Posts Tagged ‘mobile’

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The Sims Freeplay by EA Games

February 13, 2015

SimsFreePlayLogo

Publisher Electronic Arts
Platform Mobile
Multi-account Yes
Type Life Simulation, Free to Play
Initial Review Date 2/13/15
Last Updated 2/13/15
Wiki  http://sims.wikia.com/wiki/The_Sims_FreePlay
Files/Tools
Click here to Play

I admit the last “The Sims” game I played prior to playing this game was the original. Like the original you take control of virtual people who seem to be completely incapable of making any decisions. They will sit around becoming dirty and miserable until you command them to do even the most basic of tasks like “go to the bathroom”. However, the game can be fun without becoming overly tedious.

Gameplay

As stated before your sims will not do anything without being told what to do. Due to the free to play model (not to mention being built on a mobile platform) you don’t have the familiar customization of the PC games. There isn’t a built-in method to import original creations and so your options are only what you are provided with. EA does occasionally have specialty events and every so often will introduce new content. Something you will notice right away is the quest system in the game. This system helps give you some direction by rewarding you with points and money for doing certain activities.

Quests

Quests come in three different types. You have Event quests, Weekly quests and Social quests.

Event quests are sort of like mini-stories. At the conclusion of each story you will be rewarded with something major that will give you more play options in the future. These Game play options can be things like giving you a new hobby that your sims can partake in or adding a new feature that can be added to your houses like pools. These event quests also have a count down timer that begins the instant you start a new story. If you complete the story within the time limit you will get an additional reward. The downside is that often the bonus reward can not be obtained any other way and there isn’t a way to try again later or stop the timer. I feel that these options are missing in an effort to monetize the game.

Weekly quests are a random series of tasks that if you finish all of you are rewarded with a single key. Keys can be spent to open mystery boxes that will give you random items. The better boxes require multiple keys requiring you to save up for (quite literally) weeks to get to open. The items you win are added to your inventory which you can then use to place in which ever home you would like them in. Otherwise, completing these tasks will reward you with either life points or simoleons.

Social quests are similar to weekly quests, but with a couple of differences. To start with there is no over reaching goal or limit. A quest can sit uncompleted for weeks with no penalty or limit. You don’t get a special reward for completing a certain number, but you will occasionally get social points. All of these quests require you to complete the task in a neighbor’s town. Unfortunately, this means that if say you have to play with a soccer ball, but none of your neighbor’s have one you’ll either have to convince one of your friends to get one or pay some life points to skip the quest. Purchasing the required item yourself so you can interact with it does not count with regard to completing these.

It should be noted that only social quests can be completed at a neighbor’s town. Interacting with a neighbor’s widget will not count towards other types of quests.

Life Points Vs Social Points Vs Money

As you play you will notice that there exists in the game three types of currency. You have Life points (LP), Social Points (SP) and Simoleons ($). All of your basic items can be purchased with simoleons, these items can be very expensive but its rare to litter ally purchase anything better than a 2 star item (out of a possible 3) just using simoleons. Premium items are always purchased using LP and SP. Often (but not always) these will be 3 star items and can be relatively cheap or quite expensive. EA of course will allow you to spend real money to get any of these currencies, however they can be gotten though normal gameplay as well.

Simoleons are earned by planting, completing quest tasks, working at jobs and a daily bonus which arrives in your sim’s mailbox each day. This is the easiest to get, it is even possible to build a particular building that will give you a chance each time you complete a task, to get bonus money (even if the original task doesn’t give you money or even if it normally costs money).

Life points can be obtained as stated above by completing weekly and event quests. These points will often be rewarded at milestone quests. There are other ways in the game to get them though as follows:

  • Leveling: Every time you level you will earn LPs.
  • Growing your town: each building you construct adds to the overall value of your town. When you hit certain milestones you are rewarded with LPs.
  • Pets: pets will randomly generate simoleons. Often the amount is quite small compared to what you could normally get via baking or planting, however occasionally you will get a LP convince. The higher star pets generate more money and have better chances at give you LPs
  • Mastering a Hobby: Once you have gotten all of the collectables for a particular hobby and have gotten all of the special rewards for that hobby, getting all of the collectables again will reward you with LPs
  • Maxing out a Hobby: When a sim reaches the highest skill level of a hobby you are rewarded with a single LP
  • Watching Ads: Sometimes when you have the quest screen open a blinking filmstrip/LP symbol will blink in the upper left hand corner of the screen. Clicking on this icon will cause you to temporarily leave the game to watch a 30 sec commercial for another mobile app (often other games, but not always). After you watch the commercial you can click on the “x” in the upper right of the screen to close the ad and take you back to the game. You are then rewarded with a single LP. The opportunity to do this seems to be limited and so you can’t just constantly watch ads to build up LP while you wait for your sims to complete a task. Even so, this seems like a fair trade, as you are not required to do anything other than let the ad play.

Life points can also be used to speed up tasks. Generally, this is a poor use of a LP as its benefit is fleeting and they are harder to acquire.

Social points as stated above are earned by completing milestone social quests. I have not yet encountered any other way in-game to get these.

Conclusion

The game has fairly high production value for a free to play mobile game. The graphics are on par with the graphics found in the regular pc sims games and sims are generally responsive to your commands. They do occasionally have pathing issues but they are quick to alert you if they can’t reach something because it is blocked. The biggest annoyance I’ve encountered is when it comes to adding new sims to the game. You have to have an empty house in order for the option to show up though some of the text would seem to indicate you should be able to reach the sim creation screen via other methods. this means that you’ll have to do some shuffling around just to have more than 1 sim per house. This is a minor issue though as it can be worked around without a painful amount of effort. I do miss the customization that the PC games offer but they give you  a reasonable assortment of items to work with. In the end, if you haven’t played the sims, this is the one to try since it’s free. If you have played one of the other games then you already have a pretty good idea if you would like it or not. This game doesn’t really offer anything above or beyond what the other games do, but it is nice having it available on a mobile platform.