Life By You could be the first real alternative to The Sims

Life By You
(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

Life simulation fans could finally have their first real alternative to The Sims with Life By You, which was revealed today at the Paradox Announcement Show.

Well, I say revealed, but the Life By You announcement was pretty light - a true reveal event is scheduled for March 20. But the teaser trailer offers no room for confusion over what this game is trying to accomplish. Almost every shot shows you isometrically peering into somebody's virtual home, complete with the cutaway wall view that's defined the look of The Sims since 2000.

This game has pedigree, too. Development at Paradox's new Tectonic studio is being led by Rod Humble, a veteran of The Sims 2 and 3, and the trailer seems to hint at a bunch of features that have gone MIA in the most recent entry. 

One shot sees what looks like a drivable car. Others seem to suggest you'll be able to control your simulated people in a big, open-world environment well beyond the bounds of their house. These features were part of The Sims 3, and their removal remains one of the biggest points of critique against The Sims 4.

The one point that's giving potential fans pause right now is the tech. Some of those scenes are very stuttery, and while in-development games are always subject to improvements, it's a bit concerning to see a public trailer launch with frame rates you can count by hand. Here's hoping the March 20 presentation shows something a bit tighter, especially since Paradox says the game is due out in 2023.

If you're looking for games like The Sims, your options are few and far between. Indie title Paralives has been the most exciting potential competitor out there, but it's spent years in development and there's no clear indication when it's set to release, so Life By You might just beat it to market. Meanwhile, The Sims 5 - or more properly Project Rene - is still in very early development and apparently "years out."

Today also saw the announcement of Cities: Skylines 2, another title that's sure to tickle the fancy of old-school Maxis fans, and the reveal of a new pulp adventure strategy game called The Lamplighters League.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.