|System: Wii, PC, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: EA Redwood||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 28, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1 (8 Online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The keyboard controls on MySims for PC are simple enough and players will get the hang of them after a while. Moving the characters around is a breeze, as you can use the arrow keys, the WASD keys, or simply point and click with the mouse to make characters move. Interacting with other characters and doing things like fishing or shaking trees is also extremely easy, and moving the camera is achieved with no trouble with the Q and E keys. However, things get more difficult when it's time to build furniture, apply patterns, move objects, etc. Handling objects seems more intuitive on the Wii and DS, whereas on the PC version players will have to get accustomed to using the WASD keys. It may be a good way to initiate children in the world of PC gaming, but using the keyboard is certainly more complex than one could wish for, considering MySims is tailored mostly for kids.
When building an object, pieces are placed with the mouse but selected and rotated with the WASD keys, which can get a bit confusing at first. Players have to be careful when selecting pieces and placing them over the blueprint: sometimes the "recipe" will require applying a certain amount of essences to the object, and if you don't use enough pieces where you can apply the essence, you'll have to end up getting rid of the portions you had already used, and thus losing the essences already applied to them. Also, removing pieces from below will delete the ones placed above, which is a bit frustrating. An undo button could have been a great solution, but there's no such luck. One eventually gets used to these issues, but the controls are just not user-friendly enough, especially for the youngest.
Unlike the Wii and DS version of MySims, the PC adaptation offers online support. Through a familiar system of friend codes (found in most Nintendo games), players can visit each others' shared areas and check out what they made, how they decorated, etc. Objects and buildings can even be "packaged" and sent to other players, allowing them to use your very own creations in their towns. All these online capabilities are great, except for the fact that you may not know many people who own the game. Only being able to visit the shared game areas is also a downside, as most players will focus on creating things for their lovely town and not the "outskirts." Activities like playing tag will make it fun for some players though. Who wouldn't be up for some friendly competition?
The soundtrack in MySims is very typical of games like The Sims, and many of the sound effects will be extremely familiar for The Sims or Spore players as well. There's not much to complain about when it comes to the sound experience in general, though the music gets repetitive if you play MySims for too long. However, since the intended audience is kids and early teens, they may not even notice. After all, sim games are always repetitive in almost every aspect, but they're also very absorbing, which is what keeps players coming back for more.
The graphics are entirely bubbly and full of color, perfect for kids and adults drawn by the cutesy factor. If you have a good enough computer, you'll notice everything is very smooth and consistent, and character animations make the game feel more "alive." The high resolutions achieved by the computer blow away the visuals offered on the Wii version. However, one thing I could mention is the general lack of detail in the environments. Everything, from trees to common fruits, buildings, etc. seems a bit too familiar after a while, not leaving much left to discover. If the town was larger, there could be much more to do and see.
If you own a Wii, Animal Crossing (though similar) may be a better option, as it's more in-depth and entertaining, less focused on the "LEGO" factor and more on collecting things, learning about fish, insects, and dinosaurs, as well as working and managing your "finances." The Sims franchise, available for PC and other last-gen game consoles is also a great option, as it's the most realistic and addictive life sim to date. MySims offers a nice sim experience for the younger ones though, as well as those looking into fun and lighthearted games that are easy to play and understand, but it's definitely on the "light" side. There's a whole lot of furniture creating here, but socializing, decorating, and life simulation in general is not as in-depth and entertaining as it is in the regular The Sims franchise. This game grows old after a while, even though its charm may hold your attention for some time.
CCC Site Director