Monday, 18 February 2019

Blue and Geekling's Bow-Wow Bachelorette: Part One

On weekends, my stepdaughter, "Geekling" (as I refer to her online), sometimes asks to play The Sims with me. To her, it's essentially a doll's house you can build yourself, and the dolls move before your eyes. 

Since I want to encourage both creativity and computer skills, as does her father (my partner "Glitch" - Planet Coaster is their daddy-daughter game), I am happy to oblige - in short bursts at a time, anyway.

I move the mouse, do the typing and make sure everything stays at a "U" rating (or "E" rating, for my overseas readers), but she makes the choices. Past adventures include building a completely pink house, searching for a unicorn, creating a household of Sailor Scouts... and there are almost always pets.

The other day, I spoke to her about the challenges some Sims players try: legacies, Build a City, and the Bachelor(ette) Challenge - mentioning my recent effort, My Monstrous Valentine. The last one appears to spark some interest, but then she said:

"Could you do it with dogs instead?"

"How do you mean?"

"Like, have one person, but a bunch of dogs?"

"Well, there's a six-pet limit, but it's certainly worth a try."

"And where will the other dogs go? When they lose?"

"Hmm... how about we build them a special matching owner? That way, each dog gets a happy ending and a nice family?"

"Cool! Let's go!"

And so, ladies, gentlemen and non-binary persons... here is the result of that conversation: Blue and Geekling's Bow-Wow Bachelorette!

(Alas, we were too busy having fun for me to get a bunch of screenshots, but I'll work with what I have!)


Here is Casa Canina in Appaloosa Plains, where our bachelorette, with the agreement of the local animal shelter, will be looking after our doggy contestants over the next few days.

They are:

Charlotte the English Cocker Spaniel

Jack the Jack Russell (very inventive name, I know!)

Sayuri the Shiba Inu

Annabel the Akita

Dingle the Dalmatian

And finally, Christopher the Collie.

Now, here's our Bachelorette - Mitzi Barker. She's a dog person who loves the outdoors, is friendly and good-hearted, and very artistic.

For the first couple of days, we decide to leave the dogs to their own devices. As Mitzi gets into the routine of filling six little dog bowls, her new canine friends familiarise themselves with one another, and the multiple toys on offer. A few even interact with Mitzi autonomously, earning themselves an early lead (no pun intended!)

By day three - the first rehoming day (rather than elimination) - we test the waters by getting Mitzi to pet each dog in turn. The little ones lap it up, but a couple of the larger dogs aren't keen and snap at her, leading to a lower friendship score. We also suffer our first flea infestation, leading to a round of baths.

When midday rolls around, the dog with the lowest friendship level is... Dingle the Dalmatian!

Here he is with his new owner, the rather-appropriately named Rex Dubose. (Don't worry, that's faux fur - no-one in Appaloosa Plains ever wears the real thing.) Both Rex and Dingle love to swim, are very neat, and take great pride in themselves. They get along great from the very start.

(Glitch said Rex reminded him of someone called J.C Denton from Deus Ex. However, my actual inspirations were Juandissimo from Fairly Odd Parents, and Cruella De Vil - if she was male, kind and adored puppies.)

On Day Four, Mitzi wakes up to find Charlotte on the bed - it seems the Cocker Spaniel is very eager to get her attention!

For today's set interaction, we progress from a pet to a full-on belly rub. Again, the larger dogs are very stand-offish, but look at the little 'uns! They're practically queuing up for one!

By midday, it's no surprise that another larger dog needs a more suitable owner. We say goodbye to... Christopher the Collie!

Here he is with the couple Geekling created - newlyweds Darryl and Laura Frayle. Both are dog lovers, and like Christopher, they are both geniuses with a love of neatness. Once more, it's a perfect match from the get-go. 

(And just after Christopher moves in, thanks to Story Progression, it turns out he'll soon have another new friend: the Frayles are expecting their first baby!)

That night brings a full moon, and a zombie attack. Mitzi decides to bring all the dogs inside for their own safety - with Sayuri keeping her caretaker company as they both slumber.

Day Five's activity is to spend one-on-one time with each dog playing fetch and having fun. This time, all of the canines interact eagerly, but with the teeny three still autonomously seeking Mitzi's attention constantly, is it too little, too late for Annabel?

Indeed, that proves to be the case come midday. Don't feel bad, though - she is extremely happy with her new owners: suave single mother Katherine Merchant, and her son Mike. Both mother and son are keen swimmers and geniuses (alongside other traits), just like Annabel.

I should point out that all of these owners are also based in Appaloosa Plains, so there's a good chance all six of these dogs, regardless of who stays with Mitzi, will meet again someday!

At this halfway point, Geekling and I decided to call it a day, and saved the game. Sayuri, Charlotte and Jack are still in the competition - which one will have Casa Canina as their forever home? Wait and see!

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