For over 20 years now, The Sims series has been one of the most popular video game collections out there. Spawning four base games and numerous spin-offs and expansion packs, the franchise has gone from strength to strength thanks to its addictive gameplay and ever-expanding capabilities. It's the simplicity of the concept that makes it so effective: you create your Sim family, raise them from birth to the end, and take them on a journey that's yours to control. If you're a wannabe architect, you can spend hours building extravagant mansions for your characters. If you want to play deity, you can end your Sims off in increasingly more inventive ways. The possibilities are pretty much endless!
As with any long-running video game series, the technological advances that have been made over the past couple of decades have led to more and more gameplay elements being added to each new title. It's hard to believe that there was once a time when Sims didn't actually age, or when the seasons didn't change with each passing in-game day. Considering just how much the Sims franchise has grown, it's strange to think that among the numerous changes that have been made, there are plenty of scrapped features that have never seen the light of day. The Sims games could have been so different if some of these characters, events, and scenarios had been kept in! Here are just some of the cut features that would have changed everything if EA and Maxis had only kept them in their final products.
25 The Fire Warning
Fire has always been one of the biggest threats to the wellbeing of our Sims. Asking your Sim to prepare a meal when their cooking skill is too low is a sure-fire way to cause a blazing inferno to engulf their entire home. Generally, there's no way of telling if or when a cooking-related fire will occur.
However, that wasn't always going to be the case!
Originally, a warning was programmed to pop up if your Sim's cooking skill was going to cause a fire. You could choose to cook anyway or save your Sim from a fiery doom.
24 The Downtown Curfew
In 2001, The Sims: Hot Date introduced Downtown, a new area that your Sims could visit to go and dates and have some fun. They could go for a leisurely stroll in the park, pick up a new outfit to impress their romantic interest or stop off for a meal at one of the area's restaurants. There was no time limit to the fun, either: Downtown was open 24/7! This was a late addition to the game, though: originally, the area was set to close at 2 am. We're glad they got rid of that party-pooping curfew!
23 The Missing Lots
Players of the original Sims game will probably remember that initially, only 10 lots were available for your characters to live in. That number slowly increased as each expansion pack was added. In total, The Sims eventually included around 80 residential and community lots—or at least, 80 accessible lots. The game was actually able to handle a total of 100 different lots, but around 20 of these didn't make the final cut. They're accessible via cheats, but still not actually usable.
22 The "Family" Motive Bar
One of the many challenges involved in playing any game in the Sims franchise is keeping your characters' "motive bars" in a healthy area at all times. If their Energy bar drops too low, they'll pass out; if their Hunger bar drains until it's empty, the Sim will starve to the end. The different motives that are measured in the game have remained pretty much identical since The Sims came out—although The Sims 2 nearly brought a big change. A "Family" motive bar was almost added, which revolved around your Sims interacting positively with their nearest and dearest.
21 The Sims 2: Seasons (Kind Of)
The Seasons expansion pack has been a firm favorite of Sims fans for some time now. The amount of hype generated in the community when The Sims 4: Seasons dropped in June shows just how important this aspect of gameplay is to fans! What a lot of Simmers don't realize is that Seasons was originally just going to be an aspect of the base game version of The Sims 2—not an expansion pack. However, the game's development team encountered too many glitches for this to become a reality, and Seasons became a later add-on.
20 Emotional Memories
The Sims 2 introduced a lot of new mechanics into the franchise, including the concept of Sim "memories." Notable and important events, such as marriage, having children, and putting out a fire, were added to a Sim's memory bank.
A Sim's memories didn't really impact gameplay at all.
They existed more for players to look back on later. This wasn't always going to be the case, though! Originally, if a Sim had too many bad memories, it was programmed to impact their mood negatively—and vice-versa. However, this concept was eventually scrapped.
19 The Power Aspiration
Another new gameplay element that The Sims 2 added was the Aspiration system. Essentially, your Sim could choose one of a number of goals to strive for and would receive various benefits if they managed to meet their target. Adult Sims could choose one of five Aspirations: Romance, Fortune, Knowledge, Popularity, and Family. Originally, though, there was going to be a sixth Aspiration: Power. This would have functioned as a blending of the Popularity and Fortune Aspirations but was abandoned midway through development.
18 The Population Counter
While this feature wouldn't have affected gameplay too much in The Sims 2, it would have been pretty neat to see in action. Apparently, in early versions of the game a "population counter" was visible on the neighborhood screen of each world. As you'd expect, this would be nothing more than a tally of the number of Sims in the neighborhood at any given time. Those players who like to force their Sims to meet grisly ends would presumably have enjoyed seeing that counter slowly going down.
17 Functional Cars
In The Sims, cars were nowhere near to being fully functional. Your Sims wouldn't even get in them realistically: they'd seemingly teleport from the pavement to the inside of their work carpool, then be hastily driven away. It looks like cars were initially intended to be a bit more realistic, though. There's an unused animation in the game's code that shows a Sim climbing into a car in a realistic, normal-human kind of way. This clearly didn't make the final version of the game, probably because it was an easy thing to cut.
16 The Party Clown
Before you panic, the Party Clown character in The Sims sounds nowhere near as sinister as the Tragic Clown featured in the Livin' Large expansion pack. This scrapped NPC was intended to be an entertainer for children's birthday parties.
It's a pretty cute idea if you think about it!
However, since children—and adults—can't actually age in the original Sims, having any kind of "birthday party" scenario wouldn't really make sense. Thus, the poor Party Clown was cut.
15 Power Outages
While The Sims 2 was jam-packed with new content and new gameplay mechanics for Simmers to enjoy, it was originally programmed to have even more situations present for your poor Sims to deal with. These included a power outage scenario, in which your Sim and their family would have to cope with being left without power for around 7 or 8 hours. This could either end really well for your Sims and earn them an unknown reward, or go horribly wrong and make them miserable. Sounds a lot like real life, really...
14 The Big Boss
Another scenario that was cut from The Sims 2 was one involving the "Big Boss". This would have been pretty similar to the "having the headmaster over for dinner" scenario that actually did make it into the final game. The Big Boss would arrive in his helicopter, expecting an evening at your house filled with delicious food and an interesting house tour. If you managed to impress him, you'd be granted a $750 bonus, amongst other benefits. If not... Well, your Sim's future career prospects might not have been so great.
13 The Grandparent Scenario
We don't know too much about the Grandparent Scenario: it was scrapped from The Sims 2 in the very early stages of the game's development and hadn't been fully fleshed out yet. However, from the little game data left, it seems like this scenario would have involved older Sims having to look after one of their beloved grandchildren. Again this scenario could have been "won" or "lost", depending on your character's childcare ability. If you failed in your task, you'd get a consolation message reading "hey—at least you won't have to change any diapers." Harsh!
12 The Engagement Scenario
Just like the Grandparent Scenario, the Engagement Scenario bit the dust very early on in The Sims 2's development process.
In the finished game, engagement is pretty simple.
You propose to your love, there's a brief cutscene, then bam: you're betrothed! This scenario would have fleshed out the situation a bit more, giving you challenges to complete before your love accepted your proposal. If you won, then the engagement went ahead; if not, it was back to the single life for your Sim.
11 The Mystery Neighbourhoods
As any fan of The Sims 2 will know, the base game included three fully fleshed-out neighborhoods for you to play: Pleasantview, Strangetown, and Veronaville. The drama, intrigue, and mysteries that surrounded each of these towns were some of the most engaging aspects of the whole game. However, we players almost ended up with three very different neighborhoods to start off with. The game data of The Sims 2 suggests that three other areas reached the planning stages: Riverside, Sedona, and Waterside. Waterside actually appeared in the E3 preview of the game but was later scrapped.
10 Delete Your Browser History
To be honest, we can see why this particular feature was scrapped from The Sims 2. The Sims is supposed to be a kid-friendly franchise, after all, which this action most definitely wasn't! Originally, there was going to be an option available for Sims to "watch play-in" on their computers. "Play-in" is another in-game term for WooHoo... And we all know what WooHoo is supposed to represent. Sims would have had to pay $20 for the privilege of watching this play-in. They'd presumably have then deleted their browser history...
9 Furnished Apartments
One of the many expansion packs released for The Sims 2 was Apartment Life. The title is pretty self-explanatory: instead of being limited to living in houses, your Sims now had the option of living in apartments! Cool, right? The only slightly annoying thing about this pack is that you couldn't rent a pre-furnished apartment.
You had to spend Simoleons kitting an empty place out instead.
Originally, the developers planned for pre-furnished places to be available too, but for some reason, they scrapped this option. At least it did appear in The Sims 4: City Living!
8 So Many Discarded Traits
Now, onto one of the scrapped features from The Sims 3! This installment in the Sims franchise was the first to introduce the concept of Traits, which are still present today in The Sims 4. Traits essentially give your characters little personality quirks, thus helping each Sim to become a bit more unique. The base game version of The Sims 3 introduced 63 traits. While that may seem like a lot, the number was originally going to be much higher! A number of trait ideas were scrapped, including "Boring", "Stupid" "Vain", and the rather niche "Good At Massages."
7 The Unused Console Map
The Sims franchise hasn't just limited itself to PC and Mac as a platform. There are plenty of console installments of the games too! For example, The Sims 2 was developed for GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, amongst other consoles. This version of the game seems to have gone through some major changes in the development process, with an entire world map being scrapped. Areas such as Pleasantview and Strangetown don't feature at all on this early map—thank goodness they made it into the console game in the end!
6 No More Fear
Yet another gameplay aspect that The Sims 2 brought to the Sims franchise was the Wants and Fears system. As you'd expect, Fears were situations that your Sim was totally petrified of occurring, while Wants were things they wished to happen. This system made it into various console versions of The Sims 2, but for some reason, The Sims 2: Pets on PlayStation 2 decided to omit Fears completely. Nobody's quite sure why or when the decision was made to exclude Fears from the game, but hey—it happened!
5 The Reaper Does Not Become You
Fears weren't the only things that were omitted from The Sims 2: Pets on PS2. While Simmers initially assumed that the game would include the same types of perishing as The Sims 2 on both PC and console, this was another aspect of gameplay that was removed. Sims could no longer perish!
Where's the fun in that, huh?
What's a Sims game without the opportunity to remove all of the pool ladders, or trap your Sim in a doorless room until they pass away? It was a strange choice by the developers.
4 Strangetown Zoo
The Sims 2 became such a popular game when it was released on PC that it quickly spread to every single platform possible. That included the Game Boy Advance, which was all the rage when The Sims 2 was in its heyday. While the game was surprisingly detailed and extensive for a GBA title, it still had some areas that were scrapped or under-used following the development process. Large areas of Strangetown Zoo, for example, are inaccessible without using cheats or hacking. They're fully mapped and would have been cool to explore, but hey—it wasn't to be.
3 The Unaired Episodes
The plot of The Sims 2 on Game Boy Advance revolved around the playable character moving to Strangetown and taking part in a reality TV show. The story was split into various "episodes"—twelve in total.
However, a further eleven "episodes" were planned and later scrapped.
Some of these had been totally plotted out; others have delightfully vague titles like "Episode Deleted" and "We Never Finished This Episode." Hey, at least they were honest about it! To be fair, it would have been pretty hard to fit 23 episodes into one small cartridge.
2 Jumping The Shark
One of the scrapped "episodes" in The Sims 2's Game Boy Advance version was so well-developed that animations still exist that relate to it. This episode would seemingly have featured everyone's favorite biker dude, Dusty Hogg, jumping over a shark tank on his motorbike. An entire cutscene exists showing him making the jump! It's a cool concept and a pretty daring activity but clearly wasn't strong enough to make it into the final game. At least it looks like Dusty successfully made the jump!
1 The Sims Gold
Deeply buried in the data of later versions of The Sims and The Sims: Deluxe, references to a game called The Sims: Gold can be found. Obviously, this game never saw the light of day, and fans have often speculated what it would have entailed. The common belief is that "Gold" was simply the original name for The Sims: Deluxe. The developers went as far as to mock up an admittedly pretty crude version of a title screen for The Sims: Gold, but clearly chose to rename this edition of the game before it could go any further.