All right, let’s talk The Sims FreePlay.
First of all, this is a game that has perfected the free-to-play model. Not from the individual gamer’s point of view, unfortunately, but for EA. In other words, if you’re not careful you’ll find yourself parting with a lot of Simoleons.
Collecting resources to achieve goals within a game is one of the most common game mechanics there is. It can be really fun too if implemented correctly. But it’s a balancing act, and in my opinion, The Sims FreePlay lands on the wrong side of fun a lot of the time. If you don’t buy different currency packs to speed things up, the game can become a bore. That rewarding feeling you get when completing something needs to pop up regularly; if the intervals are too long, it will start to feel more like work, and less like fun.
Luckily, there is a way to circumvent having to pay for currency. It’s called Enslave Ten Sims And Force Them To Make Toast Twenty Four Seven (it’s a working title). This requires quite a lot of work from the player as well, but it’s an honest way of earning currency if you’re not inclined to either pay, or cheat, your way through the game.
The Sims FreePlay isn’t free to play and it will cost you, one way or another. Either you pay in real money or in time, patience and commitment. Because hidden away behind the mechanics that are in place to lure the money from your wallet, is a thoroughly enjoyable game.
For a customization junkie like myself, jonesing for a project to dig into, this is a perfect game. The Sims 4 is sure to have many more options, but I find myself more and more drawn to games that won’t chain me to my computer chair for hours on end. It was fine when I was still a student, but after a long day at the office, that’s an option that has lost much its appeal.
In the end, it’s worth giving it a chance. There are many things I would like to change about a freemium game like The Sims FreePlay, but those things are mostly tied to the monetization model. The game itself is fun and engaging. It’s a perfect excuse to ignore the responsibilities of the real world. I know I’m certainly living vicariously through my The Sims alter ego, especially after a long day at work, when refurbishing her house is far more appealing than tidying up my own flat.