Game Review: Virtual Families
If you’ve already played through the Sims you may be looking for similar challenge and that is what Virtual Families offers with it’s real time game play, achievements, puzzles, marriage and child birth. Virtual Families looks like it could be a complete replacement to your real day to day life.
Virtual Families is a casual family sim that runs in true real time. Adopt a little person from the thousands of choices of little people who live inside your iPhone. Encourage them to work in their chosen career to earn money for necessities and luxuries, help them choose a suitable mate, start and raise a family, let them kick back with a variety of leisure activities, and take care of and improve their home.
Firing up VF’s throw’s you immediately into your white, middle-class home and life style. A big house in suburbia is fully fitted out and waiting for you to move into and other than an initial trash clean up your home is in immaculate condition. It also appears that your life is too as within a couple of minutes of game-play a virtual wife, (or husband) is offered to you via email! You don’t have to accept the first husband offered but if you do you are quickly on your way to your nuclear family and getting your first child is pretty easy too. You can either drag and drop one of your characters onto the other to initiate a strange fertility dance or you can adopt a child. And while the game makers will allow a single parent family via adoption there’s no option to have a same sex marriage with or without children. This is definitely 1960’s suburbia in all it’s glory.
Your family has many chores to do and this is handled neatly enough by simply dragging and dropping them to the appropriate area in your house or yard. As is usual your virtual character will give you hints as to what they wish to and you can also see a view of their current needs via the details tab. Keeping their Happiness, Health, Fed and Energy levels high is key to keeping everyone happy. When they do something right you can encourage them to repeat that action by praising them, and can equally discourage them by using the scolding glove. It’s advised to use the scolding glove sparingly but I quite enjoyed seeing my little VS running away when I scolded them!
The actions come at you thick and fast and you’ll soon be fixing things, cleaning things and working on your career and while these can be fun at first the daily chores can soon become repetitive and boring, esp. when you have a partner and child to look after too. Some of the chores are simple tasks, while other will rely on you to complete a certain set of tasks before you can move on.
While you can continue to grow you family, after and extended time playing you can be in control of 8 family members because the game play is limited to your house and yard the options are definitely limited. You can do the usual tasks of upgrading your house and buying new items for it the lack of locations and esp. the lack of social interactions and relationship building limits the enjoyment that you can have playing this game.
The game does look good. Your single story home is spacious and has all the mod-cons that any middle-class family would come to expect. The sound FX are limited and the music is your standard lounge muzak which does nothing to add to the game.
If you are a fan of the mundane then perhaps this game is for you, but if you are looking for a more enjoyable challenge then look elsewhere. Virtual Families is a Sims wannabe, where there is too much reality and not enough virtual.
- Lots to do
- Quick way to find out if you want a large family
- Easy controls
The Not So Good
- Repetitive gameplay
- Single location
- No social interaction
Reviewed By: CraigWillis
Virtual Families Screenshots