MySims Minigames Hands-On

Electronic Arts shows off some of the minigames from its upcoming virtual life game.

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At its recent pre-E3 event in Los Angeles, Electronic Arts afforded us hands-on time with a number of its upcoming games. One of those games was the Nintendo DS version of MySims, which we'd seen previously at a couple of events but had never actually had an opportunity to play. Rather than simply play around with some of the features that we were familiar with already we opted to check out some of the minigames that you'll be playing to make friends, money, and items in the game.

Click to enlarge!
Click to enlarge!

The Nintendo DS version of MySims, which is quite different to the Wii version, will feature eight minigames in total, some of which will only be unlocked as you progress. Those games include conversation, dousing, fishing, lei making, racket ball, paragliding, skydiving, and scuba diving. Only a handful of the minigames were unlocked in the version of MySims that we were playing, but after being pleasantly surprised at the level of challenge that they offered we still ended up spending a fair bit of time with them.

First up was lei making, which tasked us with creating strings of flowers by dragging cards with pictures of flowers on them onto templates. The flowers in our deck of cards exhibited a number of different shapes and colors and, because we were only able to see four cards face-up at any one time, we'd occasionally find ourselves without the correct flower and have to hit an onscreen button to shuffle the deck and deal again. Although the primary goal of the game as simply to make a lei for the owner of the local flower store, a high score table keeping track of fastest times on the various difficulty levels is sure to add to its replay value--particularly if you're playing with competitive friends.

Our next MySims minigame was skydiving, which saw our Sim plummeting from the DS's top screen down toward the touch-screen and attempting to collect items en route. The goals in the skydiving game were to string together high-scoring combos by collecting as many items as possible without missing nay, and to reach the ground as quickly as possible. Striking a midair pose that increases your rate of descent is obviously a great way to achieve the latter, but it makes moving left and right to collect items extremely difficult, so the trick is really to find a balance. Performing acrobatics in the air lets you move from side to side a little more quickly than you can otherwise, but can be a little harder to control.

The last minigame that we spent some time with was conversation, which you'll need to master if you're hoping to make a lot of friends in your town. By studying their facial expressions and by listening to subtle changes in the background music you'll have to determine which actions you can perform to make other characters happy. The options available to you will vary according to the situation, but will typically include things like listen, converse, comfort, encourage, and cry. There will be varying degrees of right and wrong every time you make a choice so, while comforting a character might raise a smile, offering them some words of encouragement might really cheer them up, for example.

MySims is currently scheduled for release in September. We look forward to bringing you more information as soon as it becomes available.

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