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"The Sims" Might Have Major Competition Coming: An Early Look at "Paralives"

Kenzie needed a quick escape from real-life pressures, and found "The Sims 4." She now enjoys playing, writing, and YouTubing the game.

Could Paralives Blow The Sims Away?

Life simulation games have been around since the 1980s, but none have come close to being as big or as popular as The Sims franchise. Now in its fourth generation, the game, which was developed by Maxis and is published by Electronic Arts, enables fans to play virtual characters of their own creation and live in a virtual world that they can customize.

A new indie life simulation game is in the works right now, and it just may be the first real rival to The Sims. Life simulation game fans, including fans of The Sims, are impressed with the sneak peeks and are getting excited.

About Paralives

Paralives, a portmanteau of "parallel" and "lives," is a brand-new life simulation "sandbox" game in production. Created by software engineer Alex Massé, it initially started as a spare-time solo project. Thanks to crowdfunding for the game, he's quit his day job to dedicate himself to the project full time and hired has 3D artists Roxane Morin and Léa Sorribès.

Massé explains on his website, "In Paralives, you are free to build homes, create characters and manage their lives inside their homes and all-around an open-world town. The game features innovative build tools that are easy to use but powerful for advanced builders. The simulation mode allows players to explore a city full of events, people to meet, and ways to make their characters evolve and live [a] happy life (or not, if they choose to)!"

The game features innovative build tools that are easy to use but powerful for advanced builders.

— Alex Massé

What Sims Fans Want

An open-world is something that Sims fans have been requesting from Maxis for a while. In The Sims 4, each lot is a fixed size and shape (square or rectangle) with a grid on it. When building on a property, grids restrict where you can put structures and items, and you're strictly confined to the lot's borders. If you want to visit another lot, even if it's just the next-door neighbor's house, you have to travel and wait for a new lot to load.

Another thing Sims fans have been calling for is more build mode options. Building homes is an incredibly popular aspect of The Sims 4. While the game has thousands of items available in build mode, choices still feel relatively limited for those who enjoy this aspect of the game. For example, the style of bed you like for a room might not come in the color you want, or the wood cabinets you like for a kitchen design might clash with the wood molding on the windows or wall colors you like.

The sneak peeks at Paralives appear to have solved the kinds of complaints a lot of Simmers have by offering better customization tools. Players can easily manipulate the size, shape, color, finish, and details on build items.

A "Paralives" Room: Slanted walls, curved walls, split-level, angled stairs—this game appears to have it all.

A "Paralives" Room: Slanted walls, curved walls, split-level, angled stairs—this game appears to have it all.

What Paralives Is Promising

Teaser videos of Paralives already have Sims fans drooling. It appears as though the game designer takes care to fulfill the wish list of Sims fans. Based on the short video demonstrations, the game appears to offer the players the ability to:

  • design and edit the size and shapes of lots
  • change the size, shape, and placement of objects without restrictions
  • flip and stack objects
  • fully customize the color of items using a color wheel
  • change the finish and details on items
  • build walls or place stairs at any angle
  • make curved walls
  • create split-level rooms with ease

These videos are just a taste; Paralives promises much more, including cars, bikes, boats, pets, seasons, and an open world in which your Parafolk can play.

Too Good to Be True?

One thing Paralives has not revealed yet is the design for their "Parafolk," or the people who will occupy this game's world. Much will hinge on the look of the characters, and life simulation game fans are waiting for a peek. The game creator promises they'll be fully customizable, boasting an "advanced character creator" and "Complex personalities and character AI."

Can Paralives deliver what it promises? Only time will tell, but hopefully, gamers won't have to wait that long. A release date has not yet been announced, but Paralives is slated to be released on the game platform Steam this year (2020).

I'm keeping a close eye on "Paralives," and will keep you updated if I learn any new information.

What's Your Take?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Kenzie Cartwright