| |it would be nice to see him dressed as a clown down at the mall.
In the new "Bust out mode" you start off in living at home with mom before leaving to wander around and explore other houses in your neighborhood then revisit any previous locations to complete your unfinished objectives. Along the way, players can unlock and collect over a hundred new objects like a Laser Light Show, DJ Booth, Climbing Wall, and High Dive. Unlock hidden, appearance-enhancing accessories such as new clothing, jewelry, and hairstyles & enjoy new social moves like French Kiss, Towel Snap, and Moon Walk. There is also a “free play” mode that lets you create a whole sim family and play with them without having any particular goals to achieve besides making them happy.
The graphics have been tightened for this release and the music can be strangely addictive. The strange mix of non-words the sism use when talking to each other is a nice touch as you find yourself trying to place the phrases and accents that range from German to what must be Innuit.
Having never played the sims before I was a little unsure of what to expect from the most popular game of all time, it seemed like I had to like it despite the prospect of a god game where making sure your little charge washes their hands after going to the loo replaces the ability to smite an entire civilisation with a cruelly timed volcanic eruption.
With this in mind it came as a pleasant surprise as to find just how intense and fast paced the game play is, you soon start racking up the tasks in order to maximize your sims’ happiness in an attempt to get him or her on in life.
At first this is quite an exhilarating experience as small tasks are rewarded, making you feel good about things in general and easing you into the game but your work is soon cut out for you.
The task of keeping the levels high in your Motives menu is a lot like that plate spinning trick, as you concentrate on keeping one spinning smoothly another is crashing to the floor. The rate at which the levels decline seems a little cruel and can lead to a state of constant panic as you fight in vain to keep each area of your sims’ motives fulfilled.
Time is your biggest enemy in this game and it seems that whoever programmed the clock to run so fast then made tasks such as cleaning up a single plate in the kitchen take fifteen minutes seem a little sadistic. Time management keeps becomes the most important task as you try and squeeze getting dressed, using the toilet and having breakfast into the two and a half hours you allot yourself before the bus arrives to take your sim to work. Is it just me or do these little people not know the meaning of hurrying?
Veterans of this game will no doubt fall straight into step with the way things move in the world of sims but as a debutant I found myself chasing my tail, a slave to the ever falling green bars in the motives menu, unable to fathom my flatmates sleeping patterns (getting up to water the garden at four thirty am?) and unable to keep my sim in the state of complete Nirvana that seems to be required in order to grab a promotion at work.
It is easy to see how the game has grown to be so popular; it functions like a highly addictive substance. You keep popping back for another fiddle as surely this time you can get little fellow up in time to have breakfast and bath in the four hour time window before the bus arrives can’t you?
Playing the sims looks like it should be a great stress reliever but it may be that the selfish demands these little folk impose upon you make dealing with your vandalized car, unfulfilling job and family funerals seem like a welcome break.
7 out of 10