The Sims 3 (3DS)

Game review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
The Sims 3 (3DS) Game Poster Image
Popular with kids
First Sims game in 3-D is still intended for older players.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 18 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The message in this game, as with all other entries in The Sims franchise, is that players are free to explore and create their own virtual life. They are in command of their own destiny. Work hard and get a good job and they will become successful, or spend more time socializing with others to be as popular as possible. Each situation has its consequences, and it's up to each player to determine the best way to live.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players are in control of their own destiny. They get to decide if they want to be a model citizen or an antagonist. However, the game makes it clear that doing the right things -- like working, keeping active, and taking care of personal hygiene -- is the way to go. There is no reward for engaging in bad behavior.

Ease of Play

With the use of the 3DS's stylus, players can easily navigate the virtual world with a point-and-click interface. Multitasking can be difficult, but the gameplay controls are easy to conquer.


There is no overt violence in the game, but players can create violent situations if they choose. For example, if players decide to be antagonistic toward other Sim characters a fist fight may break out. Players can also create fires or other hazards in their virtual homes to harm their Sims. In no instance is violence rewarded, and there is never any meaningful reason for players to incite a violent situation.


Players can take their Sim character out on the town and meet other Sims. They can engage in a variety of flirty activities, including kissing and making out. After a while they can have "WooHoo." WooHoo implies sex, but the word "sex" never appears -- two Sim characters giggle and moan while under bed covers.


You can buy a range of items for your Sim's house. The game encourages the pursuit of "nice stuff," because inferior quality products will negatively affect your Sim's mood.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Sims 3 for 3DS is similar in tone and structure to other games in the series. Players are encouraged to live healthy, productive lives by taking jobs, eating properly, socializing, and taking care of their personal hygiene. They can also engage in more mature activities, such as flirting and even make "WooHoo," though the act itself is hidden by bedclothes. Players can direct their Sims to insult and even get into fights with other Sims, but there is no reward for these activities. Note, too, that consumerism is a persistent theme. Players are encouraged to covet and shop for better items and clothes throughout the game.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byJanet W. April 23, 2017

It's fine really

If your kid has ever played a T rated game it should be fine. Also it uses heavy censorship so nothing graphic is shown. And it is also a very fun game for any... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old August 17, 2011

Playing Sims 3

Yes, it can be a little bit violent. But, you see nothing bad. If your Sim perhaps doesn't like another Sim, it can declare a nemesis, insult, slap, and fi... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old April 8, 2011

What's it about?

THE SIMS 3 is all about letting players mold their own story. They can create an avatar and act out a virtual life however they see fit. If they have dreams of becoming a millionaire, they can dedicate themselves to acquiring the best possible job. If they would rather focus on meeting people and starting a family, they can do that too. Most every facet of life -- including going to the bathroom -- is part of the game. The 3DS edition is the first 3-D entry in the franchise, making the real-life simulation as realistic as possible.

Is it any good?

The 3DS version of The Sims 3 is not only visually revamped to make use of 3-D effects, it also packs in new features. Players can literally put their own face on their Sim avatar by taking a picture with the system's built-in digital camera, and can wield more control over the surroundings by using the built-in motion-sensing feature to create earthquakes or blowing into the microphone to create "stink storms." Players can trade Sims with other people in real life, allowing them to take the social aspect in the virtual Sims world and bring it to the actual world. Tweaking the game's features for the 3DS system makes it a valuable entry to the platform's list of launch titles, and anyone who is a fan of the franchise should enjoy it.

Online interaction: Players can trade their Sims with other people -- including strangers -- in StreetPass mode.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what avatars can tell us about ourselves. How is your Sim the same or different than you?

  • Families can also discuss the kinds of activities and jobs in which their Sims engage. Are they the same or different than what you are interested in?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
  • Price: $39.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Electronic Arts
  • Release date: March 27, 2011
  • Genre: Simulation
  • ESRB rating: T for Crude Humor, Mild Violence, Sexual Themes
  • Last updated: August 30, 2016

Our editors recommend

For kids who love simulations

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