The Sims 3

Common Sense Media says

Mature life sim with more personality than ever.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
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16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Sims can be as noble or as nasty as the player chooses. Possible character trades include coward, evil, dislikes children, kleptomaniac, mean-spirited, mooch, neurotic, and snob. Sims with certain traits will be inclined to steal, cheat on their spouses, say rude things, and get into fights. "Criminal" is a possible career path, and Sims can aspire to be a master thief or gold digger, among other things. It's possible to get arrested and spend the day in jail. The game offers a wider range of different body types than ever before, from skinny to hefty or muscular, but Sims react with dismay if you puff their bodies up to the maximum weight.

Violence

Sims can taunt, argue, and get into physical fights with each other. Sims with nasty personality traits may actually feel better after beating up another Sim.

Sex

Like previous Sims games, courtship and romance play a big part. Sims with the Romance trait will aspire to a life of having as many lovers and make-out sessions as possible, and if married, will be inclined to cheat on their spouses. Sims can have both heterosexual and same-sex relationships and can be seen jumping under the sheets in bed to make "woohoo" (the game's term) -- which is accompanied by groans and giggles.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

You can buy a range of items for your Sim's house. The game encourages the pursuit of "nics stuff," because inferior quality products will negatively affect your Sim's mood such as sleeping in a cheap bed or cooking on a cheap stove.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a life simulation game where you can create your own Sim and then control its life. Players can make Sims' personalities nuanced and life-like by assigning body characteristics and traits that include romantic, artistic, brave, kleptomaniac, neurotic, snob, and even "evil," which can influence desires, behavior, and job opportunities. Sims can enter into both heterosexual and same-sex relationships; and they can die.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

THE SIMS 3, the latest game in EA's blockbuster Sims franchise, is a life simulation game where you create and control your own person, affectionately call a Sim. This version takes character customization to a new level of nuance and detail. Not only are players afforded more options in body shape and clothing style and color than ever before, but they can also select five traits out of three dozen for their Sim, such as coward, absent-minded, athletic, and vegetarian, which affect everything from how the Sim behaves and interacts with other Sims to career choice and life aspirations.

The game's setting, the sprawling Sunset Valley, affords dozens of interesting locations to visit and hundreds of actions and reactions based on each Sim's personality. They can pursue a career or relationship, start a family, chill at the beach or pool, play chess in the park, or even rummage through the neighbor's garbage. You decide whether to be kind or mean-spirited. If you chose a path of evil doing, your Sim will actually derive pleasure from causing as much strife as possible. Likewise, romantic Sims will favor casual relationships with no long-term commitments.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

As with previous Sims titles, The Sims 3 isn't suitable for younger players. The game is a balanced and honest portrayal of peoples' foibles as well as their strengths. Characters can be dishonest, nasty, lustful, mean, and materialistic. Characters can die and turn into ghosts, although it's also possible to control and even halt the aging process.

The game is a nice blend of familar gameplay for those who have played the earlier versions, and interesting new gameplay. For example, the game offers a new detailed building tool that lets you drag walls to change the size of rooms in your house, or rotate items 45 degrees to place them on an angle, and a new family inventory that lets players store items without actually selling them. The game is still a bit cumbersome to control, and it's a shame you can't multi-task (like brushing your teeth while waiting for your morning waffles to cook), but overall the new features and refinements help to make The Sims 3 extremely engaging while giving it almost limitless replay value.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what personality traits they chose for their Sim. Did they make their Sim exactly like them, or experiment with a very different persona? Was it fun to play a nasty Sim, or did you feel guilty about making the other Sims feel bad? Of all the various life aspirations available in The Sims, which ones do you consider the most important?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Windows, Mac
Price:$49.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Electronic Arts
Release date:June 2, 2009
Genre:Simulation
ESRB rating:T for Crude Humor, Sexual Themes, Violence (Mac, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

This review of The Sims 3 was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 17 years old Written byMerlinFan17 December 28, 2010
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

Make a censored version, EA, and I would willingly pay 75 dollars

This game is ridiculously fun, however I opt out of playing it due to the *sometimes unavoidable* sexual stuff in it. My parents would kill me if they knew it had these options in it, not to mention I really don't want to play something with a chance of something so bad happening in view of my two younger siblings.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 13 years old Written bytommy18 January 5, 2010
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Sexual behaviour isn't that bad.

Young kids under 10 may like the look of this game. but do not buy it for them. It will confuse them in areas of the sexual parts. Woo-hoo and the bed is moving and the covers are going and noises are going on (: So its not really suitable for young kids. Violence is not violent at all. No blood or anything. When a fight happens there is a cloud of white smoke so you can't see the punch up anyway, the only thing that happens is the person he/she will fall to the ground. The bad thing is consumerism, yeah you normally see that as casual advertising but this is bad, Whereas you will get sims depressed on cheap things so its a bad role model only liking the most expensive, most luxery food and furniture. Suitable for over 10.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much consumerism
Adult Written byTom_Gamer_Tom July 10, 2010
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Not a very mature game.

Sims is more boring than mature. This game is extremely overspoken about how mature the game actually is. Sure there are sexual scenes where you only hear and see the sheets moving, That isn't too bad. You can beat someone up in a cloud of dust so nothing is seen. Its rather educational in a way, Not the sleeping around but building houses and getting jobs. Its not mature by any means, I've been playing for a long time.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

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