The Sims 3 DS Review
The Sims are no strangers to the Nintendo DS, but previous iteration didn’t let players experience the gameplay they have grown to love on the PC. Sims 3 for the DS aims to change all that and sticks close to its roots in order to satiate your god complex on the go. While it does so admirably, it’s no surprise that it does have some shortcomings.
As always, you create a Sim from scratch with a wide assortment of customization options, from the basic appearance down to the depth of voice. Depending on the personality traits selected, you then set your Sims’ lifetime goal. From then on it’s a standard Sims affair of finding a job, making money, buying furniture, moving to a bigger house, meeting new Sims, showering, staying entertained, cooking, cleaning...you get the picture.
Opportunities, which are quick goals, pop up frequently ensuring you always have something new to do. Your Sim might want to practice a quick round of chess, become friends with your neighbor, or make breakfast. Often times, your Sim will request a task that requires you to buy certain equipment or furniture, giving you opportunities for redecorating or even remodeling your house.
Controlling your Sim is as easy as pointing and tapping on the touchscreen, which isn't far removed from using a mouse. Stylus-only control frees up the d-pad and buttons for camera movement. The top screen acts as an info panel, showing every necessary information from your job, lifetime wishes, traits, and current status, which can be accessed by a simple tap of the L or R buttons.
The karma powers previously seen on consoles also make an appearance on the DS version, and offer even more reason to dive deeper into your game and find them all. Each must be unlocked by completing a myriad of opportunities, and then scavenging for the karma power around your city. It’s no easy feat but the pay off is worth it, even if it is only for amusement. Winter Wonderland ensures winter is there to stay all year long, Casanova transforms you into an irresistible smooth talker, or be evil and cause another Sim to have nothing but bad luck for the rest of their lives.
Providing this much freedom comes at a price. The DS is not known for its graphical prowess and it shows. Sims look blocky, their movements are sporadic and often pass through objects, and the environments lack detail, making it hard to identify smaller items. Your Sim households can’t have more than two people at a time, so no parties and no families. and death is also part of the past as morgues are now replaced with hospitals.
It’s disappointing that staples such as starting up a family and seeing them live through generations have been removed altogether, but the Karma powers add another reason for Simaholics to dive deeper into the game and discover them all. Despite its limitations, Sims 3 manages to be the closest to the true Sims experience for people who want to play God on the go.