The Sims: Online Reviews (Windows)

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Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.

User Reviews

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Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
AI How smart (or dumb) you perceive the game's artificial intelligence to be 2.7
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.) 2.8
Graphics The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines 3.2
Personal Slant How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes 2.8
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 2.9
Overall User Score (8 votes) 2.9

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
The numbers aren’t in yet and won’t be for some time, but it’s painfully obvious that this game is going to live up to the expectations of its fans and the press. That means that not only will it make Will Wright umpteen millions of dollars over and above what his sure-to-be-ailing bank account is currently holding, but it will also yield some extremely bizarre real-life ramifications. I can see how it would be incredibly easy to lose one’s identity while pouring untold hundreds of hours into making your ether-personality as close to perfection as possible. I mean, what nerd wouldn’t want to have a girlfriend, a house, a job, roommates, talent, and a fistful of money? It’s only a matter of time until someone has some type of mental breakdown over this game.
PC Action (Nov 28, 2002)
Ich war zunächst etwas skeptisch. Doch kaum waren die ersten Minuten im Spiel vergangen, hat es mich allerdings gepackt - das Sims-Online-Fieber. Ich putze den Boden, pumpe das Klo frei oder fülle den Kühlschrank auf. Und das ganz ohne einen Sklaventreiber im Nacken. Kurzum: Es macht tierisch Laune.
Armchair Empire, The (Apr 05, 2003)
One of the most eagerly anticipated PC titles of the last five years has been the online version of the all-time top-selling PC game, The Sims. The game’s offline version still continues to place on the monthly top-ten selling PC games chart three years after its initial release. The Sims has always seemed perfectly suited for life as a massively multiplayer online game, and fans of the game seemingly couldn’t wait to get their Sims online. I say, "seemingly," because although it’s overall a good online game, there’s been an inexplicable reluctance so far for the millions of Sims gamers to flock en masse to the Sims Online. That’s more than a little perplexing at this point, because while the game certainly isn’t perfect, the overall experience is good enough, especially if you have a decent PC and high-speed Internet connection, to merit buying.
If most of your nights are spent in chatrooms to begin with, then by all means run out and pick up this game immediately. However, if the idea of making new friends doesn't hold much interest to you, The Sims Online is an option best left unexplored.
GameZone (Jan 02, 2003)
You can be somebody else, you can manage the facets of another’s life, you can build your dream home, and the developers seem to be leaning toward throwing in seasonal-pertinent material, like the recent New Year’s Eve party themes, to keep it alive and fresh. But boil it down and you have somewhat-stilted animation, some adult themes, plenty of good people having fun role-playing, new emotes, and chat, chat, chat. This is open-ended play, filled with diversity. It can be routine, and it can be like a daytime soap opera (looking through the Internet hourglass, so too are the Sims of our lives).
IGN (Jan 13, 2003)
Flame if you will but I still have a bit of a hard time labeling this as a "game." While there are similar problems with the original The Sims, the element of time and quantified social interactions provided a real sense of challenge and conflict that's completely missing here. With other Sims acting as patrons and offering free beds, free food and free skill objects, the only real motivation to go out and succeed is in becoming one of these patrons yourself.
Gaming Age (Jan 15, 2003)
The Sims Online isn't for everyone. There are many options to sift through before knowing exactly what's best for you. It would have been easier to get started if players were transported to a lobby where all members could mingle, then look for a place to live, build a business together, etc. Maxis has created a compelling way for Sim fans to interact and live together, but you'll have to invest virtual sweat and tears to make it a worthwhile experience.
Gameplay (Benelux) (Dec 27, 2002)
De eerste poging om het Sims universum online te brengen bevat positieve punten, maar wordt gehinderd door een te trage gameplay.
GameSpot (Jan 06, 2003)
For players who aren't already fans of the series, The Sims Online probably won't offer enough to persuade them to keep playing and paying the game's monthly fees. Even though it had tremendous potential, The Sims Online currently isn't a complete game--several of its features are incomplete, and the game itself seems rather limited as a result, despite the fact that it affords you plenty of opportunity to chat with other, like-minded players. Though the game's developer plans to make many additions to the game, for now, The Sims Online lacks many of the options that made the original game so intriguing, and it doesn't really replace them.
GamePlasma (Feb 02, 2004)
The Sims Online is not without redeeming value and could change dramatically when the number of online players substantially increases. The social aspect of the game will certainly appeal to a different audience than the traditional gamer, but does not, in its present form, provide the addicting entertainment of online standards such as Everquest, or offline gems like the original Sims.
65 (Apr 02, 2003)
I must admit a sense of ambivalence about the Sims Online. On paper it would almost seem an ideal game to make the transition online, but it doesn't quite come off. If you're a fan of the series, you'll probably take the view that the foundations of a great game have been put in place - this is probably true. Most of the game's faults can be attributed to a lack of content. Put simply, there's not enough variety to satisfy the Sims fans who've been fed on a diet of expansion after expansion. Hopefully, however, EA has its code monkey pulling triple shifts to remedy the situation. I wouldn't put it past them.
The Sims Online is plagued with so many issues and features that have yet to be activated that it feels more like an open beta than a fully-featured game. If you’re attracted to a thriving community of interaction where players build relationships with other players based on chat-style typed messages, then this title is probably something that would appeal to you. If you’re a fan of the old-style MUD games, then The Sims Online would probably appeal to you. Players who enjoy social game settings will likely be able to look past The Sims Online‘s flaws and have a great deal of fun. However, if you’re looking for quick-paced action or a strategy simulation, this is not the place to find it.
The big problems with TSO appear after you’ve been logged in for awhile. One very noticeable difference from any other online game is that, rather than offering an existing world, this game is essentially a scaffold for the gamers to create their own world. That’s great if the gamers are creative people, but a lot of the people in TSO aren’t. Instead, they use their characters as little more than chat room avatars.
The original Sims is an outstanding game and this Online translation is appropriate to the motif, even if it's not worthy of the magnificence. The Sims Online is a fine game actually, but only for those who will thrive under its unambiguously social style of play. If the original Sims offered players a virtual dollhouse, this game gives them the chance to virtually play "house," with a friend or a stranger. Only those interested in meeting other Sims players and interacting with them will find the true fun in this title. The rest of the series' fans may find that the "Online" too often outshines the "Sims." Sartre once noted, "Hell is other people." The Sims Online is strictly for those who would disagree.
GameSpy (Jan 30, 2003)
The Sims Online has been best described as the world's most expensive chat program. Whether that's true or not (perhaps other pay-to-use chat programs exist that cost more), the chat room analogy is an accurate one, and The Sims Online at least does that well. It looks like it will be a while, however, before it becomes the game that The Sims fans were hoping for.
FiringSquad (Feb 06, 2003)
The Sims Online isn't there yet. Assuming it's a work in progress, like any other massively multiplayer online game, this one needs a lot more work from its developers before it's going to appeal to the kind of people reading this site (i.e. gamers). If you're expecting to replace or complement an EverQuest habit, this isn't the place to do it. The Sims Online isn't much of a game, at least not in the traditional sense of the word. But if you're the kind of person who's still fascinated by the fact that people can chat online, in real time, if you're looking for something more casual and less structured, something with an emphasis on interaction over gameplay, something with vague milestones instead of any real goals, something you can use to create relationships with people you don't know and with whom you might have nothing in common save a fascination with this cloyingly pointless exercise, then The Sims Online is for you.
GameStar (Germany) (Feb, 2003)
Die Sims Online ist ein Spieldesign-Unglück, das außer Bedienung und (altersschwacher) Grafik-Engine wenig mit der tollen Solo-Vorlage zu tun hat. Das langwierige automatische Lernen und Arbeiten ist ähnlich spannend, wie Farbe beim Trocknen zuzusehen. Dem Spiel fehlt die Motivations-Grundlage: Wozu überhaupt Geld verdienen, wenn ich alle nur denkbaren Objekte bei anderen Spielern kostenlos nutzen darf? Peinlich auch die Menge von noch nicht implementierten Funktionen, wie dem Casino. Bis zum Release der deutschen Fassung im Sommer kann es nur (relativ) besser werden, die getestete US-Verkaufsversion ist derzeit kaum mehr als ein überteuerter Chat-Raum.
Game Revolution (Jan 01, 2003)
The Sims Online is far too dependent on players providing the fun, and that's not a good thing. While the end result may be the most creative and innovative online chat room available, it does not make for a riveting game or one that is worthy of the great gaps of time required to play. Lack of graphical improvements, cheap tricks to get players to throng together and the uninvolving nature of the game in general make it difficult to recommend without reaping a flood of negative karma.