The Sims 3

aka: De Sims 3, Die Sims 3, Les Sims 3, Los Sims 3
Windows Specs [ all ]
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The Sims 3 is, like its predecessors, a real-time simulation game where the player controls the lives of one or more people in a family including their work life and social activities. In order to do so, at the start of the game the player creates one or more characters on the character creation screen which has been even more expanded since The Sims 2. Besides more choices in terms of look, clothes, colors and such, the player also chooses five personality traits from a set of 63 sorted in four groups "Mental", "Physical", "Social" and "Lifestyle" as well as a lifetime-goal. The personality traits influence how the Sim reacts to each event in the game. The trait "work-a-holic" for example makes the Sim love to go to work and allows him to use a computer at home to put in additional hours.

The lifetime goal, on the other hand, is similar to wishes but requires a lot of work to get to. While granting wishes can be as simple as ordering a pizza, one lifetime goal requires the player to make his Sim a CEO of a big corporation which can't be done over night. As a compensation, the fulfilling of a lifetime goal grants the player a very large amount of lifetime points as opposed to the normal wishes. These lifetime points are used to buy numerous forms of relief including the ability to make the Sim immune to hunger. This allows the player to focus less on fulfilling the basic needs of a Sim but more on advancing his skills and socializing with neighbors, co-workers and other people in the city. The six needs themselves are the same as before including fun, hygiene and hunger.

As opposed to its predecessors, the game isn't limited to the property a Sim owns with loading times in-between traveling to other places like family retreats. Instead The Sims 3 now simulates a full city the player's Sim is free to move around in and do what he wants, including working and socializing, but also buying groceries or books and visiting classes to further advance his personal skills. However, not every house can be seen from the inside. While the gym functions like a normal house with the ability to remove the walls and look inside, other places including the workplace, book store and hospital the Sim just enters and vanishes until his duty has been fulfilled there. The only influence the player can make in case of the workplace is how his Sim should go about his work. Should he work through lunch, get friendly with the boss or talk to his co-workers and such. All this influences both his happiness and his job performance and once his job performance reaches a certain level, he get's promoted which includes a higher pay and sometimes different work hours. during his visits the Sim can also collect stones, gems, metals, bugs, butterflies and seeds to be used in his garden, as decoration or jewelery. If he is really bored he can even go fishing at one of the lakes and rivers.

With the money a Sim starts with and earns during the game, he either buys a pre-created lot or builds/expands his own house from ground up including all of the interior decoration. This time around stuff can even be placed in an 45° angle.

The console versions introduce karma powers where players receive godlike powers to influence the life of their sims for better or worse.

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Credits (Windows version)

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[ full credits ]



Average score: 85% (based on 56 ratings)


Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 45 ratings with 1 reviews)

This game is not completely evil, it's only a little bit evil.

The Good
The new wishes system is a really nice feature that adds mini-achievements to the game for your Sims to complete. If you complete a wish you get points which you can spend on special powers to help you and your Sim. For example: I bought a power that made sure my Sim would never have to go to the toilet again. If I have to complain, I would say that some of these wishes are really easy, like "wash your hands two times", but there are also some tough ones in there that require you to travel and spend a lot of money.

There are a lot of ways you can interact with other Sims and the city that I have never seen in any other life-simulator game before. When you click on a Sim for example, it opens a menu where you first have to select an approach which opens another menu with all the possible actions you can perform related to that approach (for example: friendly > Chat). Since you can now travel through the town freely there is also no shortage of interaction there, you can visit a lot of buildings and even go fishing in the nearby ponds.

This game can be very challenging at times, in the sense that it becomes very hard to keep your Sims alive without getting them fired from their jobs or lose all their friends. My Sim managed to marry another Sim in this game and shortly after that the two gave birth to Twins. I can safely say that these Kids are demanding as hell and would always wake my characters up in the middle of the night while my Sim needed his rest for his work the other day. I also had a situation where I just haa a new room build and then ran into some financial problems that kept stacking up.

I really like the new system they made for promotions because I remember in The Sims 2 for the Gamecube that you always had to meet a certain quota (like having level 8 in chess and four friends) and then just go to work in order to make promotion, but now they have a new system where you have to fill up a bar by making sure your Sim is in the right mood and trains his skills. This is much nicer because the old system was very demanding and it would take a lot of work before you could make promotion in the game, but now that is much easier and makes a whole lot more sense.

This game adds a lot of new skills to the franchise that you can use to receive promotion or just to win tournaments and other events. Chess is, for example, now a separate skill just like cooking and painting. Another new skill is writing which is also a fun activity. There is also a new feature that has you working towards certain milestones in every skill in order to receive bonuses. If you write a total of twenty books for example, you would receive a bonus that increases the speed at which you write.

This is the first time I played a Sims game on a PC and I was very pleasantly surprised, I remember seeing the Sims 2 manual at a friend's place and it was so huge I thought it would leave a whole in the floor if you dropped it. Like I said, I was very surprised when I figured out that everything was very self-explanatory, you click on an item and select an action, that is all you need to know if you are already familiar with the franchise's goals. Figuring out where to find the menus and how to build stuff was also very easy.

I noticed that the Sims were pretty decent people that could look after themselves without ending up dead somehow. I remember that in the two Sims games I played on the Gamecube, it would always go wrong if you didn't control each individual Sim yourself. To see if this was fixed, I conducted a little investigation: I constantly invited a Sim over and prevented her from doing anything besides interacting with my Sim, by the time she left she was tired, filthy and had to go to the toilet, when I invited her over again two days later, she was almost completely fixed again. That's what I call "an improvement".

The Bad
There were a lot of glitches in this game that seriously bothered me from time to time. The most common one was that my Sim randomly cancelled certain actions like waking up in the middle of the night because he just felt like it or just standing still in the middle of the room while he has a bus to catch. Also annoying were actions like washing your hands that took several in-game minutes while they should only take like thirty seconds in real-life.

This is another one of those games that pretty much forced me to play in Dutch. I am not sure if this game allows me to change the language to English somehow, I don't think so, but it's pretty annoying and I keep forgetting to look it up. I suppose that it's a good thing that the game is so good that I keep forgetting to change the language to something else, but that doesn't mean it's not a flaw worth bitching about in my review of this game.

The Sims have always had the problem that it's very hard not to fall into a routine and this game certainly no exception. Here is the complete routine my first Sim had to go through on a daily basis: wake up, go to toilet, take a shower, eat some cornflakes, go to work, return home, eat more food, go to toilet, sleep. There was no space for me to ever break away from this routine and it was very annoying. This is probably the biggest flaw in this franchise, you want to break free from that routine and go around town to have fun, but your held on a tight leash all the time.

The weirdest flaw in this game is no doubt the really small assortment of items you can place in your home, it's probably only 5% of all the items I could buy in The Sims 2 and the most noteworthy items that were missing were the treadmills and other items that helped you train your physique. There were also no snooker-tables or Jacuzzi's in the game which were some of my favorite items in the entire game. I know why this flaw exists though, so they could milk more freaking money out of the consumers by making a whole lot of expansions. If only I was allowed to swear on Mobygames...

There was a serious problem with the explanations and tutorials in this game because they didn't really explain anything. When one of the Sim children had to go to school I wanted to know how I could make him do his homework, I couldn't figure it out, so I opened the tutorials menu and tried to find all the information related to schools. I looked everywhere and couldn't find it, so after some more menu-digging I finally found an item in the inventory called "homework". Another problem was when one of the wishes my Sim had was "donate money to charity", but how I could donate money wasn't mentioned anywhere.

There is a severe lack of options in this game, I can understand that it was too hard for them to fit every single aspect of life into a video game without spending twelve years on it, but I swear there was a lot of stuff missing in this game. Why can't I make video-games myself, why can't I I throw apples at people, etc.. There was some very basic stuff missing which made me a bit sad at times because I imagined my first Sim as a psycho that wanted to murder other Sims, but apparently there were no guns in the general store.

The Bottom Line
The Sims 3 is a game that you either hate or love depending on whether or not you are interested in a life-simulator. If you like the idea of guiding a character through life, you'll love this game, if you aren't than this game won't change your mind. It's a very fun game to play and it will keep you busy for quite a while, but it's not really a game I would give to a person who is trying to get into gaming.

While there is a lot to complain about, mostly the glitches and the small assortment of items, there is also a lot of good stuff in this game which I really like. I had a lot of fun with it and I will continue to play it for a few weeks.

Windows · by Asinine (957) · 2011


1001 Video Games

The Sims 3 appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Launch Party

There was a The Sims launch party in Singapore on June 2, 2009 that was open to anyone who had pre-ordered the game. There the coupons could be exchanged for the game itself and there were free T-shirts for the first 300 men and 300 women who attended.


The Sims 3 was the best-selling physical retail Mac/PC game in the United States in 2009, where it sold 1.4 million units in its first week of availability alone.


Steve Jablonsky recorded his score for The Sims 3 with a 40-piece string and woodwind orchestra, as well as choir, at the Newman Scoring Stage at 20th Century Fox.


  • 1UP
    • 2009 - Best Simulation in 2009 (Editor's Choice)
    • 2009 - Best Simulation in 2009 (Reader's Choice)* 4Players
    • 2010 – Best Simulation of the Year
  • Game Informer
    • June 2009 (issue 195) - PC Game of the Month* Gamespot
    • 2009 - Best Strategy Game in 2009 (Editor's Choice)
    • 2009 - Best Strategy Game in 2009 (Reader's Choice)

Information also contributed by Big John WV and piltdown man.

Related Games

The Sims 3: Ambitions
Released 2010 on Windows, Macintosh
The Sims 3: Pets
Released 2011 on Windows, Macintosh
The Sims 3: Island Paradise
Released 2013 on Windows, Macintosh
The Sims 3: Supernatural
Released 2012 on Macintosh, Windows
The Sims 3: Starter Pack
Released 2013 on Macintosh, Windows
The Sims 3: World Adventures
Released 2009 on Windows, Macintosh
The Sims
Released 2003 on Xbox, PlayStation 2, GameCube
The Sims 3: Late Night
Released 2010 on Windows, Macintosh
The Sims 3 (Collector's Edition)
Released 2009 on Windows, Macintosh

Related Sites +

  • Carl's Sims 3 Walkthrough / Strategy Guide
    A strategy guide for the Sims 3. Includes help for getting started gardening and fishing. You'll also find cheats, and tips to being a social prodigy.
  • Imagine the Possibilities
    An Apple Games article about the Mac version of <em>The Sims 3</em>, including additional commentary by Executive Producer Ben Bell (June, 2009).
  • Review: The Mac Gamer
    A review of the Macintosh version of <em>The Sims 3</em> by The Mac Gamer's Luis Sosa (October 18th, 2009).
  • SIMS 3 launch party info
    This is the EA Singapore site which contains details of the SIMS 3 launch party
  • official website
    The official website for The Sims 3.

Identifiers +


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Sicarius.

PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 added by Brenden Conte.

Additional contributors: Carl Ratcliff, Zeppin, Cantillon, marley0001, Patrick Bregger, piltdown_man, Asinine, FatherJack.

Game added June 12th, 2009. Last modified August 14th, 2023.