A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game is safe for its grade-school target audience. Most of the mini-games see players engaging in harmless virtual activities, such as pushing boxes, finding matching ingredients for pizzas, and building bridges with the help of a friend. There is a modicum of violence -- one game has players tossing shurikens, and another sees avatars getting stung by bees -- but the action is, by and large, very family friendly.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
The newest addition to Electronic Arts' MySims franchise, a line of games based on the popular Sims series but tailored for kids, is a traditional party game featuring 50 mini-games and support for up to four players to compete together at the same time and in the same room. MYSIMS PARTY's story puts players in the shoes of a customizable character who has just arrived in town. The locals urge us to attend the village's famous festivals, each of which consists of a variety of short games, such as collecting paper, watering plants, and riding pigs. If the player performs well in these games he or she will unlock a variety items, including new characters, town monuments, and building supplies used to customize the player's home. Outside of the story mode players can play each mini-game on its own and check out how their scores stack up against those of other players around the world.
Is it any good?
MySims Party's unlockables and customization options makes it feel a little bit deeper than most party games. And, unlike many games in the genre, most of the activities players engage in don't feel like blatant imitations of mini-games found in other titles.
Unfortunately, many of these games do feel like imitations of other mini-games in MySims Party. For example, one game sees players dashing to grab a plate of food desired by a hungry eater, while another has them picking out the proper item from a shelf for a fickle shopper, while yet another involves choosing the proper color of ice cream to scoop into a cone. All three have the same basic objective. Plus, the rules of some games aren't immediately clear. We weren't, for example, able to figure out why we lost a point each time we tried to give the fickle shopper mentioned above the yellow kitten the thought bubble above her head indicated she desired.
Still, most of the mini-games are enjoyable and easy to learn. MySims Party doesn't break much new ground, but young party game fans ought to enjoy it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the potential family appeal of party games. Has your family ever considered substituting in a party video game on board game night? Do you think that if you did the odds might favour the children as opposed to the adults? What would be the greatest obstacle? Insufficient number of controllers? Parents' unwillingness to try playing a video game?
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