The Sims 3

App review by
Carla Thornton, Common Sense Media
The Sims 3 App Poster Image
Popular with kids
Riveting, complicated simulation game reflects life.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 28 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about time and resource management with The Sims 3. The app is a simulation of real life, and puts teens in control of decisions such as how much time to spend working, socializing, taking care of their hygiene, and other parts of life. Teens will decorate a virtual house using the money they earn in the game; they'll need to learn how to manage their funds without excessive spending. The app also shows players that their decisions have consequences. The Sims 3 lets teens make life decisions, observe the consequences, and reflect -- all in a simulated and therefore low-stakes environment.

Ease of Play

The tutorial, which covers the basics, is very helpful. After that, a status bar reporting your Sim's needs will tell you whether to hit the shower next or get him a job. Lost in town? Tap a button to locate your Sim at any time.


If you've given your Sim a temper, he might kick over a trash can or act out in some other mildly anti-social way.


Sims can fall in love and kiss. Their relationships can also progress to where they dive under the sheets to engage in "Who-hoo" (game's term), accompanied by giggles and hearts.


Sims speak to one another in an indecipherable gibberish that rises and falls with emotion.


There are no ads but virtual and real shopping is encouraged. The Sims Store is open 24-7 to clothe and house your Sim in the best at .99 a pop. (Only wall coverings are free.) To disable shopping reminders, disallow push notifications. A "More Games" link displays a flip thumbnail selection of other games made by Electronic Arts, with links to the iTunes store.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Sims 3 is a complicated life simulation game that requires a significant time investment. Based on the very popular PC game, players create a realistic 3D avatar, including personality traits, and direct its interactions with other characters in a fictional town. Sims can be vain, mean, messy, and neurotic, or friendly and modest, or a combination of good and bad traits. Sometimes, just like in real life, Sims can find themselves in tense situations. They can fall in love and jump into bed together, and they can die.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHot Fuss December 16, 2011


Woo-Hoo isn't even audible. You can have sex in the street, doesn't haven't to be in a bed. 15+ is a big overreaction.
Parent of a 6 and 10-year-old Written byTheReviewMom April 18, 2012

Older Tweens

My 10 year old wanted this for her ipod touch. So first, (without telling her) I bought for my iPhone. After 15 minutes I said no. Why? This game is that game t... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bywhaleoh4060 April 14, 2011


Of course there's gonna be something like that but 15+!?
Plus it's pretty hard to get married and stuff. You don't even see wh... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byEmerald Rook September 10, 2020


its very fun and lets you express yourself I can't believe that other people rated it so high its perfectly fine.

What's it about?

The Sims 3 is a "life management" simulation game. Players control virtually every aspect of a virtual character's life from taking care of hygiene to facilitating job searches and decorating an entire home. Called a Sim, the character can grow up to be a successful business person with a mansion, or a less-driven individual who stays at home all day, or anything in between. The app is designed to be a fun and insightful way to see how everyday decisions can have an impact on someone's life.

Is it any good?

The Sims 3 is worth its big price tag. A wide range of personality traits lets you create a simulated person with all-too-human flaws. If your Sim has anger issues, don't be surprised if she gets into a skirmish. Move your Sim through a picturesque 3D hamlet and 73 possible life goals from shopping to relationships. This game has great graphics and is often funny or surprising but rarely boring.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Ask teens about the kinds of choices they make on a daily basis. Pick a day for you and your teen to make a note of your choices and the consequences (positive, negative, and neutral). Reflect on the choices together.

  • Encourage teens to practice smart money management in real life, even if they make different kinds of decisions in the app.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sims

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