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The Sims 4 Mac Review

The Sims 3 was a huge commercial success. So much so, it’s crazy that The Sims Studio and Maxis waited this long to release The Sims 4, their latest take on life simulation. To say that the Sims franchise is a success would be an understatement. When it was first released in September 2014 (on PC), it sold over 400 thousand copies in four days. Sales continue to roll, especially now that the game is also available on Mac (released last month).

But while the game kept the same concept as before, The Sims 4 keeps receiving mixed reviews. And now that we can actually play it on Mac, we’re here to help you decide if this game is right for you or not.

Mac Game Store button


Enter The Sims 4 for Mac

As someone who played other Sims games before, I went into The Sims 4 thinking that I would be doing the same old stuff, but with a few more things to do… Man was I wrong!  The first thing you are greeted with is a one-button menu and scrolling news feed at the bottom of the page.  I was intrigued so of course, I pushed the button.  This takes you directly to your Sim’s creation page where you are greeted by a random sim.

The Sims 4 Mac

Right off the bat, I was very impressed with the amount of customization at my disposal. The outfits were plenty, ranging from fun and crazy, to formal and traditional.  You can zoom in and change the shape and features of just about every part of your Sims’s body. With all this customization though, it seems as though Maxis and EA made a huge mistake which limits you throughout the rest of the game: You can only assign four attributes to your sim, which actually becomes three because you have to assign a lifetime aspiration, which takes one of the spots up.  And I don’t know if I have ever met someone with only three attributes.

But moving on, after naming your Sim, you are taken to the next phase in the Sim universe, selecting a home.

Selecting a home is pretty easy, and you are given the options to chose a home and move in as is or furnish that home.  Keep in mind you only have $20,000 to work with, so I found myself moving into a pre-furnished home.  Most of the homes to choose from are quaint little places that have one or two neighbors in the area.

The Sims 4 Mac

You can also decide in which “city” you want your sim to live in. Those “cities” are packed with activities and places, such as gyms, nightclubs, libraries and museums. Some even have places where your Sims can fish!  Pretty cool right? But with so much to do, I found my sim staying home most of the time.

Maxis stepped up their game when it comes to multitasking, which makes “life” more exciting. Now your Sims can watch TV while doing other things, such as eating or surfing the web. But again, as I pushed my Sim to get out and meet other Sims, I kept realizing that he had no aspirations. Days seem to creep by and soon you find that you have been at home for weeks, just reading books, going to work and occasionally texting someone. After a while, it just became monotonous.

The Sims 4 Mac

Cue relationships. It was at that point that I went back to the drawing board and created a girl for my guy. Excited, I plopped her into the house to see what would happen. As with all interactions within the game, a bar at the top of the screen shows you how much your Sim likes or dislikes what’s going on. It wasn’t long before that bar was pretty full and I started seeing hearts floating into space. Not long after that came the first kiss, and then “WhooHoo!!”.  After that is was on to marriage and since neither of my Sims wanted kids, it was just all sunshine and rainbows. That is until my girl invited a guy from her work over for dinner… dun dun dun…

Outside of my Sim’s love life, were friends and acquaintances. Walking on the street, taking a stroll in the park, working out at the gym, they are all great ways to meet people.  Meet enough and you’ve got yourself to throw a big party!

The Sims 4 Mac

All these interactions make The Sims 4 a rich and enthralling game. But there are some issues that the community doesn’t like, and I can relate.

For example, you cannot place lots; you just have to build on existing ones. You cannot edit the town, but at least you can go into build mode and buy stuff for it (I went and bought a tiki bar for the park that was right next door). These are just examples of how narrow and small the scope of the world is. You quickly realize that you’re limited everywhere.

Now, with all this said, we all know that at some point in the near future the first (of many, if The Sims 3 is any indication) DLC will come out and we can all collectively hold our breaths and hope that EA listened and tries to appease the masses.


The Sims 4 Mac Performance

The Sims 4’s performance was not all that bad, but I did see some lag and distorted graphics here and there. These are issues known to plague the Windows version too. Polygon pointed many of these in their Windows review, including levitating rooftops and blackouts of pixels in the middle of a lot or a house. But even now, months after that Windows release, all those bugs still plague the Mac version, which means that EA probably didn’t do anything to improve the Mac launch (which isn’t a surprise given their awful track record).

Bugs aside, I had to lower my graphics from ultra to high most settings (with medium settings regarding “objects”), but now everything is running very smoothly.

Sims 4 Mac Minimum Requirements:

  • OS:  OS X 10.9 or later
  • CPU:  Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz or better
  • Video Card:  NVIDA GeForce 320M, 9600M, 9400M, ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro or better
  • RAM:  4 GB
  • Hard Drive:  10 GB

Mac used:

  • iMac (27-inch, Late 2012)
  • OS:  OS X 10.10.2
  • CPU:  2.9 GHz Intel Core i5
  • RAM:  16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
  • Video Card:  512 MB NVidia GeForce GTX 660M


Final Word

Review Stars 3 Good



This is a good game that is very intuitive and has a lot to offer. It definitely follows the classic formula, but if it ain’t broke, why fix it? It can be monotonous, especially when your Sims get into a rut, but there is always a way to get out of it.  Overall, I would recommend this game to new and veteran Sims fans. Just don’t expect this game to revolutionize the series.

You can get it from the MacGameStore.

Note from Ric: This Review comes from Joshua Cunningham, one of Mac Gamer HQ’s newest members.

  • Paul Natsch

    I agree with your assessment on the gameplay. It’s fun but can get monotonous. But I wanted to comment to say there’s a huge difference between this one and the last one as far as the Mac port goes. The Sims 3 is quite possibly the worst Cider port out there. The performance was never great, even with the vanilla version of the game, and it got progressively worse if you added expansions and stuff packs.

    The Sims 4 Is obviously a native port and it shows. So EA did something right here for a change. I’m having a pretty fun time with it.

    • Joshua Cunningham

      Hey Paul,

      Thanks for the comment and you are absolutely correct. One of the biggest things that I found as i was reviewing this game and looking into what people were saying, and that was a major plus that was brought up…

      EA did do it right this time, but is it enough to make up for the debacle of the Sims 3 universe?? Only time will tell.

      Thanks again Paul.

      – Josh –

      – Let us know if there is anything else you would like to see or us do differently, at MacGamerHQ we are always looking for ways to improve your and everyone else’s experience here and in the Mac Gaming World.

    • Indeed, I never played the Sims 3 but I heard it was awfully ported to the Mac… I guess EA is improving.
      In fact they added also some stuff to SimCity, making their launch mistakes a little easier to forget. Still, we all love to hate EA anyway 😉

  • Kirstylee

    Hi guys!
    I know some people are saying that the sims 4 is an improvement on mac compared to sims 3. I just want to make sure that they’re still going well. Sims 3 on my mac sucked. It crashed every 20 minutes & wouldn’t let me save. Is everyone else good?