The Sims Social, a social gaming version of Electronic Arts’ life simulation went live on Facebook yesterday.
I've played few hours already and must admit that they've done a great job. Remembering The Sims Online, I was rather pessimistic about possibility to move The Sims game play to social canvas. But facebook platform seems to be the perfect place fot it.
Graphics is cool, especially comparing to other facebook apps. Game starts with sim choice and appearance editor. You can return here later and change everything except gender, but you'll need to pay for it.
There are 3 types of "currency" in the game, and they are used for getting different items and ways of earning them are also different. Also you have Energy points that are used for performing ingame actions and you can ask your friends for more energy or purchase additional points when you've run out of energy (typical scheme). All types of currency and energy can be purchased for real money.
A lot of payment systems are supported
Few languages (English, German. Spanish, Italian an French) are supported. Full screen mode and different graphic quality levels are available.
When you start playing, you get detailed Tutorial first. Comparing to The Sims 3, this version has got a really simplified approach of needs, and it is possible to satisfy them easy with one click. As for me, that is big advantage, I hated that endless running between toilet, kitchen, bedroom and phone in original game :).
Few helper characters supports you during the play and give you quests and advises. A lot of bonuses and rewards are used, like few days in a row, inviting friends, free gifts, etc. All of your achievements, progress, action or whatever are proposed to be posted to facebook.
Crafting - is a way to make gathering meaningful. All components needed for crafting you can gather completing other activities, like socializing, training your skills, etc. You also can buy missing stuff.
Shop and building mode is very similar to The Sims 3, but moving-rotating furniture is not really useful, especially in small starter apartments.
A lot of little tasks appear sometimes, that makes it funny. Career path is missing, I don't know how are they going to fill this striving for growth and sim development. Some items are available only at particular level, maybe some actions, need to play more to figure it out.
In general, The Sims Social makes a really good impression. Usability, game play, art quality is much better than competitors can provide for now. We'll see how it will go