EA’s The Sims Freeplay is a free, mobile Sims experience available for iOS and Android. Being a mobile version of one of EA’s popular franchises some elements were taken out and the game was developed to accommodate mobile players.
The things that The Sims Freeplay lack including the free roaming feel from The Sims 3 and the general the actual development element of your Sims. While in the main games you are able to raise skills in order to prep your Sims for specific careers and really build your own stories, in Freeplay there’s no micromanagement or character development. You simply assign them a career as you build locations and unlock them.
Continuing this lack of difficulty in the game, there is little time required to actually advance up each career’s ladder of five levels. Also tending to your Sims needs isn’t a major juggling act since it’s unlikely that things will get so critical that things become unmanageable.
If you manage to send them to work, they will gradually advance. The first two levels of a career tend to be easy enough and there’s no hands-on there. You simply have them go to work and wait the seven or eight real world hours.
Since the game uses mobile gaming-timing—meaning things can only be sped along if you have enough VIP currency—it’s best to try and get as many extra Sims as possible early on. This method also helps since The Sims Freeplay has community money instead of each household having its own funds.
Gameplay aside, the game looks very good on a smartphone and even better on a tablet. It’s not a huge sweeping strategy game, so it doesn’t matter if you play it on either as long as it can handle the graphics.
As a Sims experience overall this is a pretty mediocre one. It starts out fun because it’s the Sims on your mobile device, but it gets really old really fast when you realize you’ll need the VIP/P2P stuff if you want to play continuously.
If you’re new to The Sims, it’s a bad experience to start with. Find The Sims 2 or The Sims 3 on PC for the best, purest experience or the same two games on console for a decent experience that is more story-driven. You’d probably also do better with the handheld versions of the two games.
Also if you’re an old school Sims fan or even one who got in with The Sims 3 and you like your custom content and modding freedom, this isn’t the game for you. There are some customizable elements for VIP, but it’s not really worth the purchase.
As an EA experience it’s perfect. It’s everything EA: needing to get extra content by paying for it, a game that is decent enough on its own but you’re know stuff is missing, connecting to EA servers, etc.
As an “I don’t have time to sit in front of the computer or console for hours at a time”-game, The Sims Freeplay does its job splendidly. You won’t be looking at your device for a long time while playing at all. The longest you’re looking at between notices is a couple of minutes for setting everyone to a task, but after that you’re done with it for the moment.
That said you’re likely to keep returning to the game when a shorter task is completed—such as the early stages of building relationships in the game or minor needs for your Sims.
For the diehard Sims fan, this one holds your hand and doesn’t allow for a great deal of freedom…or any really. For the casual Sims fan, it doesn’t allow for a great deal of freedom…or any really. For the mobile games fan, it will be a fun diversion. I’m a casual Sims fan and while I will play it while bored, it’s not challenging or buckets of fun.