The Sims 3 review

Hi, I’m Chris. I’m a Macworld US editor. And a real person. For the last week, I’ve been controlling Chris the Sim in the interactive person-simulator The Sims 3.

The Sims 3 is the latest edition of the wildly popular person simulator from the creators of SimCity and Spore. The addictive, immersive, quirky and open-ended gameplay make this the best edition of The Sims to date.

Pushing escapism to new heights, it’s an instant classic for anyone who as a kid played “house” or wanted to jump into someone else’s shoes for a little while. The game doesn’t just allow for creativity, but imagination - something that is rare and laudatory in any form of entertainment.

New to the universe of The Sims, I started by testing out the new character creator. You can start your Sim in different lifestages: toddler, child, teen, young adult, adult, or elder. You have initial options that will let you to set minute details of your Sim’s appearance like mouth size, clothing, and body weight.

You then can move onto one of the intriguing aspects of the game: your Sim’s personality traits. In the older life stages, each Sim starts with five personality traits. Some are mutually exclusive (you can’t be good and evil, for example), but all affect how your character interacts with the Sim world. Some are obviously useful (genius, artistic, good kisser) while others create stranger life goals (evil, never nude, antisocial).

That’s when I created Chris the Sim. By entering certain personality traits, I was offered the choice of a select few life goals, amongst them “Become a famous author.” Not surprisingly, the best way to do this was to join the writing career. So Chris the Sim became a freelancer and then a professional blogger and finally an editor for a magazine.

Playing The Sims 3 can create some oddly reflective if not outright meta moments. My Sim counterpart needed to finish a story over the weekend, and I watched as he quickly ate some cereal and sat typing on his computer while wearing nothing but his underpants. All the while, I was wearing my underpants, eating some cereal, sitting at my computer, and watching him do this - for a story I needed to finish.

Compared to Chris the Macworld editor, Chris the Sim lives a charmed life. He finished a novel in two days and was well on his way to a promotion at work. He also had a serious girlfriend that required only nonsense talk to woo. She didn’t laugh at him when he asked her for some “woohoo” (that’s the Sim version of sex) and got woohoo way too damn often.

NEXT: Artificial intelligence is fantastic


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