img_0008-3EA's Sims is a series that needs no introduction. Between The Sims and its seven expansion packs to it's sequel and the associated eight expansion packs (and The Sims 2 ten "Stuff" packs with additional furniture and accessories), The Sims 3 [App Store] has a lot to live up to.

Naturally, the game begins with the creation of your Sim. Veterans of The Sims games may be slightly disappointed by the limited options while customizing your character as you're limited to sex, hair, eyes, shirt, pants, and shoes along with color selection for each. Personality choices are also fairly restricted.  And while the trait selection gets the job done, it left me wanting more. Unfortunately (and somewhat expected with the iPhone version), this theme of not having as many options as you may be used to from previous versions continues throughout The Sims 3.


[ Full HD version | Low Bandwidth version ]

Immediately after finalizing your choices for your character, a brief tutorial walks you through the basics of the game and how to keep your Sim satisfied. Sims have the same basic needs you're used to, between needing to eat, sleep, bathe and go to the bathroom as well as a goals and wishes. The goals pop up randomly, and act like mini objectives for what to do in the game. While I haven't yet had the chance to get particularly deep into the game, the goals I've come across so far seem easy to satisfy and include things like catching a fish or going shopping.

img_0007-3The controls take some getting used to, mostly due to the inherent inaccuracies in trading a mouse pointer for a fat finger. Like in previous games, most items in your house have actions associated with them. Tapping a person gives you the option to talk to them in various ways, but often when you mean to select something without zooming-in first, you select something else. This becomes particularly annoying while visiting someone's house who has a lot of furniture and you keep selecting the lamp instead of the person you're trying to talk to.

Because of this, camera control is vital to selecting anything. The camera can be moved by dragging a single finger, and moving the camera up or down, as well as rotation and zoom, are all done through two finger gestures. It works, but because of so many things attached to a two finger gesture, it takes a while to get the hang of it.

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The performance on my iPhone 3G is average. The Sims 3 doesn't run at a particularly high framerate, nor is it jerky to the point of being unplayable.

The biggest letdown -- and again, somewhat expected for a $9.99 iPhone game -- is the lack of a real build mode. If what you enjoyed about The Sims series is building your house, you'll be disappointed to find that your options are limited to buying and selling furniture, along with moving and rotating it. Once you save enough money, you can upgrade to a bigger house, but the floor plans cannot be changed.

img_0006-3At the end of the day, The Sims 3 is a decent downsized port that likely has enough content to keep fans of the series satisfied. It comes loaded with the same quirky AI seen in the previous games, and most of the social options when talking to NPC's seem to have remained intact. Whether or not I'd recommend The Sims 3 largely depends on what you liked out of The Sims games.

The Sims 3 is an extremely ambitious game for the iPhone, even with the limitations it has, but if you're like me, and really enjoyed building elaborate houses, you'll probably want to take a pass. If what you spent the most time doing was cultivating virtual relationships between your Sim and the other Sims in your neighborhood, you'll find yourself right at home once you get the hang of the controls.

App Store Link: The Sims 3, $9.99

  • http://www.touchmiphone.com matt

    As a casual fan of The SIms franchise I am really stoked to play this version. The thing I love about the game is that I can pick it up at anytime and have something to do, which is perfect for the iPhone.

    Maybe more features will be thrown in for the 3.0 firmware, regardless this looks like its worth the $10.

  • http://www.touchmiphone.com matt

    As a casual fan of The SIms franchise I am really stoked to play this version. The thing I love about the game is that I can pick it up at anytime and have something to do, which is perfect for the iPhone.

    Maybe more features will be thrown in for the 3.0 firmware, regardless this looks like its worth the $10.

  • wegmans

    This looks fantastic

  • wegmans

    This looks fantastic

  • RaZrVIN

    Nice, thanks for the first impressions! I'll probably pick this game up, as I wasn't really THAT into the build mode in previous Sims. Do you think that this game's framerate will be better than average on my iPod Touch 2G?

    • Big Albie

      I would expect the framerate to be somewhat better on an iPod Touch 2g primarily because there is less stuff going on in regards to cellular activity.

      • RaZrVIN

        Ah, thanks BigAlbie, that's a relief to hear! I will be glad to hear some of your first impressions when you get your hands on it.

      • Dudehuge

        Add to that iPod Touch's faster clock and cpu bus.

      • Dudehuge

        ^ iPod Touch 2G

    • Cptnodegard

      It is. No lagging at all, can go nuts with the zoom button and pan at full speed and it keeps up. Those extra 120mhz does wonders.

  • Alichan76

    Although The Sims is not my thing, I am writing as I am TOTALLY impressed that Eli has been the first (I think) of the TA team to specify WHERE said game has been first released. Hats off!

    • SalsaMD

      Well, usually they wait until a game is released in the US before posting a review. This is somewhat unique.

      • Alichan76

        ...Not from my experience. I do hope this trend continues. It really does help us outer US folk a lot , as well as giving TA their much deserved 'worldwide' status.

  • RaZrVIN

    Nice, thanks for the first impressions! I'll probably pick this game up, as I wasn't really THAT into the build mode in previous Sims. Do you think that this game's framerate will be better than average on my iPod Touch 2G?

    • Big Albie

      I would expect the framerate to be somewhat better on an iPod Touch 2g primarily because there is less stuff going on in regards to cellular activity.

      • RaZrVIN

        Ah, thanks BigAlbie, that's a relief to hear! I will be glad to hear some of your first impressions when you get your hands on it.

      • Dudehuge

        Add to that iPod Touch's faster clock and cpu bus.

      • Dudehuge

        ^ iPod Touch 2G

    • Cptnodegard

      It is. No lagging at all, can go nuts with the zoom button and pan at full speed and it keeps up. Those extra 120mhz does wonders.

  • Alichan76

    Although The Sims is not my thing, I am writing as I am TOTALLY impressed that Eli has been the first (I think) of the TA team to specify WHERE said game has been first released. Hats off!

    • SalsaMD

      Well, usually they wait until a game is released in the US before posting a review. This is somewhat unique.

      • Alichan76

        ...Not from my experience. I do hope this trend continues. It really does help us outer US folk a lot , as well as giving TA their much deserved 'worldwide' status.

  • endekks

    Being in Japan, I also appreciate the "not-exclusive-to-the-US" release information. However, being in Japan I also have to deal with the fact that the game costs ¥1,500, which comes to just over $15 US. That's a 150% markup, and really ridiculous.

    Come on Apple & EA, the dollar has been weak against the yen for quite some time now, so quit making Japanese prices be so much higher!

    • endekks

      I stand corrected, it's ¥1,200, which is still $2 more expensive.

  • endekks

    Being in Japan, I also appreciate the "not-exclusive-to-the-US" release information. However, being in Japan I also have to deal with the fact that the game costs ¥1,500, which comes to just over $15 US. That's a 150% markup, and really ridiculous.

    Come on Apple & EA, the dollar has been weak against the yen for quite some time now, so quit making Japanese prices be so much higher!

    • endekks

      I stand corrected, it's ¥1,200, which is still $2 more expensive.

  • m2

    Just picked up the sims 3 from the US store. Hope its worth the cost.

  • m2

    Just picked up the sims 3 from the US store. Hope its worth the cost.

  • Bilal

    Yup i was a house builder too. That was my favorite aspect. sims life was almost always on pause on my computer.

  • Bilal

    Yup i was a house builder too. That was my favorite aspect. sims life was almost always on pause on my computer.

  • Dudehuge

    Any reports on the framerate on the original iPhone?

    It's the slowest of them all.

    • iHarsh_mini

      the framerate on the original iphone is the same as on the iphone 3g....and fyi the iphone 1g,iphone 3g and ipod touch 1g have the same hardware specifications!!

      • bob

        well they have the same processor, but it is clocked differently on the different devices due to battery enhancements.

      • sticktron

        @bob: all but the iTouch 2 are clocked the same

  • Dudehuge

    Any reports on the framerate on the original iPhone?

    It's the slowest of them all.

    • iHarsh_mini

      the framerate on the original iphone is the same as on the iphone 3g....and fyi the iphone 1g,iphone 3g and ipod touch 1g have the same hardware specifications!!

      • bob

        well they have the same processor, but it is clocked differently on the different devices due to battery enhancements.

      • sticktron

        @bob: all but the iTouch 2 are clocked the same

  • http://simong.newgrounds.com SimonG

    Nah, I will not buy it, firstly because it haven't got the house builder (which was obvious the most fun part) and secondly because I'm tired of the Sims franchise.

    I've just bought Myst, so it will keep me going for a while :)

  • http://simong.newgrounds.com SimonG

    Nah, I will not buy it, firstly because it haven't got the house builder (which was obvious the most fun part) and secondly because I'm tired of the Sims franchise.

    I've just bought Myst, so it will keep me going for a while :)

  • sam

    i picked this up in like the first minute of release and missed half a night's sleep! but it is worth it. i noticed no lag in it, apart from when you enter your sims name, then it's like a second delay... not too bad though.

    some questions answered for anyone uncertain...

    Can you build?- nope, not even down to wall papering or carpeting. however you can make rooms bigger with upgrades and build gardens.

    Can you have mulitple sims? - not in the same game, but you can have up to three sims all in different games.

  • sam

    i picked this up in like the first minute of release and missed half a night's sleep! but it is worth it. i noticed no lag in it, apart from when you enter your sims name, then it's like a second delay... not too bad though.

    some questions answered for anyone uncertain...

    Can you build?- nope, not even down to wall papering or carpeting. however you can make rooms bigger with upgrades and build gardens.

    Can you have mulitple sims? - not in the same game, but you can have up to three sims all in different games.

  • Jackosun

    Yep, I picked it up after waiting for it to appear on the app store (checking every few mins!) and am so glad I did.
    Only ever played the original Sims on PC but really enjoying this.

    I have bought loads of apps (made some stupid mistakes) but know I've got a little core of games I'll always come back too. Don't mind spending £6 as I know this game will be used heaps, just like Need for Speed, Peggle, Tiger Woods and Scrabble.

  • Jackosun

    Yep, I picked it up after waiting for it to appear on the app store (checking every few mins!) and am so glad I did.
    Only ever played the original Sims on PC but really enjoying this.

    I have bought loads of apps (made some stupid mistakes) but know I've got a little core of games I'll always come back too. Don't mind spending £6 as I know this game will be used heaps, just like Need for Speed, Peggle, Tiger Woods and Scrabble.

  • darrin

    i would love to try out this game, but it crashes on launch :(
    have plenty of space, and have reset the phone.

  • darrin

    i would love to try out this game, but it crashes on launch :(
    have plenty of space, and have reset the phone.

  • Fattychance

    I like it. I like it, a lot.

    However, it seems to crash on me fairly often. (Memory issues no doubt)

    I am running jailbroken currently and do have winterboard and backgrounder (ssh is off)...still I show a good amount of RAM available before starting.

    Is everyone having that? I figured EA would be pretty good with the memory management on the iPhone considering the app just dies....and it's fairly annoying bringing it back up and having to head back into town and all.

  • Fattychance

    I like it. I like it, a lot.

    However, it seems to crash on me fairly often. (Memory issues no doubt)

    I am running jailbroken currently and do have winterboard and backgrounder (ssh is off)...still I show a good amount of RAM available before starting.

    Is everyone having that? I figured EA would be pretty good with the memory management on the iPhone considering the app just dies....and it's fairly annoying bringing it back up and having to head back into town and all.

  • erik

    Yea ive got crashing issues but restart of device will solve it out for u ;)

  • erik

    Yea ive got crashing issues but restart of device will solve it out for u ;)

  • brandon

    considering its a handheld its a great and fun game at first a had issues with crashing but i just restarted and now it works fine :)

  • brandon

    considering its a handheld its a great and fun game at first a had issues with crashing but i just restarted and now it works fine :)

  • http://www.yahoo.com Jill

    how bad... why it is not yet available in my country? i am really excited on this game... i do have the iPhone 3G buT still i cant purchase it... 'coz it is not yet available in the Philippine sTore... gUyz pLeaSe maKe iT aVaiLabLe heRe in Philippines as sOon as poSsibLe... pLeaSe iM beGginG... ^_^

  • http://www.yahoo.com Jill

    how bad... why it is not yet available in my country? i am really excited on this game... i do have the iPhone 3G buT still i cant purchase it... 'coz it is not yet available in the Philippine sTore... gUyz pLeaSe maKe iT aVaiLabLe heRe in Philippines as sOon as poSsibLe... pLeaSe iM beGginG... ^_^

  • Victoria

    Same here Jill. It's not availabe in my country, although I think you can create another account using us informations, but i'm afraid about the credit card because it might not work : (
    Good luck!

  • Victoria

    Same here Jill. It's not availabe in my country, although I think you can create another account using us informations, but i'm afraid about the credit card because it might not work : (
    Good luck!