MySims Kingdom DS
Published by: Electronic Arts
Developed by: Electronic Arts
Release Date: Out Now
Last year we looked at the MySims games for the Wii and DS and it was refreshing to find that both were different games. All too often we see a game that's simplified and then ported to a handheld console but the developers didn't take this approach, and created a game that suited the capabilities of the DS. Thankfully this approach has also been taken with MySims Kingdom and whilst the game has been released on both the Wii and DS they are once again quite different games and both enjoyable games in their own right.
The game begins with you creating your Sim character who then returns to the town where they used to live. Initially things are quite good as the town appears to be thriving and the crazy Dr F. has invented a miraculous gadget known as the Extractor. During your first night back in the town however, things take a turn for the worse. A shady character appears in the town and begins to zap pretty much everything in sight causing a lot of things in the town to disappear. The town is in tatters and most of the inhabitants leave. It's up to you to restore the town to its former glory and entice the former citizens to come back to the town.
To assist you in your efforts to restore the town you'll have access to the help and inventions of the crazy Dr F and also the assistance of Torajiro, the carpenter. The Extractor can be used to suck up essences from most objects. There are a variety of essences to collect and you'll want to collect as many different types as you can in order to use them in the Synth-O-Tron. The Synth-O-Tron is a device in which you can place two essences and mix them (either manually or automatically) to create an object. You can place these objects anywhere in the town. The Synth-O-Tron can't build houses however and you'll need to enlist the support of Torajiro. You'll need to provide Torajiro with blueprints and essences in order for the houses to be built.
In addition to getting the town back on its feet you'll also be able to explore the town and its surrounding areas. The various citizens will want you to do tasks for them and some of these will be beneficial to you. You can design your own clothes at the tailors if you want to. You can also customise your own home too. Of course there are several mini-games to play and whilst some of them can be a real chore, particularly the Kayak mini-game, you'll earn blueprints that you'll need for Torajiro and earn cash. These mini-games can be played with up to two others in multi-card wireless multiplayer games.
In other respects the game is similar to last year's MySims. The controls are practically carried out using the touch screen although you can press buttons to carry out specific functions if you wish. Graphically the game features the same, large cutesy characters and the general look of the visuals is as bright and cheery as ever. All of the conversations are in text and the speaker's name is displayed above the dialogue. All tutorial messages are displayed in text. All of the objectives are shown in text so you'll always know what needs to be done. In fact there are no problems at all for deaf gamers.
If you enjoyed last year's MySims on the DS then MySims Kingdom will definitely please you. Overall I think MySims Kingdom is slightly the better game but for the most part it's a similar experience. With that in mind it's fair to say that if MySims wasn't your thing, there's nothing here that will change your opinion about the series. Like the Animal Crossing series it's the kind of game that can be played at a leisurely pace with almost nothing in the game that can be classified as difficult. Like other MySims games it's a game that's primarily aimed at children and it's one they will get a lot of enjoyment from.