I stepped into Sims Camp, an event where I was able to enjoy some hands-on time with The Sims 4 console versions, and Sims 4 Cats and Dogs. However, I never could have imagined that Sims Mobile would utterly steal the show. My first glimpse of any Sims title at the event was an in-progress demonstration for a different group, which I was accidentally sent to due to a miscommunication. The presenter stood in front of a huge projected image of The Sims in action, explaining that she could direct her Sim to use the oven at a party her Sim was attending to advance her hobby. I received only this brief glance before I was ushered away to join my group, whose presentation had not yet started.
I settled into a room with several other journalists who were chatting about which games and features we were most excited about trying out. I relayed my story, about a party feature of a Sims game, and was quickly asked which game it was from. “I have no idea,” I replied with a laugh, “but it can’t be mobile, because it looked amazing!”
Imagine my surprise when the senior producer for the Sims Mobile plugged her mobile phone into the conference rooms 72 inch television to show us a live demo the surprisingly beautiful Sims Mobile, free of both lag and pixelation, even on a screen that large. I was quickly eating my words, as she zipped over to a party that one of her real-world friends was throwing, and began interacting in real time with a house full of Sims controlled by other people, not AI, and tapped on the stove in order to level up her cooking hobby.
The Sims Mobile has many of the features you expect from the franchise, including a powerful character creation tool, and brings to the table a whole host of new gameplay elements, including interacting in real time with other Sims players. Parties not only allow you to hang out with Sims fans, but you can also use the items in the host’s house to advance your own skills, share your hobbies with other players, allowing them to use your knowledge to advance in their hobbies, and even bring your friend’s Sim into your game as a computer controlled character. Seeing a house full of Sims and knowing that there was not an AI-controlled one among them, that every single character was actively being controlled by a real person made The Sims feel alive and exciting in an entirely new way.
This newest title also features Heirlooms, an entirely new feature inspired by a player initiative known as the The Sims 4 Legacy Challenge. Within The Sims Mobile, when your created Sim decides to retire, they are able to pass an heirloom down to their defendants which unlocks additional benefits to their family lines. While the game originally provided a timeline which required a Sim to retire, the rules have since been relaxed, and your family matriarch or patriarch can oversee the family for as long as you desire.
The Sims Mobile has made huge advancements on its predecessor, The Sims FreePlay, both in terms of look and gameplay. With a huge map to unlock and explore, careers and hobbies to pursue, parties to attend, and a powerful Create-a-Sim tool, and that’s without mentioning the incredibly addicting gameplay. I was delighted to see my Sim teleport to wherever I clicked, saving time and making it feel like the snappy, quick mobile game it should be. The characters I encountered were every bit as entertaining, outrageous, and hilarious as in The Sims 4, while the level up systems made the game more instantly gratifying than its PC cousin. After getting to spend a few minutes creating a character and exploring the game itself, I reluctantly handed back the tablet and moved on to the next segment. When asked my thoughts on the game, I found I really had only one thing to say: “This game is going to ruin my life, and I can’t wait.”
The Sims Mobile doesn’t have a firm release date yet, but it has been soft launched in some parts of the world. It is a free-to-play game which includes premium purchases, and will be available on iOS and Android.