Breaking out the leeches in the Sims Medieval

Sims medieval - threaten

Are you bored of your modern-day Sims? Have you slept with every Sim in town? Built the biggest house, maxed-out all the careers, tired of your perfectly recreated Cullen family? Fear not, god-complex fans, now there's a new way to indulge your hunger for power. And it involves leeches.

Don't worry, this is still very much part of the Sims franchise, it's just way, way old school. Set in ye olde medieval times, as the title cryptically hints, this iteration places your Sims in a middle-ages kingdom, and it's up to you what ambitions you have for it. I'm not sure if that covers creating the medieval version of the Playboy mansion. I'm guessing they're thinking more along the lines of conquering neighbouring kingdoms or advancing technologically.

You'll start out with a single building and your very own Sim hero. Naturally you can customise him or her to look exactly as you wish, from a mini replica of yourself to a pixellated tribute to that girl with the red hair who works in the canteen. You can pick their traits and, excitingly, a fatal flaw. A knight with a potentially deadly nut allergy, anyone?

Your hero or heroine can then go on quests, to unlock new buildings and new useful folks for your kingdom, such as doctors. It's up to you how you go about completing your heroic duties, but it's not all glamour. Depending on your character's type you'll still need to perform chores, such as collecting leeches to 'heal' (or, you know, bleed) patients if you're a doctor, or, prancing about if you're a bard. Fail and it's the stocks for you, where you'll get one of your five a day with a face full of rotten turnip. One of the biggest changes is that there's combat. And not the happy slappy hissyfits your Sim might have indulged in when he discovered his virtual missus having woohoo with the next-door neighbour. This is actual swishing of swords. OK, so it's basic, more about choosing set attacks than serious real-time stabbing, but it should provide a new edge to the usual routine of eating, working and trying to sleep with the local bard.

Like The Sims 3: World Adventures expansion, this sounds like it will offer more objective-based play for people who find the open-ended nature of the series a little pointless.

These new objectives and opportunities for japes come at a price, however, and it's at your castle that you start paying. Sims fanatics are used to having complete control over every inch of their interactive dollhouse, but this time around there's no fiddling with the design of the buildings you add to your kingdom. Here's hoping we'll be too busy attaching leeches to our unmentionables to notice.

Rachel Penny


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