PCs & Gaming

Review: The Sims Freeplay

sims-freeplay

*This review and the icon above is for the older spring version of the Sims Freeplay however I still have the game and stand by my rating.

This game is nothing like the sims, it’s a whole new form of gameplay. I downloaded this from the google play store rather than amazon but it’s the same game and I currently have it up to the Easter download. Sometimes I love this game and sometimes I hate it which is why I’m giving it a middle of 3 stars.

I have been a firm fan of the sims since the first version (though I don’t have the sims 4 yet). The usual gameplay of the sims is simple, you get to control your sims and dictate exactly what they do with their time and how you want relationships between them to pan out, etc. But if you downloaded this game thinking you’re getting the sims then prepare to be disappointed. The Sims Freeplay is all about completing tasks.

You are given one neighbourhood and sims are controllable and you DO have a choice over what they do and which job they get but you cannot just start having families and playing the game any way you wish. This game’s tasks mean you are stuck to completing tasks to unlock things. There are all sorts of tasks in the game. Some appear without your choice such as the tutorial tasks which unlocks some of the basics of the game, other tasks can be triggered if you choose to build a certain building. Many tasks are triggered without any warning such as the recent ‘easter egg hunt’ task.

The game requires what is initially a small download but as soon as you think you have the game installed, prepare to click on the icon, open the game and then again, more downloads required. The game also downloads frequently at certain times of the year, such as an additional download for Easter and one previously for Valentines day. These downloads do take up space on your device so make sure you have it to keep receiving the downloads. The game is also very power hungry. I have a pretty high spec phone but this game along with Plants vs Zombies 2 just drains my battery and resources so make sure you have a device that isn’t the most basic or you may have some problems.
The downloads in this game are automatic. If EA has released a new download, the next time you go to play the game you have to receive the new download or else it just won’t start. It won’t give you access to your sims or your game until this download is complete. Luckily for me the new downloads haven’t led to any problems and I haven’t had any bugs in this game at all (running android lollipop). I forgot to add that you always need to be connected to the server while playing this game, it’s not an offline game.

There are so many tasks in this game it does keep the fun going. Each new task always unlocks either a place or new items, hair, clothing, etc. However most tasks have a time component such as you must complete a task in 5 days, 2 days, etc. These are real days in our world, not sim days. There’s an in-app purchase (among many others) that lets you buy more time on these tasks but if like me you don’t want to spend real money in a game you have to deal with often missing out on an extra item, clothing, etc which was unlockable only if you completed the game within the time limit. Though this isn’t terrible and the game works well, and there’s enough other stuff without it, it is disappointing, especially as a recent task known as the ‘chocolatier’ task was impossible for me to complete without buying time.

The last point to make is that unlike in previous sims where a task would take a normal amount of time, in the sims freeplay individual sim tasks (things they do such as reading a book, calling a friend, etc) takes a lot longer. Whenever you click on a sim or object there is the option to select say ‘Grab a plate(of food to eat)’ and then if you’ve played the sims you’d expect this to take just a few minutes of human time. However next to ‘grab a plate’ are the words ’10 minutes’. This isn’t 10 sim minutes, this is literally 10 human/earth minutes! This new concept threw me at first and this is one of the most annoying aspects of this game. Tasks take a ridiculous amount of time to complete, some sim tasks can take hours, such as nearly 12 hours to check files on a usb stick. It is this that leads you to often lose out on time limit items. This game is also like virtual families in that the time of day on your device dictates whether it’s day, evening or night in the game.

Overall I still like this game, there’s new content all the time which keeps the game fresh and fun, and I am no where near even half way to unlocking everything in my neighbourhood yet. But there is also a disappointment that this game just isn’t that much like the sims and sometimes I just want to open my game and make my sims do something random rather than having to follow a task in order to unlock bonus content (you don’t have to follow a task of course but if you don’t you’ll not get the content).

Rating: 3/5

Review published on amazon UK, click here

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