The Sims is a franchise I have grown up with. From the original Sims to the most recent Sims 4, I have always enjoyed creating a Sim family and controlling their lives. So when I heard there was a new Sims game coming to mobile devices, I was so excited to try it out. Sims Freeplay, the existing mobile Sims game, never really did it for me. It didn’t have the true Sims gameplay feel and I felt like I was just managing a town instead of the lives of the Sims themselves. The graphics were awful, every Sim looked the same and I found myself deleting the app after a few hours of gameplay. I really hoped Sims Mobile would be different.
Create a Sim
When you start the app and finish downloading all of the updates, you are prompted to Create A Sim. The look and feel of the Create A Sim menu is very similar to the Sims 4 and the graphics are incredibly similar. There are plenty of CAS options and though it is limited compared to the PC game, it is a giant leap in customisation for a mobile app. You can create fairly unique Sims and you can even slide around a button on a grid to really customise the look of your Sim.
Like the Sims, 4 you can edit your Sims physique, build and muscle tone which I was really impressed with. Even the hairstyles and clothing is from the Sims 4. I know this caused some controversy with keen Simmers as you pay for clothing and hairstyles in stuff packs. When you first create your Sim you are fairly limited with your choices, unlocking clothing and hairstyles as you go and even paying for them with your Sims hard earned cash. You also start with very basic traits with the chance to unlock more as you progress through the game. Though a free game, you are going to have to work through the quests to unlock everything or spend your own money to do so faster. For some this will be a pain however I like having something to work towards and this will keep me playing. It’s also worth noting that you can go back and edit your Sim’s clothing and hair throughout the game, unless your Sim is doing a task.
When you enter the game, you must complete a tutorial which effectively teaches you how to play. I found this very useful as there are lots of different menus to go into to edit your home, purchase furniture and see your relationships etc. The first Sim you’ll encounter is Bella who welcomes you to the neighbourhood and she quickly becomes your friend. Your Sim is left with a letter from your long-lost Aunt who has left you her house with a plea to continue the family legacy. This builds the foundation of the game which uses goals, Sims wishes and tasks to build your legacy.
As you start work, you tap individual sims, tables and the coffee machine to complete mini tasks. These take seconds to complete and after about 5 minutes your work day is complete. As you continue to tap, tap, tap, you begin to level up in your career and new actions are unlocked. At the end of your shift you are rewarded with simoleons but you’ll find your stats will have decreased. Prepare to dance away at your stereo for 3 minutes and to nap for an hour to build up your energy and fun level. You can of course skip the wait times with Sim Cash or eat a Cupcake for an instant boost.
In the style of Sims Social, you are given XP, relationship points, hobby points or career points as you complete actions which you must tap to pick up. Each action requires either energy, hygiene, hunger or fun and when you’re out, you must sleep, shower, eat or do something fun to replenish them. Unlike classic Sims games, a drop in stats does not effect the mood of your Sim, it only affects your ability to keep playing. This is where the waiting time really kicks in but as you add Sims to your family, you find yourself able to do other things whilst you wait. You can even edit your home whilst your Sim sleeps so if you love decorating or moving your home about, this will fill up some time.
If you love creating homes from the very start, you might find this game a little frustrating. You begin with your 3-room starter home and there is very little you can do from the very beginning.
Like the Sims 4, editing your home could not be easier. Simply drag your room around to move it or drag on individual walls to change the size of your room. You can change your flooring and wall colours except you can only change flooring by room and walls by room/wall – not individual tiles. This would be an easy update to add to the game and I hope they add it soon! The roof has a few customisable options in terms of colour and 3 pre-set pitches, unfortunately you cannot build elaborate roofs.
As you progress through the game you begin to unlock items and plants to customise your Sim’s home and garden. What I have noticed is that there is no option to sell any items in your inventory which is a little odd. Hopefully they’ll add this feature soon but until then be careful when you buy things, you cannot make any simoleons back! Unlike The Sims Freeplay, items do not crazily increase in price as your level increases. Low cost items remain cheap which makes kitting out your Sim’s home even easier.
There are a number of careers your Sim can work through by completing tasks and goals. You start worklife as a Barista however you can progress to the cooking career , the fashion career, medical career and DJ career as you level up. You can hop from career to career without incurring any penalties, unlocking items and clothing as you go. This give the game a Sims Bustin Out feel which I really enjoyed.
Each career is also active unlike Sims Freeplay, which means you have set tasks to do within a time limit to progress. This is a lot more interesting than rabbit-hole careers but it will drain your Sim’s energy quickly! Once you start your shift, interactable items and Sims are identified with a pink star. Simply tap them and perform a short 5 second action, picking up XP as you go. Once you have filled the required number of pink stars in the bottom left hand corner within a 5 minute time frame, your Sim’s shift has ended and you are rewarded with simoleons.
Like the Sims 4, you can also customise lots. As you earn career points and increase your level, you’ll also unlock items to use at work. Simply press the build/buy button at your workplace to add some interactable items. You’ll need these to complete some life goals!
At first I loved the addition of hobbies to keep your Sim entertained. These include cooking, writing, yoga, piano and guitar and they sort of replace skills. As you increase your level you unlock more items to use in your Sim’s home which is nice but the actual gameplay is the same as going to work. You tap an object, perform a short action, pick up points and repeat. Once you have filled up the required number of stars in the bottom left hand corner, the event ends and you are rewarded with simoleons.
Chatting to Sims builds up your relationship by earning relationship points. Once you have collected enough you can trigger a relationship event to progress your friendship to the next level. These work in the exact same way as career events and hobbies which is highly repetitive and gets a little boring after a while. Once you have completed the 5 minute event, your relationship moves to the next level and you are rewarded with simoleons.
Interactions are split into categories: Friendly, Mean, Funny and Flirty. As your relationship level increases, so does your number of interactions. Make sure you keep some simoleons handy as chatting away depletes your hunger bar quickly and you’ll find yourself going back to the fridge often.
As your Sim’s story is the aim of the game, your Sim will age and so will your children. Aging occurs in real time and once you reach Level 9, you can finally purchase a crib and create a family. Train your toddlers to use the potty, eat at the high chair or play at the play table to shape the next generation of Sim.
The story underlining this game is all about your Sim’s legacy. As you play, build a family and watch your Sim’s children grow into adults, you will collect heirlooms, furniture and clothing. Each in turn boosts your legacy score.
Once you reach Level 6, you will be able to throw parties which other players can come to and interact in. These work in, surprise surprise, the exact same way as career events, hobbies and relationship events. Gain party points through interactions and once you have accumulated the goal amount you will receive a prize. You can host a party which other players can attend an interact with, just make sure you set your home up with the right party decorations to fit your theme.
Like all freemium games, you can of course connect Facebook to your game. This allows you to send messages to your friends and interact with their Sims.
Sim Cash is the in-game currency which is available at a price. You are given some cash when you start the game and rewarded with small amounts each time you level up. I highly recommend saving this especially if you don’t want to spend an money on the game. Though it’s tempting to speed up actions, there are some items which will instantly refill your needs. These cost 100+ but are definitely worth saving up for especially if you want to play regularly.
The game has also has a packs feature and currently offers a starter pack at £4.99. As the game is launched worldwide and more features are added to ththe game, I can see a huge opportunity for more packs to be added.
You can purchase potions at The Potion Shop in Parkside once you reach Level 10. You may also be rewarded with one each time you level up. Potions available are:
- Hygiene Booster +5 hygiene capacity
- Hunger Booster +5 hunger capacity
- Fun Booster +5 fun capacity
- Potion Of Youth +1 day to your sim’s life state
I really love the aesthetics of the Sims Mobile, it looks really good on my iPad Pro and it runs really well. I equally enjoy the focus on your Sim’s life and progressing their family legacy but I find the gameplay so repetitive. I feel like you wait an hour for your Sim’s needs to replenish, to tap some objects for 5 minutes to then wait again. As a free game it’s enticing enough to continue playing but the game is essentially a prettier and slightly more complicated version of The Sims Social. Everything I hated about The Sims Freeplay has been removed and it feels almost like a true Sims game, but not quite enough. For a free game, it is good and you will enjoy it if you have the patience. But for many it will be a frustrating play which will lead you to boot up your PC or Mac and play the Sims 4.
The Sims Mobile is currently available on iOS and Android in Brazil and will be available worldwide soon. This game was obtained through the Brazilian Apple Store.