The Sims 3

Common Sense Media says

Riveting, complicated simulation game reflects life.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

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.

Violence

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.

Sex

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.

Language

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

Consumerism

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
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

There are no privacy concerns because there's no contact with other players. The other Sims encountered in the game are computer generated only.

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.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Hobbies

  • building
  • collecting
  • fashion

Skills

Creativity

  • imagination
  • making new creations
  • producing new content

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

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. This game has great graphics and is often funny or surprising and rarely boring.

Learning Approach

A simulation of real life, Sims 3 puts teens in control of decisions such as how much time to spend working, socializing, and taking care of hygiene. Much of the learning will be by trial and error. 

Support

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. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Hobbies

  • building
  • collecting
  • fashion

Skills

Creativity

  • imagination
  • making new creations
  • producing new content

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.

This Learning Rating review was written by Mark Raby

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
Price:$6.99
Release date:March 24, 2010
Category:Simulation Games
Publisher:Electronic Arts
Version:1.2.4

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.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written bywhaleoh4060 April 14, 2011
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Overreaction

IT'S THE SIMS 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 what's happening, it just presents a picture. Plus it doesn't show any link to babies like it does in tthe computer version. This game is also a complete disgrace the the sims. I love the games but this is very restricted, expensive and pointless. You can only control one sim and you can't even have kids!
Adult Written bygkdavis August 20, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Sims for Ipod is a No

I'm a big Sims fan but on the ipod it's pretty lame and a total waste of money
What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written byACS11 January 6, 2014
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

I think its okay for kids

I started playing the original Sims when I was about seven years old. I thought the game was very fun and stayed with the series as it grew into Sims three. My sister a teen at the time used to play and I always bugged her about playing until my parents bought me a copy. I know the rating said I needed to be older but to me it was a safe way to interact with something and still have fun. You can control the lives of your Sims by getting Jobs, choosing how your family lives and having your children and teens go to school. To me the only naughty things are making babies, but even then you can't see anything other than your Sims going under the sheets and the sheets moving. So to me if I had kids, it would be okay to me. And you can get into fights in the game, some parents are not okay with their kids seeing any type of violence, and that's okay. But I feel the need to add that all you can really see is a ball of smoke and various body parts poking out of the smoke until the fight ends and someone wins. The game will show you being able to do other actions though such as shove and other actions as well as a verity of insults I can't remember all of them since I rarely ever use mean interactions. In this game you can have friends, enemies, lovers and the best part of it to me is the family tree. I adore seeing how my family has grown and expanded through my time of playing. In my opinion I would let a child at least the age of ten play. I couldn't see my seven year old nephew play it and not just giggle at the baby making aspect. Some children take the reality of life more seriously than others so I guess it would very per child as well as what parents want their children to view and play. This is just my opinion. I do suggest doing some research on the game before buying it for kids, to see if you really think its okay for them. I know even as an adult I do the same for games I buy my nieces and nephews, just to make sure it really is what I think is age appropriate.
What other families should know
Too much sex

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