|System: Wii, PC, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: EA Redwood||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 28, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1 (8 Online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Maria Montoro
When I tried MySims at E3, I thought: Oh, no! Another life-sucking game to keep me on my chair for hours on end! As if I didn't have enough with my job, playing adventure or puzzle games in addition to Animal Crossing: City Folk, I feared I would find myself playing this game all the time. Luckily, or sadly, depending on how you look at it, that wasn't the case. MySims is a charming game full of things to do, but it's a little too simple for those with greater plans in mind. It's quite obvious the game is tailored for the younger ones, though some audiences may overlap, as there's enough charm to hold one's attention for at least a while.
The PC version is more than a port of the Wii's MySims, which came out in September of last year, along with the DS version. This version has been expanded with new objects, more characters, costumes, and buildings. Also, it comes with online support, which allows players to exchange friend codes in order to play together in shared areas and chat via keyboard or voice chat. All these new features make the game more interesting and of greater value, although it still doesn't warrant automatic involvement and the subsequent (and sometimes inevitable) addiction.
MySims is a cute life simulator where players help to rebuild a town that was once perfect. Citizens moved out of town because the town's architect left and things went bad, and now it's up to you to bring back the charm that once reigned in this land. You'll get to create your own character, customizing it with cute outfits, different faces, hair styles, etc. It's not a very deep character creator, but it does the trick.
Once you move into your new town, you'll create a home, and then your very own workshop. Then, you'll start socializing with other townsfolk, thus learning the ins and outs of your new life. By using certain objects and exploiting the resources available in your town, you'll start obtaining and collecting essences, which come in handy when building furniture or revitalizing certain things. This is one of the most exciting aspects of the game, as it involves collecting and later customizing things. Shaking an apple tree will grant you a very tasty essence, and catching a clown fish will translate into a funny clown motif.
There are only six different essence categories (fun, geeky, tasty, cute, spooky, and studious), but you'll find tons of different essences throughout the game that fit within these categories. Also, depending upon your behavior with the town's characters, you'll earn emotion-based essences. Essences can be placed in your home or other neighbors' properties, always trying to suit their taste. You can use the essences as paint or wallpapers, turning objects and buildings into unique items. Also, it's important to keep the town healthy by planting new trees, flowers, etc. as well as watering them so they don't go bad.
As you help improve the town, you'll notice its inhabitants will feel more comfortable and new ones will start moving in. You'll see them interacting with each other in funny ways, which is a charming facet of the game. By rebuilding different town areas, helping to reopen businesses, and upgrading the citizen's lifestyles with new items you'll build in your workshop, your town will, once again, return to glory and earn you the five stars.
As the town's architect and potential savior of the village, you'll spend a lot of time in the workshop. Here you'll create furniture and other items, starting with blueprints provided by other citizens, or building your own creations from scratch. This aspect promotes creativity, and it's actually entertaining in small doses. The problem is most of the game is based on building / customizing tasks, and after a while, it gets boring. The town's citizens will ask you to create things for them, turning the game into a go-and-get-me kind of game. Not only do you have to create the items for them, but you also have to go first and collect the required essences to apply to the items they ordered. After a while, this becomes too mundane.