8 Games You Should Play If You Like 'The Sims 2'

Duplicating "The Sims" series would be impossible. There have been attempts, but most can't even begin to compare. When you need a break from "The Sims," try different life sims that have many of the same qualities, like the depth and addictive play.

Just because you like "The Sims 2" doesn't mean you'll love all the games on this list. Download the demos, read reviews, and ask your friends if they've played any of them.

Virtual Families

Screenshot © Last Day of Work.

What We Like

  • Large variety of characters.

  • Very addictive and fun.

  • Accomplish goals for trophies.

What We Don't Like

  • Tutorial isn't thorough.

  • Takes a lot of effort to earn money.

  • Real-time gameplay may not be convenient for everyone.

The creators of "Plant Tycoon" and "Virtual Villagers" have completed another real-time game. "Virtual Families" takes the concept of "The Sims" (we all love managing families, right?) and puts that together with the real-time game engine of "Virtual Villagers." Your virtual family needs you to check in on them a few times a day. "Virtual Families" does not have the level of detail as "The Sims" games. It makes that up in creativity and real-time play.

MySims

Box Cover © Electronic Arts.

What We Like

  • Focused on building and creating.

  • Great game for children.

  • Colorful graphics.

What We Don't Like

  • Somewhat unpolished.

  • Very different than most Sims games.

  • Can get repetitive.

The creators of "Plant Tycoon" and "Virtual Villagers" have completed another real-time game. "Virtual Families" takes the concept of "The Sims" (we all love managing families, right?) and puts that together with the real-time game engine of "Virtual Villagers." Your virtual family needs you to check in on them a few times a day. "Virtual Families" does not have the level of detail as "The Sims" games. It makes that up in creativity and real-time play.

Kudos 2

What We Like

  • Customize your virtual world with mods.

  • Highly addictive gameplay.

What We Don't Like

  • Outdated graphics.

  • Little gameplay variety.

Instead of a whole family of Sims, try caring for just one! The objective of "Kudos 2" is to earn kudos (what the points are called) for reaching specific goals, such as writing a song or arresting a criminal. The area of life you focus on is up to you. Your character could be all about their career, socializing, or just generally improving the character's attributes. The job position a character takes on will affect the rest of the areas of life. A job could cause stress or just generally make someone unhappy with life.

The Movies

The Movies
Box Cover © Activision.

What We Like

  • Lots of new build-and-buy items.

  • New clothing, room styles, and hairstyles.

  • Affordably priced.

What We Don't Like

  • Small movie selection.

  • New items lack variety.

Hire actors, build sets, release movies, and help the actors become stars. "The Movies" is detailed orientated throughout the movie's creation. Not only will you run your own movie studio, you will be making your movies right in the game. The movie making part lets you create movies using sets within your studio, scripted scenes, and customize audio. If you aren't into the idea of making movies, managing the actors and buying new studios will keep you occupied. Stars will need your attention to guide them to earn the right skills and to be kept happy as they gain star status.

Virtual Villagers

Screenshot © Last Day of Work.

What We Like

  • Hand select your first tribe.

  • Doesn't require hours of time investment.

  • Fun surprises produced by villagers.

  • Appropriate for preteens and teens.

What We Don't Like

  • Can get tedious over time.

  • May not be appropriate for younger children.

Villagers stranded on an island need your help to solve the puzzles of the island. "Virtual Villagers" has 16 puzzles that will be solved by exploring the island, research, and construction. The villagers do not require as much individual attention as Sims, instead point them in the right direction and they will mostly keep up their work. Because "Virtual Villagers" runs in real-time, it's an excellent option when you have a few minutes to waste or for taking a break from real work. There are currently 3 games in the series. That's hours of game time.

Black and White 2

Box Cover © Lionhead Studios.

What We Like

  • Build an army to protect your city.

  • High replay value.

What We Don't Like

  • Less open ended than the original.

  • Poor enemy AI.

Be God to a world that was pleading for a God to help them. You'll raise a creature, wage wars, create settlements, and answer the prayers of your people. It's your choice whether you are a good God or an evil one. You have some control over what the villagers do. "Black and White 2" has you approach the village more as a whole than dealing with individuals.

ER: The Game

What We Like

  • Interesting dialogue.

  • Cool premise.

What We Don't Like

  • No overarching story.

  • Restrictive character customization.

You are a new intern at the hospital are challenged with small problems, like bruises, and major emergencies like gang violence. Like the ER TV show, medical issues aren't the only situations you'll encounter as you work to gain prestige in "ER." There is also romance and ethical issues that you'll have to work through.

Ciao Bella

What We Like

  • Engaging plot.

  • Multiple possible outcomes.

  • Fun characters.

What We Don't Like

  • Too easy for some players.

  • Follows a rigid plot.

  • Not much replay value.

Elena needs your help to land herself a husband and keep her career moving forward. The turn-based simulator is divided into 13 weeks, each week with specific goals you'll have to meet to continue. Despite the fact that the overall gameplay is simple, "Ciao Bella" offers a good number of hours of play time.