previews\ Sep 21, 2008 at 8:00 pm

MySims Kingdom - WII - Preview

There are times when, if you put your mind on hold and just enjoy moments of silliness, you will find yourself very much caught up in the sheer entertainment factor. Of course, it helps when those moments are supplemented by other elements – in a gaming way, such as solid graphics, gameplay elements, sound and storylines.

MySims Kingdom is the sequel to the MySims release of 2007 that is not a sequel … not really. The EA Games title was on display at a Bloggers’ Day event held in the San Francisco complex of the company. Writers were given the opportunity to not only receive presentations on the game material, but to actually play the title.

Both the Wii and Nintendo DS versions will be released October 27, and fans of the first title – as well as newcomers to the franchise – are certain to find a game that is inviting, humorous and downright entertaining with simple puzzles elements woven into the slightly more complex storylines. 

In the original MySims title, players took one of the new Sims characters (sort of a cross between the Sims of the EA historic franchise and LEGO characters) and were tasked with rebuilding a city. The Sim players controlled were adept at using essences to weave with creating items and buildings to the delight of the Sims that inhabited the small city. The overall goal was to entice Sims to move into the city.

That has changed a bit with Kingdom.

“Kingdom is not a sequel,” said Tim LeTourneau, the title’s executive producer. “It is taking MySims and setting them in a different context.”

The character you create is still capable of creating buildings and items to decorate with, still collects essences, but this is more of an adventure game. King Roland’s kingdom is in disarray. He needs a wandolier to start repairing the kingdom and bring hope back to the people. After a lopsided contest (it is impossible to not win it), you are chosen. The game has 11 different islands to visit, each with their own problems. You will visit, fix broken items, build appropriate buildings, gather resources and generally become a boon to the kingdom. And to think you started as a lowly pig-herder!

New to the title is the completion of contraptions – puzzles that involve gears. Of course, you may have to collect resources to use to build the gears and then you will have to piece together the solution to the puzzle. Also new is socializing, which is an interactive gaming element that will present you with conversational choices to make. If you are successful, the MySim you smooze may give you items you need to advance your character’s quest.

“The idea is to get to know the characters through socializing,” LeTourneau said.

While each island has main quests that need to be solved, the replay value kicks in with what LeTourneau calls “Day Two” tasks – essentially they are quests that are unlocked.

The look of the game is three-dimensional, lush and rather pleasant. The animations tread between fun and cute. The game gets a huge boost from the characterizations of the main characters. Buddy, in particular (one of your traveling companions), can be hilarious. When your playable character gets a prospecting device, it is pointed out that you can prospect for jewels and buried treasure …

“And bacon!” Buddy chimes in.

It is pointed out that bacon is usually not found buried in the ground. Undaunted, Buddy simply replies that “Bacon is delicious!”

As a bonus to the video gameplay, there is no load time between interiors and exteriors. The sound features the new Simlish language (from the first game), which means you have to read the jokes in this well-written story.

Kingdom is obviously the product of a dev team that had a great time building the title. This shows not only in the look and story of the game, but in the way the adventure plays out. MySims fans should have a great time with this new release.

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