Virtual Families

After the success of the Virtual Villagers series (the fourth installment is on the way!) the innovative people at Last Day of Work have now given us Virtual Families. This is a game that on the surface may appear, in description at least to be some sort of replica of the ever popular “The Sims”, however, scratch away the surface and you have a completely different playing experience. Built from the very stable system used in the Virtual Villagers series, this game will happily continue playing without you when you go to bed meaning you can wake up to find out how your little guys have progressed without you (just make sure you stock up on food before you go to bed or they might not be too happy with you!).

Virtual Families leans on the everyday life sim to create a game that centres on the personalities of your characters, and on keeping them alive to build a long family tree. You start off by adopting a little “needy person” and then the game begins. As a hot single person you will be sent the occasional proposal for marriage but get too picky and the proposals start to dry up, leaving you a childless spinster. There are many ways to pick your mate as all proposals show the possible suitor’s current financial situation, job, how they feel about kids and of course, the all important picture of them is included if you are trying to manufacture kids that look a certain way. Pick a mate and away we go.

The game takes place in a single house that you cannot modify structurally but you can buy upgrades as you save those hard earned pennies (and with 10% interest that is definitely worth doing – these lucky people have escaped the global recession and there is no looking back!). Your main tools are a praising glove and a scolding glove and these can be used to shape the personality of your people. If you want a couch potato simply praise them for watching TV but if you want to earn some money you better start praising them for work. When the children come along this is even more necessary as personally I found some realistic behaviours definitely needed scolding (drawing on the walls and banging dishes?! Why did I have so many kids?!).

Your people may suffer from various illnesses if you don’t keep a sanitary home, so there is a pharmacy and a doctor on call to allow you to treat your people in order to take them to a grand old age. You can have up to six kids but fertility does wane and at 18 they are out the door to college, never to return. However, with an empty nest once your original couple die of old age, illness or starvation(!), it’s time to pick one of your lucky children to take on the house in all it’s glory.

Like the Virtual Villagers games before this, there are many collectibles to, well, collect! The items vary from scraps of an old photograph to rare bugs and will appear at any time around your garden. For those of  you who did play the previous games there are still the wind chimes of Isola giving you a hint when to look around for that collectible goodness so listen out. Any member of the family can pick up and store these collectibles, with an added bonus that duplicates can be sold via the family computer to earn some extra cash (I assume this is meant to imitate an eBay type system and with 2 year-olds managing to sell things it’s really not surprising that people sometimes get screwed!). The computer also shows your people playing games and browsing the web – but don’t worry, when they are working it does look like Windows!

Whenever a life event occurs (marriage, baby etc.) a picture and a quote will appear and the simple variety of quotes is bound to appeal to everyone as it ranges from Charles Dickens to Homer Simpson! Other minor events occur throughout the game, mostly appearing by email which may give you a choice to make. Your people can also use the email to send you a message, asking for things they need or simply to say hi – even I find this completely adorable!

A trophy system has been added to this game to track your progress and this follows through your family tree to allow you a chance to get everything done. This is a really nice touch with some comical titles appearing on the list (check out the baby ones). There are puzzles to be done in this game but they tend to be a little more hidden than some might be use to. These evolve around fixing your house up and only keeping an eye out can help you here.







12 responses to “Virtual Families”

  1. Dave (a different one) avatar
    Dave (a different one)

    I’ve never tried playing any of the Sims games (I swear I just heard an entire website gasp in shock and horror) but this could get my attention!

    I love the idea that you can leave them to it and come back to see how they’re doing later. The bit about them emailing you sounds great fun too.

    I might nip off and check this out…BRB…

  2. kaleenka avatar

    It is a fun game—can seem to be slow going at times but fun.

  3. arnie avatar

    It looks like you enjoyed it, Zoey, apart from the good review, you got to the second generation (with 6 kids in the first!). That takes time.

  4. steve avatar

    Very dull game. Nothing happens in it & its painfully slow. This is one to miss

  5. Frances avatar

    Very fun game. You can’t play this for hours at a time like Sims/Sims 2. I play about 15 minutes twice a day. And that’s 15 minutes divided between three families. The best part is coming back to see what’s up, and guiding them in the direction you want them to take. It’s cute, very casual, and isn’t a drain on my time (which makes my real family happy… supposedly I’m on the computer too much as it is). I think you either like real time games or you don’t. Oh well. Can’t please everyone, right? You’d never get me to play a match-3, so why expect everyone to like VF?

  6. Zoey avatar

    For anyone who has been playing this game – I haven’t shut the game down since I started playing (I leave my laptop on sleep when I’m not using it) and it is still running fine! Stability is amazing on this game! P.S. I’m now on my fourth generation.

  7. jasmine avatar

    this is a realfun game i just cant figure out how to fix the stove can anyone help me out

  8. auren avatar

    como ki eu compro comida i ropa ??

  9. Brie avatar

    I really love this game, as I love all the virtual villagers games. I just wish they would would level up a little faster! 🙂 I have 2 families, and they both have 6 kids.

  10. audrey avatar

    htis is really fun, i play it like an hour a day between 3 families. its a really relaxing game and doesn’t take up 2 much of my time either.

  11. lilly avatar

    how do you save the game because when i stop playing it resets its self and its really anoying !! :L

  12. Donna avatar

    I have been playing this game for a long time and still find it fun. I’m on my 17th generation and the most kids I’ve had at one time is 5. I only need to find the last 3 Bugs [all of which are rare ones] and 1 last piece of the picture [which is also a rare one] and I’m done. I play it for roughly an hour a day, usually before bed. I think it’s just as much fun as the Virtual Villagers and I’ve played all those games too and still am. My boyfriend has to remind me I have a life at times lol. I give this game 10/10. Can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

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