Upon venturing into Peeps’ senior years in The Sims 4, one of the first things I did was to revert to her “given” name, Penelope. Though she will always be “Peeps” to her friends and loved ones, calling her that at this stage felt a little too breezy. After all, Ms. Bradley had become a fashion influencer extraordinaire and had earned some grace and formality…not that she was every very graceful. (I never did figure out if/how to overcome her “clumsy” attribute; my goodness, thin king about the number of dishes she’s broken over the years is enough to make her bank account blush!) Which is fine because towards the end, she spent nearly all of her time working from home.
But computer time wasn’t all that Penelope loved. In the recent past she had met a nice guy named Adam, and the two hit it off nicely.
They went out on many dates and seemed to have good time all around.
At a certain point, the two became quite close.
Once Adam’s “boyfriend meter” filled up, I caught a new “conversation” choice wherein Penelope could ask Adam to move in with her. Hmm, that seemed like an interesting prospect. Only, before I could think twice about it, and new notification popped up while the two were out.
Despite knowing that Sims “died,” this notification still took me by surprise. I thought about it for awhile. I thought about all the things Penelope hadn’t done over the course of her life. I thought about all the things in the to which I didn’t pay much attention. I thought that maybe I should try to give Penelope a “last hurrah” of sorts – marry Adam, move into a big house, buy her that high-end PC she would likely adore.
In the end, I went another route. I decided to sit back and let the game weave together her final days. This consisted of Penelope…
But it wasn’t all good food and good friends, as one day near the very end, Penelope woke up one day in the dreaded “vary sad” state.
Her phone reveled that, in fact, Adam has passed away. She was heartbroken, and so was I. And I felt even worse that I hadn’t opted for Adam and her to live together at the end.
However, it turned out that Penelope had little time to mourn. Just a few hours after she awoke that same day, this notification appeared.
And then, without further ado, Penelope literally laid down in her kitchen…
...and passed away, grim reaper and all. No, really.
Alas, Peeps, err…Penelope, I knew thee well. Though maybe not well enough. Farewell.
As a Sims newcomer, my experience with The Sims 4 can be wrapped up in the following words: compelling, cheerful, and clunky. I found that I was far more drawn into playing out Peeps’ story than I initially thought I might be. I found the game to be generally pleasant and easy-going, even though I didn’t take advantage of everything it offered. And I found that was the case primarily because of the game’s less-than-intuitive, PC-based control scheme. Using a controller to dig through game’s menus wasn’t very enjoyable or easy, though, I think I’d likely have a better time with things if I were to try the game again.
Which begs the question, would I play The Sims 4 again, or any other Sims game, for that matter? I’m not sure. I enjoyed Peeps as a character, watching her world expand in various ways, and getting to know that world in more ways than one, but I think that was mostly due to “first time” vibes. In the end, playing the game was a less exciting than the act of getting to know the game. And now that I know the game, if even in its barest form, I don’t feel inclined to repeat things with a new character, even though I know that the experience with no two Sims is bound to be at all the same. I’m glad it was free, and I’m glad to keep it in my library for now. For if ever that life-simulation mood strikes, at least I’ll have a proper outlet.
All images including lede taken by author during PS4 gameplay of The Sims 4 © Maxis, Electronic Arts (2014).