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The Sims Social Preview
Sep 13,2011 05:09 by Sara Lau1
It seems as though Facebook has been waiting for The Sims Social for years. Its popularity is easily proven, and the beta version has already witnessed about 10 million users. Actually, the genre has been caught in its “void period” for almost a decade after the release of The Sims series.
Playfish, the development studio behind Pet Society and Country Story, is also responsible for the exclusive distribution of The Sims Social. Nevertheless, the project was ridiculed by the gaming community At E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo). They wondered that why we would like to play Sims on Facebook when we are able to unlock achievements on our PC. “Does EA want to milk a dead cow?”
But when players swarmed to Gamescom 2011, they seemed to leave that skepticism behind. Clearly, The Sims Social has learned from the mistakes of its spiritual predecessors and succeeded in offering a unique Sims virtual world, which brings virtual life to real reality. It is also worth mentioning that the game was awarded the best browser game in Gamescom 2011. Another question arises: Will it be fun?
Judging from its title The Sims Social, we conclude that it shares plenty of similarities with The Sims 3 and Zynga’s CityVille. First and foremost, you are required to create an avatar based on your brilliant creativity. The possible options may range from hair color and eye brow shape to eye color and other settings. In addition, your simulated character can not only be embellished with pretty clothes, but also be equipped with an individual personality. It’s all up to you to create a social lounge lizard, a rocker, or a freak? Since you have to spend real money in exchange for alterations of the character’s attributes, you’d better make your decision wisely.
Then, it’s time to send your avatar into the fascinating Facebook universe where he or she gets to complete a series of duties. The character has to meet the basic needs of his or her protégé, including feeding the starving citizens, providing a hygienic environment, cleaning the toilets on time, and offering a good many entertainment facilities. Solitude is a horrible thing, so you are advised to organize lots of socializing activities like throwing a party so as to make your protégé happy and satisfied.
If your sim is content with what you create within a few clicks, he or she will reach the “mood of inspiration” which may lead to some unexpected surprises. In brief, this mood of inspiration will help you to rake in more money.
Except for taking a dream career, your role can also develop an enviable life while remaining at home. For example, he or she can learn to play guitar, cook meals in a microwave or draw pictures on an easel. While you improve your avatar’s skills in writing, cooking and painting, you will earn the so-called Simoleons, that is, the virtual currencies in The Sims Social.
For sure, all actions consume a certain amount of energy. Every five minutes in real-time, 15 units of energy will emerge out of nowhere, enhancing your in-game mobility to a point. Those who frequently check and collect their energy will be blessed with a better chance of ascending to the top. Thus, The Sims Social can be literally called a time-eater. In addition to earning money, you have to focus on completing your missions, including reaching certain goals, finding some new friends and equipping your home with some devices etc.
Speaking of home, each building stands out individually among the neighborhood. It is highly possible to build an unparalleled abode with a selection of wallpapers, floors, doors and windows. And new furniture collections are continually being added to the game, spicing up your apartment significantly.
Of course, you do not expect to spend the amount of money like that in The Sims 3, fortunately, what Playfish is offering you are Simleons, the in-game currency. Besides, it also provides an acceptable quantity of social points. To the chagrin of millions of fans, however, the freedom has slimmed down. For example, you can only use factory-made spaces instead of erecting walls to your liking. We are looking forward to more options from Playfish.
You can place a piece of furniture in your apartment, but this does not mean that you can use it. Most of them need a separate building with collectible items that you usually get by accomplishing quests alongside your friends. In another word, to progress in the game, you usually have no choice but to get closely involved with your Facebook friends.
The Sims Social is also inspired by FarmVille, thus placing great emphasis on interaction with friends in the form of gifts and home visits. In addition, it also establishes a rapport with your Sims’ neighbors. You can choose to build a common or a friendly relationship with your neighbors, and sometimes even a love affair can be drawn into consideration. Facebook will keep you well-informed of your friends’ latest behaviors in a timely manner, thus confirming you recent relationship changes, such as somebody suddenly turns into an arch-enemy to you, or your inseparable partner is wooing you etc. Sometimes, you will be dragged into funny triangle relationships which consist of romance of virtual affairs and agony of separation. The most hilarious part is that it may happen among colleagues, friends and even relatives.
Furthermore, the social factor is definitely appealing. And your friends are utterly essential to the outcome of the game. Consequently, you will get bombarded by messages from your friends time and again, asking you for a certain kind of favor. Of course, these messages can be removed via a simple Facebook setting, but a friend in need is a friend indeed. If you refuse to lend a helping hand, then you will find yourself get besieged by an unfathomable abyss of loneliness when you are caught in distress.
To be frank, I once again fall into a Sims addiction. Every hour, I hasten to log in to look at the state of my world, visit my neighbors and rejoice in newly earned items. Undoubtedly, the game will cost you a lot of time in the long haul, but I do not care, at least for now. I love to interact with my Facebook friends and berate a fleeting acquaintance. Why not? In the Sims world, everything is permitted, and I am sure that my Facebook friends and I will have much more to talk about at the next reunion. Oh excuse me for leaving first! I can’t wait to dive into The Sims Social now. Hope to see you there!
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