From the unique launch title Madden NFL 07 to the music rhythm game Boogie EA has certainly embraced the Wii. This brings us to MySims, which is a new entry in the Sims franchise, MySims features some less complex gameplay and a completely different art style, but is the game worthwhile or just too simplistic for its own good?
The first thing you'll do in MySims is name your town. After you've named your town you'll get a small introduction from the Mayor, who tells the story of a town which used to be "full of life." Unfortunately, one day the special builder left, and the town changed into an area where no-one wants to live. You'll then get a chance to create your own Sim - the character creation isn't that deep, but gives enough options, such as hair colour and skin tone. After you've customised your Sim you just need to name them and you're ready to hit the town.
At the very beginning of the game, you'll be given materials to create a workshop and a home. Building your workshop and home is an easy way for the game to introduce players to construction, which is, like the rest of the game, relatively easy. All you have to do is pick up whatever you need, then arrange your object where the game guides you to. Construction is remarkably easy and helped even more by the Wii remote. After you've construced your home and workshop you'll need to go about rebuilding the town. You can help out existing businesses by creating furniture, which simply requires players to choose some shapes, then line up these shapes with the blueprint of the furniture you need to build. Thankfully the building conditions aren't too strict, so you can vary your creations a little and as you progress the furniture you need to build will become complex. The main catch with MySims is that when building furniture, you'll need to include essence to please the townsfolk.
Essence is the driving element of MySims. There are plenty of different types of essence and you'll need to collect this essence to include in your furniture creations. Essence can be gained in several different ways, it may be giving to you by another Sim, it may fall off a tree or you may find it while fishing. Gathering essence starts out quite easy and seems fun, but does become a little boring after awhile. Essentially though, aside from growing your town collecting essence is the only real goal in MySims.
The challenge with essence is that when creating your furniture, you cannot just place the essence - you need to actually work out how you can incorporate the essence to create the best possible furniture. Different types of essence will also please the townsfolk in varying ways, after playing the game for a little while you'll quickly gauge which types of essence suit the individual townfolk. As you improve the town you'll begin to notice a few changes - decorating houses and building furniture will cause the star rating for your town to increase and more people will check into the hotel, further growing your town. You will begin to notice quite quickly that your town is becoming more popular and more people are coming to stay. After a few hours, it becomes second nature to talk to gather essence and find areas in your town which need an overhaul.
Overall MySims is an enjoyable game, but not without its problems. Hardcore Sims fans will be a little disappointed with the game, simply because the social aspects of the previous Sims games are all but gone. There is very little need to interact with the townsfolk, except to get essences and your Sim essentially has no needs. For some reason the game also loads frequently, which is disappointing. Even at the start of the game you'll press start, endure loading, name your town, endure loading, customise a character, endure loading and so on.
As can be seen from the screenshots MySims is a game that looks impressive. The Sims have been given a complete overhaul but rather than look like a way for EA to tone down the graphics the game looks colourful and the Sims look great. Unfortunately though the frame rate does have a tendency to drop at times, which is a little bit disappointing to say the least; even though the game looks good, we don't think it's pushing the Wii to its limits. When it comes to the sound the Sims talk in their own little way as usual, but the music is a little off putting.
Just how much players will get out of MySims really does depend on how much the player enjoys the idea of customising houses. We can imagine there will be a few Sims fans who approach MySims expecting to be able to form relationships with the other Sims, but MySims is all about customisation. Creating the perfect neighbourhood isn't an easy task and if you enjoy customising and building then MySims will keep you occupied for a long, long time.
MySims is the kind of game that a primary school child could play with without any issues. The game is remarkably simplistic, but also manages to remain quite enjoyable. The only real disappointment with MySims is that the game feels more like a building simulator and less like a life simulator, which is how the other Sims titles feel. The art style is simply brilliant, so if like the idea of helping out a town in ruin and creating buildings and sprucing up the town then MySims is the game for you, just don't expect as much depth as in previous Sims titles.