A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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.
For kids who love sims
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.