Although Jonathan’s story is not a legacy, many simmers do play and blog about their Legacy Challenge games. I first heard about the Legacy Challenge back during the days of Sims 2. Over the years, it’s evolved into one of the major playstyles for The Sims franchise.
The Legacy Challenge is a set of self-imposed rules meant to change the way you play the game of The Sims 4. By abiding by the restrictions of the challenge and reaching for the goals of the challenge, you will find yourself getting a very different experience from The Sims 4 that you might have playing casually. The Legacy Challenge tasks you with creating a single founder Sim moving them in to a giant lot, and starting out in abject poverty. Your founder must build their house, build their wealth, and ultimately bring in the second generation to continue when they die. In this challenge you play a single family for 10 full generations. With less control over how your children turn out and more challenges thrown your way, the challenge asks the very important question. “What kind of Legacy will you leave?”
Essentially the Legacy Challenge is a game in which you play through multiple generations, following a single family line. You begin with a founder — male, female, human, or alien — and follow specific rules. When the founder dies, an heir is chosen, again following a series of predetermined rules. The goal of the challenge, as stated on the website, is to continue through ten complete generations.
That’s the simple goal. There are many additional goals included in the challenge that will lead to a higher score. Yes, unlike The Sims itself, the Legacy Challenge is a game in which you can earn — or lose — points for various events. Having utilities shut off will mean subtracting points, while doing things to “memorialize” a deceased sim can increase your total score.
You’ll find complete instructions, rules, and scorekeeping how-to’s on the Legacy Challenge website.
I’ve attempted a legacy only once. That was in Sims 2, soon after I heard about the challenge. Being a rotational player, the idea of staying with a single family goes against my nature. In addition, rules generally require choosing a “townie” for a spouse. Since I detest “townies” and don’t like them in my game, I wasn’t fond of this rule. But, I abided by it.
Did I complete the challenge and leave a legacy?
No, I didn’t. I made it through three generations, and at that point I was so involved in the lives of my founder, John Chandler, and his family that I had to bring them into my regular rotation. I recall once going through the old “photo album” — remember them from Sims 2? — and seeing a picture of a very young John Chandler dressed in his army uniform. Remember the military career? At this point in the game, he was an elder, and seeing him in his youth almost brought tears to my eyes.
Truly playing a legacy challenge can be a rewarding experience for those who undertake it. I’m even thinking of creating a “new game” and playing my own personal version of a legacy challenge, setting the life span to “short” rather than “normal”.