In meta fashion, and with the help of Amazon, EA has brought a little piece of The Sims into your living room, bedroom, or wherever else your Alexa may be listening to your every utterance. As EA mentioned in a press release yesterday, Sims fans now have the option to drive their entire household crazy with hours of music from The Sims, Sims trivia, and Sims facts. You can also drive your Sims households crazy with Lin-Z, an in-game virtual personal assistant that is a lot like Alexa.
I do not own an Alexa, but I had to try out this new feature, so I called my mom and asked her to bring over the Alexa she got for Christmas. Like a real sim, I've left the Alexa on for the last few hours continuously playing music, despite leaving my house on two separate occasions to get lunch and the mail. I'm still listening to it right now as I write this article. I'll probably leave it on when I try to go to sleep later tonight, but then wake up angry because my light-sleeper trait means I get woken up by noise easily.
But aside from trying to figure out if my life is real or a simulation, The Sims music Alexa plays isn't limited to the just covers of popular songs in Simlish. The classic build/buy mode tune is one of the original game songs that's included with over seven hours of other music. I may or may not had to stop myself from rearranging furniture in my apartment as that song played.
Those seven hours include music from all The Sims games. You can say a specific command if you just want to listen to music from one Sims game, but unlike the radio—and Lin-Z—in the actual games, Alexa won't necessarily sort the songs by genre. There is a command for it, but I couldn't get it to work.
The trivia game has three levels of difficulty for the occasional Sims player to the die-hard Sims player. Challenge mode, the highest level of difficulty, won't offer you multiple choice questions, so bring your encyclopedic Sims knowledge because they get tough. Although, one of the questions was, "What language do the Sims speak?" Every Sims player should know that one, I would hope.
Listening to all of the facts about the development and history of The Sims is also entertaining, and I'm sure there's a few surprises in there that even the most well-versed Sims players aren't already aware of. I wasn't aware that Sims creator Will Wright was inspired to create The Sims after his home was one of the first to burn in the Oakland-Berkeley Firestorm in 1991, for instance.
With Lin-Z, your sims can do all the same things you can do with Alexa, and order stuff like pizza, repair services, and adjust home lighting—even yell at and insult it. The Lin-Z sounds angrier when your sim gets a question wrong in trivia mode, almost like a possessed robot, and the first time I had my sim ask it to tell him a joke, Lin-Z ignored him, which made him sad, and then I had to have him call the sadness hotline through his cell phone because you can't call the sadness hotline via Lin-Z. I couldn't call the sadness hotline through my Alexa either.
Lin-Z is only available on The Sims 4, but if you haven't added it to your sims' household yet, you can now through the build/buy mode. The Amazon Alexa skill commands are currently only available in English, although I'm holding out hope that commands in Simlish will be available at some point. What could be better than inviting your friends over for a party, walking around with Plumbobs above your head, and singing Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night"?