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|Developer(s)||Last Day of Work|
|Publisher(s)||Last Day of Work|
|Designer(s)||Arthur K. Humphrey|
|Platform(s)||Windows, Mac OS X, Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod|
|Genre(s)||Social simulation, god game|
Virtual Families is a video game created and developed by independent video game developer and publisher Last Day of Work. Virtual Families was released on April 22, 2009. The game allows the player to adopt an adult friend, meet a mate, work on their careers, start a family, gather collectibles and earn money. Virtual Families allows players to control and manage virtual characters in real-time. Problems have often occurred with the game, such as glitches with the store where no items will show up leaving the panel completely blank, or where the game will allow you to continue playing if a spouse and child have died. Last Day of Work released a game patch on May 4, 2009.
Each adoptee candidate already has a job, a level of their job, their current salary, their likes, dislikes, and if they want kids.
The game had a notable glitch which occurred when the player reached the 30th generation (Which takes six real months). Last Day of Work has updated this game to a new version to stop this glitch.
The new version of Virtual Families has fixed the 30th generation bug, but after that time, the past will disappear and it will look as if you just started. Also, if you press "R" (shift+r), it takes you right to the location.
According to the LDW website, a sequel to the game (Virtual Families 2: Our Dream House) has been in testing phase since December 8, 2012, and is estimated to be released in about early 2013.
When you start off with your character, the first thing you will get to do is select your player. The player will have a randomized name (this name can be adjusted only on the PC version of this game), age (ranging from 24 to 29), female or male. There are various professions that are leveled in the game (the characters can level their job level by working in the kitchen, office or workshop), and salary from $15 to $105. The starting screen also shows the options of whether or not they want children (maybe, no way, definitely, would be nice, not really), as well as their likes and dislikes. The characters will come out with different hair styles, and clothing wear. Each is uniquely matched and both can be seen multiple times with different outfits or hairstyles. All the characters are Caucasian.
When the user enters the game after selecting a character, there are multiple tabs at the bottom which represent different things. Above shows the layout of the character, with the name, age, action, status, and money they have in the bank. The tabs are as follows: Menu, Detail, Family, Store, Collection, and Trophies.
- Detail (this page shows the user different things about each character)The characters each have information stating name, age, gender, whether they are married, have children, what their profession is and the level, salary and progress of their current profession level. The user can also see things like happiness, health, fed or energy (which appear as bars to show the left as nothing and the right as completely full). Likes and dislikes are also listed here, as well as if they want children. Children will not have any of the options expressing profession, level, salary or progress. Sometimes the characters are chosen without likes and dislikes. This can be modified by items in the store, where players can use “desensitization” devices to remove dislikes or achieve likes by using an “Encyclopedia”.<ref"Virtual Families". Virtual Families. Last Day of Work. Retrieved 4 April 2013./>
- Family Each character starts alone and will build a family as the game goes on. This is where the user can view previous families, see which character they selected, the likes and dislikes of other family members that were used at one point and also to see what their job was. This allowed the user to see if any traits are carried on throughout family members or any other info that was written. In the PC version, notes can be made for each character, and saved.<ref"Virtual Families". Virtual Families. Last Day of Work. Retrieved 4 April 2013./>
- Store The store has five different sections to it: groceries, varied items, medicines, home improvements, and career room upgrades. Each holds different things. The groceries section holds both groceries and organics foods. These food groups include grain, dairy, meats, and fruits and veggies. The organics, much like real life are more expensive foods to buy. Each day the store changes its inventory for things like sales on the different foods, but it can also vary for the varied items section as well. In the varied items section, multiple things can be offered such as books, outfits, candies, pets, weed bombs (which get rid of all the weeds in the yard), fruit snacks, or otherwise. The medicines section involves things like throat lozenges, peptic syrup, anti-inflammatory pills, antitussive syrup, cortisone cream, antihistamine, penicillin, vancomycin (used on extremely sick characters if they have a very serious illness), baby boost (which helps in improving your chance of more than one child), and a doctor consultation (which allows the user to see what type of medication to give to their character to make them better). The home improvements section offers a multitude of different things. Some of the things that the home improvements section offers are as follows: flat screen TV, paintings, air purifier, tools and parts, pillows and sheets, a fish tank, bathroom upgrades, a treadmill, a mp3/radio player, a pinball machine, patio furniture, a swimming pool, a hammock, a barbecue grill, and a birdhouse. Every time an upgrade is made, the characters will gather together in the room with the upgrade and jump up and down to show that they are excited.Finally, the career room upgrades, there are three places where the characters can improve their profession level: the kitchen, workshop and office. The amount to upgrade to level two from the starting level is $5000, and upgrading to level three costs $15000. Each upgrade allows the characters to gain faster career progression as well as giving the area a more modern look.<ref"Virtual Families". Virtual Families. Last Day of Work. Retrieved 4 April 2013./>
- Collection There are four sections of items that players can collect throughout the game: picture pieces, bugs, old coins, and nuts and twigs. Each has twelve items that the user has to collect using the characters to obtain a trophy. Each has a different spawn timer and will come up around the day at random times. If your character has already found an item that you drag them to then they will simply go to the computer and sell it for money instead of putting it in their collectables chest.
- Trophies This game has many puzzles and achievements to obtain. From collecting money to fixing up the yard, there are 100 trophies that the user can obtain. There are many different ones to for each section. The characters can go on the computer and look at emails which will give them items, money, or deduct money from their bank account. Things like the number of babies a character has is considered something worth a trophy as well, which then turns to praising and scolding for different things. There are also trophies for spending money on your characters as well, such as on food, or saving money on food. The trophies also cover household upgrades that you can obtain from the home improvement section, or giving your characters candy or other items from the various items section. The last and final achievements cover career goals, such as upgrading the career centres in the home, or fixing up spots in the home, the user can also gain a trophy for picking up socks, weeds or cleaning dirt smudges from the house. And finally, can gain achievements for reaching an age up to about 70 years.
Upon entering the house, the user will notice that there is scattered garbage, socks, and dirt smudges all around the house. There are also cracks in the flooring and the outside wall of the workshop is cracked, showing a two-toned colour. The objective is for the character to fix up the house and make it look brand new by obtaining items from the store. There is a large bar on the left side which works as the user’s inventory, the player can keep selected items in these spots until they fill up. The red and green glove however will always stay in the inventory. These two items are used to praise and scold your characters. When your character does something good, you click the green glove and then click on the character, this will create a rainbow looking sparkle above their head and they will bounce up and down to show their excitement. As the house gets fixed up, the generations will become wealthier because they wont have to worry about fixing the house up as much as when the first generations came around.
- Last Day of Work. (2011, 09, 19). Virtual families glitch!. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORngwmd9Kxw
- Usher, William. "Gaming Blend". Virtual Families Is A Casual Alternative To The Sims. Cinema Blend. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "Virtual Families 2". Last Day of Work. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "Virtual Families". Virtual Families. Last Day of Work. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- Writer, Staff. "Review: Virtual Families". Appadvice. AppAdvice. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- Saltzman, Marc. "Virtual Families Review". Gamezebo. Gamezebo. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "Virtual Families". Gamehouse. Gamehouse. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- Last Day of Work. (2009, 04, 04). Virtual Families Video - LDW. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-KLKdG4cFw
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