“ Developer: EA / Type: Facebook Game „
The Sims gaming franchise has been around since 2000 though during the last 12 years I haven't given the game even a passing glance when out shopping, why would I want to waste my time playing a stupid video game.......? oh how that all changed last year when the online version - Sims Social was launched....
What is it?
The Sims Social is an online game accessed via Facebook which enables users to create an persona for themselves, build and decorate their own house, start a career and interact with neighbours (hence the Social side to it)
How do you access it?
The game is run via Facebook so you need to create a Facebook account if you don't already have one to access the game. The game can be found easily via the App centre.
How do you get started?
One you've found the game in the Facebook App centre it guides you through the set up process, this is something you can't skip I believe but is useful if you're new to the concept of the Sims so you can learn how to make the most of it.
Initially you're shown your Sim character in all her or his glory and can customise them. You can choose hair, eye and skin colour, their clothes and shoes and any accessories from a pretty decent selection. You can also choose a trait for them - for example creative or sporty. You need to choose your trait carefully as if you want to change it later on it will cost you real money (!) called Sim Cash, that I will get to later.
Once you have selected the appearance and trait for your Sim character you are then shown your house, it's basic to begin with containing only the essentials - living / bedroom / kitchen and bathroom, with a small amount of furniture and decorations to get you started including a computer and guitar so you can start to earn money.
How do you progress through the game?
When you first start the game you are given a small amount of cash to get going - there are 3 types of currency in Sims Social world, I will try and explain them below:
*Simoleons - these are virtual coins that you easily earn by performing actions in the game, either by using items (known as skilling up) or by interacting with your neighbours. The amount of simoleons you earn can vary wildly depending on what you are doing, for instance simply playing a piano for fun can earn you 10 whilst working at the highest level on one of the art skill items whilst being inspired can earn you almost 60.
*Social points - these are a bit harder to earn, you mainly earn these by interacting with your neighbours in the game, they look like little blue diamonds. Once you have them they are worth saving up
*Sims Cash - this you can only gain by either buying with real money (which I personally don't agree with) or if you play the game regularly you are given a small amount every 5 days, up to 10 at a time. I have only ever received 5 free at once.
The above currencies can be used to buy things in the game, from extra rooms for your house, decorations such as wallpaper and furniture to clothes and shoes. Anything you buy adds to your game value which is shown at the bottom of the screen next to an image of your characters face. The higher your house value the more access you get to items in the shop, plus I've noticed that the area in front of your house gains more kerb appeal the higher your house level goes.
To keep things interesting in addition to expanding your home and increasing your wardrobe there are items in the game known as skills items. They are divided into categories such as writing, art and cooking. For instance you can buy a cooker and unlock levels in it using ingredients gained from working through the game. The higher the level the more Simoleons you can earn.
How do you add neighbours to the game?
This is easy, simply click the add neighbour button whilst in game and wait for your friends to accept. The more friends you have using the game the easier it is to progress and it makes it more fun as you have more neighbours to interact with. Once the game starts you do get one neighbour called Bella to get you started though that isn't enough to make the most of the game.
What else can you do in the game?
When you start the game there are a multitude of little quests which pop up, they are relatively easy to complete and earn you varying amounts of Simoleons and other items to help you progress though the game. In addition to these are there are also weekly larger quests which require more time and effort to complete - this is where having several friends / neighbours comes in handy. Some of them are timed, in that you have around 7-9 days to finish them with the incentive of earning a prize of extra house value at the end.
Downsides to the game?
There are a few, as with any online game the Sims Social isn't perfect and at times is a bit buggy. The game is often down for maintenance by the developers and there are snags where it reloads itself. This doesn't happen enough to affect playability I think.
Once you start the game there is no way to reset it. You can only carry on and not go backwards. If you want to start from scratch you'd have to create a brand new facebook account and start again.
The game is very addictive, I have been known to spend several hours at a time on it! It is great fun and a brilliant time waster ;) it's definitely worth a look if you want a cheap bit of entertainment
Ever since the launch of the series in 2000, The Sims has amassed a substantial amount of games across a large variety of platforms. With an impressive worldwide fan base stretching far into the millions, it was only a matter of time before The Sims conquered the social networking market. This month, The Sims Social launched on Facebook. The game garnered a staggering 5 million players on it's launch day, so obviously Maxis are doing something right. So what is it that has made The Sims Social so popular in such a short space of time?
The answer to that above question is simple-the familiar game play. Being a Sims fan for the past eleven years, I was pleased to notice that The Sims Social thankfully keeps in a lot of the game play that can be experienced in the PC version, but of course, things have been adapted so that it fits in with the "social" aspect of Facebook.
The game sees you in charge of one character, instead of the choice of controlling a family of Sims. Like the previous games, the ability to fulfill your Sims basic needs is included here, which sees you insuring that your Sim has gone to the toilet, eaten, had an desired amount of fun, and more. If you don't keep on top of these, your Sim becomes thoroughly unhappy, and it becomes harder for them to complete set tasks until you've made them happy again.
A large element of the game is the social side of it. Players can invite their friends to play the game, then visit their friends virtual Sim house to interact with their character. Thankfully, the interactions are not simply visiting a house to water the neighbours plants, tidy or repair things like in CityVille and FarmVille. In this game, your Sims actually get to develop their relationships by chatting, joking, flirting, complimenting and many, many more. In fact, there are so many possibilities of interaction that this proves to be one of the most fun aspects of the entire game.
One nice touch is that your Sim and Facebook friends sims relationships will actually develop. I'm currently in the process of getting my Fiancé and myself's relationship status up to the highest level in the game (sad, but true). Choose to become mortal enemies, or the best of friends or lovers. The choice is entirely in you, and your friends, hands. Be warned though-your Facebook friend will have to approve a change in relationship between their sim and yours. This is a great addition which actually makes you consider the consequences of accepting a particular relationship status.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of The Sims Social for me is the customisation. Like the previous games, this Facebook addition allows you to build your own house and furnish it from the shop section. The bigger and more furnished your house is, the more your house value will increase. Increasing in house value helps to unlock items and challenges, so it's worth aspiring towards!
To give some sort of focus to the game, challenges have been added. These challenges require you to do certain tasks in the game in order to complete it, collect xp and rewards, and thus level up. This part of the game play actually gets pretty addictive, especially when you realise you are just that little bit closer to levelling up.
There is one aspect of the game however that, unfortunately, I find quite frustrating. This is the collecting of items to complete tasks, unlock new writing, art or cooking skills, or to build a piece of furnishing for your house. Whilst the majority of these can be collected via completing certain tasks (many can be unlocked whilst working towards skill points), or completing challenges. However, the downside is that many can only be rewarded by asking friends to send them to you. Thankfully many of my friends are on The Sims Social, so I can get most of my requests sent to me. However, this is a disheartening aspect of the game when a player does not have many friends who are willing to play it.
Also, some items can only be collected if you post a message from the game on your Facebook wall. After a while of having to do this, you'll notice that your wall is littered with game messages. Being someone who has a huge number of friends posting things like this from CityVille, it's difficult to actually read your news feed without being confronted by one of these. In all honesty, it's just like spamming, and kind of pollutes the whole Facebook experience. I just wish the game avoided the "posting to wall" aspect, and instead focused on earning them through the game. Not everybody wants to read your desperate plea for a few extra simoleons!
Overall, The Sims Social is a welcome addition to the already huge Sims franchise. The changes made to the familiar game play are both welcoming and refreshing here. The social side of this new game play allows players to share their sim experience with their Facebook friends in a number of ways. The inclusion of challenges which the player can complete along the way gives the game a certain element of focus, so those who are growing tired of the free-roaming element that The Sims is well known for has something to actually aim for.
A few bugs are yet to be ironed out, such as the inability to accept requests at times, challenges not completing and so on, but it's early days and I'm sure the game will be improved on significantly. The Sims Social is definitely the best game I have played on Facebook, and I do not doubt on it remaining that way for a long time to come yet. I look forward to seeing how this game progresses!
I am a massive fan of The Sims ever since I started playing the first version of the PC game when I was young. I have since played all three versions on the PC, a couple of the DS games, the iPhone apps and I also own The Sims 3 for the Xbox 360. Therefore, as soon as I saw The Sims Social appear on Facebook, I didn't hesitate to try it out.
I have always stayed away from Facebook applications as I know I could easily become addicted to them, and I think I spend enough time on Facebook as it is! So this is the reason why I have never played Farmville or the other games like this, but I have been told they are the same kind of game as The Sims Social. Therefore, if you like them games then I'm guessing you might like this one too.
~ Gameplay ~
When first starting the game, just like in the ordinary PC version of the game, you have to create your sim. I must point out straight away that this is not entirely the same as the PC version or other gaming consoles that you may have played The Sims on before, and so you cannot create families or choose from a choice of houses or plots at the start of the game. You create your sim and you start with a standard house that all the other players on Facebook will also start with.
It did take me a while to get used to the game and exactly what you have to do on it, as it is based on challenges. Instead of focusing on getting a job and working your way through promotions to get rich, you have to carry out various tasks and then you progress through the levels, when more items in the shop will become available to you. The more items you purchase for your house and the bigger it is, the more value it is and this is also how more items can become available for you to purchase.
Along the bottom there are my friends that I have added on Facebook who also play the game, and you can request to become friends with them on the application too, then allowing you to visit there houses. This is one of the things I like about this game, the fact that you can visit your friends houses and have a little neb! You can also become in a relationship with one of the Sims if your actual friend accepts the relationship request. After a couple days of persuading my boyfriend he finally started playing this game and so in the game I am also dating him! We are now competing to see who can get the better house quicker, so as you can see this is how I have became more addicted to the game... I kind of wish I never started playing it now!
To perform actions on the game your Sim needs to have 'energy'. You cannot simply tell your Sim to do an endless amount of actions as you run out of energy and have to wait for more energy which is given to you every 4-5 minutes. You start off with 15 and this is the maximum amount you can have, so if you haven't been on for a while then it will slowly go back up while you're off the app and then by the time you go to play the game again, your Sim will have energy points to be able to perform actions. In my opinion it does become annoying when you run out of energy and you can't tell your sim to do anything apart from the basics such as eat, sleep, shower and go to the toilet. You cannot complete the challenges or socialise with your friends when you have no energy, making it a bit pointless playing when you have none. You can get more energy as bonuses now and again or you can 'craft' some by using certain awards that you often receive from performing everyday activities on the game, but I have only managed to 'craft' some once in the four days I have repeatedly played this game.
Another major factor of this game is the SimCash, where you can use real money to purchase things for the game. I know a lot of the games like this on Facebook give you the option of purchasing things for the game with your cash that you otherwise can't buy, and it is the only disappointing thing about this game. I will never use my real money to buy furniture for the game or to get more energy quicker, but I am guessing a lot of people do become addicted and so end up using their money to purchase SimCash co that they can progress through the game quicker. It gives you the option to pay with your card, through your phone by adding the costs to your phonebill, through PayPal, and a few other methods. Other than this, the game is free to play.
~ Overall ~
If you do like the other Facebook games such as Farmville, and like me, you love the Sims, then I am certain you will also like this game. However, you may become addicted to it! I have always stayed away from games like this on Facebook but because of the fact it was The Sims, I gave into temptation with this one. You may find it will become boring if you don't have friends on Facebook who also play the game, for you to become friends with and help you progress through the game. I luckily have around ten who also play and so this does help me complete the challenges in the game and why I am still playing on it now.
I give this 4 out of 5 stars because it is a good game, I wouldn't be playing it so much if it wasn't, but I do not like the SimCash part of it and wish that all furniture etc was available to buy with the money that you make in the game.
So The Sims Social Facebook application has just gone into beta status as of last week and a few days ago, I finally got myself into the game and I can safely say, I'm hooked! The Sims Social already has over 3 million users (and rising), and will definitely be a contender to other games such as Farmville.
The premise of the game is very much like any Facebook game and very much like any Sims game. Instead of trading cows and sheep, this is a far more social game, based on real life actions. You start off designing your character or persona by customising their hairstyle, facial features and clothes, choose their trait, before being moved into your virtual house.
After a brief under-five minute tutorial with your new computer-based neighbour Bella, you are free to do whatever you want, guided by 'neighbours' who appear as icons on the left side of the screen, who give you tasks to do in exchange for rewards, experience and 'lifetime achievement points'.
Tasks include working on skills (cooking, painting, writing, playing musical instrument), interacting with neighbours (such as doing mean actions, gossiping, requesting items) and doing remedial tasks such as cutting grass, repairing objects or other household chores.
Experience allows you to level up and unlock objects. Physical rewards include certain items needed to progress the game and household objects. Lifetime achievement points can be used to purchase traits, such as 'Ninja' which allow you to teleport, Insane, Ogre and Great Kisser. I'll let you figure those out for yourself ;)
As with any Facebook game, Sims Social will constantly require you to annoy your friends by asking them to help you with many tasks. In order to build furniture, level up skills and even pass certain tasks, certain objects are unobtainable by just playing. In order to obtain them, you must send your friends notifications asking them to send it to you, which in turn requires them to play.
This I find truly annoying as my Facebook philosophy is that I don't bug people with these games having been bugged by the numberous Farmville requests (which I've not blocked) so to be forced to publish something on my wall in order to proceed the game is just unforgivable!
However, there is a shortcut to doing all this, why it's the sneaky Simcash! Using Simcash allows you to bypass any task and purchase rare, beautiful objects and clothes. But it comes at a cost, a cost that applies to you in real life, yes, I'm talking about real money.
At the heart of any Facebook game is their way of making money, and whilst I don't condemn them for doing it (they make A LOT OF MONEY from casual gamers), it really bugs me that players who aren't willing to pay do not get the full experience, or rather, miss out on the 'best' items.
What I like about the game is that it is essentially a stripped down version of 'The Sims'. I love designing and decorating my house. That is perhaps the primary reason for me to play, earning money and buying new stuff for it. Another thing I love about the Sims which is transferred to the Facebook version is the hilarious interactions.
In Sim Social, you can do both friendly and cruel actions, such as place dirty underwear in friends' drawers, place whoopee cushions on their couches, rearrange their keyboard. At the other end of the spectrum, you can make you and your friends' sims become best friends or even lovers! Now the repercussions of that in real life, I'm yet to be able to report on.
Unfortunately, as with all Facebook games, it is pretty much a complete waste of time and after a few months of playing, you soon realise how much time you've wasted on it, or sometimes meet goals you cannot complete without paying and give up, rendering your efforts obsolete. If only I had a better computer and can play on the ACTUAL Sims 3 game...
At the time of writing, I'm at level 18 and I've completed lots of tasks and there's still more coming. The items in the catalog that are yet to be unlocked go up to Level 32 or so, so I'm pretty much going to be swamped with things to do until I reach that level, and for all I know, it'll be out of beta stage by then and more objects/items/tasks will be regularly added! Make sure you check it out!!
UPDATE: I'm currently at level 31 and have completed all the tasks, so upgrading my house like mad. The game is now out of the beta stage, but encountering lots of loading glitches, though they are quickly being resolved.