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Game of the Week - The Sims 3

This week sees the release of the third full evolution of the long-running and incredibly popular Sims series. Since it first came on the scene in 2000, The Sims has gone on to become the best-selling PC game franchise in history, with well over 100 million copies sold worldwide.

The Sims is the ultimate human simulation game, inspiring players to immerse themselves in characters, tell stories, explore relationships, and live through generations, as they design and create everything from homes to fashions to meals.

The Sims 3 expands on the extensive customization options of The Sims 2, allowing players to customize almost anything, anywhere. It starts with your Sims character, where the creation utility now offers five categories: basics (age), hair, looks, clothing and personality. You define a character’s personality by choosing from over 60 separate traits. Want all your characters to get along? Then make sure they have similar traits. Want to see some sparks fly? Throw in a few character flaws and put them all in the same house!

The huge number of options when it comes to choosing hair, looks, and clothing is a game in itself. Once you settle on a look, The Sims 3’s “create-a-style” feature allows you to apply your chosen colors or patterns to anything you create – furnishings, wallpaper, even your car!

Once you’ve created your character or family of characters, you can move them to one of two neighborhoods and create a home. As with looks and clothing, the options to build and furnish a new home are almost endless. If that’s too daunting or time-consuming, then you can opt for a pre-built dwelling that already comes fitted-out. The neighborhoods are full of fun, entertaining or industrious things to do. You can visit restaurants or cook for yourself. You can shop, garden, go fishing, or even catch a game at the local ballpark!

Your character’s relationships, what they can do, and their life goals are largely determined by the personality traits that were selected earlier. Your Sim will be presented with tasks which, when completed successfully, will earn wish points and open up other opportunities for advancement and greater achievement. Wish points can be redeemed for all kinds of rewards – everything from time-saving gadgets to body sculpting devices!

The Sims 3 is packed with additional activities and endless ways to interact and socialize with other community members. It’s a worthy successor to the two earlier versions of this brilliantly-devised franchise, which remains the gold-standard for role-playing and simulation games for children and adults alike.

Note: The Sims 3 is rated Teen, i.e. appropriate for age 13 and over. There is some crude humor and mild violence. The game also deals with mature themes like marriage and pregnancy but nothing that would come as a shock to today’s tweens!
Publisher: Electronic Arts

Platforms: PC (Windows Vista/XP), Mac OS X
RRP: $49.99
ESRB Rating: “Teen”

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