If you’ve ever wondered how utterly brilliant some of these game designers actually are, consider an average day in the life of a Sim. Wake up. Pee. Take a shower. Eat breakfast. Go to work. Come home. Eat dinner. Go to bed. Rinse, lather, and repeat. Millions of people have a blast playing this game, and using the toilet a major game feature! As far as I’m concerned, Will Wright is a god among men.
In the Sims games, you customize and control the life of a Sim, a creature whose life and world very closely resembles our own. You must fulfill its basic needs, like sleep and hunger, and also more complex responsibilities and desires, like staying employed and falling in love. You start off with some basic character customization and goal selection. Those of you with the first Sims 3 also have the option of importing in your old characters. Once your Sim is to your liking, a short tutorial walks you through everything you need to keep your Sim happy, healthy, and eager to travel.
For those of you who loved the obsessive control of The Sims 3, but felt like the world was just a little too small, you’re in luck. World Adventures is basically identical to The Sims 3, but it opens up a whole range of travel opportunities for those of an exploring nature. In addition to Sunset Valley, your Sims can go off and master new languages in China, explore ancient tombs in Egypt, or learn the subtle nuances of foreign cooking in France.
These new locations are genuinely meaty additions to the original game. In addition to all the new Sims you can meet, there is a host of new shopping and food opportunities, with furniture and ingredients that can only be obtained by visiting certain locations. There is also a slew of new mini-games to distract and delight. These mini-games are what you must master in order to improve certain skills or prevent you from getting airsick on your travels. The fun factor of these mini-games can vary a bit, but they’re still a solid experience.
The majority of the game is touch-based, with a few mini-games here and there relying on the accelerometer. Fans of Sims 3 may be disappointed to learn that there are no photos, and while gardening is in, fishing is out, and in general, earning money in the game is a little on the arduous side. Travel is great, but day-to-day life can get boring, and you have to stay pretty focused on your Sim’s goals to be successful.
It’s certainly not reinventing the wheel, but with its sleek graphics and nice sound, The Sims 3 World Adventures is about as smooth and polished a simulation game as you can get. It’s only a small step up from the first one, but that still makes it an enormous step up from all the rest. If you already have The Sims 3, don’t expect any big changes, but if you’ve been waiting to see what all the fuss is about, Sims 3 World Adventure is the version you want.
Here is a video demo of the The Sims 3 World Adventure app on the iPhone
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