The Sims FreePlay

Common Sense Media says

Freemium sim both enjoyable and playable without spending.

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

While this game looks and feels a lot like the more sophisticated Sims games on the PC or consoles, it does strip away some of the more complex factors. For example, career ladders are less intensive, making it easier to climb to the top of a profession. There is also no option to have a child, meaning players will never have to deal with that added component. Nevertheless, players will need to have a firm grasp on time management and be able to juggle many tasks at the same time, taking this game slightly out of the realm of intently casual apps.

Violence

Among the many different social interactions that two or more Sims characters can have, it is possible to get into fist fights. Sims may also face violent hazards like fires and starvation, which can lead to death. While these actions are possible, they are never encouraged or rewarded.

Sex

As part of the realistic representation of real life, this game allows players to form relationships with other Sims characters. If players foster a relationship well enough, they will eventually earn the ability to have sex (called "woohoo!" in the game). This is presented as two Sims characters getting in the same bed. There is no graphic depiction of sexual activity, but it is heavily implied.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Success in this game is measured, in part, by how big a player's house is and how expensive the contents inside the house are. This is also a "freemium" game, which means that although it is free to download, players are encouraged to buy in-game items with real money.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Some privacy concerns. Players can opt in to Apple's Game Center to track scores and achievements, and for some games, challenge friends. Players can send and receive friend requests using an email address or Game Center nickname, revealing the first and last name associated with each party's Apple ID and, in the case of email requests, the sender's email address. Players can opt to have a private or public profile, which can include a photo. With a public profile, your real name is visible to all other players, and Game Center will recommend you to other players using your real name. With a private profile, only your friends can see your real name, and Game Center will not recommend you to other players.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Sims FreePlay is "freemium" app that is free to download and play, but offers players many opportunities to buy in-game content. Even without spending a dime, though, this is a full Sims game, complete with house-building, job hunting, and relationships. Two Sims characters can have sex, though it is referred to in the game as "woohoo!" and contains no graphic depictions. Sims characters can also fight one another. Players should note the large file size before downloading. Players can share high scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • money

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • analyzing evidence
  • applying information

Emotional Development

  • identifying emotions

Communication

  • friendship building

Responsibility & Ethics

  • fiscal responsibility
  • making wise decisions
  • respect for others

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The Sims franchise delivers with this portable version: Graphics are detailed, humorous handstands delight, and details keep it interesting. Behavior can be wooden and stilted.

Learning Approach

Teens are in the driver's seat as they sculpt the social landscape and develop lifelike characters. Sims doesn't pretend to teach more advanced and sophisticated life skills: it's all fun, sleeping, and toileting

Support

Plenty of pop-up guidance moves players throughout gameplay, but necessary time management and multi-tasking don't receive much attention. Players can use Apple's Game Center to track scores and achievements.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • money

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • analyzing evidence
  • applying information

Emotional Development

  • identifying emotions

Communication

  • friendship building

Responsibility & Ethics

  • fiscal responsibility
  • making wise decisions
  • respect for others

Kids can learn about basic human needs from a somewhat simplistic viewpoint. Sim needs don't correspond exactly to scientific definitions of human need, but they're close. Teens can learn about working to nurture relationships as well as taking care of themselves. Simoleons (sim bucks), experience, and life point balances also help teens understand a little about living within one's means. The Sims FreePlay is a fun simulation that can introduce teens to the basics of day-to-day living, but it doesn't provide in-depth life lessons.

This Learning Rating review was written by Leslie Crenna

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Players choose from a relatively narrow list of personalities to create their Sim, then launch into a series of well-guided goals to earn simoleons, life and experience points, and increase the value of their town. Sims have six basic needs: hunger, bladder, energy, hygiene, social, and fun. To develop “highly inspired” sims, players must meet these needs. The app gives players free simoleons to buy basic things (toilets), but there are numerous opportunities to buy more with real money.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

THE SIMS FREEPLAY is a great transition of the ever-popular Sims franchise to the portable world of mobile devices. It is a "freemium" app, which usually means players need to pour in a lot of real money after they've become hooked, but this game actually provides a vast, expansive experience for players without needing to spend a single penny. Although it is only a fraction of the size of its high-end PC game counterparts, this app manages to capture the same level of endless features and options for which the series has become so renowned. The touch-screen control takes a bit of getting used to and the responsiveness is not always perfect, but as far as apps that players can really sink their teeth into, this one ranks at just about the very top.

Families can talk about...

  • Help your kids research basic human needs. How does our environment change what we need to survive? What do we need to live in the desert? The Arctic? On the moon?

  • If your kids enjoy creating sim cities, introduce them to the fields of architecture or civic planning.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:October 20, 2012
Category:Simulation Games
Size:569.00 MB
Publisher:Electronic Arts
Version:3.1.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.1 or later; Android 2.0 and up

This review of The Sims FreePlay 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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Kid, 11 years old January 29, 2012
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

N/A

AAAAAWWWWWWWWEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOMMMMMMMEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much consumerism
Educator Written byPanzerMark January 25, 2012
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Fine.

This is just fine for kids 10 and up. I mean, be realistic, they're going to eventually break if you can't let them have something as harmless like this.
Parent Written byMaria1212 February 23, 2012
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

It's fine

I think this is appropriate for kids 10 and up.
What other families should know
Safety and privacy concerns

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