The Sims 3 Review

Though its aimless goals and other limitations may make you grateful it's not real life, The Sims 3 is a one-of-a-kind life simulation.

iPhone games have never been quite this scandalous. The potential for making mischief in The Sims 3 is something we haven't seen before on the iPhone, and whether you play as a skanky home wrecker or a goodie two-shoes, you'll definitely have a unique opportunity to explore boundaries in this social simulation. Managing friends and lovers is a major part of the gameplay, and next to the other activities in the game like cooking, fishing, or gardening, it's all a lot of fun.

Defining your sim's personality is a major part of the gameplay.
Defining your sim's personality is a major part of the gameplay.

By comparison, the rest of daily sims life is pretty mundane. You'll wake up, go to your job (which is represented in the game as little more than a daily paycheck), and spend the rest of your hours managing your needs and wants. You'll have to click on the toilet and shower to freshen up, as well as make yourself meals or visit a restaurant to stay fed.

The Sims 3 has no real story. Instead, a series of goals will randomly occur to your sim like, "Hey, I've always wanted to kick over the trash can on the corner." These random tasks are the only concrete direction the game gives you; otherwise, you're on your own. Two of the goals are unique to your personality. For example, a sleazy sim will want to make "woohoo" (the game's euphemism for getting to know someone in the biblical sense) eight times a day and juggle three relationships at once. While the 73 general goals provide a bit of outside motivation, you can't manage the order in which they're received. You also can't delete a goal once you commit to it, and the only way to clear it off your list is to achieve it. You can save up to four goals at once, even though some of them can be difficult to achieve early on in the game.

Some goals are achieved by maintaining relationships, while others come from outdoor activities. Fishing, repairs, and cooking have their own minigames, and these fit very well into the overall feel of the game. Fishing and cooking specifically use the iPhone's motion controls, so you can yank a fish out of the lake or shake your pots to cool them down on the stove. However, these activities can be maxed out pretty quickly and could have used more advanced degrees of difficulty.

Your sim will randomly receive goals like kicking over trash cans or getting a job.
Your sim will randomly receive goals like kicking over trash cans or getting a job.

The game's detailed graphics, which accompany The Sims 3's deep character customization, are some of the best yet on the system. What keeps it from being a must-have game for everyone is the scatterbrained goal system, which is too random and unmanageable to make progress clear for your sim. If you're willing to use your imagination to create complicated social scenarios, The Sims 3 can be a lengthy and interesting investment. At its best, it's daring fun.

This review was provided by GameSpot mobile content partner

The Good
Excellent graphics
Highly customizable
Unique Sims personality and situations.
The Bad
Can't organize goals
Some activities max out quickly.
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The Sims 3 More Info

  • First Released May 5, 2009
    • 3DS
    • Android
    • + 9 more
    • BlackBerry
    • DS
    • iOS (iPhone/iPad)
    • Macintosh
    • PC
    • PlayStation 3
    • Wii
    • Windows Mobile
    • Xbox 360
    The Sims series returns with the next incarnation of the popular life-simulation game.
    Average Rating12702 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    EA Games, Iron Monkey, Exient Entertainment, Maxis, The Sims Studio, Electronic Arts, EA Redwood Shores, EA Mobile
    Published by:
    EA Games, EA Mobile, Electronic Arts, Maxis
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Crude Humor, Sexual Themes, Violence