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Fascinating and endlessly playable God-sim

The Sim series has always been one notable for its ambition and scale, with everything from SimCity to SimCopter and SimSafari all attempting to recreate various aspects of life for videogamers to wreak havoc in. In SimLife, we have perhaps the most complex version yet, as the game attempts to replicate life itself, so for any players with a serious God-complex, this has to be up there with Black & White as a must play. The idea here is to create and sustain an entire ecosystem, where the genetics of every organism within that system can be modified as you see fit, with your choices affecting whether your creations live or die. The concept is an undeniably fascinating one, as you are literally creating worlds and playing with nature, altering living creatures, both plant and animal, at a genetic level and in a way which Charles Darwin would either have been fascinated with or horrified by. There isn't really an overall point to SimLife, beyond testing out variations on genetically modified creatures, so if you like structure to your games, then this is unlikely to appeal, but its playground-like nature means that if you enjoy just experimenting and fooling around, then this is likely to prove endlessly fascinating. You can create an almost infinite array of animals with their own unique characteristics so the game is only really constrained by your imagination, a fact which goes some way to making up for its lacklustre visual and sound design. If you've ever wondered how an egg-laying kangaroo or giant tree-eating snail would fare in the real world, then this is the way to find out. There is a certain sense of pointlessness to it though, so be wary when trying this out.

Playing God in the full sense

This game takes playing God on a whole new level. In Sim Life, you get to control every aspect of life on the world of the game - you get to design and manipulate the genes of various animals and plants, and even control the ecosystem, like temperature, winds, changing seasons in a year, water levels and much, much more. You are the Creator of Life himself! You can have lions with trumpets for noses, flying fish, cats with wings, you name it. You can even change the course of evolution and the physics law. The game truly is the genetic playground, like the game developers advertised it. So go ahead, use your wildest imagination and create a world as you see fit. The game has a very easy to use panel and you won't have any trouble adjusting to the gameplay. The graphics are pretty solid but nothing outstanding, and the same goes for the sound system. So, if you like games like Spore and Sim Earth and want to play God, you should definitely give this game a shot.

The original Spore

You can consider this game as the original Spore. You can control almost every aspect of life for your planet, you can change evolution, and you can even change physics! This game is pretty fun with all of the things you can do, so if you have some hours or days, give it a try.
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SimLife (simlife: the genetic playground) (pc game)
4.41 out of 5 (27 votes)

Images gallery:

  • Title screen
  • Choosing a game style
  • Main map screen
  • A blank state
  • Checking out the options
  • Creating a world
  • Adding in some mutagens
  • How about some fish?
  • Life finds a way
  • Coming along nicely
  • Throw in some plants
  • Summary of life forms
  • Save game screen
  • Game title screen
  • Courtesy of Abandonware Dos.
  • Courtesy of Abandonware France.
  • Image extracted from gameplay video.