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Virtual Families

CNET Editors' review

Virtual Families provides an impressive game for users who want to manage a simulated family's life. This program gives the popular game Sims a run for its money.

The simulation's interface was impressively professional with graphics and strategy that reminded us of the aforementioned Sims. The Help file's excellent onscreen tutorials kept us informed while we played and also improved our gaming skills. To adopt a player, you choose from a variety of interesting character designs and jobs. Most of these were funny, such as ketchup bottler, barbecue sauce maker, or food photographer. After adopting a player, you can begin managing your household. You develop your players' personality by rewarding and scolding them like a pet when they perform daily activities like working, reading the newspaper, playing games, and cleaning. The game conveys a great sense of humor, which was our favorite feature. For example, our character received and accepted a marriage proposal via e-mail. As spouses and children were added to the mix, our responsibilities piled up and kept us busy managing the entire family. We were skeptical that living a virtual life would be so interesting but discovered how fun these little lives were.

Virtual Families comes with a one-hour trial period. It installs desktop icons without permission. It's a great Sims-like program that kept us highly entertained, and we recommend it.

Publisher's Description

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Virtual Families