MySims Agents Wii
Published by: Electronic Arts
Developed by: Electronic Arts
Originally the MySims series was a cutesy offshoot of The Sims that had been specifically tailored for Nintendo's Wii and DS systems. However, the series has taken on a life of its own and gone off in various directions with its own party and racing games being released earlier this year. In fact, with a third MySims game being released this year, you may be forgiven for thinking that the series is being stretched a little thin. As it turns out, MySims Agents is the best MySims game to date and will delight anyone who has enjoyed the previous MySims games.
Once you've created your character you'll begin work as a detective. Things start off basic as you're working out of Gino's pizza parlour and solving trivial mysteries for the local community. To begin with, you'll have to decide whether a dog belongs to a young girl or a strange looking character called Morcubus. It's when you solve this case, and find that the dog doesn't belong to Morcubus (sorry for the minor spoiler), that you make an enemy of him and it may come as no surprise to learn that he turns out to be a big pain in the neck and has designs on taking over the world.
You won't be solving mysteries for the local community for too long. Your good work as a gumshoe is soon noticed and Special Agent Walker, from The Sims Protection Agency, offers to makes you a Special Agent and gives you your very own multi-floored headquarters which you'll get to customise. The HQ becomes your base of operations and it's from here you'll organise your missions and the agents that are under your control. You can send your agents on missions choosing the character or group of characters who are best suited to the mission in question. You'll even have your own private jet which allows you to travel to far away destinations for those far flung missions.
The game-play in MySims Agents is a mix of basic point and click adventure gaming, platforming, puzzle solving and exploration. You will talk to the other characters in the game but it's only to learn information and not for socialising purposes. Conducting your investigations is a lot of fun and you really do feel as though you're gathering clues to help you solve the mysteries which is something the game's target audience will certainly appreciate. At times, but not all the time I should stress, it can feel as though the game will only allow you to go the correct way which may seem a little silly but it does help to prevent the game from ever becoming frustrating.
There are mini-games here too but they fit in with the context of the game. You'll play hacking, repairing, forensics and lock picking mini-games during the game and all of them have been well thought out and some can be quite challenging. Throughout the course of the game you'll unlock all kinds of items which can enhance both your HQ and the look of your character. Your basic agent tools such as your magnifying glass and crowbar are also enhanced during the course of the game.
The quality of the graphics in MySims Agents is about the same as in the other MySims titles. The characters still have that distinctive MySims look with their slightly blocky appearance. The appearance of some of the characters in the game, like Morcubus, are caricatures and it really adds to the light-hearted nature of the game. The various locations you'll visit in the game look quite impressive, from a design point of view. The same can be said for the various spy gadgets and machinery that you'll encounter during the course of the game. The camera angle is fixed so you won't have to constantly adjust it which is certainly a plus point. The frame rate is mostly fine. Occasional dips are noticeable but they are never problematic.
MySims Agents won't cause any problems for deaf gamers. As in all of the previous MySims games, there is no real speech in the game (only the usual gibberish that the characters speak) and therefore all dialogue is shown in text. The majority of this text can be read at your pace as you'll need to press the A button to move the dialogue forward. All objectives are shown in text and can be recalled at any time. Tutorial information is also shown in text allowing you to fully get to grips with the game, even if you haven't read the manual.
The previous MySims games we've played (there's only MySims Racing that we haven't played) have all been enjoyable but MySims Agents is certainly the best of the bunch. It's a change of pace from MySims and MySims Kingdom but it's a welcome one and one that gives the MySims franchise extra appeal. Those who have played previous games in the series will love how the main characters have been included in the game and it does give the game a feeling of continuity. The mini-games and the gadgets really add to the spy theme of the game and on a basic level it even functions as an adventure game. Like the other MySims games it's a game that's aimed at children and if my daughters (who couldn't stop playing the game) are anything to go by, it's hit its target with precision. MySims Agents is a must for anyone with an interest in the series.