Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Game review: The Sims Freeplay (iPad)

Title: The Sims Freeplay
Developer: EA
Platform: iPad/iPhone

It seems as though The Sims will never decrease in popularity and the newest installment plays much the same as it always has, except now it's portable.

Unlike the main games which require expansion packs to get more clothes, pets, furniture etc.  The Sims FreePlay comes bundled with a pet but you do need to buy extra clothes and furniture.  You also can't build a house from scratch, instead you start off with one already built and then have to choose from a selection of pre-built houses when you want to add more Sims to your town.  (Note: Don't try and use the regular cheats, they don't work with this game so I'm afraid it's the hard way of making money.)

The controls are nice and simple, with the minimal buttons on screen to allow ease of access to your playable  Sims.  The build and buy tabs have been merged into one and the method of placing furniture (simply poking a spot) and building walls (poke and drag) is remarkably easier than expected.

Although all the actions are in real-time, this means you can leave your sims sleeping without worrying too much about any work you have to do.  It also means you can just dip your feet in for a break or you can spend all day creating Sims and messing around with the houses, provided you have the money of course.

The few problems I have with the game include the limited amount of items available to create your first Sims.  Real money has to be spent if you want the full customisation experience that is the major draw for the game.  Another problem is the very niche personalities.  You have things like 'Villain', 'Geek', 'Bookworm', nothing more than that.  Now I know this is a less powerful system so they can't put everything in but it would have been nice to not have to shoehorn my characters into one specific type of person.

But I can't complain too much, for such a complex game that hasn't really translated well to systems other than PC, this version is clean, easy to use, has great graphics and is, as The Sims always has been, incredibly addictive.

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