The Sims 3 on 3DS

The Sims 3 on 3DS review: This title offers a voyeuristic window into the life of a virtual person

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EA Games The Sims 3 on 3DS
  • EA Games The Sims 3 on 3DS
  • EA Games The Sims 3 on 3DS

Pros

  • It's a working version of The Sims
  • 3D adds a lot to the appeal of this genre

Cons

  • A very watered-down experience
  • The controls are horrible

Bottom Line

Oh goodness I cannot wait for a 3D Sim City game. In the meantime, the The Sims 3 on 3DS is OK.

Would you buy this?

3D does a strange thing to the Sims' core gameplay. It turns it from an amusing little lifestyle sim to a voyeuristic window; the 3DS' 'inward looking' variety of 3D creates an intimate window into your virtual person's life. It's a workmanlike title, and playable despite its flaws, but the new Sims game we'll see come in a year or so is a game we know is going to be far better.

The Sims 3 on 3DS is a greatly watered down experience, but contains the core elements of the Sims franchise. You'll start by creating a character (and can use the console's cameras to create a not-really version of yourself), and buying him or her a house to live in.

Then it's time to live. You'll need to work to earn money, shop to buy furniture and food, and build relationships with other Sims because being a recluse isn't healthy. StreetPass is ultilised in a neat fashion — allowing the Sims of people you walk pass to pop up in your game, but unfortunately the variety of people types is a bit limited, and it's a bit weird to see twins with very different names pop by to say hi.

Where the game is really watered down is in the number of locations to explore. There's just a handful, and they're sparsely populated. It won't be long before this game becomes much like real life — a succession of chores and repetitive actions.

And yet, that's not as boring as it sounds. Though the game won't win any best visual awards, there's some definite personality offered by the 3D effect. There's also a certain thrill to having disaster befall your little Sim, much like it's great fun to have aliens attack your Sim Cities.

The game loses a few points for woefully inadequate controls, and the Sim's obnoxious ability to “think” for itself. You'll use the circle pad to scroll around a top-down view of the location, and an icon on the touchscreen for rotating the camera angle on the top screen, where you'll watch the Sim going about his or her business. If that sounds clunky, it's because it is. Walls are a constant problem for The Sims 3's camera and the circle pad scroll speed is ponderously slow.

A Sim also has the ability to make their own actions, and they're almost never what you want. By the hundredth time my little idiot turned on his stereo at home rather than do something useful, I want to reach into the screen and punch the brat.

And that's about it. The Sims 3 is the kind of game you can play for hours at a time, provided you can forgive its limited scope and irritating controls. At its core it remains a chilled, aimless sandbox, but unless you're a rabid Sims fan, you know there's going to be a bigger and better one on the 3DS eventually.

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Read more on these topics: Nintendo 3DS games, games, Nintendo 3DS

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