The Sims: Castaway Stories Review
PS2 | Wii | PC
The Sims: Castaway Stories box art
System: Wii, PS2, PC, PSP, DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Maxis 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: EA 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Jan. 29, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Premise-wise, Castaway Stories covers some new ground, literally. This island instantly is your home, so it's not imperative that you acquire a home. Loaded with resources and interactive characters, the island is definitely fun to explore. Having to scratch out an existence from what you hunt and gather may seem like the same old familiar Sims formula, but consider that the economics system has been reduced to its basic component and you can see the potential as you expand upon it. As usual, you will be able to enter into a variety of relationships with the other characters on the island.

The Sims: Castaway Stories screenshot

The island isn't very big, but the load times will have you thinking otherwise. There are all kinds of food items from fish to fruit, as well as various weapons and tools such as an axe and a fishing rod. You'll acquire more useful items exponentially as you acquire more resources, mostly as a result of bartering. You have to be careful not to push your character too hard, as he or she expends energy rapidly, requiring you to rest, eat or take a shower. This causes some annoying delays. Occasionally your character will not obey an order if he or she is too tired or is displaying a low reading on the mood meter. While this may keep you from rushing through the game, when combined with the long load times, the overall pace of the gameplay seems choppy and sloppy.

Advertisement

There's nothing sloppy about the graphics, and nothing choppy about the water, which looks really smooth. We all know how difficult it is to make water look realistic, and while it still won't fool anyone, it's a great cartoonish representation. Considering that this game is built on the aging Sims engine, the colors, graphic details, and animation are great, even at medium resolution setting. The jungles are dense with trees, shrubs, and other exotic flora, not to mention rich with audio ambience. There are many convincing ambient sound effects in this game. The music is upbeat and catchy, and it's not entirely repetitive. Voiceovers consist of the gibberish Sim-speak. Nothing new there. The interface couldn't be easier to use. The first few hours of the story mode is basically a tutorial introducing you to the control system. The tutorial is so subtle, and the interface so intuitive, you'll be playing like a Sims vet in no time, even if you have no previous Sims experience.

Castaway Story is perfectly priced at just under thirty bucks. It's definitely worth every penny, but since it's so relatively short, I can't say that it's worth a penny more.

By Cole Smith
CCC Senior Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.5
Graphics
Great looking even at lower resolutions. Not a system hog.
4.8
Control
Interface couldn't be easier to use. Some commands are not obeyed.
4.8
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Great island tunes as well as ambient sound effects.
4.0
Play Value
It's a lot of fun to explore the island but the gameplay gets redundant in the Free mode.
4.6
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Brand New Environment to Play In - Play exciting new story adventures as a castaway on a desert island who needs to survive and thrive.
  • Create and customize your Sims and play through 24 whole new dynamic chapters. Adopt an orangutan, fight off wolves, and choose your own romantic interest, taking on an adventure that is completely your own.
  • Tell Your Own Story, Over and Over Again - Create multiple profiles and tell a new, unique story every time.
  • Two Fun New Ways to Play - all new directed Story mode and classic Free-play mode
  • It's Never Been Easier to Play on Your Laptop - Featuring simple shortcuts and an all-new auto-pause that lets you start and stop easily when opening/closing your laptop.
  • Be Creative While Staying Connected - Easily stay in touch with friends by using your own IM & email while playing the game in its own window.
  • Part of a Fun New Product Line-The Sims Stories line also includes The Sims Life Stories and The Sims Pet Stories.


  • Screenshots / Images
    The Sims: Castaway Stories screenshot - click to enlarge The Sims: Castaway Stories screenshot - click to enlarge The Sims: Castaway Stories screenshot - click to enlarge The Sims: Castaway Stories screenshot - click to enlarge The Sims: Castaway Stories screenshot - click to enlarge The Sims: Castaway Stories screenshot - click to enlarge The Sims: Castaway Stories screenshot - click to enlarge The Sims: Castaway Stories screenshot - click to enlarge The Sims: Castaway Stories screenshot - click to enlarge The Sims: Castaway Stories screenshot - click to enlarge The Sims: Castaway Stories screenshot - click to enlarge The Sims: Castaway Stories screenshot - click to enlarge

    X
    "Like" CheatCC on Facebook