The Sims Online was one of the more addicting MMOs on the market for a lot of people a few years ago. It’s casual play style and the ability to communicate with friends and play a pretty decent version of The Sims with them was a no brainer. But now that game has been shut down for several years and EA wants to revitalize the idea with a free to play social game built into Facebook. But is it worth your time?
The Sims Social is a stripped down and simple version of The Sims but retains many of the great things about the 3rd iteration of the series. You create a basic Sim model, name him, send him off into the world and are tasked with different chores, keeping your Sim happy and making sure they’re well fed, get enough rest and are socially active. Yes they built in a meter to make sure that you are interacting with your friends in order to keep your Sim happy. Don’t have any friends that want to play? Well don’t worry, you can interact with an AI named Bella (at least that’s what her name was in my case… are they going for a twilight thing?)
What’s weird about the game is that your social interactions don’t seem to actually be connected. Rather than connecting with people and truly interacting with them, you simply visit their space, say hello, interact and it’s very much in the same way Sims have been interacting for years. You have a wheel of options and you simply pick them. What’s odd is that you can flirt with, get to know and get in a relationship with friends characters without their say. I’ve yet to see if they get any kind of real response from this, but I can see where it could make for some awkward Facebook posts.
Honestly The Sims Social is a good idea, and it’s a fun distraction. A lot of people hate casual social games like this and I know why. Sadly the game does have farmville like updates where after every thing you do in the game it’s begs you to share what you’ve done. Want to add a room onto your tiny shanty house? Well get ready to ask friends to come make it… and that’s when it lost me.
I don’t want to have to ask my friends to help me upgrade my house. I can’t ask Bella and there aren’t any more fake people in the game that I can ask. Even worse, once I do want to ask, I can’t simply ask people that are already playing. It gives me a full list of people I know on Facebook and invites them to the game. I hate getting messages like that, and while this does have a brand name that is synonymous with good gaming, it’s still a facebook game and that comes with a stigma attached to it.
Here’s where I’m at right now… I want to play The Sims Social, but I want to play with other people that REALLY DO WANT TO PLAY. Not with friends I pester into joining. I want to spend time with people in an online social setting, and this game could have let me do that, but it doesn’t. It’s stripped down mechanics work, it’s addicting as most sims games, and it does have a system that rewards playing continuously, but with Sims 3 being out on every platform even iPhone, I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to just jump into the full game… Maybe I’ll see how much Sims 3 is on Amazon for Xbox 360.
If you want to play with me on Facebook go ahead and send me a friend request at Facebook.com/Daftbot. You’ll end up helping me with a full review.