This story originally appeared on Kotaku Australia.
The handheld Sims games on Nintendo DS are fantastic and very, very weird. If you’ve hung around Kotaku long enough, you may have seen me claiming The Sims 2 on DS is my favourite game of all time, and while not everyone will agree on the quality and technical prowess of the title, there’s one thing we can all admit: the game is creepy as hell.
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A Reddit thread detailing this skin-crawling horror has been steadily building over the last year, with dozens of Sims fans taking to the forum to share their experiences of terror within the game. See, while The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS appears to be a simple hotel simulator, it’s actually much deeper than it first seems.
While you do go through the motions of checking in guests and taking care of your needs in the typical Sims way, things get weird fast in the game. As in, within the first five minutes of gameplay your loyal companion Tristan starts moaning about his girlfriend being carried away by a pack of scorpions, and how he caught a meteor in his bare hands to get over the pain. Then, a rich mob boss arrives and threatens to break your kneecaps. But what’s weirder is the cow cult that follows after, and that you need to defeat them by summoning an ancient mummy known as Horus Menhoset IX. Oh, and let’s not forget the alien emperor attempting to take over the hotel, or the killer robot that takes up residence in your penthouse.
It’s not exactly a normal game, and the vibes it gives off has given people the heebie-jeebies. “There was definitely something eerie about that game,” wrote Redditor LazerGuidedMelody in the thread. “There was something almost post-apocalypse about it… Despite there being people around the hotel, the saloon, the street, it always feels so empty.”
“One of the first stages of the game you had to do jobs for Frankie Fusilli who was like a mobster, who made you try and blow up the mayor,” wrote Lucaienn. “Later he would make you bury a wriggling suitcase in the desert and after that the mayor was no where to be found.” “The part that would make me start a new game entirely would be when the alien invasion happened with ‘the music’,” Ginkos-lover wrote. “It would have me so shook that I would start a whole new save and make sure I never got to that point.”
The aura of the game was too much for Redditor Vio-lex. “I’d say I’m pretty interested in weird and creepy stuff, but Sims 2 on DS was too out there for me as a kid,” they wrote in the thread. “Strangetown looked deserted and it had a really derelict, abandoned atmosphere… The cult plot was especially creepy for me when I was younger and still is.” But it’s not just the characters and plot that’ve freaked out Redditors, it’s the entire aura of the game. From the blocky graphics to the empty streets and the music, it seems the game was inherently designed to be creepy.
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