookheights open world mod.

We know that the new Sims 4 expansion pack, set to be announced on 20 October 2020, won't have anything to do with cars - but might the base game get them in the future?

cars
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Antoinette Muller
Antoinette is a recovering journalist. She's a multi-award winner and thinks it's strange writing about herself in the third person, unless she's playing as herself in The Sims.