Over the last few years, many Sims 4 fans have started to search for an alternative life sim that responds to some common criticisms of the franchise’s direction. Upcoming indie game Paralives recently released early footage that suggests it may well be what we’re looking for.
Paralives is set to release in Early Access in 2025, so the game is still a ways away. However, from what we’ve seen so far, many fans of life sims such as The Sims are excited to see some elements of the Paralives demo that directly respond to common complaints with The Sims 4 and fears about Project Rene. Here’s why Paralives just might be a perfect fit for Sims 4 fans.
What is Paralives?
First, a little background. Paralives is an indie life sim developed by Paralives Studio for Mac and PC. The game is Patreon-backed, and a gameplay teaser trailer and launch date for Early Access were recently released.
Patreon backers have been following the progress of this upcoming game for quite some time, with updates from the team. Now, the first trailer and promise of when we’ll have our hands on the game has really spawned excitement around this Sims 4 competitor.
Paralives has a clear development roadmap that outlines the features and work they’re doing on the game step by step. This is common for crowdfunded projects on platforms like Patreon, but it’s also a pretty stark contrast to games like The Sims 4.
In part because the community and team are so large, fan questions and concerns often go unanswered, making it unclear when and if long-standing bugs and issues will be addressed. Having this level of transparency about future plans and goals is certainly a breath of fresh air for many life sim fans.
Over the years, The Sims has drifted away from some of the earlier wants-focused gameplay we saw in Sims 2 and Sims 3. Many fans have missed these features, and comments on the Paralives gameplay demo make it clear that gamers are excited to see a new life sim that brings back this model.
From the demo, we see that the paras in the game have wants and needs and that following those wants is a key part of gameplay. As one commenter puts it, “What really gets me excited is the promise of a true and contextual Wants-based gameplay loop.” The developers have even shared that they plan to incorporate fears as well, giving the paras a real relationship with the world around them.
No Paid DLC
Perhaps the biggest complaint from Sims 4 fans in recent years is just how many exciting features in the game are wrapped up in DLC paywalls. From bigger expansions to tiny stuff packs, The Sims is an expensive hobby if you want to keep up with the latest and greatest. While the base game is free to play and does receive quality of life and feature updates, many gamers aren’t loving the shift to having so much content in pricey DLCs. With Project Rene set to be a free base game as well, fans fear this model will continue.
On their Patreon page, the Paralives developers highlight their intention to make updates free, not paid. While some fans expressed concerns about the financial feasibility of this model, many others feel it’s a breath of fresh air compared with other games. Seeing new and exciting features come to the game you’ve already purchased is an enticing change for many fans.
While fans of The Sims 4 no doubt remain excited for future updates for the game and for Project Rene, it’s exciting to see some true competitors enter the space with features that match what we’ve been asking for all along.