MySims Impressions - MySims Comes to the PC

MySims' secret online garden is no longer a secret.

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PC game players got left out of the cute, silly fun of MySims when it launched last September on the Nintendo Wii, but they're about to be treated to the best version yet. This fall, when MySims ships for the PC, not only will it offer all of the charming, creative content contained in the original console versions, but it will also feature customizable gardens that can be accessed by your friends.

Here is how it will work: You will go into your brand-spanking-new, slick-looking Tuscan garden, and you'll have the opportunity to play with the landscaping and add several buildings to vacant lots. If you're familiar with MySims, you should know that this, in and of itself, can take hours, because everything is completely customizable. And you'll want to put your best work in, because your friends will be coming over to play!

So, you've decked out your garden with a house made of bacon and some nifty flowers, and you're ready to share it with your friends. What next? First, you must find out their registered MySims player name through whatever means are available to you (e-mail, telephone, smoke signals), because there will be no lobbies or anonymous chat rooms.

Once a few friends are on your friends list, you can easily invite them over to play as long as they're signed on. Once your friends enter your weird little world, they can go about admiring it, and they can change anything they see on the fly. (So you'll want to be careful which friends you invite over.) Again, there are no restrictions on what a person can do to your garden, so if you don't want them changing stuff, you'd better speak up. Then again, you probably won't mind if a friend leaves a little "Biff was here" memento, especially since you could get a new "essence" out of it--an intangible item you can draw out from other stuff in the world that can be used as a component to build something new.

You see, there will be more than two dozen new essences in MySims for the PC, but each gardener will have access to only about five right off the bat. The trick is, you and your friends will likely all have different ones, but as soon as a friend makes an object with an essence and gives it to you, you can deconstruct it and make the essence your own. Once you're all done swapping essences, nothing is more refreshing than a little game of tag, which you can play with anyone who's willing. The version we saw on display was simple, straightforward tag, though it seems as though this game will be customizable, like everything else in MySims. Also, there is currently a means by which players can sprint, though this may or may not be in the final version. Whether it is or not, there will be plenty for you to get your hands on in MySims for the PC when it sprouts this fall.

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