A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What 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.
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?
- Platforms: Facebook
- Subjects: Social Studies: citizenship
Hobbies: building, fashion, gardening
Language & Reading: following directions
- 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
- Price: Free with Microtransactions
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Electronic Arts
- Release date: August 23, 2011
- Genre: Simulation
- ESRB rating: NR
For kids who love playing simulations
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.