Sims fans have been waiting a few years for the console version of the game to finally hit the heights of it’s bigger PC brother, and with this edition on the Nintendo Wii, fans are introduced to a whole new Sims experience. This game differs significantly from the PC version in that you get two separate games in one. Firstly a single player mode, similar to that of the PC in some respects, but here you take over direct control of your Sims with a great new career and building system developed to improve the gameplay. The second dynamic exclusive to the console version on Wii is the unique multiplayer game mode that merges elements of the original Sims with an innovative new game show format!
Starting with the single player mode, this version features direct control, by which you move the Sim around the Miami-esque beach town they reside in. This differs from the PC mouse-based controls where you point to wear you want your Sim to move and wait for it to travel across screen, and instead you are far more involved in the Sims world, as the direct control enables a closer connection to your character. Creating your Sim feels very similar to the menus and options ion the PC, although there is less variety available. The building element of the game is less advanced as the PC game, returning more to the Sims games of old where buildings are simply dropped in to place, rather than built wall by wall. Whilst this is a small drawback, visually the game benefits from this process as the places your Sims hang out at look far more realistic than before.
The career choices mode of the game has changed a little too with the jobs available all themed in accordance with the beach town story. You can now instruct your Sim to do small task during their working day too, slightly more engaging than in previous versions where you simply sent your Sim to work for 8 hours and waited for them to finish. Again there are fewer options in the career mode on Wii compared to the PC version, and this is a little disappointing.
The real selling point with the Sims 3 on Wii is the brand new multiplayer mode for up to 4 players. The game is structure in rounds with each representing a stage in life, starting as children. Players compete to gain happiness through a series of games, selecting options for various situations their Sim faces and placing wagers on how others will respond. All the players are involved in each round, although individual players are sometimes pitched against each other in a one-on-one scenario. This mode is great for playing with friends as you really get to test out how well you think you know them!
Overall the game represents a brave new direction for the Sims, and although at the moment I feel that the PC game definitely has the edge for the single player, the new multiplayer mode introduces some very exciting and fun new dynamics to the game, which are well worth the investment.