With another generation of The Sims, micromanaging has become more fun than ever.
The name of this game is ‘options.’ Because you have lots of them. Right from the beginning of the game when you start to build your first Sim the number of choices you have to fill out your character are wide ranging from the shape of your eyes , nose and the rest of your face, to what kind of aspirations your Sim has.
Do you want a house already built? With or without furniture? Maybe you’d rather start right from the foundation and buy a lot and build your house from there. The Sims 3 has got you covered. The choices you have to fill out your house are great to begin with, and you have plenty of additional items to acquire later on. Instead of just going to the refrigerator and getting something to cook and eat, you can go to the grocery store and buy the ingredients.
Your Sim has lots to do, too. Hanging around the house and building skills, playing games, and of course, sleeping while waiting to go to your job is still a staple. Now, however, you can go see a show in town or go play at the park. Not to mention the loading times are vastly improved over the earlier Sims games.
Gameplay is smooth and doesn’t hold you up from getting from place to place very long. Some quirks that might have just been the computer I was using included a repeated need to click on something twice to get it done, such as Zoom In or Zoom Out. And the “skip” speed to jump ahead to the next task in your queue (such as getting breakfast when your Sim is sleeping), just never worked at all.
Interactions with your neighbors is much more in depth than the previous Sims I’ve played (I didn’t play Sims 2), and give you conversations trees to get to know your soon-to-be-friends so much better, and gives you updates on what they think of you, helping you steer the conversation in favorable ways.
Going far beyond the simple needs of everyday basics like Hunger, Hygiene, Rest and others, your Sim has other needs related to their personality. If you have a Sim who hates to be outdoors, then going into the city to shop or swim at the pool with cause their mood to become negative. While a couch potato will be having a “great time” watching TV or playing games at the computer.
Adding to the pile of options in the game is the list of activities to choose from when you go to work. You can ‘work hard’ or ‘hang with co-workers’ to name a couple. This really sets a tone for your workplace goals and lets you administer some control on how fast you get ahead or move at a more casual pace in order to explore the game further. Turning the aging feature off also allows you to finish your career path without looking like it’s time to retire, this is good in a sense that if I wanted to play a game that resembled life too much, there’s not much point in playing a game now, is there?
Online does little to add to the experience. Since it’s mainly just the Sims store, where you can buy (as in real money) additional items for your home and Sim, download another town (Riverview) and expect more things to buy in the future.
Overall, the game can be a dream for the super organized and micromanager. It’s fun, well put together and finally doesn’t make you wait around forever to get somewhere you want to go.
The Married Gamers’ Report Card: B+