The Sims Mobile impressive for a free game

November 14, 2018 — by Elaine Sun

As I browsed through the top charts in the App store last month, I noticed that The Sims Mobile video game app crowned the list.

Usually I wouldn’t play any life-simulation games:  I’m an avid fan of .io games, which are typically very basic yet addicting. I particularly enjoy narwhale.io, a game in which worm-like narwhals try to cut other narwhals in half with their horns. However, I decided to download The Sims Mobile because I’ve always wanted to play it, and the app is free.

The Sims, first released as a computer game in 2000, is a game in which players create and control avatars, called Sims, in a virtual world. Sims can create relationships, pursue careers and explore hobbies. The free mobile app version, called The Sims Mobile, came out earlier this year.

The first thing I noticed when I downloaded the app was how much storage it took. 250 megabytes? That’s as much storage as Snapchat! My poor phone already has no storage, but with the deletion of a couple apps (goodbye Facebook), I was ready to play.

The first exciting task I encountered was designing my Sim. I tried to make my Sim look as much like me as possible, with black hair, brown eyes and a very wide face; to be honest, she looked better than I do in real life.

After I was satisfied with this new version of myself, I put her into the virtual world. A couple of tutorials later, I landed a job as a barista and began developing her livelihood.

For a mobile game, the graphics are exceptional. The shapes look three-dimensional, the sound effects are nice, such as the game’s own language called Simlish (which is basically just gibberish) and all the architecture in the game is detailed, greatly contrasting with the simple two-dimensional display of narwhale.io.

An interesting feature is the ability to confront other Sims. My Sim could make a friendly, flirty or confrontational introduction with another Sim, which would lead to the development of different relationships.

I made my first enemy with a Sim named Benjamin. We developed our antagonistic relationship at my Sim’s house at our first bonding event, where we spoke Simlish loudly and pointed accusatory fingers at each other.

After our first hostile “bonding,” I was able to choose a preset story, which told the phases of our relationship with short dialogues at every phase, for Benjamin and me. I chose the Old Rivals story, which is described as “An old adversary returns.” Through our bonding, I could gain relationship points, shown in a bar on the screen. When we had enough bonding events to fill up the bar, our relationship would level up, and the next phase of our relationship would begin.

However, The Sims isn’t really a simulation of real life. It is more of a game where players advance their status, from relationships to professions to hobbies, and try to complete tasks and receive awards. It is probably possible to finish the entire game, but it would take a great deal of time and dedication. Also, the game occasionally glitched, such as faces randomly stretching to fit the whole room while they spoke, or the props Sims used sticking to their hands.

The final verdict: The Sims Mobile is an exceptional game and is much better than narwhale.io (and other .io games in general) because of its endless availability of activities and similar level of addiction. While the number of glitches and amount of storage the game takes could use some improvement, the level of detail is amazing for a free game, and I’m disappointed I didn’t discover it earlier.