The Sims makes a smooth transition onto the GBA in this unique open-ended adventure

User Rating: 8.5 | The Sims Bustin' Out GBA
While the GBA version of The Sims Bustin' Out only vaguely resembles the PC original, or even the series' home console releases, this 2003 port from Griptonite and EA games is a surprisingly great playthrough on the go. The game's core mechanic remains in-tact - you'll still have to maintain your sim's bodily functions to keep him or her happy and you'll be free to decorate your house as you please, but the game itself is more objective-based, dialogue-oriented, and and open-ended than anything previously seen in the series. You play as a character in SimVille, and your goal is to move up the social ladder of the town by gaining popularity, completing tasks, and moving into a bigger house at the end of each level. The concept is simple, and the gameplay itself is very basic and relaxing as well. With the exception of a few minigames, the game requires hardly any skill from the player - the very simplistic premise behind Bustin' Out can make it a bit tiresome and boring over extended play sessions, but it is an excellent game to pull out for short bursts of fun while getting ready for bed or taking a bus ride. The fact that you can save from any location also makes this game a highly recommendable 'on-the-go' title.

Bustin' Out is a lengthy playthrough that should take close to 20 hours to complete (unless you use a walkthrough), and it can also be found for very affordable prices these days. The game has a few sections that are rather cryptic, the dialogue is repetitive, and Bustin' Out was clearly not made for engaging gaming sessions, but if you can look past these shortcomings, I'd highly recommend picking this up for your GBA. The Sims Bustin' Out on the Game Boy Advance is a unique little title that I enjoy quite a bit to this day. I do think that the developers took the Sims on GBA one step further with 2004's The Urbz, but this release is still well-worth the time of any fan of the series.