The Sims™ FreePlay

from Electronic Arts, originally released 14th December, 2011

LIVE FREE! From the creators of The Sims™ 3 series of best-selling iPhone games, comes an ALL-NEW Sims experience that you can play for FREE on iPhone and iPad!


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The Sims FreePlay Review

The Sims is a well known franchise, and its has been present on the App Store well before the latest entry which, as its name implies, is a freemium venture. The Sims FreePlay gives you a town to which you slowly add houses, businesses, and up to 16 Sims, all of whom you control.

As with many freemium games, there are two types of currency along with experience to aid you in your quest to unlock the game’s many features. While you can always take the easy and expensive way to attaining special items and more abilities, you can also work your way up to new features by directing your Sims to garden, watch TV, or even play the Sims (careful not to think about that too closely). Sadly, there is no “rosebud” cheat here.

Dancing machine.

Everything that your Sims do takes time, from the construction of their houses to the baking of delicious apple pies. Less time is required with fancier appliances, and any time requirement can be purchased away. All tasks reward experience, and some tasks reward Simoleons, which you can spend on what you will.

While it is tempting to just set your Sims to work gardening all day to make more money, there is a task generator that does a good job of keeping things fresh by directing you to host dance parties and movie nights, and by rewarding you with Lifestyle Points, the more valuable currency. That generator might be part of the reason for the constant Internet connection that the game requires, but we still found that requirement annoying.

Walls would be nice.

It doesn’t take long to discover that you need much more money than you have to build your town up and introduce more Sims to the society, so that quickly becomes your focus. You can collect revenue from each building over time, which makes you either a monopoly landlord or some form of cult leader collecting tribute from those you control. Either way, the further your town progresses, the more expensive construction becomes.

The cheapest way to deal with this is by putting your Sims to work at the few workplaces you build in the town, or setting them to other time-intensive, Simoleon-rewarding tasks. Both types of work take hours and the game’s time mirrors real time, which makes it less of a game that you play extensively and more of a game that you carry around and occasionally access to update tasks. Given the relatively large file size, that can be problematic for iDevices with less storage space.

All in all, the Sims FreePlay is a good game, and it definitely offers that Sims fix to any addicts out there trying to quit the notoriously addicting franchise. For those who want more involved gameplay, other (non-freemium) Sims games might hold more promise.