Sims is a fantastic franchise. Maybe I’m biased. Maybe that’s the addiction talking. But ever since I watched my friend plop a second floor atop the Newbie family’s house, 15 years ago, I have been hooked. It offers endless possibilities: want to live out that tween crush? Build a beautiful mansion with a secret mad scientist’s laboratory? How about a run down shack in the middle of the desert, with no food or running water?
Make-believe. Architect. Challenges. And there is no challenge that gets me as excited as Pinstar’s Apocalypse challenge.
The general premise of the challenge is that your Sim family has to rebuild humanity. Pretty much everything is “locked” (from fridges to emotional auras), and the only way to get access is to reach the top of an associated career.
Seems easy, right? Especially for someone who played similar challenges in Sims 2 and Sims 3.
It took me 4 tries to get to a point where my family didn’t crash and burn by the 3rd generation. I’m writing this blog mainly to provide some tips and tricks that I have picked up, to help others to
play through this infuriating enjoy this tactical challenge. I strongly suggest you familiarize yourself with the challenge’s official rules, otherwise some of what I say may not make sense.
I should warn you that this challenge destroyed my concept of Ethics like Game of Thrones destroyed my Compassion. I only hope that you find some of my suggestions amusing, at the very least.
Laura’s Top 5 Tips for Surviving the Simpocalypse:
1) Basic needs come first. This includes hunger, hygiene and fun. While surviving on BBQ is doable, just remember that the more time you spend fishing, the less time you have for skill-building and washing your hands in the sink until the soap has crept up to your armpits (which, btw, really makes me miss the “sponge bath” interaction from Sims 3).
2) Be prudent with your population. I thought I was being brilliant when I had a household of 8, considering that any one Sim can only unlock one career. However, at least one of my tries failed because I had too many Sims too fast. This may not be a problem for those with superior macro-management skills, but I could barely keep everyone fed and happy, let alone focused on skill building. I was left with an entire generation that were going to work in a huff or missing that skillpoint they needed for their promotion. Try playing with 4 Sims. Once you unlock some things, and can more efficiently deal with their needs, breed some more.
2.5) Time your pregnancies. I once made the mistake of having my Sim go into labour while at work, thus losing her job and everything she had spent her life working for. So when its time to make a baby, check your calendar. Count the days so that she’s pregnant while at work, but come the third trimester (usually 4 days after conception) she will be home. Until you unlock the Mixologist restrictions (ie, baby bottles) I strongly suggest you do not have a baby until your mama-Sim has unlocked her chosen career.
3) Choose your spouse wisely. Do a background check on your neighbors, and select only the best for your founder. Zoom out and watch the neighborhood like a hawk until they stroll by, and then swoop in and greet them. Travis Scott is excellent for a female Sim skilled in cooking, as he is already level 3 in the Tech Guru career. I have another tactic, but I am keeping it in the bag for now. When you are ready, young grasshopper.
4) Childhood isn’t a game. If you’re lucky, you will roll an relevant aspiration for your children (for this reason alone, fulfilling the teen babysitting career is amazing, because then you can choose). Say your child is a Social Butterfly– if you manage to fulfill all of the goals of this aspiration, they will learn related adult-skills (i.e. charisma) faster. If you don’t get a relevant aspiration, try to complete it anyway and roll for a new one once its done. Unfortunately, until you unlock the Space Ranger and Villain careers, the Rambunctious Scamp aspiration is kind of a dead end (nowhere to put that jungle gym). Also, get those A’s! An A in high school means you’ll start your career with at level 3.
5) Grandmother, Live-In-Nanny, House Elf. These are the Sims who have maxed out their career (often teen careers) and no longer have a purpose in life. Unless that purpose is to cook and clean and repair all of the broken sinks you are going to have.
Bonus Tip) Get the official scorecard, and add a column for the necessary skills to reach the top of the career (for example, Tech Guru – Startup: 10 Programming, 6 Charisma, 5 Video Gaming).
My Latest Attempt: Captains Log, First Entry
Meet Tamryn: a WonderChild Sim trained specially to bring humanity back to The City of Glassbolt. She is a master of Cooking (regular and gourmet), and has several bonus traits (savant, entrepreneurial, speed cleaner, and carefree). Also, she doesn’t look like a Who, which is a huge plus in my books.
The Apocalypse House. The screenshot was taken after after some career unlocks, thus the object seen in the lower left window. If you don’t want to build your own starter, you can find this one on the gallery (rocket pad not included).
The first few days were pretty nondescript for Tamyryn. She went to work, while I hovered over the neighborhood, on the lookout for her spouse-to-be. Thankfully she was home when he finally showed up. And it took no time for her and Travis Scott to hit it off, and for him to move in (I think he realized he didn’t stand a chance out there with only Liberty Lee and Summer Holiday to catch his fish for him).
Alas, the two lovebirds didn’t have much time for each other. Tamryn’s career promotions were racing against her biological clock, and Travis was making up for an entire childhood wasted doing… nothing. He didn’t even have skill in video gaming.
So they got by with the occasional quick kiss and conversations over yet another plate of tofu dogs (I don’t have the Outdoors pack, so had to do the whole catch-a-fish-and-put-it-in-the-family-inventory scenario). Until, one day, after they had both left Young Adulthood far behind them, Tamryn was promoted to a Celebrity Chef! On a Tuesday! Which meant more tofu dogs for another 5 days, but at least they didn’t need to trade fish for them.
But more importantly, it meant that she could get Preggers.
4 days later, Tamryn and Travis were happy to announce the birth of their baby Rigoberto (seriously, leave the name picking to chance, it’s glorious). Rigo soon grew up and became a Wiz Kid. He also left that cradle available.
4 days later, baby Dalton.
The boys are awesome– I was really lucky with their rolls. Rigo is Outgoing, but his fullfilled Wiz Kid aspiration gives him a boost to learning programming. Perfect Tech-Guru Startup material right there. Dalton is a Social Butterfly with some creative flare, so I have strong hopes that he will get Glassbolt’s story to the press, and some running water into Glassbolt.
All of those plans, however, hinge on their Father.
My face matched Travis’ exactly, when I realized he was becoming an elder at only level 8 of his career. My fear was well earned— I had “lost” this challenge before when my spouse failed to reach the peak before peaking the hill. But this time, with only days left to live, Travis finally became a Champion Gamer. Thank goodness, because Rigo is already a teenager and needs to get programming! The family can now get a Gaming Mat (there is nothing about these incredibly overpowered fun-machines in the rules, but I think its safe to assume they follow the same restrictions as computers and TVs).
I hope this blurb has been helpful and/or entertaining! Stay tuned for more updates on this family and their (mis)adventures to save humanity!