_____ ____ ____ _____ _______ ____ | |__ |__|__ __ ____
\__ \ / \ / \\__ \\_ __ \/ ___\| | \| \ \/ // __ \
/ __ \| | \ | \/ __ \| | \| \___| Y \ |\ /\ ___/
(____ /___| /___| (____ /__| \___ >___| /__| \_/ \___ >
\/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/
// return to index
Maxis has been closed down for good by EA, who has owned the
developer for years. Maxis is most recently known for the Sims
series, but back in their heyday they had a whole line of weird
and neat simulations of topics that aren't usually modelled in
digitalgames: the lives of ant colonies, James Lovelock's "Gaia
hypothesis" of ecology, farm management, genetics.
SimLife is a super-ambitious entry in the Sim series that
attempts to simulate genetics, evolution, and the development
and maintenance of ecosystems. Life forms are designed by mixing
and matching traits (describing diet, locomotive and reproductive
strategies) to create neat-looking chimeric animals (as depicted
in the cover art). This aspect of the game is based on an obscure
1980 board game called Quirks, which was designed by Eon - the
company best known for creating Cosmic Encounter.
It's an ambitious project, but SimLife does a much better job
of striking a balance between high-scope world-modelling and
remaining accessible and interactive than something like SimEarth,
whose individual characters represent entire colonies of life forms
whose existence blinks on and off again according to unseen factors.
Life forms in SimLife - or "orgots" - are individuals: click on one
and you can see all of the needs and numbers driving its behavior,
you can follow it around and see what it's eating.
The SimLife documentation includes a hefty 200+ page manual
(including a weird, irrelevant ongoing comic by Jon "Bean" Hastings
about "The Genetic Family"), a quick-start guide, a "Lab Book"
designed to help players chart the results of the simulation, and a
few miscellaneous offers (Strategy Guide!). It's a really fascinating
look at how Maxis intended players to interact with their creations.
These materials are from the DOS version. See also: Evolve! Lite.
> file list:
] CBZ format
Greetings Electronic Biologist!
SimLife Quick Start Guide
Maxis Software Toys Catalog
] PNG format
Disks Too Small?
] ZIP format
SimLife already installed
The easiest way to run SimLife is to download the "already installed"
ZIP file and run the game in DOSBox. Here's how to do that:
Dump the SIMLIFE folder from the zip in C: (so it's in C:\SIMLIFE).
Run DOSBox and type the following, hitting ENTER after each line:
mount c: c:\simlife
The game should run!
E N D T R A N S M I S S I O N