In a better world, we're all cartoonsThis was going to happen; it was just a matter of when. Electronic Arts has taken one of their premier franchises and combined it with the hottest game system around. The first installment of the Sims franchise for the Wii has arrived under the name My Sims. This game is much more cartoon-like, giving it a bright atmosphere and different approach.
If you're looking for the standard Sims game, you're in for a surprise. This version of the game is a lot simpler and easier to play. And, thanks to the Wii controller, there are plenty of new features, most notably building. The one thing that is really annoying is load times. Every time you go into a house or access the design interface, it seems like it takes forever.
This was very common in older game systems, but the Wii shouldn't have the same problem. Each time you go to build something, whether it be a house or a simple chair, you're taken to a design interface (basically a grid with a catalog of objects). When designing a house there's the option to have one or two floors with plenty of accessories such as domed roofs, balconies and even garden gnomes. A cool feature let's you walk up to someone's house and give it a friendly re-design, allowing you to convert their mansion into a tool shed or vice versa. You can design your house anyway you want, but it'll always look the same inside with three rooms and no second floor. This means there's limited space to place objects. The previous Sims games have always let gamers expand their houses, upgrading to huge mansions in some cases. My Sims foregoes this feature but allows players to take on building projects with unlimited equipment.
Overall, the game is very similar to Animal Crossing, challenging players to build their village into a beautiful town while encouraging outsiders to join your community. And, just as in Animal Crossing, the more you put into My Sims the more you'll get out of it, meaning there's plenty of un-lockable paints and items. The residents will from time to time ask you to do tasks for them, normally building items such as an ornament that you will then be rewarded for. As you progress you'll be able to unlock new tools like crowbars and pickaxes, which allow you access new areas for either town-building or item-finding. Essences are an important aspect of My Sims. Players can fish, dig, and harvest objects that range from magic 8-balls to apples. After locating one of the objects, you can add it to the item you're building, or use it as a colored paint (a much preferable option). Players will find some objects just walking around town. But to get the better, more valuable, objects, you'll need to broaden your search. Essences not only add a different look/color, but also a personality to your item such as fun, geeky, spooky, etc. You'll learn to use different objects depending on the Sim you're making.
My Sims is fun. The question is: For how long? The simpler approach really doesn't help. Personally, I don't think the game deserves the Sims title, as there isn't much of a resemblance to its predecessors. For younger gamers, though, it's a totally different story. There's plenty of content to keep them entertained and provides the perfect difficulty to introduce them to the Sims franchise.
My Sims ★★★✩✩
Rated- E for Everyone. Publisher- Electronic Arts. Platform- Nintendo Wii, DS, and PC. Retail- $29.99 to $49.99