MySims – Nintendo Wii review

MySims and the Wii seems an absolutely superb fit. The social interaction of The Sims series of titles from EA, combined with the "fun for all the family" addiction of the Nintendo Wii should make for a game that could easily be the first decent console-based Sims title.

Things right from the off don’t seem quite right however. Your very first task is to create your little Sim character, and though the cutesy, cartoon-like visuals are slightly off-putting to start with, it’s the sheer lack of customisation available that leaves you feeling a little cold.

Strangely, you’re not able to choose the sex of your Sim, leaving you free to dress them up as random as you could ever possibly hope for. These versions of the Sims characters are a bit of a cross between those in the PS2’s Gregory Horror Show, and your Mii character. It’s a strange miss from EA not to allow a slightly transformed import of the Mii characters we’ve all spent hours on to play around with. Personally I’d love to let loose that meticulously designed Samuel L Jackson on MySims world.

If you remember the original PC Sims title, you’ll know that your tasks solely revolved around your created Sim, and making their lives as easy and successful as possible. Feeding them when hungry, forcing them to take out the rubbish, even prodding them in the direction of the loo when nature called were what you needed to do in order to create a well-rounded individual.

It wasn’t all work and no play however, with creating relationships with other Sim characters in the immediate vicinity being one of the game's major fun points.

Here in MySims, you don’t need to go worrying about all of that. Instead, it turns out that you’re quite the little worker, and a skilled builder and interior designer. Thankfully, Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen fails to make an appearance as a talking head.

You’re ultimate goal is to turn this fledgling community into something not only hugely popular, but packed to the brim with visual beauty. And the way to do this is via packing places with enough gorgeous furniture to give the city an extra star to their rating, and hence encouraging more people to join your growing city.

Building, however, isn’t quite as freeform as you’d hope for. Blueprints need to be stuck to in order to get the most from each piece of furniture, at least for the first half of the game, and actually finding the right "essence" to get each piece up to the standard required is a tedious task in itself.

Essence can be found all over the village. There are lots of different types, each of which can be found in a certain way, usually involving some simple mini-game that involves some easy manipulation of the Wii Remote in order to extract what you need. What this essence feature does introduce however is a touch of tedium, when you have to spend a good hour simply searching for that one last portion you need in order to build your next masterpiece. It does add a little hint of actual traditional gaming to the mix, but it easily becomes a real bore very quickly.

Building new homes for the freshly attracted newcomers to your Sim village works in much the same manner, with blueprints to be followed, and construction to be worked through in order to get the very best.

Verdict

MySims is undoubtedly tonnes of fun in the right hands. Building the furniture to spruce up your town enough to encourage others to join your ever growing community is surprisingly fun, if a little lacking in real freedom to fulfil those design nightmares that populate our heads.

But with none of the social aspect, and even the toilet and eating duties of the PC versions of The Sims, MySims lacks the real meat that made the series so popular in the first place.