by Erin Johnsen
In the Sims universe, or Sim-verse if you will, control is the name of the game. Occasionally, as the Sim-Deity, you will create a family just to torture them. See how long they can go with red potty bars before they pee on the carpet and run crying into their one bedroom condo in shantyville. Put them in a swimming pool with no ladder and watch as they swim and swim and swim and eventually, mercifully, see the bony hand of death pull them out of water. Control is paramount to the Sims experience.
Such is why the latest expansion for the Sims is lackluster. Control takes awhile to achieve since you’re thrust into a new Sim-verse in which you feel like you’re really in another country. You don’t speak the language and you don’t know your way around town. The missions are written such that they assume you know the towns inside and out. As a foreign traveller, I have to wonder if the Sims creators made this an “on purpose” travel experience. But as a gamer I quickly got frustrated by the missions and adventures and just wanted to go home and starve my Sim for a few days.
Sometimes travel seems superfluous in a game where moving from home to home and town to town is seamless, but to a Sim Deity, travel spices up even the home turf as Sims can return from their adventures bearing new riches, treasures, and new Sim friends that continue in times of abroad and home. Missions give your Sims a purpose in their life other than the tedium of work, paying bills, catching ghosts, and achieving life goals.
Going on a mission is a lot like getting a job, initially. You travel to your exotic foreign land, settle in to the hostel, and can search for missions using the mission board outside the City Square. The mission details the basic task and who to speak with, a.k.a. your boss. Missions can be hard to understand initially. Be sure to spend some time exploring your vacation destination using the map, since the “boss” Sims act as though you’re familiar with the terminology and locations of businesses and landmarks around town.
It’s also beneficial to budget your time and money as though you were planning a real vacation. Often, it’s easy to run out of vacation time before completing more than a couple small missions (ain’t that always the way it is?) Stock up on goods at the general store, take care of pesky odors and hunger at the base camp/home.
Conversing with other tourists and townies (apparently French Simlish is just like English Simlish) gives you an opportunity to learn about culture and potentially make more friends.
All in all, The Sims 3 World Adventures is another level for Sims-addicted Deities. It provides a chance for your Sim to acquire new experience, friends, and items. While the learning curve might be a little more than impatient Sims-goers care to try initially, the flow is current with the Sims 3 game. Hopefully EA becomes a bit more family-friendly with its Sims expansion packs in the future, as it seems Sims travel in World Aventures solo. But maybe it’s time those Sims-toddlers learn how to feed themselves.
A copy of this game was provided to TMG for the purposes of evaluation and review.
Married Gamers Rating: B-