Those that do not follow the social media-sphere may be unaware that The Sims has now made its way to Facebook; yes the horribly addictive, time-consuming game has now made its way to the most addictive and time-consuming platform! I'm not sure about you, but I'm rejoicing!
We gave our first impressions of the trailer from seeing the game at EA’s press conference a few months back, and found the concept of bringing such a personal game like The Sims to such a social and brash stage like Facebook a little scary. The Sims Social looked as though it was going to allow you to push past the social-boundaries; dating your friends, cheating on your partners and peeing on the lawn of your boss, we were pleasantly surprised with the end result.
Whilst the game is still in beta stages you may not have a smooth ride through your Sims’ life, there are a lot of issues with loading into the game, losing save data and missions not completing, but like most Facebook games you will just have to roll with the punches and wait for the updates, no point in moaning at an unfinished game!
Like all Facebook games, The Sims Social is run off micro transactions that are not necessary to play, but allow the impatient to get everywhere that little bit faster. Players are able to visit each other’s houses, watch TV, dance, cook and gain skills much like other Sims games, however energy is the name of the game and with only 15 points available to you with a regen of 5 minutes you’ll be limited to the game in bursts; unless you pay for more energy that is.
Now The Sims Social was never going to be the sandbox affair that fans know and love, well it just wouldn’t sell on Facebook, so the game is mission based. Random Sim neighbours will ask you to perform tasks for them, all the while teaching you how the game works and functions in a sea of Facebook games, you’ll also find a few similarities and differences from its retail counterpart.
Players are still able to dress and furnish themself and their home as you would in The Sims 3, there is a huge catalogue of chairs, t-shirts, hairstyles, lawn ornaments and wallpaper colours to satisfy even the most needy of players, and we can suspect that these items will keep coming.
Your Sims do not have jobs, and are more layabouts than your standard productive members of society, and so instead Simoleons are made via more simple means such as cutting the grass, composing music, writing and cooking; generally the basic Sim skills.
The addition to The Sims Social that players will not be used to is the new Craft system, this allows you to use the items that you pick up sporadically during a game; taking a photo of some birds will give you a Muse object, coupling this with Love and Goodwill will allow you to make an Inspired Potion to instantly inspire yourself. As you continue to play the game you will collect new crafting plans that will boost stats and improve your Sims mood, replacing the Opportunities and Goals system.
In a nutshell, The Sims Social is everything that you want from the Sims, but simplified; fulfilling a Sim’s needs can be achieved on a mere button press, you only control one Sim at a time, fairly straightforward, but there is one little niggle that will turn most fans away. In The Sims Social there is no real creative side; there is a crafting, but there is no real way to properly landscape your house and lot, you cannot create new fashions and furniture colour schemes, and there is no way to share your Sims. Think of The Sims Social as Play, Create.
If you are an avid Facebook gamer, then The Sims Social may not seem too different from your standard Facebook affair; with similarities to Cityville, and even Farmville. Doubtlessly you will find some love in this game, but it appeals more to those long suffering Sims fans that cannot escape from the franchise, nor stop playing one of EA’s most successful series.