The Sims 3: Ambitions

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
The Sims 3: Ambitions Game Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Expansion lets players dive into Sims’ professional lives.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 21 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The goal of Sims games is always to simulate life. In the case of this expansion, the focus is on work life. There are no overt messages, no explicit attempts to force players’ into engaging in either good or unsavory activities. That said, both types are there for players to find should they look for them. Sims can be good or slothful workers. They can design and build up their neighborhoods or steal from the places they visit. They can try to invent wonderful new machines that will make life easier or become mad scientists and blow things up. Put simply, players will extract from this game what they want. Shopping for newer, better items for your home can become a big part of the game, though it's not the focus of this expansion.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Our Sims have a wide range of potential emotions and actions. They can be perfectly good little virtual people, striving for the good of their families and neighborhood, or evil and mean, hurting others verbally and physically. It’s all up to the player.

Ease of Play

Assuming you’ve played The Sims 3 -- which is likely since this is an expansion and the original game is required in order to play -- you won’t find many stumbling blocks here. The interface is identical; all you need do is learn how the new professions and hobbies work.


Sims can get electrocuted, drown, and die of old age. They can also get into fights with one another, though these conflicts don’t result in death or serious injury.


Players can dress up their Sims in sexy and revealing outfits, from skimpy underwear to little dresses. Players also have the ability to make their Sims flirt, make out, and jump into bed to have sex (under the covers -- it’s not explicit; there’s just some moaning and laughing). When Sims go to the bathroom or have a shower their midsections are obscured by a blur effect.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Sims 3: Ambitions is an expansion pack to The Sims 3 (the original game is required to play), and that it contains the same sort of violence, sexuality, and questionable behavior as its forebear. New professions provide fresh opportunities for getting into fights, stealing, and flirting, but the depictions of these activities are no more graphic than they were in the original game. As usual, players have the freedom to mold their Sims however they like, which means they can turn them into good little la- abiding creatures or lead them towards a more devious life of evil or crime.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 17-year-old Written byKatValentine May 16, 2011
Adult Written byvernicle July 16, 2010
Kid, 11 years old September 3, 2014

Awesome Expansion Pack!

This EP is awesome. I have all kinds of different careers for my Sims. This game introduces the Education career, Firefighter career, the Architect career, and... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byJohn2345 April 18, 2014

Good game but moral issues

Other than the sexual part of this game it is great

What's it about?

SIMS 3: AMBITIONS, an expansion to the popular life simulation game (the original game is necessary in order to play), focuses on letting players experience more of their Sims’ work lives. Rather than having them hop in a car and disappear for hours to earn a living, players can now head out on the job with their avatars to complete work-related tasks. You can save people from blazes as a firefighter, bust some ghosts as a ghost hunter, ruin and enhance your client's appearance as a stylist, and bribe or beat people up for information as a private investigator. Players can explore new hobbies as well, such as sculpting models of other Sims and crafting new inventions. As usual, players can guide their Sims however they like, turning them into model workers or making them duty-shirking sloths. As an expansion, the rest of The Sims 3’s features remain available, which means players can dabble in these new tasks as much or as little as they like.

Is it any good?

As Sims expansions go, Ambitions offers a fair bit of content. The ability to fully explore, take part in, and direct your Sims’ careers fills a pretty big void in previous games, and the extra hobbies and skills provide interesting new ways to fill our Sims’ leisure time.

However, it may not be for people who enjoy working with large households or big families of Sims. The professions we explore are involved enough that it can make trying to effectively and successfully manage multiple Sims difficult. But that’s a fairly small tradeoff for the ability to head out into the world and have a more meaningful career. There's no question that Ambitions is one of the better expansions to the world’s most popular PC game franchise.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about gender equality in the Sims games. In this expansion, women and men are both capable of entering the same professions and being paid equally. Are there any professions in this game that you think women or men would have a difficult time entering as an equal in the real world?

  • Families can also discuss our Sims' ability to goof off on the job. Are the penalties in the game realistic? Do you think that real workers could get away with what our Sims can get away with?

Game details

  • Platforms: Windows
  • Price: $39.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Electronic Arts
  • Release date: June 2, 2010
  • Genre: Simulation
  • ESRB rating: T for Teen – Crude Humor, Sexual Themes, Violence
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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