The Sims FreePlay is the latest game from Electronic Arts to make it to Nokia Lumia, and as usual, here’s your chance to take control over a whole town of virtual people.
Oh, and as the title would suggest, it’s free to play, too!
If you’re a gamer, there’s absolutely no chance that you don’t know what ‘The Sims’ is. It’s a hugely popular spin-off from the SimCity video games that first made an appearance on the PC in 1989, and is still going strong today in newer, refreshed editions – equally as popular.
A Sim City is made up of buildings, infrastructure and most importantly, Sims (the population).
The Sims FreePlay follows the lives of each Sim in your newly established town as they go about their business. But what is their business? That’s up for you to decide.
Starting with a relatively blank canvas of a town, you’re presented with numerous plots of empty residential land that needs to be purchased, built upon and then the homes filled with contents; including a Sim.
Each character you select can be personalised and customised to change their hairstyle, the colour of their skin, eye-colour, and also the items of clothing they wear with countless different colours.
On top of that, you also get to decide what type of personality they have, too. For example, you could select a tycoon, a romantic, an arty type, or the evil one on the block that’s always up to no good. You can even give them any name you want. Or, you could just hit the random button to save time.
To begin with, you’ll go through a tutorial, which is fairly normal for a game with many different aspects. Once you’ve finished that, you’re on your own to rule the town.
As with real-life, things cost money, or as Sims call it, Simoleons, and you need plenty of these to make progress.
In the early stages of the game, the best and quickest way to make money is to farm the produce you can grown in your own backyard.
Create a small veg/fruit plot and sow some seeds; then, reap the rewards.
However, this won’t happen right away, for anything that happens in The Sims FreePlay takes time – real-time.
You’ll notice the clock at the top right of the screen. This will show you your local time. When it’s 7am where you live, it’s 7am in the game, and when it’s nighttime for you, it’s nighttime for The Sims, too.
Every action you take within the game takes time, and you’re alerted to how long each action will take when you tap on something.
Some activities take just seconds, like having a chat with a neighbour, while others, like building a house, can take hours – or even days.
Having all of this time on your hands is actually quite useful, particular when you start adding more Sims to your town.
For example, you might have one Sim take a bath, interact with another Sim in another house and come back just in time for the first Sim to just finish in the bathroom. It’s all about timing.
Your Sims interact and get to know each other and form friendships, as you direct them to. But insult too many people and you’ll end up with no friends.
As your friendships turn into marriage you can start to include children into the town. Look after them, change their nappies and don’t forget their birthdays. Then, it’s off to school – which hopefully you should’ve built by now.
There’s plenty to keep your Sims busy during the days, and the nights, which include going to work, learning karate, sitting down watching a film, or just sending them to bed to sleep for an entire day.
We’d suggest that you take advantage of the time that you’re asleep and task the Sims for an eight-hour money-earning task, such as growing some vegetables. That way, you’ll make money while you sleep without having Sims standing idly around.
There is an alternative to waiting, though. While this game is free, there’s always the option to speed things up by making in-app purchases – if you prefer.
The Sims FreePlay is an Xbox game, which means that you’ll earn achievements and points to add to your existing Gamerscore. Plus, you’ll also be able to compare your game progress with your friends on the leader boards.