With the release of yesterday's Scenarios update, The Sims 4 now has official versions of the kind of challenge runs that players have been inventing for years. The first of these Scenarios asks simmers to create fresh families and then chase specific goals. So far, they include raising too many toddlers, making 1,000,000 simoleons, or turning a hated roommate into an "enemy with benefits".
The new challenges sound like a good way to get back into The Sims 4, or a reason to dabble in Live Mode for the folks like me who are always too preoccupied with building. As Electronic Arts says in its post about (opens in new tab) the update, "we looked to our vast community to see how you all have been inspiring others, so we’ve leaned into the concept of challenges as inspiration for this feature."
Sure enough, if you've heard of the 100 babies challenge you may recognize the Too Many Toddlers Scenario as a slightly less grueling version that only requires you to manage three children simultaneously. There's also a Making Money Scenario that challenges your Sim to start with not a single simoleon in their pocket and find a way to become a millionaire, which is reminiscent of the popular rags to riches challenge (opens in new tab).
I particularly love the sound of the Surviving The Holidays Scenario, which has players creating a family with two roommates who start out with grudges against one another. To win the Scenario, you'll need to either turn the enemies into friends who don't have any negative sentiments towards one another or get them to be enemies with benefits. If that one has roots in a community-made challenge then I'm not familiar with it, but I feel like I've seen this plot in my yearly Hallmark movie binge and I am all about it.
I imagine that the really difficult, off-the-wall challenges like 100 babies will stay the domain of Sims livestreamers and content creators. It's neat to see some entry point challenges officially recognized in game though. The thing about community challenges is that multiple versions of a rule set can get passed around. Not only that, but your game of course doesn't actually recognize the wild hoops you're attempting to jump through. Having an official Scenarios mode in the main menu likely streamlines the setup process and has the added bonus of being recognized by the game. EA says that your Scenario save will keep track of in-game time as you play and let you know how long it took you once checked off.
It's particularly fun that Scenarios prescribe win conditions but leave the starting point up to interpretation. Since you're in charge of creating the Sim or family that will undertake it, you should have a lot of leeway to tune the difficulty with your own weird ideas. You could undertake the Too Many Toddlers scenario with a sim who has the Hates Children trait, if you want to create a hard mode run.
Scenarios currently require you to create a new family, though EA say in the future you'll be able to use an existing family. The challenges will have some possible solutions listed in the main menu, but there will also be other ways to win that aren't listed. More Scenarios will be added in the future, on top of the five that launched this week, some of which EA say will only be available for a limited time.
Personally I think I need to try that Surviving The Holidays Scenario because really, who can resist a good enemies-to-lovers story?