Published by: Electronic Arts
Developed by: Electronic Arts
Release Date: Out Now
We have already looked at the Wii version of MySims but the game has also appeared on the Nintendo DS and that's the version we are going to look at today. The DS version of MySims isn't quite the same experience as the Wii version. That said however, there are similarities between the two versions. Once again you're charged with creating a character, giving your town a name and restoring a deserted town to its former glories. You won't be collecting Essences or building many objects here though, but you will be playing quite a few mini-games.
Your freshly created Sim will arrive in their new town to learn that the once thriving holiday town is hardly much more than a ghost town. The tourists have stopped coming and local trade has suffered as a result. Essentially the idea is to help the citizens turn the town around and attract the tourists back in their droves. Before you can change the fortunes of the town however, you'll have to change the mood of its citizens. You'll have to engage them in conversation and take part in a mini-game which basically requires that you select the appropriate action which will help to fill their happy meter before the time runs out. Once you've filled their happy meter, and they have snapped out of their melancholic state, you’ll actually get some common sense out of them.
It should come as no surprise that you'll have to do jobs for the citizens. You'll begin be getting a child to return home and planting a few flowers here and there before moving on to other things. After you've made friends with a citizen (through the conversation mini-game) you'll get to run an errand for them. To prevent the game from simply becoming an errand boy (or girl) simulator there are 10 mini-games (which you'll unlock throughout the course of the game) to play. Playing the mini-games will earn you money and other prizes. The mini-games on offer include Racquetball, Fishing, Paragliding, Scuba Diving, Skydiving and some card games called Card Bingo, Exactly 21 and Dodge the Thief. The quality of these mini-games actually varies quite a lot and unfortunately there are a few poor ones here.
The emphasis in the DS version of MySims is squarely placed on the interaction between your Sim and the other characters. Whilst you do have your own home and can furnish it, you're not going to have the customisation options available to you that were on offer in the Wii version. You're not going to be building all kinds of objects and you're not going to be constructing houses around the town. In some ways this makes the DS version less interesting. When you consider that you'll essentially have everything unlocked within the first half a dozen hours with the game, you'll understand why it would have been great to have been able to customize as many game elements as possible.
Whilst you wouldn't expect the game's graphics to be as good as the Wii version, they are actually surprisingly close and for a DS game the graphics look quite impressive. The character models are quite large and easy on the eyes. The downside to having large character models and quite a close up view of the proceedings is that you don't get to see much detail on the screen at any one time. It's not much of a problem however. The top screen is used to display such things as the town map and the time of day indicator. The mini-games also make good use of the top screen.
MySims on the DS won't give deaf gamers any problems. The dialogue in the game is text only and the speaker's name is placed above the dialogue so you will always know who is saying what. All tutorial information is displayed in text. Your objectives are shown in text too. In fact all important information in the game is shown either through the use of icons or text, so there are no causes for concern in this respect.
The DS version of MySims is a good game on the whole. Compared with the Wii version though, it does disappoint with its lack of customisation options and its greater emphasis on mini-games. It's a game that younger gamers will definitely appreciate more and there's nothing here that would pose any problems for younger gamers. It's probably to the game's credit that you can always do as you want to but there has to be a question mark against the game's longevity, especially as it takes much less than 10 hours to see everything the game has to offer. Whilst it lasts though, MySims for the DS is fairly enjoyable.