These are neat twists on the Sims formula, and at first, they’re different enough and entertaining enough to inspire the benefit of your doubt. Each campaign (called an ambition) is divided into a series of quests, which you choose from a list after you complete the latest one. Quests have you controlling one or two sims, using these skills to find out, for example, what disease might be affecting the populace or where you might find a proper suitor for the queen. When taking on a quest, you might be given multiple ways to approach it. An evil witch has returned. Do you marry her, rob her of her power, or kill her off for good? Only certain sims (or pairs of sims) can carry out certain paths, so the king takes the marriage path, whereas the wizard (or the physician, or the priest) takes the power-robbing path. From here, you control one or two heroes and perform individual tasks that lead to quest completion. This means having the blacksmith forge weapons, the merchant trade in faraway lands you never get to see, and the bard write a play so magnificent that the local critic declares it a perfect work of art. As they write, study, and pray, your heroes level up, opening up new possibilities. (Make armor faster! Fight more effectively!)

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