The Sims Social
By Erin Bell,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Mature but lighthearted life sim with new social features.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn to set and achieve goals by learning new skills, completing jobs, and buying commodities. Social interaction is central; kids cultivate friendships and romantic relationships by interacting with other Sims and being mindful of feelings and emotions. There are consequences for treating other Sims poorly. Kids also learn about mental health and body awareness by meeting their Sim's needs for sleep, hygiene, hunger, and relaxation.
Sims can be as pleasant or nasty as the player chooses, and will cultivate friendly or confrontational relationships with other Sims through their actions. It's possible for Sims to pickpocket other Sims, steal their food, pee on their plants, play dozens of different pranks, and choose insulting or hurtful conversation topics like calling someone a bad friend or mocking their appearance. There are just as many positive interactions too, from playing music and dancing together to sharing jokes and small-talk.
Positive Role Models
A Sim's behavior is influenced by its personality traits and its relationship status with other Sims. Sims with the villain personality trait will actually derive pleasure in causing other Sims distress. Sims in a romantic relationship can dump each other and become Ex-Lovers. However, there are many positive traits as well, and those serve as positive role models.
Ease of Play
Gameplay is more streamlined than The Sims for PC and consoles, with fewer menu options and a fixed camera. Players learn more about the game through completing quests, but there's still plenty of room for open-ended discovery.
Violence & Scariness
Sims can argue and get into catfights with each other, but these are handled humorously and there's no graphic violence.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A player's Sim can pursue both heterosexual and same-sex relationships with the Sims of Facebook friends, but both friends must approve changes in relationship status for it to take effect. Sims that are romantically involved can exchange passionate kisses and hugs, have "quickies" in the shower, or make "woohoo" (the game's long-standing euphemism for sexual intercourse). These interactions are accompanied by floating hearts, groans and giggles, but nothing graphic.
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Products & Purchases
Players can buy a range of items for their Sim's house. The game encourages buying "nice" stuff, because it increases the value of the property. Sims can buy Dunkin' Donuts branded coffee and donuts.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Sims Social is a life simulation game in The Sims series that is played on the Facebook social network. Players create their own person, known as a "Sim," by customizing appearance and selecting personality traits including introvert, geek, socialite, tycoon, romantic, or villain. These traits influence the Sim's behavior. Sims can enter into friendships, rivalries, and both heterosexual and same-sex romantic relationships with other Sims, which are controlled by Facebook friends. These relationships statuses must be approved by both players before appearing in the game. Sims do not have children, age, or die. Players can spend real-world money to purchase special items or to speed up the game by instantly unlocking quests and building furniture. The game is more fun with more friends to visit, which might tempt players to "friend" strangers on Facebook to get more neighbors.
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The Sims Social
Based on 6 parent reviews
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What’s It About?
THE SIMS SOCIAL is The Sims streamlined for social networks. Players care for only one Sim in this version (as opposed to an entire family), by making sure that its personal needs such as hygiene, hunger, and fun are being met. Instead of having an entire neighborhood to explore, Sims are limited to their own house and yard -- which can be expanded with new rooms and outfitted with hundreds of furniture and decorative items purchased from the shop. Sims can also visit the houses of other Sims, which become available by inviting Facebook friends to become neighbors.
Is It Any Good?
For all its pruning, The Sims Social still feels like a "Sims" game -- in fact, some players will even appreciate that there's less to micromanage. Some of the attempts to copy popular social game mechanics fall flat -- like the superficial crop-tending and weed-pulling tasks -- but overall the social features complement the gameplay. Watching the Sims interact with their environment, and with each other, is the highlight of the game. Players can earn money, learn new skills, and cultivate relationships with other Sims through interactions. Almost everything in the game environment can be clicked on, resulting in reactions from the Sims that range from adorable (two friendly Sims performing a piano duet), to quirky (a "crazy" Sim satisfying her social needs by talking to the plants in her yard). Some of these actions use energy, but many of them don't, so even after players have used up all their free energy there's still entertainment to be had. These features help make The Sims Social an engaging social game with depth and humor.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about what personality traits they chose for their Sim. How much of an impact did that choice make on how you played the game?
Families can also talk about the interpersonal relationships between different Sims. Was it fun to be mean to or play jokes on other Sims, or did you feel guilty about it? Were there any consequences for your antisocial actions?
- Platform: Facebook
- Subjects: Social Studies: citizenship, Hobbies: building, fashion, gardening, Language & Reading: following directions, Math: money
- Skills: Self-Direction: achieving goals, personal growth, Health & Fitness: body awareness, mental health, Emotional Development: empathy, identifying emotions, labeling feelings, Communication: friendship building, Responsibility & Ethics: learning from consequences, respect for others
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Release date: August 23, 2011
- Genre: Simulation
- ESRB rating: NR
- Last updated: August 29, 2016
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