Home New indie life-sim set to dabble where The Sims and Life By You fear to tread

New indie life-sim set to dabble where The Sims and Life By You fear to tread


  • This Grand Life 2, a turn-based life-management game by Poking Water Games, is launching next month with a demo available now.
  • The game offers a unique life simulation experience with characters facing real-world challenges like allergies, addictions, and varying financial statuses.
  • Features include multi-person household management, business ownership, real estate investment, and a highly moddable environment with maps based on real cities.

It’s over six years since Life Sim This Grand Life passed you by. You have probably never heard of it, which is a shame because its turn-based life-management mechanic is something we have not seen much of since.

Until now that is as This Grand Life 2 is gearing up for a launch next month and has a nice demo to get you in the mood and show off what the devs at Sydney-based Poking Water Games have been up to for the past few years.

2024 is going to be a big year for Life Sims, games like InZoi are on the horizon and the big-hitting Sims challenger Life By You also heads in Early Access next month, but you won’t find This Grand Life 2 punching for them.

Cute character selfies in front of waterfalls are not the focus here – nope, here you will try to run the lives of normal people, people could be suffering from everyday allergies and addictions, people who could be rich, or even homeless, or even homeless people that become rich.

The premise remains fascinating, This Grand Life 2 describes itself as: “A money-focused life simulator. Create characters with allergies and addictions. Manage their lives through financial booms and busts. Advance their careers, start a small business, invest in real estate and stocks – or roleplay a penniless hobo.”

You aren’t going to find these characters in The Sims 4 for example, “From a workaholic security guard studying a law degree to a diabetic anti-authoritarian ex-bartender running a flower shop, there are tens of thousands of life combinations in This Grand Life 2.”

The game looks intriguing and we like the almost Prison Architect dynamic it seems to have. It will even be completely moddable. Watch out for this one as a cool indie hit.

If you fancy giving it a go there is a demo available before it launches on Steam on June 20th.

This Grand Life 2 features

  • Colony Sim-Style Management – Set priorities for your characters and watch them fulfill their desires. You make the important decisions like where to work, live, and study.
  • Character Preferences – Be an ambitious investment banker with a paperwork allergy, or a struggling single parent with a shopping addiction. The unique preferences system offers a variety of “what-ifs” to play out.
  • Multi-Person Household – Manage multiple characters in one household. Run a bachelor pad, nuclear family, student share house, or hobo camp.
  • Multi-Generational – Your characters will age from birth to death and accumulate status conditions as they go through life.
  • Skills and Education – Multiple organic routes to qualify for a job, whether through experience, education, or a combination of both.
  • Cycles within cycles – Industries will go through their own booms and busts so consider your options carefully. Retail jobs might pay higher wages while energy prices are decreasing at the same time.
  • Be A Business Owner – Start your own small business. Hire workers, run it as a family enterprise, or do all the jobs yourself.
  • Real Estate – Purchase residential or commercial property and rent it out, live in it, or use it for one of your businesses.
  • Stock Market – Research stocks. Consider industry trends, management competency, price/earnings ratios, and other factors before investing.
  • Real City Pathfinding – Maps are based on real cities. Travel time depends on actual road and rail networks, as well as obstacles like rivers and mountains.
  • Moddability – Create your own careers, courses, locations, possessions and more. All content is designed to be highly moddable.

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Paul McNally
Gaming Editor

Paul McNally has been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision in 1980. He has been a prominent games journalist since the 1990s, spending over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title published by IDG Media. Having spent time as Head of Communications at a professional sports club and working for high-profile charities such as the National Literacy Trust, he returned as Managing Editor in charge of large US-based technology websites in 2020. Paul has written high-end gaming content for GamePro, Official Australian PlayStation Magazine,…

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