The Sims FreePlay Hands-On Preview

The Sims 3 on iOS and its many spin-offs (World Adventures, Ambitions, and Medieval) have been consistently great iPhone games, but there hasn’t been a Sims game designed for the iPad, too. That’s just one of the reasons we’re excited for The Sims FreePlay, a game that lets you grow relationships and build careers the way other casual games let you grow crops and build farms.

The Sims FreePlay is, as the name suggests, a freemium title that uses the same mechanic as FarmVille, We Farm, and EA’s upcoming Theme Park. The story starts with your Sim knocking over a trash can, which gets him kicked out of his neighborhood, forcing him to find a new place to live.

When you assign your Sims to a task, like going to work or flirting with the neighbors, you’ll have to wait for a countdown to expire before collecting your xp and virtual currency rewards. You can also rush these actions with the premium currency, called life points.

As you complete more tasks, you’ll be able to pimp out your Sim’s lifestyle, buying furniture and accessories. This will increase your overall Town Score, which can be compared to others online through EA’s Origin leaderboards, arriving in an update after launch.

Unlike the previous Sims games on iOS, in Sims FreePlay you can manage multiple Sims, eventually unlocking up to 16 virtual residents in your city. That’s not including dogs, which you can keep as pets, and who will help you dig up extra cash in the backyard. Sorry, cat people, it’s dogs-only for now.

The Sims Freeplay is all about growing your Sims as people– giving them hobbies, goals, and adventures. The social dynamics at play are more interesting to us than harvesting crops in Farmville, so we’re looking forward to playing more of this freemium take on a beloved franchise. The Sims FreePlay will be available in December.