If you were expecting to get behind the wheel, knock over General Grunt's mailbox in Strangetown, sideswipe Cassandra Goth's subcompact in Pleasantview and gun down Consort Capp in a drive-by shooting or show Mercutio that your car is faster than his in Veronaville, you will be sadly disappointed. For that, you will have to dream of - or pray for - Maxis collaberating with Rockstar Games and coming up with "Grand Theft Auto: SimCity".
Cars were one of the most requested items for "The Sims" that never really made an appearance and any unofficial appearance of them was more decorative. Finally, they have made their appearance in "The Sims 2". Although you can't do the above, your sims are now no longer dependant upon the carpool or taxis to leave home to get to work, get your kids to school, go grocery shopping or take that trip downtown. Every house can have its own driveway or garage and depending upon your means, you can buy a car to put in there.
Anyway, here is how you get your sims behind the wheel.
Place a driveway and you've got somewhere to put your car. You can't buy a car before you've got somewhere to park it, which seems odd. When you visit a community lot, it is freely parked on the street where it doesn't get wheel-clamped or get issued a parking ticket. However, at home, you can only park your car in your driveway or in a garage. Quite odd but that's the way it is in the simworld. Driveways need to be flat and level and you can only turn one way. This means your driveways have to be placed on the left side of the lot or quite some distance away from the right. This is limiting but I could understand it requiring even more animations and programming to enable it to be done that way.
So you've built your driveway and/or garage. For those wanting a quick tutorial about building a garage, have a look at Neil's tutorial to get you going. Now it's time to pick a car.
Currently, there are five makes of car.
The Smoogo Minima is the same make of "junker" that carpools your lowest levels of sim to work. Now you can buy your own for §950. It is a subcompact but seems to have no limits as to how many sims you can fit in it. The good news is that you don't have to buy a rusting tan coloured one, although you do have that colour choice if you wish. Anyway, this car will not give you much comfort and you won't get much fun from taking it for a spin. It is functional and cheap.
The Smord P328 is the second-cheapest vehicle and is a pickup truck, not dissimilar to the type of vehicle that the gardener drives. It will cost you §2,250. It does give you higher comfort, a bit more fun and helps you with your energy. Not a lot, but it does help.
The Landwhale by Heavola is a family minivan - people carrier - and is not dissimilar to the type of vehicle used by the social worker and the taxi. Well, now you can taxi yourself and the family where you wish to go. Taxi #149 need never pull up outside your home again. This minivan will cost you §4,250.
The Yomoshoto Evasion is the make of four-door sedan that carpool your middle-income sims to work and will cost you §6,250. For someone to have this car in their driveway, it lets the neighbors know that the owner isn't doing too badly for him or herself.
The most expensive vehicle is the Hunka 711 by Hwang Motors, which is the same make as one of the sports cars that carpooled some of your highest-income sims to work and it will cost you §11,950. If you want to impress your neighbors, this is the car to have.
There is a sixth car for those who preordered Nightlife from EA. Those people have been rewarded with the Hot Rod Hauler Chop Socky Special, which is as it says. It's a Hot Rod. It will cost you §9,250 and although not as quite as much fun or comfortable as the Hunka 711, it certainly looks very cool indeed.
I would have liked to see more models of car but at least it's a start. Perhaps the mysterious MaxoidMonkey might be semiofficially releasing some of the other models on the exchange in the near future. Our sim versions of Arnie cannot buy their own humvee, but I do know that some enterprising individuals in the community are already working on it.
There are many things you can do in cars. This image on the left only shows some of them. Before you ask, yes, you can kiss, make out with and woohoo in them. I urge that your sims don't think of naming their offspring from where they were conceived. Brooklyn might work for young Master Beckham but Smoogo or Smord don't quite have the same panache.
Firstly, I recommend your sims buy a §250 burglar alarm for their expensive purchase.
Secondly, if you don't assign the car an owner, the carpool will still come for everyone. It also means that anyone in the house can use it. It has its uses, especially if the family cannot afford two cars.
If you don't like the colour, a complete respray only costs §15. "Cheap as chips" as Mr. Dickensim might say.
Cars are certainly a welcome addition. It's about time they appeared in my opinion. Also, these cars don't require fuel or regular servicing, they don't break down or need maintenance. Thankyou, Maxis ... but this isn't all for your sims at home.
Written at 04:38 on Saturday 24 September 2005 by