Sims return to online gaming

“The Sims” franchise is an open-ended strategy game that allows players to live vicariously through the lives of their avatars. Put them together, and Facebook users are doomed for a life spent building electronic relationships rather than physical ones. Although Maxis created “The Sims Online,” it failed because social media networks and gaming had not yet taken off.

“The Sims Social” (SS) is everything that its predecessor failed to be. SO took forever to generate skills, relationships and progress through the game. It relied heavily on user-to-user interaction. Still, SO was successful in that it had a huge following of regular Sims fans up until its closing in 2008.

Three years later, Maxis is ready for round two.

Where SO failed, SS found ways to monopolize. For example, completing simple tasks generates money, rather than simply building skills. Your sim can even earn money by weeding and growing a garden.

Players can visit a friend’s houses and interact with an sim who isn’t busy with his own needs. Users can even earn money and achieve goals while on visiting lots.

Unfortunately, SS still has some irksome characteristics. Players have to request improvment in relationships. You can’t just fall in love like you would in the traditional games—neighbors must agree to falling in love.

A user is limited in energy per day. After performing 15 actions that require “energy,” your Sim will become rather pointless. You can only serve basic needs and wait several minutes for replenishment.

It’s also very difficult to build an addition to your house. The user has to send out requests to his “friends” to get their help with the construction. Although this is a great way to get players motivated to encourage friends to join, it’s also a pain.

Even though SS offers some misgivings, it’s worth a shot to any gamer who enjoys the traditional “Sims” games.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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