At some point or another, most every kid dreams of becoming a rock star, a heroic firefighter, or world famous sporting icon. Sadly, the reality is usually much more mundane and these childhood dreams are unfullfilled. Well, now thanks to The Sims 3 Ambitions, iPhone gamers can turn back the clock and have a crack at leading the (virtual) life they always desired.
Billed as “the most ambitious experience of The Sims on the App Store,” EA Mobile‘s latest addition to the much loved life-building franchise recovers admirably from the poorly reviewed misstep that was World Adventures, and adds a raft of fun new features to the game that fans have been clamouring for since day one.
Based on the second in a series of updates to the PC version, this iteration of The Sims bulks out the always enjoyable core gameplay with a fresh emphasis on turning “passions into professions.” What this means for players is a tangible sense of direction and motivation as you and your Sim make your way through the game, attempting to excel in your chosen career, building a home or business, and even having babies (!).
Once you’ve landed your dream job – you can be an artist, athlete, fireman, or chef, to name but a few of the available professions – it’s straight into a fun selection of career specific mini-games. For example, an artist will spend his or her working day daubing canvasses, while a chef is tasked with whipping up culinary delights in the kitchen. These mini-games all make novel use of the iPhone’s touchscreen and accelerometer as you tap, touch and tilt your way to success. Founding a business and watching it flourish is a welcome inclusion to the classic mix, and makes for an incredibly satisfying sense of achievement.
Your hard earned cash can also be spent on the necessary tools for your job or kitting out your pad with furniture and appliances. And once you’ve got your home looking just right, you’ll really want to share it with someone special…
Enter the utterly adorable Sim babies, who bring with them a plethora of amusing side-games. Cue cuddles, night-feeds, trips to the park, and plenty of games of hide-and-seek! Undoubtedly, the ability to raise a family will be the main selling point of this game, and rightfully so. Honestly, even if you’ve played the previous Sims titles to death, the kids make this version a worthwhile purchase.
Of course, all the tried and tested Sims gameplay elements also return here – interacting with other characters, finding a partner, indulging in a bit of the old woohoo!, kicking over bins, raiding neighbours’ fridges, and so on and so forth.
By the same token, Ambitions also still suffers from a set of flaws that have plagued every iPhone adaptation of The Sims to date – frequent and lengthy loading screens, some minor gripes with the touchscreen interface, and overly cluttered and fiddly menus. Yet, as ever, once you become thoroughly engrossed in your virtual life, you’ll barely notice these problems whilst playing. All in all, this is a more immersive and much less linear mobile outing for The Sims.
iFanzine Verdict:The best, most substantial, and indeed, ambitious iPhone iteration of The Sims yet. New additions and tweaks to the classic set-up, such as career orientated progression, a vastly improved build mode and, of course, those super-cute sim babies make this both an essential purchase for fans of the franchise and a great starting point for the unitiated.