I’ll pipe in here.
I downloaded the Kudos demo last night, and I’ll say, it is NOT a copy of The Sims (like I though it could be like). It is similar, in the same way Starshop Tycoon is like Star Control II or III.
Kudos is a core life simulation. While The Sims adds a lot more, as in building houses, Kudos allows you the control that you might get with The Sims after you spend 3X more money on all the expansion packs. (I don’t think Cliffski would like this, but…) Kudos seems like a “No-Frills” game, meaning you don’t get all the bells and whistles that you won’t use 90% of that you would get in a mass-marketed (and mass-advertised) game that costs two to three times just to start, but what it does have are the core basics that you would want in a life simulator. The Sims is a fully loaded Mercedes Benz while Kudos is a well-loaded Subaru. While both are reliable and good cars, do you really need the power-controlled rearview mirror defroster and automatic wipers on the headlights?
Now, I’m stopping with the comparison and onto the “IMO” part of Kudos. I’ve seen how active the forum is, and the great reviews, so I decided to download the demo last night.
I’d hate to say it, but I’m on the fence with it. While the gameplay is original and fun, I’m afraid it will lose it’s playability in a few weeks. I played 3 demo games last night, but the demo ends just as the game gets interesting (typical demo, good planning, Cliffski!!). You have enough time to just start qualifying for better jobs and just as your circle of friends is starting to expand out (come to think of it, you’re worse with your demos than Microsoft and Blizzard are! ).
I can see where the game could get addictive, but where does it end? I bought Starship tycoon a few months ago, and while it was a fun game, it lost it’s replayability after about a month and a half, there’s only so many ways you can build up a huge transport company (I’ve given some suggestions over on those forums before). I’m afraid that Kudos may go the same way (but who knows).
The things I really like about Kudos are the low system requirements. I like the fact that I can play this game on older systems (the only reason I didn’t get Dungeons and Dragons online is the fact that I was unwilling to spent $3,000 on a computer just so I could play the game). It’s not a resource hog, so I can also have a download going in the background, or burn a DVD or two while playing, or have a few chats over Trillian going and not have the game crash on me. I can also quickly load up the game in a few minutes so playing in 10-15 spare minutes is a reasonable idea, not like other games that take 5-10 minutes just to start.
The gameplay, yes, I do like it. I like the idea of a life-simulation game where I don’t have to worry about groceries, building and expanding a house, and whatnot, I can concentrate on what really counts in a life simulation, the life part. I"m just afraid the replay value won’t last, but then again, if I can get 2-3 months out of it, then it’s worth it (per day, that’s less than Everquest and sometimes I lose interest in that game and don’t play for months!). (While I think about it, most game sonly keep me captivated for 2-3 months at most, except Civilization 3 and Everquest).
The price tag is good. $25US or about $12EU. Most games here start at about $30 for the cheap (bad) ones and good games can easily double that, and when you add in all the expansions (which seems to be the “in” thing now) you have to pay an extra $30-$40 every few months to keep up.
I know I’m missing a lot just by playing the demo (most importantly, life beyond 3 weeks). If I do end up buying the full version, be sure that after I’ve played it, I will post a review on it.
(Maybe I will buy it, it’s been a long time since I was 20, so maybe re-living my life from back then to see where I could have gone will be a fun idea?)