The Sims Mobile…is it better than The Sims Freeplay? Watch on to find out! 😍 What do you think?
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Full transcript has been put into subtitles (CC) for those who want to mute me whilst watching 😅
Music track “Buy Mode 1 –we shopping now?” credit goes to grahf67 (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4XeX_IDCbCbFCMcZ2MCl3A)
The Sims! We all love the Sims don’t we? Since the year 2000 The Sims has brought hundreds of thousand of hours of joy to millions of people around the world.
Maxis, the original developer headed by Will Wright proved that a game performing mundane tasks such as emptying the rubbish and going to work could actually be fun.
There have been so many variants and spin-offs of the Sims which I won’t get into but the mobile versions of the Sims have always been a bit different. The closest a mobile version of The Sims has gotten to the original PC version was with The Sims 3. This was a paid app which allowed you to control aspects of your Sims in real-time without having to ‘wait’ for things to complete. This simplified version of the PC game was later removed from the Play Store. The Sims Freeplay was released in 2011 which ultimately took its place.
The Sims Freeplay, as its name suggests was a completely free version of The Sims. The only downside to this was what the developer, now EA, was asking for in return. Over the years the game appeared to get greedier, introducing adverts and increasing the amount of time and Life Points required to complete certain tasks. Those old-school fans of the PC version who were used to the time speeding up when going to work or sleep would now have to wait hours upon hours for their Sims to finish simple tasks.
If you forget about the original PC version of the game, The Sims Freeplay is a great mobile game which just gets greedy just as so many other mobile games do.
So, does The Sims Mobile improve on this formula? Let’s get on with the review and take a look. Let me know if you agree with my thoughts in the comments below and be sure to subscribe for future videos.
Create a Sim
The create-a-Sim in Sims Mobile is extremely good. You can customise almost every aspect of your Sim’s appearance to make them look exactly how you want. Fit, athletic, fat, tall, short or muscly, there’s really something for everyone here. The initial selection of clothing isn’t great but it’s a start at least…more on that later…You Sim’s appearance, gender and name can be changed at any point during the game.
You start off in The Sims Mobile kicking boxes over in the new house you’ve just moved into. You’re led through the controls and gameplay elements of the game and then and introduced to an old favourite: Bella Goth. Bella seems to have had a bit of a facelift since the original Sims but who are we to judge?
From here you are told to get yourself a barista job at the local coffee shop. This is where you learn how earning money and tokens in The Sims Mobile works.
The premise is simple, you choose a shift to work (quick, standard or long) each giving increasingly larger rewards but also taking an increasingly longer time to complete. You can speed up your shift by interacting with people and objects in your workplace. Speeding your shift up uses your Sims energy. Some actions require more energy than others but these will speed your shift up more quickly. Once you have used your energy up you can no longer speed up your shift. To replenish your energy you must either use a cupcake or go home and have a poo. OK, that sounds a bit off, but going home having a poo, a shower or a bath will recover some of your energy.
he other way to recover energy is to just leave your Sim be working at his/her normal pace. Every 3 minutes you recover 1 energy point so it doesn’t take a mathematician to work out it’ll take 90 minutes to be back to full strength.
As you speed up your shift you Sim will ‘gain confidence’ to perform ‘risky actions’. These risky actions range from making a souffle to suggesting a dodgy business plan and the risk means you get more reward. For example, a standard action to speed up time can use 1, 2 or 3 energy and rewards you with approximately 2, 3 or 5 minutes off the remaining time of your shift. A successful risky action however can take off a full 15 minutes. So it’s definitely worth performing them. If you fail however, then you waste 3 energy and only get about 3 or 4 minutes off your time. There appears to be no real link between the risk-meter and whether or not the action is successful or not. Even if you Sim says he/she is feeling confident and the ‘risk’ is shown as Green (good chance of success) you might still fail and make yourself look like a complete idiot.
Once you complete a shift you’ll be awarded some money, job experience and some house tokens. Money helps you buy new items, job experience helps you level up in your careers and house tokens help you buy nicer things for the home/workplace. Levelling up in your job allows you to earn more money and experience and each time you level up you’ll also unlock new objects.
Traits are, as you’d expect, traits your Sim has. You can select from a few different ones which each have different benefits. Whether it’s from gaining bonus experience whilst at work or getting a boost while you’re at home. These, often forgettable traits are there but don’t really play a huge part in the game at this stage.
DAILY TO DO LIST
Every day you log into the game you’re given a TO DO LIST. This is a way to earn experience, money and cupcakes. This sounds like a good idea initially but, at the time of writing, the Daily To Do List is the same – every day. In some ways this makes it easy to remember what needs to be done to get that little bit of extra money/experience. But at the same time, you soon get bored of doing the same things over and over and you tend to leave it alone. If, during your time playing the game you complete one of the items of the To Do List then it just happens to be a happy coincidence. I’m sure as the game matures this will be improved and will maybe offer you some tasks to do which are more in-line with your Sims and their work.
Quests, I found, are more interesting than the Daily To Do List. From having a baby, getting married, completing chapters of your career and friendships, they offer a more rewarding experience than the monotonous chores of the To Do List.
Events…WOW….where do I start off with these? Standard events are meant to offer better rewards for your Sim. These include money, house tokens and player experience to help you level up.
Where The Sims Mobile goes wrong here is with their ‘Special Events’. Special Events can take place at any time and normally have a theme i.e Easter/Christmas etc.
Some Special Events are potentially, paid for by companies. For example, a recent ASOS Fashion event took place which saw you perform various tasks in hopes of unlocking a new career – the photography career. When the event started you had just over 2 weeks to finish it. You were initially set 11 tasks to complete, these took time to complete but were generally not too difficult. As I got closer to the 11th task I was getting excited that I would soon be unlocking the photography career. However, when I completed the 11th task (after about a week) I was then told I had to now collect 3000 ASOS tokens to buy ASOS clothing in the store and only then would I actually unlock the photography career. After a few days of attending fashion events and after parties I did some calculations… I worked out that, without spending any Sim Cash or real-life money, I could get about 190-200 tokens MAXIMUM per day. Now bearing in mind I had 7 days left this soon dawned on me that I would not be able to unlock the career.
Now compare this to the Easter event which lasted about a week, I was just about able to complete this and unlock the pink bunny rabbit before the time ran out and without spending any Sim Cash/real money.
So what’s the deal with this ASOS event? I’m certainly not the only person to have experienced this. [Insert twitter posts?]
It’s things like this that make you resent the game. You try your hardest to get as many tokens as possible, watch loads of video ads (which normally gave you an additional 1 token – and which was also giving money to EA)) and yet it’s physically impossible to complete the event (without spending real money).
I was waking up at about 6:30am, sending my Sims off to earn their tokens, speeding things along as much as possible and then finishing the day at about 11:30pm with a measly 190 tokens. It was literally impossible to earn anything more than that as the ASOS events all had cooldowns of 6-8 hours so you couldn’t do them more than twice in a day unless you didn’t physically sleep. I must say this left me feeling a bit cheated.
Anyway, enough about Events. Let’s have a look at how build mode works in The Sims Mobile. Build Mode works reasonably well but, as is to be expected is a bit clunky on a mobile device. You press and hold on objects to pick them up and can then drag them around screen. This works OK for the best part but the problem you’ll find is that the item panel keeps opening up when you’re placing objects and this takes up most of the screen! Sometimes it’s nice to just have a look at what you’ve put down and see if it suits the place. That aside, building new rooms and expanding existing ones is done very well. You can expand the land around your home to increase the size of your plot and therefore expand your home accordingly.
So how about items for the home? It’s still very early days for The Sims Mobile but the number of available items is very sparse. Also, of the ones that are available, some are only unlocked at certain player levels, require other items of a collection to be purchased first or, worst of all, require Sim Cash. One of the first items I wanted to buy was a bathtub. Not much to ask is it? Apparently it is! 150 of your Sim Cash please! Bear in mind I’ve been playing this game properly, every day for about a month and I’ve only just managed to scrape enough together to afford it. And now I don’t even want to buy it in fear that I might need it for something else!
Want to add a 3rd Sim? 175 Sim Cash please
Want an ugly-looking brown dining table? 90 Sim Cash please
Want an Elm cabinet to put in the kitchen? 20 Sim cash each!
Want a vile-coloured rustic lamp for your bedroom? That’ll be 75 Sim Cash please!
Don’t get me started on unlocking any items early as you will literally need thousands of Sim Cash.
To earn Sim Cash you need to complete Quests but only some Quests give you Sim Cash and the ones that do only give you 1 or 3! Yes, 1 or 3 Sim Cash.
You can see now why I’m scared to spend any I’ve earned.
You can unlock new items new ‘career’ or ’hobby’ items whilst working up the career ladder or improving your guitar skills, which does give you something to work towards, but it feels like a lot of effort for an item you may not even want in your house.
OTHER SIMS & HOBBIES
During your time in the game you’ll see a very lively world with Sims wondering around, playing, chatting and arguing with each other. If any of these Sims have a blue Plumbob then that denotes it’s someone else’s Sim. You can interact with other players’ Sims and even visit their houses to get some design tips. You can add them as friends, have parties and expand your virtual friend list. Some Quests require you to have some friends so don’t be too much of a loner.
When you become friends with someone you choose a ‘Relationship Story’ to start with them. Whether it’s geeking-out, talking about sports or music you unlock new clothes and accessories by socializing with that person. Don’t worry, your Sim can have multiple Relationship Stories with different friends.
One final way to unlock new items is to give your Sim a hobby. There are currently 5 hobbies to choose from: Guitar, Cooking, Yoga, Writing and Piano.
Let’s end on retirement. After your Sim feel they’ve peaked in their career you get the option to retire them. After they retire you get an heirloom. Heirlooms are pieces of junk you display in a cabinet which will offer some form of benefit. They basically upgrade traits to higher levels. This in theory means you’ll be able to level up quicker and earn more experience with the new Sim you create. It also gives you the chance to create a new story with them.
Overall I’ve really enjoyed playing The Sims Mobile. I spent a very long time just designing my house in build mode after I’d accumulated a large amount of money.
It’s fun watching your Sims go about their everyday tasks and interacting with each other but it can really feel like a grind to get things done sometimes. I also think there are actually TOO MANY things to do in the game. Do you try and work hard at your career or do you try and complete Quests, the Daily To Do List, Events, Special Events, Relationship Stories or your Hobby? It can often feel a bit overwhelming and confusing.
The big question is whether or not this is better than The Sims Freeplay – well, in its current state, no. BUT the Sims Freeplay has been around for 7 years whereas this is just new and hopefully still finding its feet.
The things that stop this being the perfect Sims game on mobile is the greed 🙁 It really makes me sad to see not only hundreds of micro-transactions but also adverts left, right and center. I often wonder what Will Wright would think about how his franchise went.
So what do you think about The Sims Mobile? Leave your comments below and I’ll enjoy reading them whilst trying to complete the whatever the current Special Event is….sigh…