|System: Wii, 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, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-3||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
After experiencing everything this game had to offer, I can't help but to think that the MySims franchise is EA's attempt at making their own Animal Crossing type series. The only problem is that Animal Crossing does it much better in most respects. The decorations in this game are all rather drab, lacking all but the most basic of detail, and the options also seem to be much fewer than in Nintendo's classic.
The characters in MySims Kingdom are also far from likeable due to both their actions and their visual presentations. It is actually quite difficult to enjoy many of the game's characters, as most seem rather crabby and even downright mean at times. Whether you have King Roland yelling at you for how bad the kingdom looks, Ellen constantly getting you to do her job for her, or getting completely brushed off by many of the other characters in the kingdom, you never really get the sense that the characters you come into contact with actually want you around. That is, besides the work they can get out of you while you happen to be there. Every character in the game also looks like a clothing-covered rectangle, complete with limbs and a face that changes slightly to try to reflect emotions.
However, there are a few things that do tip in MySims Kingdom's favor. The way that this game handles its in-game cycles is much better than in Animal Crossing, at least in terms of a portable experience. Every day is broken into four time segments - morning, noon, evening, and night - that only pass while you are playing the game. The time of the day will affect the way Sims behave, what stores are open, which mini-games are available to play, and what animals you may find lurking about to take photos of. This sped up and segmented approach is much more conducive to a quick pick-up-and-play experience than a realistic calendar that expects you to play the game at specific times. The addition of a story element also adds to the game by giving players a goal other than just continually redecorating the kingdom. The game's nine mini-games all function as nice distractions, giving players a good variety of different experiences that can be played until you eventually grow tired of them or just can't score any higher.If you already own MySims, you likely won't find much here to entice you to upgrade. The same goes for if you already own a copy of Animal Crossing: Wild World as well. However, if you don't currently own either of these titles, MySims Kingdom may be right up your ally. If you can get past the fairly boxy-looking and unlikeable characters, there is some fun to be had creating objects, playing mini-games, completing the game's story, and customizing the kingdom's appearance. Just don't expect to be wowed by the storyline or to enjoy all of the included mini-games.
CCC Staff Contributor