The Sims 2: Castaway Hands-On

We got lost in EA's upcoming survival simulation.

We just got another glimpse at EA's upcoming island adventure, The Sims 2: Castaway, for the Wii and the PS2, which seems to be coming along well. Both the Wii and PS2 versions will be nearly identical, except that the Wii version will provide streamlined controls for easier use. However, that added ease only applies to menu navigation, so it's not as if the Wii version exists on its own island of awesomeness; both it and the PS2 version share nearly everything in common.

Thus, that is to say, a lot. The premise is that you and a few others wash up on an island, where you must do everything you can to survive. In the beginning, this means gathering food. You'll forage everywhere, looting bushes for berries, trees for fruit, and shoals for fish. You'll even search under rocks for bugs and dive for clams. From there, you'll move on to making clothes, cooking food, building huts, and fending off pesky pigs.

One of the first things we noticed was that our female character's clothes were in tatters. Her T-shirt was as substantial as a rumor and her pants were so short they were half belt. The presenter informed us that clothes degrade, so you have to make new ones, otherwise your character will get really uncomfortable and unhappy. A nearby villager was wearing pants made from banana skins. Another character had a surprisingly nice cotton shirt that he'd made from harvesting cotton on the island. While your fashion choices will be limited at first, you'll have some interesting accoutrement options later in the game.

But if our girl was feeling insecure about her wasted clothes, she was feeling twice as hungry. In fact, she was so famished, she was about to die, so we headed to the water for some spear fishing. This was a simple game where we stood near a pool of fish, held our spear aloft, and waited for one to jump. When it did, we struck and wound up with a nice, fat tropical fish that we cooked then ate.

From there, we headed off to our village, where we found a human-looking figure built from sand and a beach ball, the Sims 2 version of Wilson from Tom Hanks' Castaway. Our girl had a short conversation with the dummy, told it a joke, kissed it a little, and then decided to build a house. At this point, we only had materials for a relatively flimsy shelter but were told that as we gained access to iron ore and glass, we'd be able to make sturdier dwellings to stand up to the occasional tropical storms.

As she began building, a pig emerged from the forest and started eating our building materials! We tried to shoo it away, but the pig only became agitated. The presenter feared the pig would eat our girl instead, so he made her hide inside another shack until the porcine threat passed. Evidently, pigs are the main hazard on the island, and it's very dangerous to deal with them. By arming your villagers with spears, they stand a better chance of survival, but a pig may still take them out. But that's OK because death isn't necessarily permanent as long as a remaining villager plucks the daisy from the deceased's grave and makes a resurrection potion with it. This isn't the most realistic game, but would you really want to be stranded on a deserted island?

While The Sims 2: Castaway won't delve into the heart of darkness or get remotely Lord of the Flies, it should be a fun game for those of you who enjoy nonviolent entertainment with lots of collecting and crafting. The PSP version should be mostly identical to the PS2 version, although EA still isn't sure exactly when it will ship. Both the PS2 and Wii versions will ship out this October 22, so stay tuned for our reviews.

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24 comments
Number_1_
Number_1_

I have the Sims 2 on my PSP but this sounds a lot more fun. I'm definitely downloading this game off the playstation network

tank_builder
tank_builder

The guy has too many things to monitor. i would think if you were stranded on an island that how nice stuff looks might be a motivator, but not a variable unto itself.

rpgisforme
rpgisforme

I have been wanting to try this one for the PSP for quite a while, looks like alot of fun but with the letdown of the Sims2 Pets controls on the PSP, I'm really hesitating. It was fun but definately not worth the migranes it created, lol. Anybody care to tell me what they think of this one?

johnnyauau
johnnyauau

This is pretty interesting. Imagine Seinfeld lost on an island just to see how many mistakes I made until I get it right. At least it's better than the original Sims 2.

johnnyauau
johnnyauau

This is pretty interesting. Imagine Seinfeld lost on an island just to see how many mistakes I made until I get it right. At least it's better than the original Sims 2.

_white_rabbit
_white_rabbit

"punkdray Sounds a nice adition to the sims trilogy still will there be kids in the game?" I can't imagine so - in the last 3 (4?) Sims games on PS2 you haven't been able to have kids...

dj_omid1
dj_omid1

I want it now now now ohhhhh god i want it now now now

punkdray
punkdray

Sounds a nice adition to the sims trilogy still will there be kids in the game?

Lukemaneiro
Lukemaneiro

Hmm, sounds fun, but I don't think they'll create the game with the same quality as the PC version... I wonder what the controls will be. :\

nick21989
nick21989

Sounds like it will be fun. It will at least have a story line along with it that could be fun.

CowbellFanatic
CowbellFanatic

The comment at the end makes me want a Lord of the Flies video game to be made. Anyone else read that book?

Xamleth
Xamleth

Yeah! I love The Sims... the PC versions are superb, so does the console versions. This one seems to be pretty good and fun, like the past one on PS2 and Wii, Pets... =D

james1607
james1607

This one better not have long loading times

F0ZZY
F0ZZY

Wow sounds just like Cast Away!

Archer2551
Archer2551

I hope it's better than the other sims games. Hope it gets at least a 7.5

00ssmaster00
00ssmaster00

Well its a good game ... I hope it will shep soon

overachiever92
overachiever92

This seems fun. It adds an element of an idealistic isolation fantasy to the SIMS, which is a cool enough game to begin with. The other SIMS games on PSP didn't fair too well, though.

Hav2
Hav2

wornder if it will be good

The_Weekend
The_Weekend

This ain't the Sims ... it's LOST! hahaha

Mikey_PJ
Mikey_PJ

Its gonna be awesome, I always wanted to play a sims game where you could build houses on a deserted island, I hope this game will really be roughing it for the characters in it cuz thats what im expecting.

jgirl20
jgirl20

Sounds like a nice twist to the sims 2. hopefully it wil be better than it, though.

GreenC4T
GreenC4T

Interesting. I wonder if it will be any different for the PSP.