The Sims 3 for the iPhone
$6.99 through the iTunes store
The Sims and I go way back. If you’re not familiar with the game’s concept it’s essentially like playing with a virtual Barbie dolls. You control a Sim and help them navigate through the world by helping them conquer everything from eating, sleeping and basic hygiene to climbing a career ladder and finding true happiness with another Sim. Or multiple Sims!
If you’ve played the regular version computer version of The Sims you know how graphics intensive it is. Everything is fully 3D rendered, able to be manipulated and/or altered. It’s a huge game with a heavy draw time so I was dubious about how it would work on the iPhone.
To my surprise, it’s actually quite nimble. The designers have done a good job giving detail to what you want to see and scaling back on what is not necessary for close up detail. For example, when your Sim walks through the town, your icon is reduced to a small blue figure against a 2D background. This helps with navigation and load times.
As with any of these types of games, the first step is the creation of your Sim. You pick the gender, hairstyle, clothes and personality. Be careful about the styles you pick here because unlike the full version of the game, you cannot change these later. You’ll be stuck with that outfit the whole game!
The basic needs of your Sim are displayed for you in the bottom left of the screen. Touch the green bar and you’ll be shown the current status of each need. Hungry? Tired? Bored? Lonely? It’s up to you to take care of your Sim! Interaction with objects is very intuitive. Touch the bed and select the option to sleep. Click on the TV to watch and get some good wholesome entertainment.
A Career and Money
Once you’ve mastered the basics of caring for your Sim you’ll find you have another need – money! You need a job! You can find a job by picking up the phone or going into town. I started out in the restaurant as a cook. Don’t be afraid to wandering around and see what appeals to you. Once you’ve got your job, make sure you note the days of the week you work and what hours. You don’t want to be late!
Getting around quickly – You can’t go to work until 30 minutes before your start time. But once it’s time, the quickest way to get to work is to use the Diamond button in the lower right hand corner. Click on the Diamond and then the button that looks like a desk. This will take you to work instantly. This also works for getting home quickly by selecting the button that looks like a house.
Cooking – Interested in improving your cooking skills? Go the restaurant in town and purchase a recipe or two. Click on the Diamond icon and scroll to the inventory page. Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see your recipes! You’ll also see if you have the ingredients to make that meal! Need breed and cheese for the grilled cheese sandwich? Head to the Quickmart! Once you have all the ingredients you need to cook the recipe head home and click on the stove. Choose the recipe you want to cook and a minigame starts. Pots on a stove must be picked up and shaken as they start to glow red to help them cool down. You must shake your iPhone or iTouch to shake the pots. You must then touch the next pot to shake and cool it.
Fishing – Once you’ve purchased a fishing rod from the Hobby store you can head to the Lake and start fishing. The fish will appear in the water and you’ll need to tilt the device gently to get the line in front of the fish. Eventually the fish will be hooked and a green fish hook icon will appear in the water. Quick jerk the iPhone or iTouch to catch the fish and reel it in.
Money, money, money – There are lots of ways to make money in the game besides your job!
-Be sure to meet everyone in the town because many have ‘quests’ that will earn you good money. Walter would like a trout. Kia needs a catfish. Marcelle pays for an egg.
– Fishing in the lake is an amazingly easy way to earn money. Catch the fish and then sell them back to the Quickmart.
– Find out who your boss is (Diamond icon and then scroll to your job panel) and make friends with them. Eventually you’ll get the option to ask them for a raise!
– Once you’ve upgraded your home you’ll get a backyard garden! Grown seeds purchased at the Hobby store and sell the extras back to the Quickmart.
Woohoo – If you want your Sim to be intimate with another Sim you need to choose the Romantic options when talking. It starts with a flirt, then a pick up line, a tender embrace and then a hot smooch. But where’s the woohoo? Scroll up the options and it should be the last option in the Romance – if your Sim is into you!
The gameplay is snappy and the graphics are very smooth and beautiful. The ambient sound was pleasant and soothing. I enjoyed exploring the town, meeting the different Sims and improving my Sim’s life. It’s strangely addictive, just like the full version of Sims.
The original version spoils you with the amount of choices allowed. Because of the limitations of the iPhone/iTouch sacrifices had to be made. No changing hairstyles, no changing clothes, furniture upgrades are limited, and no real interaction with other Sims that changes you. By that I mean you can’t move in with your spouse, can’t have children nor do you age.
I had a lot of fun playing this game and I’m going to keep playing it. If you’re a fan of the original Sims I think you’ll enjoy this scaled down version. It’s beautifully rendered and there’s a lot of fun to be had with this game. I look forward to their next offerings!