The Urbz: Sims in the City

Common Sense Media says

Sims trip to city is more style than substance.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Urbz of all colors and social classes have equally vibrant, if shallow, fashion and culture. Players are rewarded, however, for spraying graffiti and stink bombing fellow Urbz.

Violence

You can pick fights with other Urbz.

Sex

You can make out with other Urbz and even perform a censored striptease.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

This virtual world contains real-world brand name soda and billboards for an actual car company. Not to mention all the time you spend shopping. Also, hip-hop performers, The Black Eyed Peas, are prominently featured, which will be a plus for fans but a gratuitous product placement for others.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some alcohol.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the goal is to build your character's reputation by fitting in with different cliques around the city.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

THE URBZ: SIMS IN THE CITY is complete with VIP rooms and art galleries, sushi bars and fashion catwalks. You're on a quest to change your reputation from country-mouse nobody to scene-ruling socialite. To do this you must navigate nine neighborhoods in the big city, and network with residents, mastering each neighborhood's way of dressing, talking, and acting.

But residents will only talk to you if you seem to share their interests: Dress in leather, exchange a head-butt, and enjoy some drag racing to impress the people of Gasoline Alley, or eat sushi, play a video game, and dress in Tokyo-inspired fashion to in Neon East. If you walk the walk, talk the talk, and do a favor or two (in the form of missions), you'll start to build your reputation. Suddenly people dress like you, your face appears on posters, and you can challenge reigning party god Darius for his position as most popular Urb in town.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Many of the activities that make the original Sims games so fun are marginalized in The Urbz. One of the greatest pleasures of the original game is designing your house, but your Urbz apartment is so small -- and you spend so little time there -- that you can't really unleash your inner decorator. Instead, The Urbz emphasizes social networking. Now you can dance the tango or play air guitar with an Urb you admire, pick a fistfight with an enemy, or use a strobe light or a stink bomb "power social" to overpower disinterested counterparts.

But putting forth the effort often seems pointless when you're spending much of your time comparing cell phones and gossiping about other Urbz. The Sims was all about being playful and letting your imagination create a fantasy life. The Urbz' emphasis on being just like everyone else is a lot more limiting, and a lot less fun. Ultimately, the heart is missing from this game.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about compromises people make to achieve popularity and whether external displays -- such as fashion, speech, and music -- are accurate indicators of their internal lives and beliefs.

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 2, Xbox
Price:$46.95
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Electronic Arts
Release date:January 4, 2005
Genre:Simulation
ESRB rating:T for (PlayStation 2, Xbox)

This review of The Urbz: Sims in the City was written by

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About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written bySodaDog December 21, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Great Game! CSM, take a load off!

My review title says it all.
Teen, 13 years old Written byBubblesMucoy April 29, 2012
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

About the Urbz

What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Adult Written bysmartwoman April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

perfect game to play helps your kids learn how to take care of themselves

this game is sooo much fun to play!

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