The Sims is massively popular, now in its fourth era with The Sims 4. The series has also spawned some spin-off games, many of these well-received. It feels like it’s been a while though since we’ve had a spin-off. The last major spin-off game was The Sims Medieval. That was way back in 2011, still in the era of The Sims 3. There have also been some mobile ports. While these are good, it would be great to see a standalone original game like Castaway and Medieval. Maybe it’s time for a new game? There are lots of things The Sims can do. Here’s a selection of 10 different The Sims spin-off ideas.
A Castaway Reboot
One idea for a Sims spin-off could come from a game that’s already been done. The Sims 2: Castaway was a great game, and totally unique to the original games. The basic premise was that your custom-made Sims got shipwrecked on an island. The goal was to either find a way off the island to get home, or make yourself a new home on the series of three islands. Your Sims had to rely on their wit and survival skills to stay alive, scavenging for food and gathering resources and crafting, while exploring new areas. Castaway was originally released in 2007 on the PS2, Nintendo DS, and Wii. As it was such a great game, maybe they could bring it back? Maybe they could revamp the original? They could make it bigger and better than it was before.
(Video by joshua skarstrom)
In the original Castaway, there were loading screens whenever you travelled to a different area. With today’s technology and the popularity of open-world games, why not make Castaway an open-world game this time? Instead of loading between travelling islands, maybe you could travel out at sea. You could find lots of little islands scattered around the ocean, or maybe there are caves to explore. Your Sims could travel by water as well as across land, not just the sea, but also up streams and rivers and across ponds and lakes. Perhaps your Sims could become skilled climbers like Link in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. They could traverse walls and cliffs and even mountains. Doing away with loading screens could open up a lot of possibilities.
The three islands in the PS2/Wii versions of Castaway all had jungles, beaches, and lagoons, as well as caves and plains. Perhaps a new version could expand on this, vary the landscape a little bit? What about snowy mountains or alpine forests or deserts? Like with the Seasons Expansions, your Sims react to the conditions. They could get very hot or cold and would have to dress accordingly. Sims could craft clothes that are suited for different conditions. They could also build shelters and objects suited to different conditions.
The new Castaway reboot could also include more wildlife on the islands your Sims get shipwrecked on. The PS2/Wii versions only had chimpanzees and boars. They could expand on the numbers of animals you can find, make the islands more populated.
These are just a few ideas that a reboot of The Sims Castaway spin-off could have. A remake would probably go down well with fans.
There’s nothing like a good game set in a different time period. The possibilities are endless for setting a game in a different era. One idea could be going back in time to the Victorian era. It’s the same as the original Sims, but set in a different time. Imagine your Sims in top hats and crinolines and girls in petticoats. Your Sims could live in the bustling city or live in a quaint village. Your Sims will still have needs and desires, but imagine fulfilling them the old-fashioned way. Imagine cooking in a Victorian kitchen without all the mod-cons. Your Sims would have to live without today’s advancements in technology. No phones, no computers, no TVs, no cars…
Your Sims could also have careers that match the era. Your Sims could be photographers or doctors or detectives or even run a shop. Perhaps your Sims live off the land, growing their own vegetables and fishing for dinner.
Why stop at Victorian times? There are lots of different eras you could experiment with in The Sims. You could play a Sims game set in Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome, or something like the Roaring 20’s or Swinging Sixties. With all these spin-off ideas on the table, going back in time in The Sims could be an option.
The last idea was about going back in time with your Sims to a previous era or time period. Why not rewind the clock all the way back to when the first Sims were around… and dinosaurs? The gameplay could be similar to Castaway, where your Sims have to rely on their skills and resources to survive. Your Sims will live in small communities, where they have to hunt, fish and gather to survive. They’d also need to learn to live alongside prehistoric wildlife such as dinosaurs and other extinct animals.
If living in a land with dinosaurs isn’t appealing, then perhaps go forward in time and have a game where the first Sims arrive in a land and establish a community. It could be like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, where the island you arrive on is at first sparse and barely populated. Your community of Sims would decide what role everyone is going to play, who’s in charge, what needs to be done, etc. They would have to plan where they’re going to live, what they’re going to build, what they need to establish their new home. They would have to build some new homes, then some facilities such as a town hall, a school, a hospital, etc. Your Sims would also have to lay down some rules, make sure the community runs like clockwork.
Whether your Sims live in the time of dinosaurs or are establishing a new home as a community, these spin-off ideas for The Sims could work.
Picture The Sims crossed with a game like Red Dead Redemption. This is what a wild west Sims game could be like. You’d obviously have to cut down on all the gritty stuff that comes with Red Dead Redemption and adapt it to the style of The Sims, but it could still make for a great game. It’s a spin-off idea for The Sims that could go down a storm if done right.
Your Sims could live out west in the old western days. The game could be set in a land with varying landscapes of deserts, mountains, plains, and forests. Scattered throughout could be the odd community or house, or towns like Valentine and Armadillo, or even a thriving metropolis 1800’s style, like Saint Denis.
How your Sims choose to live is up to you. This is The Sims, after all! You could choose to live in an isolated cabin, or a homestead. You could even have your Sims be constantly on the move, setting up a camp and travelling around, not tied down to anything or anywhere.
Your Sims would have to find ways to make money, whether they set up their own farm, run a business or set up a trade, work odd jobs or have a more steady full-time job – or they could be outlaws and ride around in gangs, like an active Criminal career. You obviously can’t have guns and Sims shooting each other, but it doesn’t have to be like that.
Like The Sims 3, The Sims 4, and the Red Dead Redemption games, the world would be vast and open, with lots of fauna and flora that your Sims can gather for cooking and crafting.
With an open world western Sims game, what would top it off? Horses! We have yet to get horses in The Sims 4, and they’ve only ever appeared in The Sims 3 thanks to the Pets Expansion. Why not bring back horses with the wild west theme? The two go perfectly together. There’s lots you can do with horses; grooming, feeding, caring for them, and of course, riding them! You could also have wild horses and foals.
Another spin-off idea for The Sims is focusing on occult Sims, such as mermaids. Yes, we’ve already had mermaids. They first appeared in The Sims 3: Island Paradise Expansion, and then The Sims 4 in the Island Living Expansion. Fans love mermaids, as well as other supernatural beings in The Sims series. We’ve had everything from werewolves to vampires to aliens to zombies. The Sims 4 even had a whole Game Pack dedicated to one supernatural being: Vampires. What about mermaids though? Could they get some more focus, like vampires? Possibly.
One really cool feature that The Sims 3: Island Paradise had was the ability to go scuba diving. The Sims 4 has this too, but in The Sims 3, you actually saw your Sims going underwater. You were almost literally entering a new world like none other ever seen in The Sims. You could explore beautiful coral reefs and find treasure chests, collectibles, and venture into caves. There were even sharks to watch out for. This was a great gameplay addition, but you could only go diving underwater in specific areas, and only in one world, Isla Paradiso. A standalone game could take that up to another incredible level.
You could dedicate a whole game to mermaids. This might seem a bit OTT, but there’s lots you can do with the theme of mermaids and underwater. You could have a whole Sims game set underwater. You could have a whole population of mermaid Sims, with lots of customization options. The Sims 4 did a great job with mermaid customization, but a new game could do even more. You could essentially have a game just like The Sims, but with mermaids and set completely underwater.
Farming is one of the most desired features in The Sims. It’s not been until The Sims 4 though that we’ve received a dedicated farming DLC, in the form of Cottage Living. For a very long time before, we had to make do with gardening and domestic pets. Then The Sims 3 had a few farming-themed items and gameplay introduced through the official store. The Cottage Living Expansion did a really great job, as did The Sims 3 store content, but what about a whole standalone game just for farming? There’s lots of stuff that Cottage Living didn’t do, like being able to keep entire herds of animals and growing entire fields of crops and driving tractors around.
Games like Farming Simulator are very popular. The whole cottagecore movement has become very popular, especially during the various lockdowns throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. People love the idea of moving out to the countryside and living a simplistic life with nature and animals. A Sims farming game could do just that. It could do what Cottage Living did, but make it bigger and better. Why not introduce tractors and fields of crops and livestock? Why not add more animals, such as pigs and sheep? Why not have barns and silos? Farming could be the way to go with a spin-off Sims game.
The Sims has touched on the theme of sci-fi before. We’ve had aliens in The Sims 2, as well as The Sims 3: Seasons and The Sims 4: Get to Work. We’ve also had sci-fi themed careers such as the astronaut career and scientist career. Let’s not forget the ability to travel back in time in The Sims 3: Into The Future, or travel to another planet in The Sims 4: Get to Work. There’s nothing like a good sci-fi game, and there’s been plenty of them, but what about The Sims? We’ve had Expansions and content with sci-fi themes, but what about an entire game? Into The Future already showed us the potential to go down this avenue. In fact, the concept was so big that it felt like playing a whole new game rather than DLC.
There are a lot of things a spin-off sci-fi Sims game could do. It could be a repeat of Into The Future, but expanding on what it already was. Into The Future was a great Expansion, but it did have a couple of flaws, including only having two careers to choose from. A new sci-fi game could add a lot more. A Sims sci-fi game could also go into the territory of being set in space, like Star Wars, where you can explore the universe and travel to different planets. There could be life in places other than Earth.
With a spin-off adventure game idea, think The Sims crossed with Uncharted, Tomb Raider, or Indiana Jones. Travelling to new exotic destinations is great, whether you’re there to have a relaxing break or going on an adventure. The Sims has already explored the concept of adventures in faraway lands. Sims could experience adventures in The Sims 2: Bon Voyage in three different locations. The Sims 3: World Adventures focused on the adventuring side of travelling in three exotic locations. The Sims 4 had a Game Pack called Jungle Adventure that sent you into the jungle and exploring temples in a place called Selvadora. This is all good fun, but could The Sims do even more? Yes.
Imagine a Sims game dedicated to travelling, exploring, and having amazing adventures, just like your favorite action-adventure movies and video games. Your Sims could travel to cool exotic destinations, get assignments, and document incredible locations and find unique treasures. Your Sims could even compete against unsavory rivals, or team up with others. That would make for a pretty cool Sims spin-off game, and there could be lots of ideas for gameplay, stories, characters, and settings.
A Sims spin-off game set in a boarding school? Why would you want to play a game set in a school? Well, think of games like Bully, not to mention the incredibly-successful Harry Potter series. Why can’t The Sims do something similar?
In three of the four main Sims games, there are Expansion Packs that allow your Sims to go to university. University can be stressful, juggling classes and extracurricular activities and your Sim’s needs. It’s not all work though. University can be fun too, and full of unexpected surprises. Imagine a Sims game similar to the university-themed Expansions, but set in a boarding school instead, with you controlling children and teens. That might be something.
In The Sims 3: Generations Expansion, you can send children and teens off to boarding school, but sadly, you don’t see anything they’re doing. It’s a shame, and has great potential for its own game. Your young Sims could get up to all kinds of stuff. They’ll have classes to attend, as well as extra-curricular. They’ll also have teachers and school staff and prefects and bullies to deal with. It could work as a standalone spin-off, with a story to go with it or a sandbox mode, or both.
These are just some ideas for a Sims school spin-off, but there is a lot of potential.
What about a detective spin-off game for The Sims? The Sims 3: Ambitions had the Investigator active career. The Sims 4: Get to Work had the detective career, with your Sims working from a police station, investigating crime scenes and analysing clues and arresting and interrogating suspects. Let’s not forget MySims Agents, a really great game in the MySims series that had you assuming the role as an agent, solving crimes in various locations. These were pretty cool. It’s about time then that The Sims received a spin-off detective game.
It could do what past Sims games have done with playing at being a detective, and beyond. Your Sim would receive cases, investigate crime scenes, interview witnesses, gather and analyse clues, and arrest and interrogate suspects. It could be like L.A. Noire meets The Sims.
These are just 10 spin-off ideas The Sims could do. If these don’t make it as standalone games, then they could be made into DLC.
Do you have your own spin-off ideas for The Sims? Let us know in the comments.
For years I’ve been writing EA and telling them to do a horse simulator. Anything to do with horses–racing, breeding, showing, whatever. Horse people will go bonkers. They’ll make triple what the entire Sims franchise has brought in, in one month. Sadly, they won’t listen to me. Their loss.