I’ve been playing a lot of mobile games recently. Mostly, I get bored and want to try something different or something mind numbing for twenty minutes or so. Sometimes, I’ll sit and browse through the games section on mu Google Play Store app and find some quirky little game. This time, I discovered the new Sims Mobile game. I’d heard of this before; seen the trailer, heard Youtubers I follow talk about it. You know, the usual stuff. It sounded like it could be a bit of fun. After all, I do enjoy The Sims franchise on the whole. So, I downloaded it, a little excited but also apprehensive. I knew how EA liked to monetise everything in their games. This one claimed to be free-to-play but of course we all know what that means. What follows is my experience after that downloading bar finished and I hit open app.
Life simulation on the go
As this game doesn’t really have a story I don’t really want to judge it based on that. As you are all probably aware, The Sims is all about creating your own story. Fulfil the dreams and wishes of your Sims. Live vicariously through them. Or kill them off. Whichever makes it more fun for you. However, The Sims Mobile, isn’t quite like the other games of this style. Well, first of all being on mobile, of course there are limitation to the gameplay. You can’t build some elaborate house as you may do in the others. However, saying that, there is still a lot you can do. You can create your own Sim, put them in a house, add decorations to that house and build relationships. This game is all about the stories; the events that you take part in to build your Sim’s legacy. So what does that entail?
Creating your Sim
Okay, so as you might be thinking there isn’t a whole lot of customisation to begin with. And, in some respects you would be right. But, you can customise everything about your Sim, pretty much in the same way you can in the other versions of the game. Your Sim can be any shape or size you like (within its limitations). However, the problem occurs when styling your Sims. This is where EA, in all their wondrous glory, make it so you have to spend money. Thanks EA. You get some basic clothing and accessories but if you want more, you have to spend in game money.
This in and of itself isn’t an issue, however, some items cost a lot more than others. Some require different types of in game currency. Getting this isn’t difficult in game but it takes a long time to accumulate enough to buy the things you might want. So, as usual, EA tempts you to pay money through microtransactions. I’ll discuss this in more detail in a bit. For now, back to the gameplay.
Building their legacy
So, in order for your Sim to progress through the game, you need to complete events. These events can be social interactions with other sims, hobbies or careers. I’ll explain a little about how this works. When you start an event it takes a certain amount of real-time to finish. This can be between 1 hour to upwards of 6 hours. Now, you can help speed this along by getting your Sim to perform actions related to the event. However, doing these actions costs energy. Once your energy runs out, you will need to either wait until it is replenished (which can take a while) or buy use a cupcake. Cupcakes, of course cost money. In game money, but if you want to keep your stock replenished you need to buy in game money with real money. You see the cycle here.
However, you can just wait out the time. Once your Sim has completed an event you will get points and XP which is ultimately how you unlock more stuff in game. When you reach certain levels (yes there are levels) you unlock more events like being able to have a wedding or a baby. You can also unlock other career options. The Sims Mobile actually has quite a lot in it but a good chunk of it is locked behind levels or money. Typical.
Is it worth it?
At this point, you may be thinking if it is worth getting the game. Well, you should know that this game is “Free to Play”. I mean, we all know what that really means; you don’t have to pay to download it but you need to pay money for other things. To be fair, you can get most of it by just playing the game. I am already level 12 in game and I have unlocked quite a few things but there is still so much that I haven’t been able to get. Personally, I think EA missed a trick with this. I think they should have just charged an upfront payment of about £5 and had done. They could have perhaps had unlockable parts in game that would cost money. But, they could have been nice added extras rather than basic in game necessities. I don’t agree that you should have to pay a lot more for hairstyles but I do agree paying more for a bigger house perhaps?
Anyway, aside from the payment issues, this is actually quite a fun game. I find myself going back to it again and again. You can customise your house with a variety of objects but of course, the nicer items are more expensive. I want to see what else this game can offer for someone who is playing it completely for free. Perhaps, I’ll do a follow up at some point but for now, why not give The Sims Mobile a go yourself?