‘The Sims Social’ App Review: A Hit or Miss on Facebook?

by on December 27th, 2013
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The Sims Social app is arguably one of the most anticipated, and now successful, apps that have been released in 2011. The Sims Social is also from Electronic Arts (EA), the same company behind the highly successful Sims franchise, which spans both PC and console titles. EA has taken The Sims to the next level, introducing the elements that have made the traditional versions of this video game series so popular: Sim customization, house building and decorating, and interaction with other Sim characters. One thing that The Sims Social app has that The Sims 3 titles are lacking is social interaction with other players, as both the PC and console games lack a multiplayer component.

The Sims Social: Better than the rest?

With over 64,000,000 monthly users, according to the official Facebook Page for the app, the popularity of The Sims Social begs the question: What makes this app so much better than countless others? Well, one feature that could be a part of the success of this app is the heavy promotion, player interaction and freebies available through the Facebook Page and email subscription. The marketing and promotion team behind this app frequently offer bonus items, in-game cash and other perks simply for clicking a button to log onto the game. Yes, other apps also use these techniques, but few have The Sims franchise and name behind them. The app reviews posted on the Facebook Page stand at a 4.1 out of 5 rating, based on over 120,000 individual reviews.

The Sims Social is an app which relies heavily on interaction with fellow players on your friends list, whether it’s for help in building additional rooms, sending items you need for upgrades or interaction as friends, enemies or lovers in the app itself. With so many active monthly users, it’s likely most people already have at least one person on their friends list actively playing The Sims Social app; you’ve probably already seen the wall posts and app requests, truth be told. The app uses a combination of private requests to friends, and posts to your own wall that friends must click in order to give you those new items, help in your building, and similar events. This certainly creates a sense of community within the app, and interacting with your friends via apps like this one has become commonplace on Facebook over the last two years.

A Pros and Cons Rundown

On the plus side:

*The Sims Social has a lot for players to do right from the start. You can build relationships of various types with every fellow-player on your friends list, begin to customize your house, and explore the various skills available for your Sim to learn. These include cooking, painting, writing and more, and odds are more skills will be released over time, as EA is already providing a steady influx of new content.

*At creation, each Sim receives a personality trait. These options include Creative, Villain, Socialite, Rocker, Geek and Tycoon. While these personality traits seem to currently still be in something of a beta mode, it is widely believed that they will eventually mimic the aspirations or traits available in The Sims video games. For example, Geek may translate into the Knowledge Aspiration from The Sims 2, or the *Bookworm or Computer Whiz traits from The Sims 3. These lend a degree of customization to each Sim, but the cost to change them in-game after you’ve selected your choice is steep: 50 SimCash points. SimCash is the currency purchased using real-life funds, or completing surveys and other offers. You currently don’t generate these points while leveling up, so be sure to use them sparingly in the app.

*The items in The Sims Social are definitely cute, and customization of your Sim and house is almost as much fun as in the full console and PC versions of The Sims titles.

On the bad side:

*The Sims Social isn’t very casual-play friendly, at least once you have numerous friends playing the app and sending requests your way. Logging into the game only to spend five minutes accepting, declining and resending gifts to other players can be frustrating, though there is a limit on how many requests players can send to specific friends per day. Also, a recent update implemented reminders to invite more friends to the app, which periodically pops-up on the screen at random, making this a highly annoying new feature.

*The app is still experiencing quite a few bugs, and most of the complaints from players on the forums, Facebook Page and walls revolve around the app freezing while loading. Occasionally, players have to reload the app in order to continue playing, which can result in some lost time when the app resets several minutes in the past.

*A lot of the cutest items available as clothing or décor are exclusively SimCash items. This can be frustrating, especially since after your initial SimCash freebies, the only way to obtain more of these points is to purchase more with real-life funds, complete offers or suffer through long surveys. Of course, you can also use Facebook Credits, but those also require real-life funds.

*There is a good chance players of The Sims PC and console video games are going to find themselves wanting to log off of Facebook and load up the “real” version.

The Verdict: 4/5 Stars

Although The Sims Social app still has some bugs to be worked out, ultimately this social game has a lot to offer both fans of The Sims franchise, and players looking for a highly interactive, addictive way to spend extra time on Facebook. The game currently has 155 achievements which you can use to challenge friends-and yourself-to higher levels of expertise, and the frequent updates are high quality and clever. With plenty of activities for your Sim to do, plus the added interactions with other Sims actually played by folks on your friends list, The Sims Social is definitely one free app worth checking out on Facebook.

Sources:

The Sims Social on Facebook, Monthly Users & Review Summary


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